Law of Karma - The Science of Knowing Who We Are
Law of Karma is a spiritual principle that says, for every effect there is a cause. This is a fundamental governing principle in the universe. According to the Hindu scriptures, the karma is of three types. The categorization is based on the different modes of manifestation of the effect.
1. Instant effect (prarabda)
2. Accumulating from the past (sanchitta)
3. Accumulating into the future(agami)
When the cause and effect are simultaneous it is referred as prarabda karma. Which means an action yields its result instantaneously.
When the action doesn’t have an immediate effect, but the effect is stored and accumulated it is referred as Agami Karma. Agami karma comes to fruition in future.
The present moment we are experiencing is a fruition of the past karma. It is the actions from the past that are bearing fruits in this moment. This is called Sachitta karma.
Let’s take an example to understand this better. There is a huge rock and we want to break it into two pieces. Lets assume we take a hammer and hit it hard. First ninty nine strokes nothing happened to the rock. But on the hundredth stroke it broke into two pieces. The first ninty nine strokes have an effect on the rock, which came to fruition only after the hundredth stroke. The hundredth stroke is a fruition of all ninty nine strokes. The karma of the first ninty nine strokes is agami karma as it is accumulating into future. The karma of the hundredth stroke is sanchitta karma as it is accumulating from the past.
In this moment, we do many actions which many not yield instant results. We have to wait for the actions to come to fruition. This present moment is a fruition of many past actions. What we are today is a collection of past actions. This moment also contains invisible blessings of many including parents, teachers, guides, masters and loved ones. Sanchitta karma teaches us to feel gratitude for what we are now. It is a collective manifestation by you and your loved ones.
There is a cause and an effect that is keeping the creation alive. Every action is bound to have an effect. And every effect is bound to originate from a cause. Law of cause and effect doesn’t apply just for the physical world, but for all dimensions. By understanding law of Karma, one realizes that there is a deeper cause for every problem in life. Knowing the deeper cause we become aware of the intricate connection between the past action and the present problem. Law of karma bridges the past and present. In knowing this connection one realizes the past is not over, it is continuing in the present.
Our present is an embodiment of all our past. When we deeply look into our present, we can derive the past. By deriving the past we can let go of the karmic baggage and say good bye to the past. There is a popular myth in India and elsewhere that there is no way out of karmic consequences of the past. This is only a myth. The truth is law of karma is an empowering tool. It is a learning device for the Soul. It helps Soul to review the past actions, realize any mistakes done and bring changes within oneself. Law of Karma enables soul to evolve continuously.
Following are some key features of Law of Karma :
1. Past is not fixed : Law of Karma says we do not have a fixed past. It says the past and present are a single continuum. There is no past without the present. The past is always reachable and it can be changed anytime.
2. Karma is a choice : Karma becomes a choice when we understand we have control over the past. The Bhagavad Gita says- One can choose to have an effect, not have an effect or have a different effect. It also says – One can do , undo or redo an action. Law of karma gives enormous possibilities for the Soul to make a conscious choice on what one want to experience.
3. Karma is way out of suffering : Karma is not binding to suffering. It is the other way. Law of karma says both the cause and effect are bound to create suffering. By carefully reviewing the nature of the cause and effect cycle, we have an opportunity to transcend them. Our true nature is unbound by karma. It is the knowing of the Soul that has the power to nullify all karma. Bhagavadgita says, “the knowledge of Self burns karma just like how fire burns wood to ashes”. Knowing the Soul is the real purpose of life. It empowers us to end our suffering and create a reality based on love and happiness.
4. Exercising Free Will : Every time we exercise free will and do something, we challenge the old repeating patterns and create new things in our life. By exercising free will we break the repeating cycles of karma. Exercising free will we constantly renew our lives. Every day is a new day, every experience is fresh and every moment becomes precious.
5. Karma teaches conscious living : Law of karma teaches us to live consciously. Unconscious repetition and replay of the past doesn’t create anything new. The same old past extends to present. When we live consciously we pay attention to our emotions, feelings and beliefs. We feel the heaviness of the past in this present moment. We become more patient with the burden of the past, look at it and change it rather than rejecting it.
6. Law of Karma is a feedback system : Law of Karma is not a asking for our compliance to a higher authority like God. It is a beautiful tool designed for the evolution of the Soul. All challenges and difficulties in this life are nothing but feedback provided by the Soul. Without such feedback it becomes impossible to learn the lessons of love, gratitude and forgiveness.
7. Karma and Evolution of consciousness : Everytime we pay attention to the repeating patterns in our life and the surrounding emotions, assumptions or beliefs about oneself, we are undoing the karma and learning a new lesson. This new lesson could be a simple one. For example: how to trust people, how to love oneself, how to be non-judgemental or how to forgive. These simple lessons are very deep learnings for the Soul. They have tremendous healing and therapeutic benefits. When lessons are learnt, Karma transforms to wisdom. By living the wisdom consciousness evolves.
Every time when we let go of a clinging or let go of a self-defeating thought, or when we give a hug to our self, or send love in response to hate, or see someone beyond our limiting judgements, we are contributing to the evolution of consciousness. In that attempt we are making this creation a better place. We are powerful beings who came to this earth plane to evolve the consciousness and law of karma is the primitive principle that helps us connect to this purpose and realize our divine nature.