In spirituality we often hear the term ‘Karma’. But what does this word imply and what does it teach us? Different people seem to have different ideas about ‘karma’ or the ‘law of karma’. Here are a few important reminders of what karma is or is not.
- Karma versus ‘Result’. As opposed to ‘kama’ which means sensual desire, karma is a word that means ‘action’. Karma is all about what you do or ‘give out’ in terms of your frequency, energy and work in your timeline, and not about what you receive from the world. One of the popular quotes regarding Karma in the scripture of Bhagwat Geeta attributed to Lord Krishna is ‘karmanye vadhikaraste, ma phaleshu kada chana’ which means ‘your entitlement is upon your action itself, not on the resultant fruit of the action’. If our focus is upon what we are going to gain personally from any work, whether compliments, acceptance, appreciation or any comfort, pleasure or material gain, then the work we have undertaken is not a joy in itself. Karma is all about joyfully doing good simply because it is in alignment with who you are – with your true nature. Karma is not about focusing on getting what you want or desire in life or about harboring expectations from yourself or others as this would only result in confusion, stress or worry. In case you have done or are doing your very best and still in a bad phase of life or not receiving something your heart desires, it does not mean that karma did not work for you. In short: Karma is your work, not something that has to work for you. Therefore it is prudent for us to perform righteous actions without worrying about any guaranteed outcome – simply because how we choose to be, and what we do with the time we have is all that matters ultimately. Our present moment is our only ‘present’ and therefore the key to happiness.
- Karma versus Reincarnation: A lot of people use karma and ‘past life effects’, interchangably. As such popular beliefs in certain religions are that our karma is carried over from our past life, hence the fruits of our actions of past life are released in present lifetime and those of our present actions in our future lifetimes. This is not necessarily so, because the consequences of our karma can manifest before us at lightning speed too and not necessarily over centuries of reincarnating. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, you can still believe in the importance of taking responsiblity for your own present actions. Whether the fruits of your actions are materializing in front of you in the present, or might be manifest in the future, is not always important. The important thing to understand is that our focus must be on learning how to take responsibility for our actions.
- Karma and Lessons: Whether the fruits we are consuming in the form of our life situations are bitter or sweet, the choices we have made in our past are responsible for the same. Hence, the important thing to do is to allow ourselves to experience our life situations with awareness, and learn our lessons instead of blaming the situations we have manifested for ourselves due to our behaviors in the past or present lifetimes. Basically – we create our own realities or situations in this matrix of mind. We are manifesting this life just like a dream that is emerging from our mental universe. Our most important lesson is that the world and all its situations are ‘maya’ or an impermanent illusion. Spirituality is about returning to ourself. What is really important is the way we behave and whether we have raised our soul frequency to a level that feels positive. Hence we can from now onwards choose to undertake only those activities that are truthful, harmless and compassionate to ourselves and other beings, as opposed to any selfish or unkind acts of our past. Learning our lesson sets us free.
- Karma versus Judgement: While the law of karma indicates that the actions we ‘seed’ give rise to the ‘fruits’ of our consequences, eventually, it is also true that our actions are all we have TRUE power over. Karma is not about judging ourselves but only about our actions. Judging a person is entirely unnecessary at any point of time. If we begin judging ourselves as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or someone else as so, we miss the entire point of karma. Karma is not a punishment meted out to someone who is being judged by us as good or evil. The judgement is only about the action and not over the person. The action we or someone else undertakes is temporal, it is not all that we are or all that they can be. Although the consequences of any irresponsible action can at times be hard on ourselves and on others for a longer period of time, we can still learn from our mistakes, introspect and deliberate over our actions at the next chance we get. We can even try to set things right for ourselves and others to the best of our capacity on realizing what we did. This is what makes us a conscious being. Karma releases us from this huge burden of judgement by detaching ourselves from the actions entirely. We may have acted in horrible ways in the past and this need not be the way we act in our present. Learning from our past and making conscious choices in the present is what karma is all about.
- Karma and Forgiveness: No matter how terrible an action might have been, forgiveness is easy once we understand that a person need not be judged for the action, only the action itself. We can forgive ourselves and others. Saying ‘sorry’ casually is not an entitlement for forgiveness. Forgiveness is all about introspection in a genuine way, about focusing upon the works of our past and letting go of those behavior patterns that have led to any harm to ourselves or others. We can also choose to be forgiving towards others in our own capacity, by allowing someone to change should they want to. Forgiveness is also an action however and it does not guarantee that the person we forgive will necessarily change or transform their behavior patterns entirely, or permanently, or that they will necessarily be grateful to us or will learn their lessons. Forgiveness is a gentle act of unconditional love without the focus on receiving anything in return. It is only apt to forgive as it is something that makes us feel detached from the actions of others and let the responsibility of change of behavior be on the person who needs to take this responsiblity.
- Karma and Awakening: We are all learning how we manifest our present holographic reality matrix with our own inner and outer behaviors. It is exactly like a dream where our mental conscious or subconscious energy plays our in accordance with the rules of the program that is running in the background. In our dreams too we work, play, feel romantic, sleep, bear children, go outside, swim, go to the toilet, eat food, and do everything we can do in our so called ‘waking’ moments. These dreams are emerging from the subconscious and become increasingly more lucid as we gain consciousness. We in our lucidity, can think and shape our dreams consciously. We can choose what to dream of and can fly at our will in our dreams or ‘astral travel’. Everything that is visible is a fractal projection of our imagnation. The same rule apply in our present manifest reality or dream-world in the matrix. When we gain consciousness we can magically alter our reality and even reprogram the rules to an extent imaginable to us. If the ‘law of attraction’, ‘the law of manifestation’ or ‘magick’ works for us, and our thoughts are turning into things, people or situations we encounter, it is simply a very clear validation that we are in the ‘matrix’ of our mind and hence ‘dreaming’ and our mind is making everything and everyone appear in our life. Spiritual awakening is a process that we can choose to experience if and only if we are ready to take the ‘red-pill’ of truth as opposed to the ‘blue-pill’ of maya that keeps us dreaming in the matrix.