What is Karma
Karma Means Work. But not necessarily only Profession or what we do for our Living. It has a broader aspect. Karma generally means all what we do in our Life- All Our activities comes under Karma. After our birth till our death whatever activities we do comes under Karma. Anything and everything that can produce result and that can influence the Society, environment and people around us in a way -good or Bad, is our Karma. From Birth to death we are involved in various activities and these activities are capable of producing results. Whatever we do creates New Karma and whatever happens in our Life is due to Our Karma also.
Karma Explained in More Details
Karma is based on the results of actions done on our previous births. It is not about the activity of our Present Life but from all our Previous Birth. We, the Hindus, believes that our sacred book Gita is the divine source of knowledge which has been given by Lord Krishna or God himself at the time of Kurukshetra war. Kurukshetra war was not only a war between two kings Kauravas and Pandavas but it was a dharmyudh, means it was a war for truth and religion. At that time when the main warrior of Pandavas Arjun was not ready to fight with his own relatives i.e Kauravas, Lord Krishna gave him this Gyan or wisdom and that wisdom is captured in Gita.
As stated in Bhagwad gita, Atma or the soul or spirit is “abinaswar” and it takes the form of human body to express and when it leave the physical body, we call it as death. So Atma or the soul will take the form of human body again and again. Just like we change our clothes when it becomes dirty. Here comes the theory of Rebirth. Now while the soul will take form of human body, it will undergo several miseries as well as happiness. Now what type of happiness and miseries will be felt, depend upon the karmafal or result of our work.
What is karmafal ? Karmafal means fruits of our action or deed. To understand karmafal, we must understand karma Properly.
Generally it is said that we can produce karma in four ways- Through thoughts, through Words, Through actions performed by us directly and through actions performed under our instructions.
There are good Karma and Bad Karma.
Good Karma: This is very easy to understand. Any good deed performed by an individual in any form is Good Karma. In Simple word it is known as Virtue within us. Good Karma Leads to incarnation into Higher sphere and We progress towards the Path of Moksha or Final Liberation.
Bad Karma: This is exactly opposite of above. Any deed which harms anybody in anyway is a bad karma. Bad Karma is generally known as the Vices within us.
The Atma within our Soul is the Part of Parmatma and the desire of the Soul is to become free from the Cycle of Life and birth and to emerge within the Parmatma again. But the Soul can only become Free and can obtain Moksha when the Karma is exhausted.
This Karma and Rebirth is the basis of Vedic Astrology. In Our Vedic Astrology, Atmakaraka Planet gives some hints or Indication about this and the kind of Lessons the Soul should learn in this life to burn the Karmas.
Three Types of Karma
In our lifetime, We do some good activity and some bad activities. So in one lifetime we accumulate the result of some good karma as well as some bad karma. We will experience the result of both good and bad karma in the next birth. According to these Karmafal we are going to experience events in our next life i.e. when the Atma or the soul again take the form of human body. At that time we will see the effect of our karmafal of previous birth.
In this way every soul accumulates huge karma in every birth and all of these karmas are added which is known as sanchita karma.So Sanchita Karma is like the Total Karma accumulated till date.
From this sanchita karma, the Karmas which can give result immediately(fruits which are riped) are handed over or given to experience in the present life and this is known as Prarabdha. Rest is kept for the next Births.We can not change it. Pararabdha Karma is unavoidable. We will reap the effect of our Past Life Karma in this Present Life. For example, A has planted a Mango tree and B has planted a Lime tree. After some year, A will get Sweet Mango and B will get Sour Lime. In no way B can change his Lime to a Sweet Mango. This is Prarabdha Karma.
But there is also something which we can do according to our free will and i.e. We can react to this Prarabdha Karma as per our free will and can create new situations and thus new karma. This is known as Kriyamana Karma. The Kriyamana Karma not only change the Present Life but also decide what we will get in the next Life. All kriyamana Karma will flow to Sanchita Karma and will shape our future.
There is another Type of Karma which is Known as Agami Karma. When We plan to do Something but for whatever reason we do not execute It, is known as Agami Karma. It is in our thought or Mind but we are unable to accomplish it. So Agami Karma is basically our unfulfilled desires in Mind without Action.
I would like to share Two stories to explain this more clearly.
Story1: After the war of Kurukshetra, Pandavas have won. Dhirtarastra Asked Lord Krishna one question-” Hey Krishna why I have gone through such misfortune in this life-first born as a blind and then seen the death of 100 son where seeing a single dead son is horrible ?” Krishna explained him that 100 birth ago dhirtarastra had destroyed 100 egg of a set of bird and when the bird tried to save the egg, they were blinded. At that time the birds cursed him that he will also go through the same pain. Now getting son requires fruits of some good deeds, so to get 100 sons all his good deed of last 100 lives were accumulated. When god saw that he had enough good deed to have 100 son, he gave him the birth of dhritarastra.
This is a example of how karmafal flows life after life.
Story2: My mom used to tell me this story. Once 2 friends one is theist and the other is atheist. One day as they were walking they see a temple near. Seeing this the theist says “that looks like a nice temple, lets go check it out” . The atheist, makes fun of him and says you won’t leave any temple, you go if you wish i will wait for you here”. So the theist goes alone and meanwhile the atheist friend finds Rs.100 in the road. A little later the theist comes back with blood oozing from his leg as he stepped on a huge thorn. Now the atheist says “hey, look what happened you went to see GOD but you got hurt in the leg, meanwhile i was simply waiting here and found Rs.100.” This really confused the theist. Along the way they found a sage and asked for an explanation, the sage looking at both of them he could get glimpse of their karmas and what they were experiencing. He explained as follows – “based on the past karma of the theist he was to meet with an accident and die but luckily due to his belief in GOD his current actions it was reduced to a mere injury to his leg. And the atheist was to enjoy a huge lottery windfall but due to his current actions the prize was reduced to a mere Rs. 100”
This is the example of Kriyamana karma.
We see that Some bad/unethical person is enjoying the life whereas honest person is suffering. At that time we astonish that how the law of karma is working. Actually the person who is enjoying the life today has done some good deeds in the past. So he is enjoying the fruits of those good acts and the person who is suffering today is getting the fruits of the evil acts done in the past life. This is actually a vicious cycle. Events of our next life depends upon the act of present life which is again depend upon the act of previous birth and so on. We will go through this cycle of karma and rebirth till the sanchita karma exists. Once we will exhaust our entire sanchita karma, we will attain Moksha and will be free fro this vicious cycle of karma and rebirth.
GOD has sent us to this world to perform certain duties and to experience certain things. That is why inspite of putting so much effort some people does not get desired result and some people get more they want. That is because of their Karma fal. The person who is facing problems, sufferings has done some misconduct or evil deeds in his previous birth. So he is being punished in this life. God has made his fortune in such a manner that he should get the fruits of his actions. SO the Fate of every individual is predestined.
Can We change Our Karma and Our Fate
God has not created the human as a Slave in the hands of Destiny. We have the capacity to create new karma. With Our Free Will We can change our karma to certain extent. It is not Possible to completely change our Karma and Fate 100 percent but with our Free will we can Modify the results upto 30 to 35 percent.
The result of the Karma can be further divided into three group- Dridha Karma, Adridha Karma and dridha-Adridha Karma. The result of our Karma which is definately occur and can not be changed is known as Dridha Karma.
The Results that may or Mat not occur is Dridha-adridha Karma.
When Some result will occur and Some May not is known as Dridha-dridha Karma.
We can not alter the result of dridha karma but the dridha/Adridha and Adridha Karma result can be modified by self effort, Remedy and Free Will.
“Man is the architect of his own fortune” There are some people who believes in this line. But frankly speaking if it was correct then no one after putting 100 percent of effort would not have seen the failures, no one after giving very good exam would not have been failed. There is a divine power which controls all of us and this Divine power is GOD.
The time we take birth, the planetary position in the sky decides our Fate. The Planets are nothing but the messenger of God. God gives the result through the planets.
Suppose Some one is having Moon in Lagna, person will be very soft and will surrender to fate. On the other hand some one having Mars in Lagna or in third house will never surrender to fate will always fight back. Now the second person will think that there is nothing called fate only purusakar exists. But he doesn’t understand that it is only mere play of planets, it is none other than mars in 3rd house who is giving the fighting tendency.
The Janma Lagna represents the Present Birth, 9th House represents the previous birth and 5th house represents the next Birth. 5th house also represents the Good deed or good karma done in past Life. So 5th house is also known as Purvapunya house.
How to Burn the Karmas or How to get Rid of the Bad Karmas
Karmas can be burn by experiencing it. Suffering or enjoying the fruits of your Karma, will burn the Karma. The Prarabdha Karma can not be burnt unless you go through it or experience the result of it. But Sanchita Karma and Kriyaman Karma can be burnt by doing Charity, Meditation, Worshiping God, Doing “Niskam” Work etc.
It is very easy to get rid of the Good deed. By offering the Good karma in the Feet of God, we can free from that. But it is not easy to free from the Bad Karma. Unless we experience the suffering, we can not be free.
For example, You have given money to Someone. If you forget the thought that you have to take money from the person, you will be free. But it is not same with the other person. If he forgets the thought that he has to give money to you, he will not be free. He will only be free when he will repay the money.
There is a wrong conception that we may do one bad activity and we can cover it up by doing 4 good activity. But this is not true. One will be punished for the one bad activity and also will enjoy the good result of the 4 good activities. We have to Burn each and every Karma of our Life separately.
Can God Change Our karma
To be Honest, No one has the answer of this. But as we know from different divine Books that even God can not run away from the Karma and Karmafal, It is obvious that even God can not change our Karma. Everyone is bounded by this Chakra or the Law of Karma. But definitely if we surrender all our Karma in the Lotus feet of God, we will come out of this Cycle. That is known as Niskam Karma. We have to work and perform all our duties and responsibilities honestly without any expectation. We should not feel happy or Sad in any of our work. When we become able to reach in Such a mental State where we surrender all the result to God, we make our self free from the cycle of Life and Death. In Gita, Lord Krishna has Said that “Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kada Chana“. So if we ever be able to reach Such a state, where we become indifferent from the out come of our work yet we do all our duties honestly and sincerely, We will burn all our Karmas and will not generate any new karma.
Now as most of the common People are driven by Materialistic desire and most of the people worship and Pray god to come out of the problems of their Life. If God can not alter the Karma, why should Someone worship God ?
The answer is Simple. Worshiping God is a Good Karma it self. It is our duty and responsibility. If we are not doing this, we are inviting Bad Karma for us. As it is our duty to respect our Parents, Similarly it is our duty to show Respect to the Supreme Father and Mother i.e God.
Worshiping God brings Purity of mind. This purity of mind inspires us to do Good Karma which will eventually make us free. Moreover By Worshiping God wholeheartedly we can burn our Sanchita Karma.
There is no doubt that God is the ultimate Power and there is nothing that he can not do. If he want, he can destroy all our Karma. Not only of one birth but of thousands of Birth. But God has created the Rule or Law of Karma. And so he do not interfere in his own Law.
I have tries to share some thoughts on this very interesting Topic. Personally this is one of My Favorite Topic and I will try to give you more information related to this in future as well.
I would like to know your views on this also. If you think i have missed something or you want share some thought, do not hesitate to comment.
Debraj is a professional Astrologer with More than 10 years of Practical experience. Started learning Vedic astrology in a very early age around 12 yrs and almost more than 20 years in astrological study.