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Perception of Karma – Different Theories

What is Karma? Karma, as a word is being used loosely in this world. As of now, you’re one of those thousands of people who are reading about it in order to understand the exact context of the word. The reason why most of the people try to understand the world is to know the intentions, motives, and desires behind Karma, which is said to the emotional drive that connects our actions and tries to have an effect on the lives. Karma, when translated to Sanskrit is known as a deed or an action. It involves all the actions that we do through our body, mind and as well as speech. Few people refer to Karma as the echo of the past which is responsible for the future. The common activities like charity, deeds, and work are reflected by Karma. However, according to people who have claimed to attain the knowledge of self-tells us that the acts of karma are bound to be shown in the next life.

Avidya, known as ignorance shows us the true nature of the Atma. It is the distorted version in which our Atma identifies itself or confounds itself in the organism. Due to Avidya, the Atma is caught up again and again in time until it joins the physical body. Therefore, the birth of a person is the union of the eternal Atma with the material body and death of the person is the disassociation of the eternal Atma with the material body. Right from the childhood, we might have heard of several Hindu sages having experiences that confirm the doctrine of Karma. Swami Muktananda, one among them has mentioned in his book; ‘Play of Consciousness’ about the various kinds of visions that represent the sleep paralysis, the astral projection and other visions of hells and heavens.

Theories of Karma:

The theory of Wheel of Rebirth:

According to this theory, the whole universe is nothing but a wheel. All the creatures undergo to the subjects of birth, followed by death and then take rebirth again and again. Round as it turns, you’re struck on the never ending wheel. This wheel is the wheel of Brahman and every individual is in bondage with this wheel of birth, death and again rebirth. If the individual can get the grace of the eternal Brahma, he will not be resolved on the wheel and achieves the immortality that he has been craving for.

“An eternal portion of Myself, having become a living soul in a world of living beings, draws to itself the five senses, with the mind for the sixth, which abide in Prakriti” (Bhagavadgita 15:7).

“Consider how it was with the forefathers; behold how it is with the later (men); a mortal ripens like corn, and like corn is born again” (Katha Upanisad (Radhakrishnan), I.1.6).

The Law of Action:

According to the Karma, for every thought, action or word; there will be compensation on the karmic context. If not in this life, the consequences will haunt him in the future life. As the saying goes, the man reaps what he sows.

“He, as the Self, resides in all forms, but is veiled by ignorance… At death he is born again, and the circumstances of his new life are determined by his past deeds and by the habits he has formed.” (Kaivalya Upanishad (Prabhavananda), 115).

“The karma of the yogi is neither white nor black. The karma of others is of three kinds: white, black, or mixed” (Patanjali 4:17).

The Law of Desire:

A human is a person full of desires. His desire is based on his will and his will acts accordingly to his deed. So, whatever the deed that the person is included in; he will attain it at any cost.

“Others, however, say that a person consists of desires. As is his desire, so is his will; as is his will, so is the deed he does, whatever deed he does, that he attains” (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (Radhakrishnan), IV.4.5).

Desire is known to be the third stage of the feelings. The first two stages of Samskars are too delicate to feel that we don’t feel the need of recreating these desires in the next birth. A person can feel the desire to steal even thought, when he’s brought up in the good family and he himself might not understand the reason behind it. Scientifically, this phenomenon is called as Kleptomania. These desires which are developed over the period can control the person and make him do things that he hasn’t dreamt of doing.

 “The karmic law requires that every human wish find ultimate fulfillment. Nonspiritual desires are thus the chain that binds man to the reincarnational wheel” (Paramahansa Yogananda, 360).

Vedanta says that the root of all thoughts, actions and ideas is desire. The desire, in which the Atma gets personified. The desires can be good or bad in order to be materialized. The Atma, the ultimate source of everything acts as the source of Power which can fulfill all the desires. When these desires become innumerable in time, they are left unfulfilled at the time of death. Therefore, the human takes a rebirth in order to fulfill these desires and often, we experience the paranormal energy because of the souls which are waiting for the desires to be fulfilled but have not gotten the rebirth because of their Karma.

“…Rama will say that generally all the prayers are not accepted. But the prayers of some of the persons do materialize… they are accepted, only when the person praying is intensely merged in his prayer and, knowingly or unknowingly, has reached a stage where he has lost himself in his oneness with God… It is only under such circumstances that our prayers are accepted, because at that moment the person praying is established in his real Self which is Truth personified. As such, his prayers are bound to come true” (Swami Rama Tirtha, 272).

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