The Law of Karma.

The law of Karma is a fundamental spiritual law in eastern spiritual teachings.  Most people would have heard of the term Karma. Karma basically stands for action, and also the fruits of action. In other words, it stands for both cause and effect. The basic idea of karma is that of personal responsibility for one’s actions – that we are creators of our life. Whatever is currently manifesting in our life has been created by us, with or without awareness, by our past actions. Thus the law of karma basically says that man is the product of his past. Righteous actions bring  favorable results, and unrighteous actions bring unfavorable results. Karma can be done with our mind – manifesting as emotions, with our intellect manifesting as thoughts and through our body manifesting as actions/words.

Karma is often misunderstood to only mean the  law of destiny. When something unfavorable happens, people say with “It’s only karma”, meaning we are powerless to do anything about it.  Some others condemn the law as being overly pessimistic, as it seems to say that many things are predestined thanks to our past, of which we have no control over. It is true that man’s present is the consequence of the past, and in this sense, the present has been destined by past actions. However karma goes beyond destiny. Although there is a price to pay for past actions, man also has been blessed with the capacity to choose his actions. The past actions creates in him a tendency by which he will act. However by being aware of those tendencies, he can consciously choose how to act in the present, and thereby begin to change his karma. Thus the future is a continuation of the past, unless modified by the present, with self-effort.

Although we enjoy freedom to choose our actions, our present actions are mixed with the tendencies that are created by our past. Greater the tendencies, harder it is to change our actions. This is why people find self-improvement difficult. Knowing what to do and being able to do it are two different things, as change involves fighting our tendencies that we ourselves created by our past actions. Thus looking back at the past, man is the product of it. Looking into the future, man is the creator of it. Looking into the present moment, he is both a product as well as a creator. In unawareness, he becomes more of a victim, and in awareness, he becomes more of a creator.

One may wonder how all our actions are kept track of and bear the fruits of pleasure and pain. Is there some God that keeps track of all this? It can seem very mystical at first. In reality, it is very much scientifically explained. Each time a person does an action with a sense of doer-ship (ego), impressions are created in his mind. Every  impression is a karma. Stronger the impression, more likely it is to manifest.  All habits are nothing but karmas. Whether it is a good or habit, the person keeps doing it without having to put too much effort. All addictions are nothing but very strong mental impressions, and thus part of the person’s karma. A person who has an addiction has a pattern of behavior that he is very likely to repeat, that is not easy to change.

Karma is classified into the following three types:

 

1) Sanchita karma: 

This is the total of our karmas. The set of arrows that an archer carries on his quiver is an example of sanchita karma. This is the sum total of karmic possibilities that are currently unmanifest. Since this is unmanifest, we have the option to burn these karmas by right action. All spiritual practices such as meditation, being in devotion/prayer, doing self-less service burns sanchita karma. In the above example of the archer, it is making sure the archer drops the arrows on the ground so he no longer has the possibility of firing them. 

2) Prarabdha Karma: 

Karma that is currently bearing fruit is called prarabdha karma. In the example of the archer, the arrow that the archer has already shot is his prarabdha karma. The archer has already done the action, and he has to face the consequences of them, good or bad. Practically speaking, the life that we are experiencing in the present moment is our prarabdha. This includes the type of body we have, the environment around us, the type of people we are with etc. Prarabdha karma is thus that portion of our karma that may be called destiny.

A common question people ask is “Why do bad things happen to good people”? Prarabdha karma is the answer. A person may be good today, but he is paying a karmic debt for his past actions. Another question that lead to doubt/reject the law is “How come some people who perform bad deeds seem to have a good time:?” Again the answer is prarabdha karma. The person who is doing the bad deeds is currently experiencing the fruits of past deeds, which was good. Eventually he will have to pay the price for the actions done today as well. The effect of karma spans multiple life-times, and thus the law seems to be not working only because we are limiting our observation to a very short time period.

 

3) Agami Karma: 

This is future karma – actions that we are likely to do in future.  In the example of the archer, this is the arrow which the archer is about to shoot. Mental impressions that are very strong form agami karma. If a person drinks alcohol regularly, this is his agami karma. It is very likely that he would drink today, given that he has acquired that strong tendency by regularly drinking.

The three practical takeaways are:

  1. Prarabdha karma, in other words destiny, makes man a victim of his past. There is nothing a person can do about consequences from his past – he has to endure them. If he endures them without reacting to them, then he does not accumuate further karma.
  2. At the same time, the law of karma encourages that man can change his future by present actions. With self-effort, man can burn off his sanchita and agami karma, while still enduring his pradabdha karma. With consistent effort, man become more of a master of his own destiny, and less a victim of the past.
  3. Finally,  lest man not be discouraged by the lack of results from his effort in the short term, the law of karma explains that the lack of results could be due to an opposing force – his own prarabdha karma, which determines the level of effort required to bring about positive change in his life.

How to Identify Your Destiny

destiny-roadWe all try to pin point our destiny. We all wish to know exactly what our calling is, what we should do in life, career paths to take, and so on. This question has always frustrated myself as well. However, while meditating on the question recently, I realized why the answer had not yet been given to me.

I have written before on how we are gifted with talents, interests, and certain likings for a reason. And it is these skills we were gifted with that we should steer our jobs, service, and our fun towards. But how often do we doubt our talents? How often do people suggest we “don’t go for that career”, because it’s not known for making lots of money? How little are we encouraged to step outside the box to try new things that spark our interest?

Life is known to hold us back, but mainly because people fear change. We fear what we can become, or what we want to become, because we often think we can’t. Well, the answer I received to that question was this: You cannot realize your destiny if you doubt yourself. Because if you doubt yourself, you won’t understand what you were meant for.

Doubting yourself means you lack the faith in who you are and who you were created to be – something we had no control over. It is God who created us in his image, his likeness. He created us for his plan, and every person will have their own unique qualities and traits for a reason. The strong passions and talents you have, from art to music, to writing and teaching, they don’t just grow in you overnight! You were fashioned with certain gifts to live out your specific and unique life.

Ultimately, we were meant to use what we were given in order to live out our calling. Someone shared a quote with me once that said, “Everything you’ll ever need, you’ve always had.”  Truthfully, that quote speaks about our gifts we’ve had in us since birth. And indeed, these gifts are meant to drive us on this journey, fulfilling our calling and purpose in life.

So, what can you do to realize your own destiny? Begin by not doubting yourself and by loving who you are. Understand that you, along with every person in this world, was gifted with a unique personality and certain talents – no exceptions! Even if you have not discovered your talents yet, there will come a time when you will.

We all possess hundreds of interests, so start even with the smallest of detail. For example, if you have a love for children, that could very well be a gift you were blessed with. If you love children and are creative, you might make a great teacher, designer for children clothing, author of children books, etc. – the possibilities are literally endless. If you are really stuck, simply make a list of everything you’re interested in, from favorite scents to favorite music! Get to know yourself better and the areas that interest you. Then simply take these interests and begin to envision how you can use them in life, whether as a hobby or even a career.

The key, however, is to understand that these gifts were placed inside you for the benefit of not only your own joy, but for the joy and purpose of the Creator. As mentioned before, he is the one that has shaped and purposed you for his ultimate plan, and we give back (and say “thank you”) by using our talents for him and his people. Does this mean you should only work for a church? Of course not. You can uphold almost any job, as long as you put your heart, focus and the right intent into it.

Keep your HEART on your passions in order to develop them, and FOCUS them towards serving the greater purpose, and by doing so, you will truly begin to realize your destiny.

KarinAbout the Author:
Karin believes in the importance of a focused, spiritual journey.  She hopes to inspire those seeking truth and change through dream guidance, inspirational articles, and more at thegardendream.com

7 Tips On How to Make Choices

7 Tips On How to Make Choices

7 Tips On How to Make Choices

1. Realize That You Have a Free Will.

Many times people think that circumstances determine the direction of their life. But, how we respond to those circumstances has a much greater impact and what sets us up for the good or for the bad. One thing that is given to all of us is a free will; we have to exercise that aspect of our life. If we don’t impulses take over and fear and anxiety will develop our habits and habits develop our character and character develops our destiny. We can choose to act in a different way or at least learn to act differently and make choice toward life, love, peace and filled with joy.

2. Realize That It Is You Who Has To Take Action

Make a decision and connect with that decision as much as possible. You can do that by writing things down. And then the most important part is to choose to take action. Not taking action is also a choice. You don’t have to do anything. Every action or no-action has consequences. Exercising our will gives us the power and the freedom to choose where we are in life and what we will do. That is when life changes from an obligation to a blessed opportunity.

3. Realize That You Can Take The Path of Life.

When we are influenced by outside forces, we might make the decision to give in and take the path of least resistance. If we go for immediate gratification we usually end up in a mediocre conditions and we feel less fulfilled than that we had hoped for. Every choice that we make leads us either away from our destiny or right into our destiny where we will experience life to the fullest.

4. Realize That Your Commitment is Very Important.

Unless you realize you have the power to say no, you can never really say yes. To your relationships. To your work. To your life. To anything. Only when you have sufficient self-worth to choose whether to end something of value to you can you fully commit to it. Be passionate about your decision because then you “want to” act out of desire and then you can fully commit to your decision.

5. Realize that your choices affect the world around you.

So, look further. Your family will be influenced by big choices and sometimes also smaller choices. Take that in consideration. Remember: good choices will bring good things and bad choices will bring not such a good things.

6. Realize that when you make choices for others you have to be careful.

Your intention can be good, but assuming too much responsibility for others deprives them of the lessons that arise from the choices they have made. People like your input, but nobody wants their life to be ruled by others. Remember, we have been given a free will.

7. When you finally realize that you have the power to change your directions in any moment.

You might see attractive alternatives to a lot of situations in your life. Maybe there are many areas in your life that you want to be changed and want to make a lot of choices all at once. You may feel tempted to change your relationship, your career, or any area of your life that feels difficult or frustrating. The best choice can be in this situation to take responsibility for where you are right now and participating fully and intentionally.

Written by Olga Hermans
Article Source:  The Choice Driven Life

Positive Thoughts

Someone sent me the following inspirational poem which I am happily sharing with you:-

Stay true to all your beliefs and goals.
Stand tall.
Through all life’s setbacks and disappointments,
your dreams will come true.

When no one else is with you,
and no one seems to care,
just whisper to yourself,
“I am the controller of my destiny.

It’s up to me what comes to pass,
and if I keep my thoughts positive and strong,
my dreams will come true.”

When what seem to be impossible obstacles
stand in your way, just think of all the times
you got through yesterday.
There is a place for you in this world.

Stay on your chosen path.
All the power is within you;
be true to what is in your heart.
Be honest within yourself;
if you are, then you cannot fail.
Your dreams will come true.

~ Debra Ruegg-Jenkins ~

 

Synchronicity ~ more than a coincidence

Synchronicity ~ more than a coincidence

Synchronicity ~ more than a coincidence

Synchronicity.

To me, when an event is so coincidental that it cannot just simply be a random set of circumstances, I do believe there is a significance of such mystery that it may never be explained.

I also love scientists’ attempts to rationalise the mystery of life, and at the same time I feel sort of sorry for them that they cannot fully appreciate the divine behind the beauty they are trying to dissect.

I also love coincidence. Maybe because I am a lover of the mysterious, a watcher for divine intervention and a receptacle for spirit to work through me. At times I am often told stories, usually unprompted, of coincidence which I feel have such synchronicity and intelligence about them that, surely, they can only have been orchestrated by something Divine and brilliant.

I met an acquaintance in the library and stopped to share her table in the canteen for a quick coffee. The lady told me she is moving away from the area. She had been looking at moving to Norfolk and on spotting an area called ‘Little Snoring’ on the map, she had jokingly called her husbands attention to it. ‘I don’t care where we go on the coast, as long as it is not there’ she told him.

Looking for houses on the internet came up with the perfect house, price, size, style.. it’s location? Little Snoring. So, despite the address, they headed off for a viewing. As they walked around the house, this lady noticed some numbers etched into a beam in the main bedroom. ‘what is that?’ she asked. The vendor smiled and explained it was the day, month and year she gave birth to her only son. My friend also smiled, it was the exact day, month and year of her own marriage. They had their offer accepted on this house, the only house they felt a need to view and they will be moving shortly.

I loved this story, it is a reminder to me that there is more to the Universal wonders that can ever be completely explained.


An article written for spiritguides.co.uk by Tamasin McGregor

Synchronicity – more than a coincidence

Synchronicity. To me, when an event is so coincidental that it cannot just simply be a random set of circumstances, I do believe there is a significance of such mystery that it may never be explained.

I also love scientists’ attempts to rationalise the mystery of life, and at the same time I feel sort of sorry for them that they cannot fully appreciate the divine behind the beauty they are trying to dissect.

I also love coincidence. Maybe because I am a lover of the mysterious, a watcher for divine intervention and a receptacle for spirit to work through me at times I am often told stories,usually unprompted, of coincidence which I feel have such synchronicity and intelligence about them that, surely, they can only have been orchestrated by something Divine and brilliant.

I met an acquaintance in the library and stopped to share her table in the canteen for a quick coffee. The lady told me she is moving away from the area. She had been looking at moving to Norfolk and on spotting an area called ‘Little Snoring’ on the map, she had jokingly called her husbands attention to it. ‘I don’t care where we go on the coast, as long as it is not there’ she told him. Looking for houses on the internet came up with the perfect house, price, size,style..it’s location? Little Snoring. So, despite the address, they headed off for a viewing. As they walked around the house, this lady noticed some numbers etched into a beam in the main bedroom. ‘what is that?’ she asked. The vendor smiled and explained it was the day, month and year she gave birth to her only son. My friend also smiled, it was the exact day, month and year of her own marriage. They had their offer accepted on this house, the only house they felt a need to view and they will be moving shortly.

I loved this story, it is a reminder to me that there is more to the Universal wonders that can ever be completely explained.

An article written for spiritguides.co.uk by Tamasin McGregor