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Karma ~ The Universal Law of Causation

There can be no event in absence of a definite cause. All sciences as well as philosophies of the world unanimously accept that the Law of Cause & Effect is the most universal of all laws. It is one law which governs all phenomenon however gross or fine they may be.  The Universal Law of Causation is called in Sanskrit as Karma. The word – Karma – is derived from the Sanskrit word Kri which means action and/or deed. As action is both cause and effect at the same time the word Karma includes both cause and effect. Under the sway of all pervading law of Karma there is no room left for chance or accident. It is impossible to find any work producing absolute evil effect without causing some kind of a good somewhere.

Many “Hindus”, just like Muslims, Christians and Jews, wrongly believe that it’s “God’s will” that make everything happen. Bhagavad-Gita says it explicitly that “God neither rewards the virtuous nor punishes the wicked.” The Law of Karma inculcates this grand truth of nature that cause lies in the effect and effect is also latent in the cause just like a seed that contains the whole tree and the tree produces the seed again. Karma also suggests that our present character is the resultant of our past and our future will be determined by our present acts. Neither God nor Satan is responsible for our pains or ills. Think: if we are all predestined by God to be sinful or virtuous to be happy or unhappy, we can neither do our destiny nor act against divine decree. Further more it makes God partial as well as unjust!

As believer in the law of Karma an individual is a free agent and is responsible for all the good and bad results of his own actions that attend to his life. He knows that he creates his own destiny and molds his own character by his thoughts and deeds. He never blames other for the misery and suffering that comes to him. He who observes the Law of Karma is, therefore, more moral and more virtuous than one who obey’s Ten Commandments. He stands on a more rational ground than one who fears punishment of god!

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As every effect must have a cause, every consequence must have an antecedent and a consequence. A cause must always produce an effect of a similar nature both in quality and quantity and a reaction must be similar to action. The forces of nature neither operates for profit nor for loss. They exist to perfectly manage the balance and harmony of nature. Polarity exists in every department of nature and brings in the end a perfect balance, equilibrium, harmony and justice; in short, it produces what we understand by the word compensation. Electricity pays for energy and energy pays for it; there is neither debt nor profit anywhere – but perfect balance. Whatever we suffer physically or mentally may appear to be unjust, may make us feel that we do not deserve it, but when we trace its cause and compare it with it, we find that it is perfectly right and a just compensation.

We cannot judge a thing correctly if we do not connect the effects with their antecedents. The causes determine the nature of the effect, the antecedents their consequence. As every good act brings its own reward by law of compensation, so every crime or wrong act brings its own punishment by the Law of Retribution whether it is found in this life or in the next.

Every action reacts and brings its own reward or punishment first in the inner nature or soul, and then in the external circumstances in the form of gain or less, prosperity or adversity, health or disease. The Law of Karma teaches that the virtuous reward themselves and the sinners punish themselves by their own thoughts and deeds.

The Karma that is stored is called Sanchita. Prarabha Karma is that which has been the cause of the present birth, body and character. Kriyamana Karma is that which we are sowing now, and Agami Karma are future actions.

The knowledge of universal truth, i.e. Karma, prevents men from cursing life or human beings or blaming their supposed creator when they see fools and profligates are honored in society, when they find their neighbors possessing neither intellect nor any of the nobles virtues are prosperous and enjoying all comforts and pleasure of life on account of their birth in wealthy families. The poor and suffering class find no consolation anywhere but in the Doctrine of Karma. 

Those who understand the Philosophy of Karma and act accordingly, are pure in heart and enter into a life of Blessedness. In Sanskrit this philosophy is called Karma Yoga. It is one of the methods by which the Ultimate Truth may be realized.

Karma Yoga literally means “skills or dexterity in work” and it deals with all activity whether of body or mind. Recognizing that all activity is an inevitable condition of life, that no human being can survive without doing some kind of work, either mental or physical, it seeks through its teachings to show how this constant output of energy may be utilized to acquire the greatest spiritual enlightenment and to attain perfection and absolute freedom.

“He who sees activity in action as well as that which is above all action in midst of activities of mind, body and senses is wise among mankind, is a true Karma Yogi and a perfect doer of all actions.

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That which is subject to time, space and causation is changeable, while that which is beyond these is unchangeable. Time, for instance means succession which is a condition of thought; and space means co-existence. The activities of mind, being either in succession, or simultaneous, produce the idea of time and space; they are conditions, or, forms or thought. One thought following another gives us a conception of intervals which we call time, while, when two ideas rise simultaneously, that which separates them is what we call space. Thus, that which exists between idea ‘me’ and the idea ‘sun’ we classify as space; yet it is purely a mental concept, having no existence outside of mind; for who knows any concrete thing designated space? Hence, since these ideas of time and space are merely conditions of thoughts is continuously changing. Anything which takes form in the mind and is conditioned by time and space must change; but the know-er; not being condition of mind or limited by time and space does not change. The Atma of knower can have neither desires or passions for they are purely mental conditions. From stand point of we are not moving at all. Since whole universe from a reality is a unit, where will it move?

If we remain conscious of the oneness of the Universe, we can seldom may any mistakes. The light of true knowledge dispels darkness of ignorance which is the cause of selfishness, and reveals the true nature of know-er which is above all activity. Every action, whether physical or mental, has three states; First activity or desire, second outward action; third, impression.  As a matter of fact Atma is not created for nature it’s vice versa.

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All work done through selfish motives binds the soul to the fruits thereof, and is in consequence a cause of bondage. If, however, we can once reach the point of working without having desire for results, without seeking any return, then the law of Karma will be broken and freedom will be ours. How can we do this? By working for work’s sake and not to fulfill selfish desires. If we can labor with this idea that all we do is merely cancel our debt to the universe, then we can work for work’s sake. When we pay off debt do we expect something in return?

All forces which we are using in our minds and bodies do not really belong to us. We claim them as our own, but in reality they are not ours. Can we call the air in our lungs as ours? No, we are only making use of it for a certain purpose. Neither is the force of attraction which holds the molecules of our bodies together ours; it is in the universe.

Jesus the Christ said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Love your enemies” but he did not preach love all living creatures as did Buddha. When a goat was being killed, Buddha came forward and offered his own life for that of the goat. The goat’s life was saved, and the man who would have killed it, afterwards became Buddha’s disciple. When sense of Love or feeling of oneness awakens in the soul, we rise above all duty, and work, not through a sense of obligation but through love.

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Delusion does not mean “non-existent”. It means relative reality, that is it exists for the time-being and has no permanent existence. Dreams are real as long as we are dreaming, but when we wake up it becomes unreal. If all the things that we are doing be transitory, that is, exist for the time being and we consider them as real, it is the same thing as we are dreaming. But there is an awakening from this state of dream, and that’s the state of super consciousness. We don’t see the truth but only the appearance of it.

The two terms heart and mind are used in a very loose way in ordinary conversation. The heart refers to feeling and the mind refers to logic. Mind is regarded as the mirror, and if the mirror is covered with mud and dirt or dust, its reflecting power is subdued. So, the mind of a worldly man or women, who has all kinds of desire for the physical body and material world, has received all these impression will not die out unless they are forced out, but will retain germs of future desires. The future desires are resultant of our impressions of previous experiences.

Every time you enjoy anything or experience anything, your subconscious mind is stamped and that gets into habit. What we call habit is but a series of impressions. A person becomes a drunkard or a drug addict in the same way. But these impressions or Samskaras are the obstacles that are holding us down on this plane one we cannot get the knowledge of the Supreme Truth. It’s impossible to kill one’s desire. It’s absolutely impossible to do that. We can reduce the number of desires by discrimination and not allowing indulgences. In that way we can purify our heart and mind.

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