The concept of karma and reincarnation based on Hinduism is amongst one of those knowledge treasures for which this religion is revered by the people of all religions and beliefs. The Hindu dharma (code of conduct) is a set of religious conduct which focuses on spiritual communion with the Almighty via adequate guidance from Sat Guru and attainment of nirvana through personal realization.
Karmas and Cosmos
The theory based on karma and reincarnation was visualised by the great seers before transcribing it in Vedas, Upanishads and various other shrutis (revealed scripts). Besides being mentioned in various scriptures, the theory of karma and reincarnation is also a part of ‘Laws of Cosmos’ that shapes the experiential order just as the gravitational force shapes the cosmic order. But, it is also a fact that nothing is possible without the will and blessings of the Lord.
The Creative Tapestry of Karmas
Our souls keep on experiencing the painful cycle of birth and death till all the karmas are settled off and salvation is achieved. The tapestry of creation and resolution of karmas is complicated as we living beings take a lot of time understanding the consequences of negative karmas.
Because of the grace bestowed upon human beings by all Gods and gurus, and because of the spiritual greatness of the higher chakras, karmic situations in one’s life can always be controlled with positive attributes such as love, peace and understanding. But unfortunately, the concept of chakras is still not known by most of us and hence it becomes very difficult to come out of the whirlpool of karmas, life, death and reincarnation.
Reincarnation and Past Lives
Reincarnation and past lives is a topic of great interest as many people are inquisitive about their past births and experiences. In a way it’s better to forget our past life memories as it will help us erase all the worn off mayas (attachments) and traumas. This freedom helps one achieve a breakthrough from the muladhara memory chakra, the lowest of all chakras, and rise above for spiritual upliftment.
The quality of our present life is the cumulative result of the entire gamut of our past lives. It is also important to understand that without repenting on our past conditions we need to focus on our present life and try to mend it with positive karmas so as to unfold it spiritually. It should be remembered that good karmas will always advance our progress towards salvation; on the other hand, negative karmas will hinder the progress.
How to Best Understand Karma?
In literal sense, Karma defines ‘deed’ or ‘act’; however broadly speaking it defines the universal principle of cause and effect. Like Newton’s third and most postulated law that says to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction that governs every living and non-living matter on earth; the universal law of action and reaction specific to karma governs consciousness.
As per the theory of metaphysics, every psychological or physical act of an individual is first anticipated on the psychic mind of the person, the action then taken comes back to the same person with the same impact. The soul’s impression during its string of lives on this earth is recorded in the higher chakras, for instance akashic memory. It also records the mental/astral world experiences that occurs inbetween the lives.
Three Types of Karma
Based on the studies of the universal principle of cause and effect, the ancient philosophers have divided karmas into three specific categories. These are as follows –
Sanchita -: Pending karma yet to be settled or resolved. These are past birth karmas.
Prarabdha -: A chunk of Sanchita karma being experienced in the current life.
Kriyamaan -: The karmas we are forming currently in this life.
How to Turn Negative Karmas into Positive?
It is through one’s unrelenting efforts and determination that negative karmas can be turned into positive. Virtuous attributes like loving and compassionate (heart-chakra) nature, abidance with dharma (law of conduct) and sadhana (spiritual practice) are must for one’s karmic transformation.
Karmic wisdom can only be achieved if one is constantly involved in the contribution of positive and constructive karmas in one’s own life. Leading a religiously good life is also important for getting rid of past karmas and going each step ahead towards salvation.
Individual and Collective Karmas
There are two types of karmas, one is individual and the other is collective or group karma. It’s incorrect to think only about the cause and effect of individual karmas, as collective karmas, i.e. some karma of compound souls also play an important role in shaping every individual’s life. Collective karmas are of various types including planetary group, religion, caste, creed, race, community and family karmas.
If we spread love around us all we will get love, but the love should be unconditional at every stage. People surrounding us are the vehicles of our karmic manifestations. The give and take theory helps us to settle off our karmas with others and this chain runs through various phases via different births and demises. Whether it is generosity or selfishness, the cycle of karma is intricately connected; it whirls over and over again till we achieve salvation.
Karmic Law Implementation
It is like we are the sole performer and creator of our own lives. Many people understand the principles of karma however they refuse to implement those in their own lives. There is no point in cursing our environment or complaining to God about our various situations we face in our lives. It should be kept in mind that God never dispenses individual karma though there is no doubt about it that He is the one who creates and sustains the cosmic law of karma. But, he never creates individual karmas.
A living being creates his own experiences and his soul is his best spiritual teacher that gives him the power of manifestation and destruction. In simple terms the theory of karma is based on the concept of ricocheting ball that keeps coming back to us upon banging to the wall, meaning all our karmas will keep coming to us – in one or the other form – until we keep setting them off for our spiritual elevation.