Do We Have To Face The Results Of Our Karma In The Next Birth?
You are right, as per the law of karma, we need to face results of our present karma, either good or bad, in our next birth. But where will our next birth be, is decided based on the balance-sheet of the karma we have bound through our entire present life. Eg. If the balance of one’s bad karma is excessive, one would have to take birth in hell, settle their bad karma account there in the hell, and then return to the human life.
There are four life-forms where our next birth can take place.
The four life-forms are:
1. Celestial (in heaven),
3. animal, and
4. infernal (in hell) life form.
Only humans have the right to bind karma, no one else.
It is only in the human form that one binds karmas. That is why it is possible for a person to go to any of the four major life forms from the human form only. From the human form, we can go to the celestial form and become one of the topmost devas. And if we bind karma that take us into lower life-form, we may even end up in the worst, most hated place possible that of hell.
We become whatever present karma we bind.
If we cause harm or misery to people, we go to the animal form or a life in hell. If our karmas give happiness to others, then we return to the human life or even go to the celestial level. So, the life-form of our next birth depends on the type of present karma we bind in the present life. Once the life-form is decided, we have to go through that life-form, experience the result of its each individual karma there, and only then we can return to the human form.
Thus, to answer your question, what you mentioned is not two punishments really. The punishment is in the form of the result of the present karma only, but where we experience that result, in heaven or hell, in human or animal form, depends on the severity and many other factors of binding karma.
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan explains, “When a human leaves from here, he may reincarnate as a cow and experience the life of a cow, after which he may be born as a goat or anything else, depending on his (karmic) account. It depends on the causes (present karma). He may even be born as a donkey. After two hundred years or so of such wandering and paying off the debt from his karmas, he takes birth again in the human form.” Such is the law of karma or the karma siddhanta.
He further says, “The scriptures have said that those who have died here and those whom the world considers as clearly violent and disreputable, will go to hell or the animal life form. Those who the world respects and worships will go to the celestial levels, or be born as humans again.”
So, depending on what our present karma is, we will
• either go into the celestial form where we will enjoy the benefits of our credits in heaven, and come back to human form, or
• directly return to the same human form and experience the results of our good and bad past karma, or
• take another life(s) into the animal form, and after a maximum of eight lives, come back into human life-form, or
• go to hell and suffer the excessive debits we created in our past life, and once the stock of debit karma is over, we come back into the human form.
1. Next birth in heaven. If, instead of enjoying the things that we are entitled to, we give them to others, we, due to these superhuman qualities, will go to celestial life-form and enjoy life in heaven. A superhuman is someone who instead of enjoying his own happiness gives it away to others. Such people will definitely go to the celestial level. The celestial beings have a lifespan of a hundred thousand years and every comfort that one will enjoy through this lifespan in heaven is a result of the individual good karma that he has bound in present birth.
2. Next birth as human. If we are virtuous and have good thoughts, we will indeed return to the human form. If we accomplish good karmas here, if we don’t give misery to others, then we will come back as a more elevated human being in next birth, into a wealthy family, with all the material comforts, and live an entire life of happiness as a result of our present karma.
3. Next life as an animal. If we have bound bad karma, through beastly thoughts of how to cheat, steal and deprive others of their belongings, we become worthy of a bestial life form. The present karma created within, by these bad thoughts and bestial intentions to harm others, takes us to animal life. We would have to go to the animal kingdom to suffer the results of our bad karma and pay it off.
4. Next life in hell. The negative decisions of killing others, hurting and depriving others of their basic rights take one to the infernal life-form. A new body for hell is formed there separately. In hell, the body is like mercury. The one that caused the karma for hell, experiences its results.
Here, it is important to remember that when a man falls into a debt and becomes bankrupt, people say that he is ruined. However, once he clears his debts, would people go on saying that he is bankrupt? No! In the same way, one may go from here to the animal form to clear his debts, but once cleared, he shall return to human form; just like one may go to the celestial level to clear his credits and then has to return back to human form.
One can attain liberation only in the human form.
There is no other place from which one can attain liberation, but the human form. If we do not bind any karma at all here, we are liberated from this cycle of birth and death, birth after birth.
The animals that we see – they all eat, drink and fight too – but they are a result of their past karma; they do not bind new karmas. Likewise, it is possible for a human being too to not bind any karma while living a normal daily life. This happens when we do not become the ‘doer’ of the karma and just remain as the one experiencing the result of the past karmas.
It is by becoming the doer that we charge new karma. And when we charge new karma, good or bad, we need to again take a life-form and face the result as and when the karma gets ready for discharge in next birth. But if we do not charge any new karma, then only the experiencing of previously created karma remains; and once these created karma finish in human form too, we are liberated.
When we come to Gnani, the Enlightened One, and attain Self-Realization, we become free from all doership of karma. With the right knowledge, we no more become the doer of karma. Hence no new karma is charged. Not a single karma will cling or attach to the Self. Thereafter, only facing the results of karma created in previous birth remains. When that also finishes, our Soul liberates. The Absolute liberated Soul then travels to Siddhagati (the domain of the liberated souls), and stays there forever, experiencing its inherent property of eternal bliss.
Thus, when our meeting with Gnani Purush happens, one’s work gets accomplished!!!
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