Disciple: Do you mean to say that whatever happens to you is due to our karma only?
Guru: No, it is a wrong notion. There are three factors that determine your life. One is your karma, second is your freewill and third is your sensory organs. It is not correct to say that all your actions are determined by your karmas. If this is so, how do you accrue new karmas? Karmas are there, not only to experience, but also to accrue.
There are three types of karmas – sañcita, prārabdha and āgāmya. Sañcita is the sum total of all your karmas. Prārabdha is that part of the karma which manifests in this life and prārabdha karma is carved out of sañcita karma. Apart from sañcita karma, which is being experienced by you now, you do certain actions un-influenced by your karmic account. These actions cause further karmas and these karmas could be good or bad. Therefore, first remove the idea that whatever happens to you is only due to your karma. After all Brahman is omniscient!
Disciple: How free will and actions done through the influence of sensory organs accrue further karmic account?
Guru: The principle is always the same, which operates purely on Newton’s third law, which says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This applies, not only to karmic law, but to all actions done by you either through your free fill or influenced by your sensory organs (intentional actions). If everything is happening according to your karmic account, you can just relax and allow karma to perform all your actions. In short, you must know that your life is determined not only by your karma, which is a record of all your thoughts and actions in your previous life, but also by your thought and actions in this life, as well as your ability to use your freewill. Freewill is your ability to think without the influence of your sensory organs. You must also understand that your karmic account, actions arising out of your freewill and intentional actions all unfold only in your mind.
Karma account unfolds by making one of the three guṇa-s predominant in you. Sattva, rajas and tamas - these three qualities born of Prakṛti (Nature) tie down the imperishable soul to the body. Of these, sattva being immaculate is illuminating and flawless; it binds through identification with joy and wisdom. The quality of rajas, which is of the nature of passion, is born of avariciousness and attachment. It binds the soul through attachment to actions and their fruits. Tamas, the deluder of all those who look upon the body as their own self, are born of ignorance. It binds the soul through error, sloth and sleep. Sattva drives you to joy, and rajas to action, while tamas clouding the wisdom incites you to err as well as sleep and sloth. Therefore, your character is determined by your karmic account. Hence, you have to develop positive thoughts in your mind. When you want to make your mind thoughtless, it is difficult to remove negative thoughts than removing positive thoughts.
Disciple: When someone commits a crime, is it due to victim’s karma or is it a new karma? If the victim is re-born, will he do the same crime with the person to whom he had fallen as victim in his previous birth? (Question posted in comment column)
Guru: It is not possible for a human to answer this. How things happen, whether it is due to karma or thought process is a divine secret. While pursuing spiritual path, certain things cannot be explained. You know you have karma and when, it will become effective is not knows to us. Which part of sañcita karma is about to sprout in this life cannot be known. If we happen to know this, we cannot lead a peaceful life. When you know that something is going to happen on a date, you will remain a terribly worried person and you will not be able to carry on, even you routine work.As I have said earlier, you tend to forget all the impressions of your past life. That is the way it should be, as otherwise we cannot live in peace.
Please always remember that certain things cannot be logically explained and that is why, faith becomes one of the important factors in spirituality. That is why God is explained as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. What we do not know, God alone knows. This is the difference between God and us.
Coming back to your question, such crimes generally happen due to group karma but this does not mean that the victim in another birth do the same thing. If this happens, then there will be no end to such incidents in the world. When karmic account manifests, it will not be the same act that would be repeated for which karma is accrued.
Disciple: When someone does not exercise, eats lots of junk food and gets ill, is that because of his past karma or present action? (Question posted in comment column)
Guru: This is the combination of both karmic account and intentional acts. As already explained, your intentional acts are caused by predominance of a particular guṇa. The acts that you have mentioned are extremely bad for your energy level. You need to have good and positive energy levels around you. This you alone can develop. It depends upon your thought processes.
Disciple: People tend to bring tendencies from previous birth and if their action was good, they are born rich, but why most of the rich people act badly with the poor? If they did good actions in previous birth, they should have brought positive attitude with them in their present birth? (Question posted in comment column)
Guru: Where you are born is purely decided by your karmic account, as birth and death are not in your hands. There are six stages of developments in a gross body. First among these six stages is conception, leading to the formation of embryo. The prāṇa that was responsible to push the soul out of the body at the time of death again interacts with procreative fluids of man and woman causing the formation of embryo. During this time, blown by prāṇa, a soul along with impressions of karma and subconscious mind cause the formation of the foetus. The soul during its sojourn in the womb is able to remember its past transmigrations and makes a decision not to commit mistakes again. It is not the soul, which makes this vow; it is only the embedded karmic and subconscious impressions together make this vow. After all, a soul is nothing but Brahman Himself, except for the fact that it is totally concealed by ignorance, making the soul to forget its true form. Memories of the past lives are forgotten by the soul, the moment the gross body cries at birth. Facilitation for conception is made only according to a soul’s karmic account. If the embedded karmic account is good, the birth of the soul happens to noble couple and if the embedded karmic account is bad, one is born poor or with ailments, and so on.
Good and bad karmas cannot be set off. For good karmas, one has experience all good things in life and for bad karmas one has to surely undergo sufferings. Hence, it is important that though you perform so many good actions, you should not even think bad of others as your thoughts are powerful in causing huge amount of bad karmas.
Disciple: In the beginning you said that soul is not in a particular place, but present all over the body. But I have read in many Scriptures that the soul is placed in a small cave in the heart. Which is true?
Guru: You plant a tiny seed of banyan. The seed sprouts and grows into a big tree. Where will you search for that particular seed, which was the cause of this huge banyan tree? In spiritual parlance, seed is the cause and the tree is the effect. In all the effects, cause is always present inherently. Cause and effect cannot be differentiated. Similarly, soul is the cause of your body and your body is the effect of your soul. Where will you search for the soul that was the cause of your body? Therefore, soul is present all over your body. Since soul is subtest of all, you are required to search for the soul within. If you search for your soul outside your body, it is purely due to your ignorance. Your individual soul and your body are known as microcosm and God and the universe are known as macrocosm.
(to be continued)
Please read the previous parts here.