Doctrine of Karma
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.
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.
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 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.