THE LAW OF KARMA (ACTION) :
There is a law which governs the administration of this whole, vast, infinite universe.
We can understand it in three part :
(1) action and reaction
(2) cause and effect
(3) effort and destiny
Action and reaction, cause and effect, effort and destiny
are all equal and opposite.
WHAT IS KARMA
The simple and succinct definition of Karma is that “each and every physical action or deed that you perform with the cooperation of the mind, right from morning to evening, during the whole day and night, during the whole week, whole month, whole year and during the whole of your life right from birth to death is called Karma”.
For example, getting up, sitting down, taking bath, washing, walking, standing, going to job, doing business, crying, laughing, awakening, seeing, not-seeing, joking, inhaling, exhaling, thinking, not-thinking, speaking, not-speaking, eating, not-eating, drinking, not-drinking, smelling,not-smelling, touching, not-touching, grasping or throwing by hands, passing or not-passing stool and urine, indulging or not indulging in sex, etc. – all these physical actions performed by all your ten senses, organs and limbs,performed as influenced and propelled by the likes and dislikes, attachments and non-attachments and with the co-operation of your mind and intellect are called ‘Karma’.
All these Karmas are divided into three categories according to their stages as under
(1) KRIYAMAN KARMA means an action done at the spur of a moment or time in the present tense which instantaneously bears fruit and results in reaction then and there.
(2) SANCHIT KARMA (Cumulative Karma)
means the actions done but not yet ripe to give fruits immediately or on the spot but take some time to get ripened. Such Karmas are kept in abeyance pending in the balance waiting for the opportune time to become ripe, to give fruits in future. Till then they remain in balance and are accumulated (SANCHIT). Until their fructification, these Sanchit Karmas would not be neutralised.
(3) PRARABDHA KARMA means those
actions, out of the accumulated Sanchit Karmas which have now become ripe and are ready to give fruits. They are commonly known as destiny, luck, fate, fortune etc.
Let us understand the detailed meaning and the impact of the above three categories of Karma with illustrations.
Generally, any action that you do at any time or moment in the present tense will give its fruit immediately and on the spot. It is called KRIYAMAN KARMA. Any action is bound to have reaction, any cause is bound to have its effect and any effort is bound to result into fixed destiny. This is the immutable law of Karma.
For example: (1) You drink water and at once your thirst is quenched, you got the fruit of your action of drinking and finished with it. (2) You ate and immediately your hunger is satisfied, you got the result of your action of eating and your action is exhausted and neutralised and the account is cleared. (3) You took your bath and your body is cleansed. You got the result of your action at once, the cause resulted into effect and the account of action is squared, your action became quiet and subsided and dissolved. (4) You inflicted verbal abuses on some one and he being thus provoked immediately gave you slaps on your face. The account of give and take is cleared and closed on the spot. The law of action and reaction, cause arid effect operated and ceased. All actions become quiet only by reactions. Every cause becomes quiet and subsided immediately only after its effect has been experienced.
However, there are certain Kriyaman Karmas which do not instantaneously ripen to give you fruits immediately. They, therefore, remain pending in deposit waiting for the
opportune time to ripen and bear fruits at the appropriate moment in future. Till then they are kept in abeyance and get accumulated. They are calied SANCHIT KARMA,(accumulated Karmas). For example (i) you took laxative in the morning, but will get resultant motions after a few hours, (ii) you appeared in the examination to-day and will get your result after one month, (iii) you abused somebody to-day but he will wait for an opportune time to take revenge after three months, (iv) you harassed or tortured your parents in your young age causing a lot of anguish to them and your children will torture you in your old age,(v) you tried and laboured enthusiastically with great devotion to become a proficient musician or a famous painter but before acquiring perfection you left your body. Even then your labour of the present birth is not wasted. In your subsequent birth or births you will continue your efforts and
will definitely reach your goal of perfection and will get the fruits of your labour and devotion of your present birth.
Thus certain actions and efforts in the present (Kriyaman Karmas) do take time to ripen to enable them to yield fruits. Till then they are stored away, kept in abeyance and get accumulated in the balance as Sanchit Karmas. But anyhow, every action will have its reaction, every cause will have its effect and every effort will have its destiny
The following are the Kriyaman Karmas which will ripen and mature and give you fruits only during your present lifetime and will be completely exhausted before you leave the present body and will not remain in balance at the end for accumulation as Sanchit Karmas for your subsequent births.
They are –
(1 ) Actions performed innocently in childhood, immatured minor age;
(2) Actions performed in unconscious, insane and intoxicated state of mind;
(3) Actions performed in other than human life;
(4) Actions performed without any bias in mind due to attachment or detachment, likes or dislikes etc.
(5) Actions performed without any ego of a doer;
(6) Actions performed for the good and benefit of the society at large with a benevolent motive.
(7) Actions performed selflessly with devotion unto God (NISHKAM KARMA).
PRARABDHA KARMA (Destiny, fate, luck)
There are heaps and heaps of lofty mountainful of unripe Sanchit Karmas piled up amounting to billions and billions of millions i.e. innumerable Sanchit Karmas deposited
in balance at the credit of each and every person, earned and accumulated by him during his past innumerable births since time immemorial. They do not become ripe to give fruits all at a time in one birth. Only a very few of them, say about 10,000 Sanchit Karmas out of this whole tremendous stock become ripe and ready to give fruits during one lifetime. They are called Prarabdha Karmas (readily destined to give fruits commonly known as fate, luck, fortune, destiny etc.). Strictly according to these Prarabdha Karmas a person gets a particular type of body, parents, wife, children, wealth, caste, creed, race, sex, environment, etc. just appropriate to enjoy, suffer and exhaust his Prarabdha Karmas destined during his present lifetime.
Your own Kriyaman Karmas when they are matured-ripened and are ready to give fruits, they are known as Pr-arabdha (Destiny-fate-luck-fortune). God has given you full liberty to do any Kriyaman Karma with the best of your knowledge and wisdom. But when they mature and their due consequences come before you, you should face them and accept them boldly and cheerfully without asking God to interfere to save you.
All the Prarabdha Karmas which have been pre-destined for your present lifetime, you are bound to face them. You can neither escape from them, nor can you leave your present body as long as a single Prarabdha Karma remains in balance.
PRARABDHA AND PURUSHARTHA ARE NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER
Yesterday’s Purushartha (efforts-Kriyaman Karma) is to-day’s Prarabdha (destiny) and today’s Purushartha (efforts-Kriyaman Karma) is to-morrow’s Prarabdha (destiny).
Purushartha (efforts) of the past when ripened and matured become Prarabdha (destiny) of the present and the Purushartha (efforts) of the present when matured and ripened becomes Prarabdha (destiny) in future. Efforts and destiny, cause and effect, action and reaction are equal and opposite but not in opposition to or in conflict with each other.
Thus Purushartha (effort) and Prarabdha are not opposed to each other but they are supplementary as well as complementary to each other. The Purushartha when ripened and matured becomes Prarabdha in due course of time and hence they do not come in clash with each other at one and the same time. Their fields, spheres of operation, are different. Prarabdha provides pleasures and pains during the present birth whereas Purushartha prepares groundwork for future circumstances for providing pleasures and pains in subsequent birth or births. Thus Purushartha is the architect of one’s own Prarabdha.
IGNORANCE OF LAW IS NO EXCUSE
As a matter of fact, everybody is supposed to know and bound to know the law of the land where he lives. Ignorance of law is no excuse. If an Indian goes to America
and drives the car on the left side of the road or without putting on a safety belt, the police will fine him 50 dollars. If he argues that he was ignorant of the law, the police will not accept any excuses and he will be asked to pay the fine on the spot and then study the law at his convenience. Similarly if an American goes to India and
moves with a gun without licence he will be arrested by the police. His argument that in America no licence is necessary for having a gun will not be accepted. If a man
puts his hand in fire innocently or through ignorance, even then the fire will burn his hand invariably.
If you want to stay and live in America, India, England or anywhere, you are expected to know the laws and rules of those countries. Similarly, if you want to live happily anywhere in this world, you must know the Law of Karma under which the whole Universe is governed.
PRARABDHA (DESTINY) IS IRREVOCABLE AND UNAVOIDABLE
There are three types of persons in this world:
(1) SATVIK (of pious mentality and motives)
(2) RAJSIK (of selfish mentality and motives)
(3) TAMSIK (of crooked or slovenly mentality
*I have realized during my life that actually our personality is a mixture of above all three qualities. Ratio of this mixture is varying from person to person.Increasing SATVIK (of pious mentality and motives) in this mixture will improve our quality of life that is for 101% sure.*
All the human wants, desires, likes, requirements etc. are categorised into four categories in our scriptures as under:
(1 ) DHARMA (ethics, religion)
(2) ARTHA (wealth-unlimited worldly materialistic objects)
(3) KAMA (enjoyment – Desire to enjoy wealth for sense gratification)
(4) MOKSHA (Liberation-emancipation from the cycle of birth and death).
For (1 ) DHARMA and (4) MOKSHA, a man should always constantly do Purushartha (efforts) and should never leave it to Prarabdha.
As for (2) ARTHA and (3) KAMA he should totally leave them to Prarabdha as he is going to get only that much of wealth (ARTHA) and enjoyment (KAMA) which is
destined in his Prarabdha (luck, fate, fortune) and nothing more in spite of all his Purushartha (efforts).
FREEDOM OF ACTION – NO FREEDOM TO ESCAPE REACTION
Your authority (ADHIKAR) lies only in doing your action but never on the fruit of it.You have got the authority (control) in doing your action i.e. you are totally competent and independent to do any action you like but then you have no claim (control) on the fruit of it. That means you are not competent enough and you have no power or authority to escape or avoid facing the resultant fruit of your action. You are independent to do any action, of course, at your cost and risk, but then you must be prepared for the consequences. You have full control (ADHIKAR) over your actions but no control whatsoever over their results (Reactions).
BODY IS A NECESSARY INSTRUMENT FOR ENJOYING OR SUFFERING THE FRUITS (EFFECT) OF KARMA
Happiness is the result of good deeds and miseries are the result of bad deeds and for enjoying happiness or suffering miseries you must have a body. Body is the only
instrument through which you can enjoy happiness and for having a body you must go into the womb of a mother and take birth.
Awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached.
**I have taken above content from “hirabhaithakkar.net”, a website of Shri Hirabhai Thakkar, author of the classic book “KARMA NO SIDDHANT” (Theory of Karma) and several other important works on Hindu philosophy.I strongly recommand you to visit this site and to read all chapters throughly.Shri Hirabhai Thakkar was a Deputy Collector in Gujarat Administrative Service (G.A.S.) in August 1976.He was the first President of Theosophical Society of Gandhinagar (capital of Gujarat in India). He was a scholar of BhagwadGita & Vedant.I am very much inspired by “Shri Hirabhai Thakkar” after reading “KARMA NO SIDDHANT” (Theory of Karma) in Gujarati ,first time.