Karma - the law of cause and effect.

April 28, 2015

Malas, mantra and our karma are actually all interconnected. In our blog next week we will share some interesting insights from Thomas Ashley-Farrands " Healing Mantras" and how the practice of mantra is related to our karma, but before we get to that, a little bit about karma.

Karma can be explained as the sum total of all our thoughts, actions, dreams and desires that follow us from life to life through time and space. Or simply – the law of cause and effect, that what we send out into the universe will come back to us in some form. This process can often encompass more than one lifetime.

In Vedic teachings there are 4 kinds of karma:

1.Sanchita Karma – this is the sum of accumulated past actions in all our previouslifetimes. This karma sets the stage for the present lifetime as well as others yet to follow.

  1. Prarabdha karma – this is the portion of the above karma, Sanchita Karma that is a result of past actions in previous lifetimes that has shown up in this lifetime. This is the karma that concerns us most from day to day. While we can’t alter events of previous lifetimes that have created this karma we can with the practice of mantra alter our inner conditions both physically and emotionally and therefore change the effect this kind of karma has on us.
  2. Agami karma – this karma is a result of actions in this present lifetime that will affect future lifetimes. Simply put – sowing the seeds that will later be reaped.
  3. Kriyamana Karma - this karma results immediately from our present actions. Think of this as instant karma!

Karma is actually carried with us like baggage, stored in various parts of the body. For example Sanchita Karma – the past actions from previous lifetimes is stored within our soul. At birth a portion of that karma is released into our physical body the rest remains stored and will not come into play in this particular lifetime. This karma will also affect our birth, presenting us with a predisposition and an environment that will influence our habits, prejudices and the development of talents and abilities we will use in this lifetime to work off a given portion of our karma. As we go through life, people we meet or circumstances we encounter will trigger bits of karma. When these situations arise we are presented with an opportunity to “work off” a particular portion of our karma.

We are able to both accumulate and also “work off” karma. We can draw both positive and negative karma to ourselves and while obviously good karma is preferred over bad karma the ultimate goal is to actually have no karma. It is at this point we are released from the karmic cycle of life and death and we transcend this earthly plane. Good karma just like bad karma actually attaches us to this earthly plane.

Check our blog next week for more info on how the practice of mantra and using your mala is connected to your karma.