Atma-gyan-pradanen tasmai Shri Gurave Namah”
Salutations are to that glorious Guru who by bestowing the knowledge of the Self, has burnt away the very bondage of actions in a whiff, which had even though taken infinite lives to accumulate.
Karma means to do” or “to make” or more simply, “action”. The deeper meaning of Karma can be described as an infinite chain of the results of action that is perceived and performed. When we talk about “Our Karma” we’re talking about the actions we’ve “sown” or performed in the past (including our past lives) that are the cause of what we “reap” in our current life situation. This either becomes our Karmic Burden or Karmic Baggage or our Karmic Blessing depending on whether we’ve performed positive or negative actions in the past.
Every action, either physical, emotional or mental, every movement occurring either on the plane of gross matter or on the astral planes, causes an emission of Energy. In other words, it produces a Seed. Being a Seed, Karma fructifies or does not fructify immediately after it is sown. The innumerable Karmic Seeds we produce by our various actions – desire, aversion, love, hatred, happiness, etc. will undoubtedly produce, sooner or later, a positive or negative result according to the nature of the seed, if not in this life, then in some future one.
The Vedas propound, “Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. As is his will, so is his deed. Whatever deed he does, that he will reap.”
Karma should not be confused with Fate. Fate is the notion that man’s life is preplanned for him by some external power, and he has no control over his destiny. Karma on the other hand, can be corrected. Because man is a Conscious Being and he can be aware of his Karma and thus strive to change the course of events, with the help of superior powers.
Karma is primarily of four kinds…
1. Total Karma (Sum, Sanchita Karma or “Accumulated actions” or the Arrows in the Quiver)
Total Karma is the vast store of piled-up Karma accumulated in the preceding and in all other previous births and yet to be resolved. In other words, it is the aggregate sum of yet unseen Karma’s committed during innumerable previous existences. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of your every day, you are either adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. It is waiting to be fulfilled in your future births. So unless and until the Total Karma of a Soul is zeroed, it keeps on birthing in new physical bodies, in order to exhaust it’s balance Total Karma.
2. Fructifying Karma (Praarabdha Karma or “Actions began; set in motion” or Arrows in Flight)
That portion of the Total Karma destined to influence human life in one or the present incarnation is called Fructifying. In other words, Fructifying Karma is Karmic Template (of that portion of Total Karma) that is ripe enough to be experienced by you and allotted for this lifetime for you to work on. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts will surface to be worked on. And that much Total Karma gets dissolved.
3. Current Karma (Instant, Kriyamana Karma or “Being made” or Arrows in Hand)
Current Karma is the daily, instant Karma created in this lifetime and that we create in our life because of our free actions. It refers to those which are currently in front of us to decide or act on. This contributes to our Future Karma in a big way. They can also be worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off – i.e. for example, you park your vehicle in a ‘No Parking Space’, you get caught and you are fined (punished) immediately.
While some Current Karma’s bear fruit in the current life, others are stored for enjoying in future births. Thus the Current Karma is classified into two sub-categories: Arabdha Karma – literally, ‘begun, undertaken;’ the Karma that is ‘sprouting’ and Anarabdha Karma – ‘not commenced; dormant’ or ‘The Seed Karma’. An example : two persons commit a theft and one of them get caught – Arabdha Karma – and the other one got away – Anarabdha Karma. The thief who got caught, immediately starts to feel the effect of the cause or the reaction to his action; he gets caught and goes to jail. The other robber who escaped, will have to experience, in this life or in a future one, the effect of this wrongful action.
4. Future Karma (Aagami Karma)
Future Karma is the Karmic Map that is coming, as a result of the merits and demerits of the present actions of your current birth. In other words, it is the portion of Karma that is created because of the actions in the present life and that will be added to your Total Karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to Total Karma and they become more Karmic Seeds and are served to you in more future lives.
In Vedantic Literature, there is a beautiful analogy. The Archer has already sent an arrow and it has left his hands. He cannot recall it. He is about to shoot another arrow. The bundle of arrows in the quiver on his back is the Total Karma; the arrow he has shot is Fructifying Karma; and the arrow which he is about to shoot from his bow is Current Karma. The result of the arrow that he is about to shoot is the Future Karma.
Here is a modern example : You go on a motor bike ride and get into an accident. The accident is your Fructifying Karma – your allotted Karma for this life out of the entire Total Karma of your Soul. To bandage the wound in order to minimize your suffering would be your Current Karma. To set an intention to be more careful in the future would be your Future Karma. To buy a bike light and reflectors in order to avoid future accidents would also be your Current Karma.
Four Types of Karma & Soul Energy Correction By Janarrdhana Guptha, http://EzineArticles.com/174142
Man forms his future by his actions; his every good or bad action spreads its vibrations and becomes known throughout the universe. The universe is like a dome; it vibrates to that which you say in it, and answers the same back to you; so also is the law of action; we reap what we sow.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
Like-Dislike in the mind is the real Karma. It is the original action. When the mind is set in motion or vibration through the currents of Like-Dislike, real Karma’s begin. Real Karma originates from Impressions of the mind. It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karma’s. External actions manifest later on. It is desire that sets the mind in motion. When there is a desire, Like and Dislike exist side by side in the mind. Desire is a motive force. Emotions and impulses co-exist with desire.
From Ignorance emanates non-discrimination. From it originates Ego and Perception. From Perception emanates Like-Dislike. From Like-Dislike comes Karma. From Karma comes the body. From body comes misery. This is the chain of bondage with seven links. This is the chain of misery. If you do not want misery, do not take up the body. If you do not want body, do not do Karma. If you do not want to do Karma, give up Like-Dislike. If you want to give up Like-Dislike, give up Perception. If you want to give up Perception, give up non-discrimination. If you want to give up non-discrimination, give up ignorance. O God! If you do not want ignorance, get Supreme Knowledge.
This world process is kept up by the six-spoked wheel, viz., Like, Dislike, merit, demerit, pleasure and pain. If the root cause, the original ignorance, is destroyed by attainment of Knowledge of Supreme Soul, the whole chain of Perception, Like, Dislike, Karma, body, merit and demerit, pleasure and pain will vanish. One link hangs upon another. All the links will be broken totally on the advent of Knowledge. Sruti says: “Liberation comes from knowledge of Supreme.”
Absence of Like-Dislike = Freedom
That Yogi or Wise person who has destroyed these two though waves of Like and Dislike is the highest man in the three worlds. He is the real King of kings, Emperor of emperors. The chief Linga or distinguishing mark of a liberated soul is freedom from Like-Dislike. Even if a Yogi sometimes exhibits traces of anger, it is a mere appearance. Just as the impression made in water with a stick passes away soon, as also the anger will disappear in the twinkling of an eye, even though it manifests. This can hardly be understood by worldly people.
He who has no Like but possesses power of endurance can do anything. He can move about wherever he likes. He is as free as the atmospheric air. His happiness, freedom and peace are unbounded. Their extent can hardly be imagined. The freedom and joy of such Yogis is beyond the common man’s imagination. It is Like and luxury that have enfeebled the householders.
Essence of Spiritual Practice
Amongst the several waves in the mind, Like-Dislike and Attraction are very deep-rooted. They demand strenuous and persistent efforts for their eradication. In your mental lives, you can either keep hold of the rudder and so determine exactly what course you take, what points you touch or you can fail to do this and, failing, you drift and are blown hither and thither by every passing breeze, by every emotion, by petty Like-Dislike currents.
The gist or essence of spiritual practice is to remove the true modifications of the mind, Like-Dislike, by right thinking and meditation. Go beyond the pairs of opposites. You will get eternal, infinite bliss and peace. You will shine in Supreme glory. You will become Supreme Soul. YOU ARE SUPREME SOUL!
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
The gross body and the mind have, on account of your past Karmas, a tendency to act in a certain way and you act just in accordance with that tendency like a machine. You wrongly impute to yourself the authorship (agency) of these actions and thus make the matters worse. Most of your actions are done more or less automatically.
After a life, all earthly experiences of the mind are sorted and analyzed The essence is taken. The Soul is born again in the physical universe with a new frame and bent of mind according to the nature of the essence extracted in the mental plane.
When you are writing a drama, if sleep comes in, you stop writing and retire to bed. As soon as you get up, you continue to write from where you have left the previous night. Even so, when you take up a new incarnation, you begin to continue the work which you had left unfinished in your previous life in accordance with the current of latent subtle desires of your past life.
Your next life will depend very largely upon the Karma you perform in this birth. There are probably many things which the man of the world does constantly and may do without much harm resulting in any way; if these things were done by those sincere aspirants who are treading the path of Realization, they would be decidedly harmful.
The Chains of Impressions
Mind exercises its rule through Impressions. From Impressions emanate subtle desires like swarms of locusts. From latent subtle desires flows the stream of desire and from enjoyment of objects of desires arises internal craving (intense longing). Internal craving is very powerful. The Impressions are embedded in the mind. There arises a memory of pleasure in the mind. Then the mind thinks of objects. Maya(delusion) has her powerful seat in the imagination. There comes attachment. The mind plans and schemes. You are swayed by the passions. You exert yourself physically to possess those objects and enjoy them. In your efforts, you favor some and disfavor others through like and dislike. You will have to enjoy the fruits of your virtuous and vicious actions. Through this six-spoked wheel of like and dislike, virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, this wheel of birth and death moves on without stopping from beginning-less time.
Thoughts and Desires depend upon Impressions
The nature of desires and thoughts depends upon the nature of your Impressions. If you have good Impressions, you will have good desires and good thoughts and vice versa. Even if you have indulged in vicious actions up to the age of forty, begin practicing virtuous actions such as charity, meditation, service of the poor and the sick, service of elders, etc., from this moment and these Impressions will prompt you to do more virtuous deeds. They will stimulate good desires and noble thoughts.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
Karma and birth continue one after another. Here questions arise. Is there no end to this cycle? How can the soul get liberation? As per Saiva philosophy, we should develop positive qualities and attitudes in life. Our action or Karma should be in the way of Supreme whose inherent nature is wisdom and attribute is love. In every birth, we gain experience through karma, and knowledge through experience. In this process the grip of Ego(“I”), which is the source ignorance, get loosened and ultimately we become liberated from it. Also we develop the mind to take pain and pleasure, the fruits of evil and good karmas, alike. Supreme Grace then descends on us. Then our actions will not be motivated by our senses which are prompted by Ego. They become His actions and karma will not follow us to come to experience.
– Saiva Philosophy