Different types of karma & how each of them act to shape our lives

*This article is an excerpt from book Demystifying the Mystical Vrindavan (Volume I - Introduction to soul's eternal position).

Many letters came to Arthur Ashe, the world number one tennis player and Wimbledon Champion after he was detected with terminal cancer.

In one of the letter, a fan asked him, “Why did God do this to you?”

Do you know how he responded to that letter?

He told, “Every year 500 million people learn tennis. Out of them, half a million actually learn how to play tennis. Out of them, fifty thousand become professionals. Out of them, only 5000 enter the grand slam. Out of them, 50 enter Wimbledon. Out of them, 4 enter the semi-final. And out of them, only 2 qualify for the final. And then one person picks up the trophy, and that was me. Then I didn’t complain then why should I do it now? I never asked why me then. Why should I do it now?

Karma cycle is extremely beautiful and also scary at the same time.

Somebody is good at something without even learning about it. Have you seen children who are good at dancing without any professional training? Have you seen somebody who is good with computers without any formal learning as such?

There can be so many examples.

People just see the karma of this life but one’s karma is actually an imprint of many lifetimes.

Bhagavad Gita and the Vedic Scriptures talk about it in detail. It is nothing new but a key subject totally ignored in the Macaulay education system.

Some become overnight millionaires. Some lose their money overnight.

We choose our next life according to our actions in this life. That is what we call karma. Somebody is rich and somebody is poor. Some work hard but their results don’t fructify while some don’t put in efforts but are really successful. This is nothing but karma.

Karma cycle bonds us. We already have had millions of births and so many imprints on our consciousness from so many births. As per our karma, we get a different body in 8.4 million species until we cross this cycle of birth of death by taking to devotional service.

This process of birth and death is constant until we reach back to our real identity and real home. We will discuss more of it in the later part of the book.

Karma is the action which we perform in our occupational duty.

Karma is of 4 types:

  • Sancit Karma: It is sum total of all the good and bad karma from so many of our past lives. Every moment of our life, we are adding or reducing our sancit karma depending on our actions. The results of sancit karma are awaiting to be completed in this life or in further lives. Until this sancit karma is zero, we will have to take birth again and again.
  • Prarabdha Karma: It is that portion of sancit karma which is destined to act in this life. This can be seen from one’s horoscope at the time of birth.
  • Kriyamana Karma: It is the daily and instant karma that we create through our good or bad actions in day-to-day life. This contributes to our sancit karma. This kriyamana karma can either act in this life or in future lifetimes. If two people steal, one might get caught immediately and the other might get its punishment in a future birth. This is Kriyamana Karma - the new karma that we create daily with our actions and choices.
  • Aagami Karma: The karma that we create in our this birth for getting result in future birth is Aagami Karma.

If there is good karma, then one is given riches, prestige and respect in the society, and importantly a platform to enquire about spirituality and purpose of life. If one has negative karma, they are likely to suffer. Nobody has only good karmas or bad karma’s. All have a blend of good karma and bad karma. It is bound to act. And this is for our betterment.

Until one’s karmic account is nil or zero, they have to take birth and death again and again.

The liberation from the cycle of birth and death happens when one’s karmic account is nil. To understand the karmic cycle without taking the shelter of Lord is impossible. It will bewilder a new seeker to the core!

Then, there is vikarma and akarma.

Vikarma is the wrong actions performed in this life as well as several other past births. Vikarma is primarily four activities of gambling, meat-eating, intoxication and illicit sex. It adds to the sancit karma and gives us it’s negative results in this birth or in next birth(s). If one has a lot of vikarma credits, they are bound to suffer until they realise it and atone for it by taking to devotional service. It is all very perplexing.

Now comes the most beautiful part.

Akarma! Akarma is devotional service. It’s bhakti! When one takes to the spiritual path, they are no more under good or bad karma. This is called akarma. This means that there is no karma but rather it is spiritual credits. When one prays to Lord, chants holy names, and offers loving devotion service to Lord, then that is counted as akarma.

Akarma helps the soul cross the cycle of birth and death. If a person has 99% spiritual advancement in previous lives, they will start from 99% in this life. Their akarma credits will help them directly jump to the unfinished part of their spiritual life. Hence it is seen that there are devotees who mercifully come in the spiritual path all of sudden and dive deeper very quickly. All knowledge is revealed to them by somewhere or another in a manner which is very tough to put in words! This spiritual knowledge from earlier lives is called as para vidya.

If you happen to read this book on Vrindavan, definitely, in your earlier lives, you had some guru kripa and akarma that made you attracted to Vrindavan, pick up this book and dive in search of the true purpose of life.

This earth has been described as a jail! Bhagavad Gita calls the material world as Dukhalayam Asasvatam, or a place of miseries. We eternally belong to Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna but since we wanted independence from Him (which actually was born out of our false ego), we were provided with this facility in form of bhuloka (earth). There are 14 planetary system like swarg (heaven), hell (nark), Brahmaloka, Indraloka etc. and one gets places in these depending on their karma (beautifully described in Srimad Bhagavatam). I am just trying to put it superficially here. You can read Srimad Bhagavatam for diving deeper. You will be able to relate to it all as you go further in this book.

*This article is an excerpt from book Demystifying the Mystical Vrindavan (Volume I - Introduction to soul's eternal position).

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