Is Karma a Reality or a Concept?

Karma, which is also referred as Kamma in Buddhist philosophy is complex yet simple. It is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Universal laws. Following are some common notions that we have regarding the Karma

  • There are only 2 types of karmas i.e Good and Bad
  • One can never be free from Karma weather alive or dead
  • Karmas are like deposits, that we can accumulate and remove.

I may disappoint those who believe in all the above statements by saying that all these statements are not true in itself but are relative to the truth. Hence I deem anything that is not understood in totality is untrue.

Before I move forward, I request you to drop all your opinions about karma and move ahead, because this can challenge and shake your years old belief and may keep you away from a new and better perspective on this most mis-judged concept of cause and effect.

I’m giving some Sutras i.e true knowledge statements, that may or may not make sense to you right now, but keep reading them. I’m sure at the end of all or may be even a day after or even a week, you will get it like a flash of insight in your mind. These statements are going to change your entire perspective on how you see your deeds and karmic impressions.

  1. Karma is like a Bank Balance with Interest. The overdraft balance may be the negative karmas and positive balance as the other side.
  2. Karma can travel through space and time. You may bear the karmas of your ancestors or may free yourself and them as well
  3. Karmas as always associated with your association with the outcome.
  4. Karmas can never be removed but stopped from getting accumulated further.

Let us know see these statements in detail.

Karma is a cycle of cause and effect i.e one cause will generate an effect, that further becomes the cause and hence again generates an effect. It goes on. Lets take 2 similar scenarios.

  • Scenario I – You see an old man struggling to cross the high density road and you help him out. He thanks you. Now here you were the cause of a good deed and blessings you got from the old man gets returned to you when you were struggling with a car parking and a boy passing by helps you navigating between 2 cars.
  • Scenario II – You see an old man struggling to cross the high density road and you help him out. He DOESN’T thank you and go his way. You think what an arrogant man he is, who didn’t even have the basic courtesy? Now! What do you think will happen in the parking situation when you are struggling with parking? The passing boy even on being asked for help was disinterested.

Point to Ponder: Inspite of good deeds in both scenarios, why was the Karmic impact was different? The reason is the intention and the attachment to the outcome. In scenario II, though the intent at the start was good but it ended with the “need to be felt thanked” (your cause) that created the effect where the boy at parking didn’t help you (your effect). As a result you may have accused this boy with anger (becoming a new cause)

That’s precisely is behind the proverb that says “What you sow is what you reap”. So the moment you detach yourself from the outcome of the deed, you don’t land up piling the Karmas. Somebody may say, I’ll disassociate myself with the bad deeds and only accumulate good karmas, then that’s another myth. The detachment from outcome means neither the good nor bad (niswaarth seva), as here the detachment to only one type of deed means there is the attachment to the other kind. One of the way to practice detachment is through taking “sankalpas” to surrender all your deeds and its results to the God / Universe / Divine. Then anything that you do is like God’s work and anything that is reaped out of it is his. You don’t take any credit for good or bad. All you do is live in the moment to cherish it.

Hence I said that Karma is like a bank account that will always reflect a overdraft or positive balance, until you are its owner. The moment you detach from it. No new deposits are done there. The big question is that to what extent it is possible?

We often talk about our past life karmas and how badly they effect us that we are still fighting from poverty or luck or any ill-effects, how do these karmas effect and what they actually do to us?

Yes! At the time of our birth we do carry the past life karmas with us. These karmic impressions form the very base of our mental conditioning. Our thought process and our consciousness as we grow are largely shaped by the karmic impressions we carry. This is the reason why we either have repetitive thought patterns or habits (good or bad). You may have seen people struggling with a scarcity mentality or self-defeating mentality throughout his life while someone with abundance mentality. These karmic impressions once create our beliefs and shape our consciousness, pulls us back to the karmic patterns every time we think of changing ourselves and hence either refrain us from thinking differently or manifesting good things in life.  The degree of past karmas that are born by the present body is called as the Prarabhda.

The only way to break out of the cycle is first by accepting you as a cosmic body who extends beyond the body and mind. Secondly challenging your thoughts and living in the present moment. The more you live in the present moment, easy it becomes for you to break those karmic habits or patterns acquired unconsciously. Thirdly, practicing detachment from the outcome of the result. As Lord Krishna mentioned in his lecture to Arjuna that “Karm kar ! Phal ki ichcha mat kar” i.e perform your duties, don’t worry about the results. Leave them to me and be FREE from Karmas.

PS: in my further blog posts I’ll write about healing the ill effects of karmic imbalances on physical and mental body.

Sending Love, Laughter and Joy….. Parth sharma

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