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The word “karma” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Karman” which literally means any religious act or rite (as sacrifice, oblation etc., especially as originating in the hope of future recompense and as opposed to speculative religion or knowledge of spirit). Sounds confusing? Let me put it in simple words. Karma is an action (physical or mental) that is performed intentionally or consciously and will affect you in one way or the other. There is no certain definition to karma, different sacred text have different definitions.
Hinduism divides karma in to three parts: sanchita, prarabdha and kriyamana.
According to Hinduism karma is like a savings account, where sanchita is the deposit (the accumulated karma), prarabdha is the interest rate (ripening fruit) and kriyamana is the transactions (our current karma, which directly or indirectly related to prarabdha; the interest rate or final product). Human beings are said to produce karma in four ways:
- through thoughts
- Through words
- Through actions that we perform ourselves
- Through actions others perform under our instructions
Everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is karma, as is also that which we think, speak or do this very moment.
The Bhagavad-Gita categorizes karma, listing three kinds of human actions: (1) Karma: those which elevate, (2) Vikarma: those which degrade and (3) Akarma: those which create neither good nor bad reactions and thus lead to liberation.
The law of karma: when birds are alive they eat ants, when birds die ants eat them. You might be powerful now but your circumstances can change. Karma is powerful, don’t hurt anyone. Be good do good.
How does karma affect us?
It is not necessary that karma will affect you immediately, but it will affect you sooner or later. Sometimes in this life and sometimes it is carried forward in the next life. The effect of karma on your life is according to the simple rule “reap what you sow”. If your karma is good (those which elevate) you will definitely get positive results and if you have Akarma (those which degrade) it will affect you negatively.
Let me put it this way, your karma’s are like points if you do good karma’s you get plus points for which you will be rewarded, if you do vikarma’s you will get negative points for which you’ll be punished. So if you have a lot of good karma’s (i.e., plus points) then for each vikarma you good karma’s (plus points) will be deducted, and if you have a lot of vikarma’s (i.e., negative points) then for good karma you’ll vikarma will be reduced. Just like integers in mathematics. So finally if your balance remains in positive or negative you’ll get back to the vicious circle of life and death, but if your balance is zero (Akarma condition) then you will be liberated from this rebirth cycle (mukti).
What is the difference between a good karma and vikarma?
According to me the major difference between the two is that vikarma will always create negativity, in your thoughts, in your actions and in your life. Whereas good karma will bring positivity to you, though it will not help you in attaining mukti but it will definitely help you to spend your life in peace and give you strength to face the consequences of your vikarma. Good karma’s are caused not just by good deeds but also by keeping a positive thought process. Wishing well being of not just oneself but also for others, being self-centered is not required. You Will Never be Happy at Someone Else’s Expense
You came from the same source as everyone else. One day you will go back to that source. We all will. Do not harm others. You will never be happy if you hurt those around you. When you think you are alone there are always observers. The most important one being you.
If you take away intention then there is no karma. If you genuinely didn’t mean to harm or hurt someone then the law of karma is now absent. It is your intention that invokes karma, good or bad. No one can violate nature’s law of karma.
You might well ask, “What about those who have been bad”? “I see them doing so well”! “Where is their karma”?
Karma is not linear (it does not operate in a straight line). The universe is complex, beyond human understanding. So is karma. It is not necessary that you’ll see karma in action. But the fact is that karma is always in action. The reason why we are living this life is only because of this action.
Your fate is never set beforehand. According to Hinduism whatever nakshtra you are born to determines your kundli (birth chart) but it is never accurate, at the end it depends all on your karma. Those lines in your hand, remain in your hand and are changed according to your karma. Listen to your inner voice and be good, you will definitely have the power of your fate.
Most people are fighting an inner battle against something you know nothing about. Therefore you must not judge them. You haven’t walked in their shoes. You don’t know what they have been through. They might have been abused, faced hardship or never been loved. Please do not judge others. If you judge, then you will be judged. Accepting others as they are you will never be judged.
Forgive. Forgiveness relieves you from pain. It takes a great person to forgive.
Revenge will harm you. Forgiveness does not mean you are happy with what was done to you. It means that you are kind and loving enough to move on. You will be setting a great example for others and the person who hurt you.
Great things happen to those who forgive.
Be grateful! This is so important. Did you eat today? Are you healthy? Do you have shelter? Please be grateful. Those who are thankful are happy. If you have suffered in any way you are usually more grateful for what you have.
Express your gratitude. It will give you amazing inner peace. The good and bad you see in others also exists in you.
Have you noticed how you never feel good after gossiping about a friend? That’s your inner compass telling you it was wrong. Whenever you feel uneasy after doing something, ask yourself why am I feeling like this? By looking for the good in others they start to see your positive side. They can feel your good energy.
When you see good and bad in others it is just a reflection of yourself.
Life is not a cruel game of taking revenge every time you are hurt then waiting for retaliation. Who wants to live like that? It’s so much easier to find a way to get on with others and have peace.
Give love and love comes back to you. The energy you send out always comes back to you. If you radiate happiness and positive energy then that is what you will receive back. There is also a lot of science behind this.
When psychologists asked students to act and feel happy (even if they didn’t) the students reported back saying they had an amazing day. That is why when you are in a good mood the world seems so beautiful. You are sending out wonderful vibrations.
What you give to others you will get yourself. If others need help and you give very little then one day if you need help you will also receive little.
The way others behave towards you is their karma. The way you respond will determine your karma. Do not concern yourself with what will happen to them. If you have been gracious to a rude person you have not only given yourself good karma but you have also taught that person something important.
It takes a big person to walk away from abuse to not respond. But it makes you so powerful. People follow you. You become a leader.
By now you must have understood that nothing happens without there being a very important reason. Everything happens so you can learn.
The Buddha said, “The greatest achievement is selflessness“.
Remember, you can’t take it with you. The pharaohs spent years building huge pyramids at a great loss of life to their slaves. Then when the pharaohs died they were buried in a secret compartment in the pyramid with all their wealth. That included their slaves, gold, food and other precious items. They thought they could take it with them! We now know they couldn’t. Don’t make the same mistake.
Look after yourself, family and friends. But please don’t forget to help those who are suffering. Karma is fair to all pay attention you’ll witness it yourself.