Does Karma Really Exist?
Eastern philosophy believes each one of us continues to experience karma in every moment of our lives.
It is said whatever we are experiencing in our life today is nothing but the result of our past life karma. Someday, if the soup served to us happens to have extra salt in it, even that is because of our past karma; and if we’ve got some really delicious dishes to relish, that too is because of karma. Even a pickpocket is merely an instrument in the unfolding of our karma to get robbed off our money.
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, a spiritual teacher, explains the science
“It is because there are pending karmic accounts from the past; otherwise, no one can ever take anything of yours. No one has the power to take anything at all. Moreover, if someone were to take anything, then that would actually be because of some ongoing past karmic account. There is no such person born in the world who can possibly do anything to anyone [without a cause]. The world is in such precise regulation. The world is in so much regulation that, even if this big playing field were to be filled with snakes, not a single snake would touch you [without a cause]. That much this world is in regulation. This world is based on very precise karmic accounts”, says Dadashri.
Suppose there is a big crowd assembled in a ground. Suddenly, a snake comes and bites a person; he yells and falls down unconscious. If there are so many people, why did the snake come and bite this person only, and no one else? It’s because this person alone, in this moment, had a karmic account of snakebite that he paid off by suffering the bite. His past life karma got ready to give its fruit at this moment, which was not the case with the others who were present on the ground. Therefore, although the snake passed by so many people, so very closely; yet it did not do them any harm.
Just as the accounts in book-keeping are settled year after year, the accounts of karma are settled life after life. In life, we experience the results of the unfolding good and bad karma that were bound in past life. Therefore, sometimes, in court, even after having committed a murder, a person is acquitted due to his unfolding good karma coming into effect. And the other person, who may not have committed the crime, gets caught and has to go to jail because his bad karma is unfolding then.
Karma (cause) can be determined from the result (effect)
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan further explains, “All these are results, similar to the results received in test examinations. Say one receives ninety-five marks out of a hundred in mathematics, while in English, he receives twenty-five marks out of a hundred. Then, would you not know where the mistake lies? Based on the results, would you not be able to identify the reasons why the mistakes were made? All these circumstances that come together, they are all a result. Now, from the result, the cause (karma) behind that can be found out.
A thorn from an acacia tree remains upright on a road, where many people come and go every day. Several people walk on that road. Nevertheless, the thorn remains in that very same position. Now, you would never go anywhere without wearing any footwear. But on that day, you happen to be visiting someone and when, all of a sudden, someone shouts, “Thief! There is a thief! There is a thief here”, in a rush, you immediately leave barefoot and the thorn ends up pricking you. Now, that is your karmic account! In addition, it pricks you in such a manner that it goes right through (deep into your foot)! Now, who brings together all these circumstances? It is vyavasthit (the result of scientific circumstantial evidences) that brings this together.”
The laws of nature
Narrating yet another instance, Dadashri states:
“Suppose your gold-chained pocket-watch slipped and fell in the Mumbai Fort area. When you return home, you do not have any hope of it being returned. Nevertheless, two days later, you read a notice in the newspaper stating, ‘Whosoever’s watch this is, come and collect it from us; giving us the proof of ownership and the payment for the cost of printing this notice.’ Hence, nobody can take away from a person that which belongs to him (based on his karmic account). Whereas, if it does not belong to the person (according to his karmic account), then he is not going to get it. Nothing can be moved in any manner, not even to the slightest extent, that is how the world is in regulation.”
The process of charging of new karma, accumulating, ripening and giving the fruits of karma is all governed by the laws of karma. When the rains fall, the crop ripens, here too the laws of karma are operating. Therefore, it happens that while so many people maybe screaming, “Our cotton plantations have been burnt”, a small-scale farmer’s family in the neighborhood claims, “We did very well this time!” When an earthquake happens, even there Nature catches hold of those whose karma is due, not anyone else. No matter where you go, the law of karma is in operation everywhere.
Never has anything happened outside the realm of justice of the law of karma
If someone hurts us, it is because of our own karma, as there is no such law which allows one to hurt another just like that. There has to be a cause behind it. Whatever we have given in past is exactly what we are receiving today. Therefore, we should quietly accept it, without having any hard feelings whatsoever for that person. This is the best way to settle our karma. One who wants to become free from the bondage of karma will not scream and shout at all, because he is well aware that whatever I have received today is a result of my own bad deeds (karma) of past.
And, “May no one be hurt through my thoughts, words or actions”, should be our inner intent, pure and constant; because when we hurt someone we bind lot of bad karma, which in future shall bring us enormous suffering and pain in life.
Depending on the kind of inner intent we bind new karma
The intent we have at the time when our past karma is getting discharged, accordingly new karma, good or bad, get charged from moment to moment. These charged karmas get accumulated throughout our life, and when one dies, they get carried forward into the next life, in a subtle form of karmic seeds. Thereafter, when the karmic seeds get ready to give fruit, all circumstances get together naturally so that the charged karma can discharge.
When the karma is discharging, we experience its effect. If it’s the good karma that was charged, it brings forth good and pleasant effect at the time of discharge, which we like. But if it were a bad karma charged, at the time of discharge, it results in bringing about a bad effect in the form of pain and suffering, which we detest. Thus, while experiencing the karmas, our intent of attachment towards good effects and that of hatred towards bad effects becomes the cause of new karma.
The root cause of karma is our wrong belief of doership!
Karma exists because the belief of doership exists in us. When we believe, “I did this, I did that…” we become the doer. This belief becomes a support for karma. But if we stop being the doer, the karma has no basis or support, so it falls away. We are really a Pure Soul. Once we come into the nature of the Self i.e. the Soul, whose nature is to only see and know without any attachment or abhorrence), no new karma will bind. This can happen only when Gnani Purush, the Enlightened One, makes us aware of our Pure Self – this is called Self-Realization!!! After that, new karmas do not bind and old karmas continue to discharge. When all the karmas have discharged, we attain final liberation.
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