According to the standard doctrine of Karma, our past actions are only one of the factors involved in determining the outcomes in the present. The doctrine of Karma classifies Karma into three categories: (1) Sanchita Karma, or the sum-total of our past Karmas; (2) Praarabdha Karma, or that part of this sum-total of our past Karma which accounts for our present birth; and(3) Aagaami or Kriyamaana Karma, or the actions we are going to perform (that is, on our own free will or choice) in the present or future.
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Karma is not deterministic, more a concept. Example: when one smokes for the first time, it is the present or Kriyamaana Karma; as one keeps on smoking, it goes on becoming Sanchita or a cumulative Karma; and when one finally gets cancer, it has become Praarabdha or Destiny.-
Karma and rebirth
The concepts of Karma and rebirth are two major pillars of Hindu philosophy. Buddhism and Jainism, the two other religions which have their origins in Hinduism too accept the concepts of Karma and rebirth.
"Karma" means work or action. When you perform a work or action, it is bound to produce an effect, a reaction or a result. If you are the doer of karma with a desire, you are to own up the result or the fruit it produces. Good karma will get you good effects and bad karma will get you bad consequences. This is the simplistic explanation of the law of Karma
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" - says the science. "Thou shall reap what thy sow" says the English proverb.
Karma and fruits of Karma are interwoven with time and divine will. This is supposed to answer many observations in life.
What baffles and troubles many people in life is a commonly perceived reality that nice and honest people of good conduct and character seem to suffer more in life, where as those not endowed with such qualities always seem to lead a happy-go-lucky life!
Perhaps such a stark contradiction is one reason that made saints to analyze Karma and come out with the finding of its continuing effect birth after birth.
Ever since its inception, the philosophy of karma has been central to most religious philosophies and thoughts that originated in India. It was equally important and itegral to the teachings of Gautam Buddha, considered an incarnation of Vishnu, the form of Lord that preserves the Universe. Later, Buddhist philosophy spread out beyond India, and most of world was introduced to the concept of karma through Buddhist monks.
Krishna told the great warrior 'Arjun' that it was his duty to fight, not because he was greedy and wanted to gain power or wealth, but because having committed himself to being a warrior and having given himself to the principles a warrior must follow, fighting this war was his 'karma' now, from which he could not escape, even if fighting against his relatives was unpleasant. Going against his 'karma' would lead him to worse, Krishna told Arjun, because it
Truths and Myths About Karma
- However, it must be understood that your past negative karma can be altered into a smoother, easier state through good work, prayer, through dharma and sadhana. You will also create positive karma for the future and soften negative karma of the past.
- Karma operates not only individually, but also in ever-enlarging circles of group karma where we participate in the sum karma of multiple souls. This includes family, community, nation, race and religion.
- Karma is also misunderstand as fate, an unchangeable destiny decreed long ago by agencies or forces external to us such as the planet and stars, or Gods. Karma is neither fate nor predetermination.
- Hindu astrology, or Jyotisha, details a real relation between ourselves and the geography of the solar system and certain star clusters, but it is not a cause-effect relation. Their orbital relationships establish proper conditions for karmas to activate and a particular type of personality nature to develop.
- While God is the creator and sustainer of the cosmic law of karma, He does not dispense individual karma.
Many cultures believe in an afterlife. Burial along with their possessions (and sometimes people connected to them such as wives) should go with them to the the Lord of the Dead (Yama or god Osiris). So, sati got acceptance in scriptures. Some hindus modified burial with burning and introduced donation or payment for doing rituals. Enlightened saints recommended to return the remains to the cycle of life and acknowledge the body as "food," or "return to its origin". They suggested prayers and doing good deeds as the method to thank or acknowledge ancestors.
Death: What happens after?
We are dead by the time we are no longer viable.
Nobody knows what really happens after death. But all know, once you die, it’s over. You are a biological process and death is the end of that process. Your body then begins to decay and over time your atoms go off to becomes parts of other new things.
Brain waves and heartbeat stop when we die, as all bodily functions stop. Some people have reached this point and come back to life, while many are gone for ever.
Death comes to all organisms when the brain “shuts down”. You lose all conscious when you die, as if your brain stops working, you cannot see, hear, feel, or anything like that.
Once someone really dies, that is it. Since your brain does not have any conscious, you cannot think, imagine, or dream. You are just in a deep, peaceful, and relaxing sleep until the universe ends and then nothing. Your existence is gone. Since you are dead, you wouldn’t even know you are dead. You wouldn’t “see” black because you don’t know.
Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested our foods begin to eat our bodies.
Death is like falling asleep, you know you are falling asleep, but once you do fall asleep, you are not aware that you are asleep until you wake up. Only that, with death, you never wake up.
“What if when we die, we really wake up else where (in some other universe)?”
Everything we know are strictly biological. Personality, values, intelligence, preferences, likes and dislikes, memories and more are all the result of the state of one's brain. According to this, there is certainly a life after the death of the body because the source of life is not in the body or in the physical world. Existence has more dimensions of which the physical world is only the lowest level. Transcendental consciousness is above all life and that life with all of its properties couldn’t exist it weren’t so. That is why there are many experiences lived by different people, of being independent of the body, the out of the body experiences. Many traditions around the world are based on this experience, that we are not only a body, but that a higher, comprehensive consciousness lies at the core of everything.
Some believe we each have a soul but there’s no evidence to support this notion. Those who believe they have a soul that will continue on into some kind of afterlife take comfort in this thought.
No one wants to end and it’s comforting to believe one will go on forever.
Near Death Experiences
People have stated that have seen the glorious heaven and the fires of hell, but anyone can easily say that after coming back to life after being revived. More than that, people who say they have seen other things can be a result of the brain altering chemicals that can cause hallucinations and images that are not real. That is why people get flashbacks when the are dying. The brain is trying so hard not to die. Near Death Experiences fall into the category of anecdotal evidence, unless veritable.
Near Death Experiences have been reproduced in the lab. It points to a brain undergoing the loss of blood and oxygen. The brain also doesn’t like disjointed memories and prefers to fill in gaps to create a familiar narrative. So afterwards, people try to recall their experience which is not complete, but tried to create stories based on their experience.
Are Near Death Experiences are stories, not accounts of real life?
Every one fears death. It is hard-wired into our systems to avoid death. Ideal situation is everything should be eternal, so no birth or death. Because there is a birth, it is a grace that we die.
What exactly does it feel like to die? No one knows for certain what it feels like. Fear of the unknown: Fear what will happen after death; Fear for those left behind;
“It is better to see the universe as it truly is rather than persist in a delusion no matter how reassuring and satisfying.” [Carl Sagan]
Reincarnation: A Soul's Path to Godness
Our real identity is the soul and life doesn't end with the death of the biological body. The soul continues to occupy the astral body and dwells in a dimension called the astral plane. The soul functions with complete continuity in its astral/mental bodies.
At the right time, it is reborn into a flesh body that will best fulfill its karmic pattern. This entering into another body is called rebirth or reincarnation
Dying may be painful, but death itself is not.
Moksha: Freedom From Rebirth
Life's real attainment is to personally realize our identity in and with God. This is now called by many names: enlightenment, Self-Realization, God-Realization and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. After this, there is no longer a need for physical birth, for all lessons have been learned, all karmas fulfilled and Godness is his natural mind state. That individual soul is then naturally liberated, freed from the cycle of birth, death & rebirth. After Moksha, our soul merge back into its origin: God, the Primal Soul.
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