Our Karmic Debt as the fruits of Our Actions
जय श्री गणेशा
In the last blog of mine, I tried to put my perspective on the connection between our soul or Jeevatma (जीवात्मा) with God or “Parmatma” (परमात्मा) and the ultimate goal for the soul is to attain Liberation or Moksha (“मोक्ष“) from the cycle of birth and debt and merge with the Source or Parmatma..
The path to Moksha and Liberation is defined through a cycle of birth and death where we discharge our Karmas as ordained during our lives. Our Karmas during our lives are the results of the way we choose to lead our lives and how we go about discharging our responsibilities through the actions we choose..
In “Srimad Bhagwad Gita” ( श्रीमद भगवद गीता ) GOD himself has stated that Karma Yoga ( कर्म योग ) or called as “Yoga of Action” as the primary path to Spiritualism and Self-Realisation along with two other spiritual paths Jnana Yoga ( ज्ञान योग ) “The Path of Knowledge” and Bhakti Yoga ( भक्ति योग ) “The Path of Devotion” and there he mentions that the preferred path to realise Him is “Karma Yoga” itself..
Now we need to understand, why did GOD choose Karma Yoga ( or Path of Unselfish Action ) out of the three paths laid out by Him for self realisation, it is because, unless the Jeevatma or Human Being chooses to act, Human Life in this planet will cease to exist which the Parmatma does not want to happen.
He wants every Jeevatma or living being should discharge his responsibilities as per his “Dharma” (धर्म ) without being attached to its outcomes which is explained in the famous verse of “Srimad Bhagwad Gita” ( श्रीमद भगवद गीता ) as mentioned below:
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन । मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter II, Verse 47
Although the verse is short but it explains in just one sentence what the Parmatma (परमात्मा) expects from every Jeevatma (जीवात्मा) in terms of how we must discharge our duties during our lifetime and how we must choose to perform our actions without being attached to them..
On the contrary, this is extremely difficult to practice as most of us discharge our responsibilities and thus perform actions out of desire , out of ambition or passion..
In the process we get attached to the results or the fruits of our Karmas and that leads to a sense of fulfilment, pride and success in case the fruits are positive and on the contrary it leads to despair, desolation and sadness in case the fruits are negative or unexpected..
This leads to “Adharma” ( अधर्म ) as driven by Desire to achieve, we tend to leave the path of righteousness or “Dharma”( धर्म ) in the quest of the fruits of our actions..
The physical results are borne by the Body and the emotions are borne by the Mind and together they create a sense of Maya (माया) which the LORD explained to his True Follower Arjuna in the great Mahabharata ( महाभारत ) Epic.
The Lord explains to Arjuna that the Dharma of that of a “Kshatriya” (क्षात्रिय) is to protect the land and the inhabitants of the same to which he belongs to and he being one of them must do his duty and fight against “Adharma” ( अधर्म ) which was represented by the “Kauravas” (कौरव)..
In that sense, in today’s world, if a Doctor does not perform his duty of treating a patient if he gets emotionally involved with the same, and is scared to provide his treatment, then he does not do his Dharma
So, the one who is a true “Karma Yogi”(कर्म योगी) is unattached to the fruits of his actions and still goes about discharging his responsibilities and duties as ordained during the person’s lifetime.
Some of you might think that all this is not important to us as we are leading normal lives here in this world and to follow the part of Yoga or Self realisation is the goal of only those who are looking for spiritual enlightment and is not important for material growth and needs
My advise to them is unless they come out of their delusion of they being in control of their lives and understand their soul’s purpose and in the process evolve into a better human being and be more connected with GOD and the Universe his Creation.
Unless, we do that, we will be forever bound by the cycle of life and death and not being able to break out of our emotions and senses.
Is “Karma” or “Action” the cause of everything and what decides them? We also need to note here not doing any action or choosing to not doing any action is also an action..
Why do some people perform good deeds and some bad deeds ? Why do some people are naturally inclined towards performing righteous deeds and show compassion and kindness to others and stick to the path of Dharma and why some are naturally inclined towards deceit , unscrupulous and malefic actions and try to trick people or are cruel towards others and tend to follow the path of Adharma ?
Is this completely coincidental? Some might even think the way people have been brought up and the way they have shaped up their lives and the choices they have made during the formative eyes of Childhood and Young adulthood make people into the Person what they finally become.. Yes it is true to some extent..
But haven’t we heard of cases where people who had led a spotless righteous life all throughout suddenly lose their path into Adharma and Darkness.. and what about the case of people who were wanderers initially and in the path of Adharma and suddenly they change their path into becoming more better human beings and souls …
Why do some people have a life which is really smooth and fortunate and some who are not ?
The answers to all these lies in our Karmic Debt which is the fruit of our past life Karma and present life actions and the choices we make as a result of those actions.
The Karmic Debt we carry has a direct relation to our destiny and our “Horoscope” which is the basis of our lives..
Before we start discussing the importance of our “Horoscope” Our Birth Chart , it is important we understand the deeper meaning of our Karmas and we dwelve deeper into the basis on which, an individual or soul chooses to do certain actions and not to do certain other actions..
As per our Vedic Scriptures, To explain Karma in more detail, I quote from the Vedas which are the absolute source of truth .
Vedas have been created from the word “Om” or from the sound of Omkara and refer to the frequencies or sounds which connect to Parmatma or the Creator of the Universe. As per Vedic Mythology, the sounds of Vedas came out of the mouth of Lord Brahma ( ” the Creator”) and were passed on to the great “Saptarishis” and further to Human Kind for or well-being.
Taken from the Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas
Which means Vedic knowledge must be gained by only by listening to the recitals from the Enlighted and Learned Souls and cannot be gained merely by reading them
According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas (Collections). There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic-sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (texts discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge). Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas (worship).”
(We will discuss about Vedas in more in a later section )
karma, kárma or kárman (Sanskrit: कर्म, “act, action, performance”) — is a noun-form coming from the root kri meaning “to do,” “to make.” Literally karma means “doing,” “making,” action. Karma can best be translated into English by the word consequence. It corresponds to the “action” or “deed” which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called saṃsāra). It applies to all levels of action, including thought, word, feeling and deed, and the effects of it.
Karma refers to: (1) any act or deed; (2) the principle of cause and effect ; (3) a consequence ( fruit of action )
“Karmaphala” or “Uttaraphala” ( after effect), which sooner of later returns upon the doer. What we sow, we shall reap in this or future lives. Punyakarma or Sukarma ( Benevolent and good deeds) will bring loving reactions and Kukarma or Papakarma ( Selfish and hateful acts) will bring suffering.
The impelling unseen power of one’s past actions is called “Adhrishta” ( as it is invisible )
As per our Vedas, there are four different kinds of Karma and how the fruits are realized are given below:
|1.||Sanchita karma||“accumulated actions.”||The sum of all karmas of this life and past lives.|
|2.||Prarabdha karma||“Actions begun; set in motion.”||That portion of sanchita karma that is bearing fruit and shaping the events and conditions of the current life, including the nature of one’s bodies, personal tendencies and associations.|
|3.||Kriyamana karma||“Being made.”||The karma being created and added to sanchita in this life by one’s thoughts, words and actions, or in the inner worlds between lives. What we are currently creating through our choices right now. It is our creativity that is unfolding, it is our “free will”.|
|4.||Agama karma||“coming, arriving,” and vartamana, “living, set in motion.”||Is the actions that we are planning for the future. Actions that will or will not be achieved depending on the choices (free will) that we are making now and those that we have made in the past.|
While some kriyamana karmas bear fruit in the current life, others are stored for future births. Each of these types can be divided into two categories: arabdha (literally, “begun, undertaken;” karma that is “sprouting”), and anarabdha (“not commenced; dormant”), or “seed karma.”
Note that only the “Kriyamana Karma” comprises the actions which we do in our present lives over which we have control and which we do consciously and in the process we affect our “Agama Karma“ which represents our future course of our present and future lives
Now that we understand the way or Karmas or in simplistic terms our Actions bind us to the inescapable cycle of birth and death, isn’t it interesting to relate it to the Newton’s laws of Motion especially to the Newton’s 1st and 3rd laws ??
Newton’s 1st law states ” A body stays in the state of rest or continues to be in the state of motion unless one external action is applied which changes the course“. This is nothing but Karma or Action which is initiated through desire which causes a certain phenomenon to happen. Unless it is the Human Being’s desire to perform any action or Karma no action can happen
Similarly Newton’s 3rd law states “Every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction“. This is nothing but which relates to the consequence or the results of Karma or action. Every action done “Thought, Word, Feeling, Deed” will have a certain consequence which relates to the Cause and Effect analogy
As per this theory whenever we perform an action and exert a certain degree of force on a certain body or object the same exerts an equal and opposite force on us. E.g. when we kick a ball although the ball goes further due to the force but we can feel the pressure it exerts on our foot. The bigger the ball and the more the inertia the bigger the pressure and pain we will feel on our foot which kicking..
Similarly when we perform any Karmas, if they are good for our soul and existence, they will produce good results for us the rewards of which we can reap in the later life or in our future lives.
Folks, our forefathers who truly lived a Vedic life did understand all these fundamental aspects at a much more deeper level which was elevating their lives spiritually whereas alas the modern generation having done much advancements in the field of Science has only learnt to apply them only at the mechanical or physical level
What are good and bad Karmas ? This is a very simple but very important question..
Any Karma or deed which spreads positivity and which are aligned with that of the Supreme GOD’s actions and which is good for human existence and for the environment and is driven through love, compassion and empathy towards others including the world we live in are Good Karmas.
Similarly any Karma or deed ( which includes thoughts and actions ) are negative in nature and are not good for himself or for Human kind and are not aligned with the Supreme God’s actions are driven through hate, anger, lust, obsession, deceit will definitely be counted as bad Karma.
Human desires and ambitions and boundaries have no boundaries. The moment our desire is met, our mind starts thinking about the next set of desires to be met. The Human soul or Jeevatma which is attached to the body is always looking to expand further and further till all the desires are met so that it can free itself from the chains of mortal desires and go to realm of unboundedness and the path of MOKSHA ( मोक्ष ) or the path of meet GOD ( परमात्मा )
You can imagine your mind as the driver of the vehicle where the vehicle is nothing but the body and the passenger seating in the back side is actually your Soul or the Jeevatma itself and Life as the journey which you or your Soul must take to reach the desired destination and in the process you visit many places and go through various twists and turns and go through various experiences so of which are good and enjoyable and some not so good…
The point is most of the time we don’t know what our desired destination should be and we allow the Mind to take complete control of the journey which in turn may lead to us straying unnecessarily from the path which we are supposed to follow and in the process go through unforeseen and unpleasant experiences and sufferings
However, the good part is there is indeed a way by which you can decipher the desired destination of the Soul or the Jeevatma or in short decipher the true Goals of your present life and I will put forth my understanding of this in the upcoming blogs
जय श्री राम