Friday, May 16, 2008

You Can Take Karma Into Your Hands

What is the law of karma?
It is the law of cause and effect. It is something like sowing of the seed. As you sow, so shall you reap. You cannot sow thorns and reap apples.
The law of karma is universal; it applies equally to all. Every thought, word, deed, emotion, feeling and wish are seeds we sow in the field of life, In due course, the seeds will germinate and grow into trees, and yield fruit — bitter or sweet — which we shall have to eat. No one else can do that for us. Krishna can drive the chariot of Arjun but Arjun him self has to aim the arrows in order to win the battle of Mahabharat.
There are causes that produce their effect immediately. There are other causes that produce their effect after a long time. If you overeat, it is a cause you have created. It produces an immediate effect — indigestion. There are other causes which take time to produce its effect, every seed must yield its fruit. This is the law of karma.
We are told, all men are created equal. No one can be so foolish as to imagine that there is actual equality of ability or environment or conditions of birth for all. Why, in the same family, do all children not have equality of ability or intelligence?
A Sindhi proverb says: “The mother gives birth to children; each brings with himself his destiny”. Each one brings his own karma. Among siblings, one might become a millionaire, while another struggles to make ends meet.
Two question arise: 1) Is this inequality the result of karma? 2) And if so, is it fair? The answer to both — as the sages of India have taught us — is in the affirmative. You are the architect of your own destiny. You are the builder of your own life. Every thought, emotion, wish and action creates karma: and we have been creating karma for thousands, perhaps millions of years.
If our thoughts, emotions and actions are benevolent, so-called good karma results. If they are malevolent, evil or difficult karma is created. The good or evil we generate attaches itself to us and remains in our life until we have neutralized it.
Why are our past karmas kept a secret from us?
Don’t you think it is a great mercy of God that our past karmic links are not known to us? Else, it may be difficult for us to live in the world.
How did bad/good karma originate?
Free will gives us the right of choice. We can choose between what the Upanishads call preya and shreya. Preya is the pleasant: the path of pleasure that lures us but leads to our degradation.
Shreya is the good: the path of shreya may, at first, be difficult to tread but ultimately leads to our well-being and spiritual evolution. At every step we have a choice. Many of us, alas, choose the easy path — the path of pleasure — and so keep on multiplying undesirable karma.
If all that happens today is the result of our past karma, is everything predestined?
No. John Oliver Hobbes said: “Men heap together mistakes of their lives and create a monster they call destiny”.
You are the builder of your fate. Therefore, be careful, especially of you thoughts. Every thought is a seed you are sowing in the field of life, and what you sow today, you will have to reap tomorrow.
Change your karma and you will change the conditions in which you live. And you can change your karma by adopting a new pattern of thinking.

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