The law of karma is one of the most difficult laws of our world. Its complexity lies in its ambiguity: depending on the type of person and the energy that surrounds them, the manifestation of the law of karma may be different.
And therein lies the main difficulty. It is necessary to take into account many factors.
How can we explain the fact that two people may have quite different views on the same issue?
People are very different from each other: by the level of their development, the environment in which they live, and things to which they aspire to. At the same time we should not forget that it is the level of personal development that determines what kind of energy will surround the person.
There are three main types of energy that govern human beh * avior: tamas, rajas, and sattva. These types of energy define what decision will be made by a person. For example, consider the question: "To help or not to help sick children?” As paradoxically as it may sound, an ignorant person may choose an option "Help", because they cannot foresee all the consequences of their action.
The person who is overwhelmed with passion, may also decide to help, because they really do not understand what they are doing, because they are governed by passion, in some sense, they are "blind".
The person who is in sattva, may choose any of these options, depending on what they think about reincarnation - their next reincarnation or the possible reincarnation of the other being. This will determine their decision.
The most important thing is to understand that there are three different types of energy and in ordinary people these three types of energy are mixed. It would be a mistake to think of a person to be one hundred percent sattvic or rajasic or tamasic. There is some mixing of these energies, and therefore, person's actions may be different depending on the situation.
There are such concepts as akarma, vikarma, and karma. Akarma is an act without any consequences for the person who performs it. Karma is the law of feedback - "what goes around, comes around." Vikarma is when a person knows that their action would lead to negative consequences, but they still do it and can do nothing about it.
Let us now look at the difference between "karma" and “fate.” Take, for example, an ordinary person: in their past lives they accumulated karma and before they were born into this world, their fate was determined. If in this embodiment, this person lives by committing negative actions, their fate will slowly deteriorate. However, this depends on what type of energy surrounds the person: if sattva, then it all comes back very quickly to them, and if ignorance, they still would not understand anything in this life.
If a person begins to practice yoga, they can change their fate. Though, in this case it can be said that this person had karma to practice yoga and change their fate.
Here's an example: a person has karma to have an accident and break his leg. If he practices on the mat, he will overcome this penance. When you are practicing on the mat, and suddenly, spontaneously, you feel pain... it is most likely to be some karma coming out, which in the future could have led you to suffering.
This is the value of yoga! The fact that with the help of yoga a person can change their negative stock of karma.
Some people believe that karma of the lower worlds gets accumulated in the legs of a person. Karma of the hellish worlds is accumulated in the feet and ankles. Karma of the animal world is in the shins and knees. Karma of the hungry ghosts or very poor people is in the hips. Karma of the demigods or demons is in the hands and joints of the arms.
When you overcome these limitations with the help of certain asanas, you become more mobile and leg pain goes away... However, keep in mind that once a person who is practicing yoga communicates with some people who have a lot of problems with their legs, these problems may manifest in that person as well. And here again, you have to practice all over again and suffer from a problem that has now become yours.
This is the mission of yoga - through your personal practice, provide a definite benefit to others. The law of karma is very cruel to selfish people and very fair to those people who are engaged in self-improvement.
Let's look at examples of how karma works, so to speak, consider karma "in action.”
The first example: When a young child’s diapers are changed, a part of his positive karma is burnt. Thus, at the time when he is being taken care of, his karma is created through which he, in turn, will have to look after someone. Or maybe it was the other way: maybe in his previous life he took care of someone, so now someone is taking care of him. And the way he treated that “someone” in the past will determine how he will be treated now in the present.
It may seem that this is unfair to the young child. However, the law is the law and ignorance of the law excuses no one.
Consider another example: a small child during lunch at the restaurant spills juice on his mother. Thus, he accumulates karma, and there can be no mercy for him. After all, he is a living being that has a choice to act this or another way.
If the child succumbed to the influence of negative energies and performed a negative deed, it was his choice. Why did he succumb to the influence of these energies?
Note that in so doing, the child "removes" bad karma of his mother - the mother had the karma of being spilled on. If she could not raise the child in another way, the child accumulated the corresponding karma, respectively. Sometime in his future life he himself will have to become a mother, and then he, in turn, will be spilled on. Or, on the contrary, it is this mother who was once a child and spilled something on her mother.
All information about actions of living beings is recorded, and no one can "get around" the law of karma.
There is a theory that during Satya-yuga the law of karma was the most loyal to the people. But then Shiva and his assistants (demons, who are responsible for maintaining the balance in the world) came as a yardstick. And these demons began to implement the law of karma, so that sinners would not have gained an immense amount of karma.
There is a certain institution that keeps track of all the actions and adjusts the destiny of a person, so that their soul would develop and not degrade. Therefore, we must always keep in mind the following principle: "Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.” Or: "What goes around, comes around."
If some event is happening to you, it means that you have accumulated the karma of the past and now is the time for your "reward." Or that you are accumulating karma now and in this case, your "reward" awaits you later, though not necessarily in the next life.
Returning to the issue of energy. As it has been described above, it all depends on what kind of energy surrounds you. Depending on this, the consequences of your actions may be different. If an ordinary person with ordinary energy commits any act, while being in ignorance (the most common option), then about the same thing will come back to them later. If the same act is committed by a person with the most positive energy, a person in the goodness, the result of this action will be totally different. Thus, in this case, the same action will have different implications.
For example, a child is dying, and suddenly there appears a person who saves his life. Thus, they interfere with the course of the child’s karma, and now they are is vitally interested in what kind of person this child will grow up to be and what kind of actions he will perform. If the child grows up to be a villain, the person who helped this child will have the bad karma as well. Conversely, if the child grows up and will bring benefit to others, the person who helped him will also accumulate the beneficent karma.
How can an ordinary person understand whether their action will bring benefit or not. The answer is simple: the most simple measure - your attitude to this act. Remember the principle of "Do unto others as you want them to do unto you." In the event that you cannot make the best decision by yourself, you can always consult a qualified person or read an intelligent book. In any case, you should gather information and develop an understanding to be able to make this or that decision. All the decisions you have to make will be your exams - "examinations of life."
We should never forget about the law of karma and assess all our actions in accordance with it. The more a person understands, the more ”sober” they become, the more they “awake," the more they begin to understand that good and evil are relative terms. It often happens that what is considered good in the conventional sense is in fact not as such. So as with the evil.
Take, for example, the custom of giving flowers to women. How does this situation look from the point of view of a reasonable yogi?
When a person meets someone’s primitive passions, they take energy from that person. If a man gives a woman flowers, dead flowers, he misleads her and takes her life energy through her gratitude. But there is an important problem, little-known to people. The process of giving flowers is associated with black magic rituals, when the plucked flower continues to pull in its stem the vitality of the surrounding space. And when the flower does not have the roots, it takes away and draws in the energy of the surrounding people. Ladies who were given great armfuls of flowers can probably remember the depletion that comes after that.
It rarely happens that making an action does not lead to the accumulation of karma. It all depends on who performs this action and how. Bodhisattvas, for example, live in the state akarma, because they descend to the lower world and act without being interested in the result.
Therefore, we can say that only saints do not accumulate karma. While the person is on their life journey, while they are developing until they reach the highest level of development, they always have a chance to get lost and to degrade. Therefore, yogis try to keep their energy at a certain level, because the probability of tripping and "falling" is always there. There is no ticket through samsara!
The scriptures describe the cases when the Bodhisattva is going to reincarnate into the world to help poor people and their fellow gods literally cry because they know in advance what is awaiting them after the birth in the human body, what kind of suffering Bodhisattvas are condemning themselves to.
A sincere and compassionate attitude of the Bodhisattva does not allow for their accumulation of karma. This law also operates in relation to the average person, but the problem is that in order for the compassion to be real, it must be sattvic, and not tamasic, an ordinary person is not capable of this, as a rule.
An ordinary person is overcome by passions and always "wants" something... When you want something very much, think for a moment about the consequences that the fulfillment of this desire will lead to, what karma you will accumulate in this case. Is this really what you want? Wishes must be treated very carefully.
It happens sometimes that people are not able to withstand retribution of their karma. Then they kill themselves… What ignorance and what a waste! After all, it is extremely difficult to get the human body! It may take a really long time before a person who committed a suicide could return to the human world. And it is only in this human world that self-development is possible. In the lower worlds there is only suffering and it is impossible to practice self-development. In the higher worlds there is too much pleasure and not enough time to practice self-improvement.
As a rule, people do not remember their previous lives, because during reincarnation the soul is being protected from the world from which it appears. If you remembered the horrific worlds in which you had lived before, you would shiver. If you knew what wonderful worlds you used to live in and compared them with how you have to live now, you would also shiver. This is because the human world in which we are located is considered hell, in terms of the higher worlds. Our human world is the maximum level of slavery to the soul.
From the point of view of the lower world, our world is beautiful. If you see a person who is wasting their life to the fullest, you know that they most likely came from the lower world. Our world is continuous nirvana in comparison to the lower world.
You can remember your previous lives, if you wish to do so. This information is closed to us for defensive purposes, but if you feel ready and strong enough for such an experience, you can remember it. It is not as difficult as it seems.
There are different methods that allow a person to "return" to the past. It is possible to do it with the help of yoga, or, for example, by using regressive hypnosis, although the second method is considered more dangerous because of the involvement of intermediaries. It is better to build a personal relationship with the gods and appeal directly to them for help.
If a person who is following the path of yoga is faced with their past lives, they become much more aware. Such a person will treat their life differently and will not lose this new level of understanding.
How long (how many lives) it would take a person to work out their accumulated karma depends on the energy that surrounds them. If a person is in sattva, all events take place rather fast. If they are in rajas, the "rollback" of karma may come even in this life, though not immediately. Because of this time lag, people in rajas cannot see the causal connection between the events.
For a person in tamas (ignorance), the return of karma can be very long. And such ignorant people may see an illusion that they are the masters of the universe, that neither God nor the law of karma in fact exists, that there is only one life and that we should take everything from life while we still can. Such an attitude is a good indication that the person is in ignorance. However, this is not accidental. Such conditions are created for a purpose. According to certain karmic laws, the soul cannot be sent to the lower worlds for re-education if it still has some energy of Gratitude remaining. The conditions of power and permissiveness are created for such a soul in the middle worlds. Just like ours. And after the soul wastes all of its energy of Gratitude on power, money, ambition and rivalry, it is sent for a long and serious journey further down to the more dramatic conditions to receive retribution. For some, this rough method of training is the only intelligible and clear one until they begin to climb back up towards development, overcoming their ego and concepts, and experiencing integrity of the world through service to others, like serving themselves...
If you have read this far and have a life experience in this world or wisdom from the past lives, you will largely agree with me. This is the tough truth. And the question arises - what should I do in order not to become a hostage to ignorance and to leave this world on the path of development with dignity? My experience, respectable scriptures, and the opinion of competent people say that one of the effective ways is Yoga, Yoga in essence, when the time and life energy are spent not on entertainment, material possessions or competition, but on development of self and the World around. Please practice!
Article written by Andrey Verba
Translation by Maria Asadov