(The following is a small excerpt of a lecture on audio cassette given by
a learned Doctor from Bombay describing about the law of Karma. The
translation has been done by Hitesh Lalchandani)
What is Karma?
First of all - defining Karma. It is any activity which results in a material
gain or loss to the physical body. Which means that any action or activity which
has a material gain or results in material loss, or basically any activity which
gets this physical body into material entanglement is called Karma.
This law of Karma, is not as easy as one expects. Many great saints have come
across their downfall as they thought that they had mastered the law of Karma,
but the Law of Karma spares no one, and no one at all. Whether one believes in
this law, or whether he is ignorant of this law, this law spares virtually no
one, not even God Himself in Human Form.
One example cited here is King Dasratha, Father of Lord Rama. He was
not spared when he unknowingly killed Shravana Kumar. Please note, he
unknowingly did this act. One may think that since he did it unknowingly,
or he was the father of God Himself, so he could be spared, but no, the law of
Karma does not care who the person is, and will act on that person irrespective
of who that person is. King Dasratha was cursed by the parents of Shravan Kumar
that he would die in despair of his son parting from him, and that is what
Another very important aspect of the Law of Karma is that there is a common
belief that we may do one bad deed, and then to cover it up we may do five good
deeds and think that actually we have a balance of four good deeds to enjoy the
fruits of, but this is totally a wrong notion.
The Law of Karma acts as follows : You may have done one bad deed for which
you will have to suffer and for the five good deeds you will enjoy the fruits of
all the five good deeds, there is no such accounting in which you can add or
subtract good and bad deeds (karma) - As you sow, so shall you reap.
Had the above common belief been true, we would come across thousands of
people who have a balance of good deeds and hence would never come across any
misfortune or sadness. But this is not true. In fact it is very difficult,
almost impossible to come across one single person who does not have any
difficulties, or any misfortunes or any sadness, and this is all a result of bad
deeds done either in this birth or in previous births.
Having said this, we come across another concept and that is reincarnation -
does a human soul take birth and re birth? We come across loads of people
who say that there is nothing like reincarnation and what is there, is in this
life itself. To explain to our friends with these ideas, let me say that there
is an institute in Florida, U.S.A. who have done years and years of research and
have finally proven the concept of reincarnation with loads of proof.
These friends of ours would surely accept any other discovery done by American
institutes, so they have to now accept and can check for themselves that
reincarnation is now a proven fact.
(Hitesh's Guruji always says that this human birth is totally God's gift and
who knows what form will we take in our next birth - whether human or dog or
snake or tiger or any of the 84 lakhs of different forms of life. He also
accepts and preaches that this soul of ours definitely comes again and again in
this world in different forms and it should be our aim in this human birth to
make such a relation with God, so that we can rid ourselves of this cycle of
birth and death.)
Categories of Karma
GOOD KARMA : This is very easy to understand. Any good deed performed
by an individual whether physically or financially or in any form whatsoever is
BAD KARMA : This is exactly the opposite of the above. Any bad deed
which harms fellow beings in any way whatsoever is Bad Karma.
INSTANT KARMA : This also is not a difficult concept. Basically this
is what we generally think that Karma is, meaning that if you slap a big hurly
strong man, he immediately slaps you back, because you performed a deed to which
he returned back the result. When one is thirsty, he drinks water and
quenches his thirst, when one is hungry, he eats to satisfy his feeling of
hunger. All these are examples of Instant Karma where you immediately
enjoy/suffer the fruit of your action.
DELAYED KARMA : This is definitely the most important category of
Karma, if we can understand this concept, then we actually understand what the
Law of Karma actually is. Delayed Karma is a deed which when performed now,
gives fruit after a certain indefinite period of time. You may do one good deed,
but the fruit of that deed may be enjoyed at any time later than the deed is
done. For instance planting of a seed. If a wheat grain is planted, the
crop will be ready in 90 days whereas if a millet is planted, the crop is ready
after 120 days, or if a mango seed is planted, it gives fruit after 5 years and
if a jackfruit is planted, it gives fruit after 10 years. So the
same deed is done but fruits are borne after different periods of time.
A case to prove the above is hereby mentioned. King Dhritrashtra, the father
of the Kauravas, once asked Lord Krishna, why has he gone through such
misfortune in his life - firstly he was born blind and secondly, losing one son
in your lifetime is horrible enough, but King Dhritrashtra lost the lives of all
his one hundred sons in front of him, it was really a horrible misfortune he had
come upon. He begged Lord Krishna, to explain why.
To this Lord Krishna answered that King Dhritrashtra had one hundred lives
ago, (please note - one hundred lives ago) unknowingly got the hundred children
of a set of birds killed and while the parents tried to rescue their hundred
children, they were blinded. So those set of birds cursed Dhritrashtra that he
too would go through the same torture, these birds went through, and that is why
- 100 lives later, Dhritrashtra had to go through this life of misfortune as his
fruit of his bad karma had materialised a hundred lives later.
To this again Dhritrashtra asked that why did he not suffer the misfortunes
immediately or within 1 or 2 lives after, why after a huge gap of 100 lives ??
Lord Krishna answers that to get one son is basically a fruit of some good
deeds so in order for Dhritrashtra to get 100 sons, all his good deeds of his
last 100 lives had to be accumulated and after 100 lives, when God saw that he
had enough good deeds to have 100 sons, he gave him the birth of Dhritrashtra
and that too in a blind form and then made him suffer for his wrongdoings.
This is a great example of delayed karma.
There may be a question cropping up as to why do we have to bear the
consequences of an act which we do not even remember to have done as it could
have been done many births ago. But dear devotees, this is a blessing in
disguise that we cannot remember our past births. In this very birth
one goes through so many miseries that he prefers to forget those incidents in
this very life itself. So just imagine if we were to remember all
miserable incidents of our previous innumerable births, we would probably go
So we must never consider the judgement of God as wrong or unjust, God is
definitely all perfect and His decisions towards the universe can never be
wrong, we may or may not understand His judgement, but He can never be wrong.
In fact if something bad happens to us, we must actually celebrate that day,
that we have gone through the suffering of some bad deed done maybe many births
ago, similarly if some good fortune has befallen you, in your mind actually you
must be sad that you have used up some good deeds you had done maybe a few years
ago, or in the last birth or maybe even a few births ago.
MANIFEST KARMA : This is also known as "PRAARABDHA". In
other words these are the karmas which have already manifested, like if you are
the child of a certain set of parents, you cannot change it no matter what you
do, but the basic fact still remains that you are a child of that particular set
of parents. Similarly if you are born a male, that's final, you cannot change
this, which means that you had done some deeds as a result of which you are born
as either a male or female and to a particular family and a particular
community, so some earlier karma of yours has manifested, or has taken form now.
This is Manifest Karma.
Another simple example to understand this is 'A' plants a mango seed and 'B'
plants a lime seed, after 5 years or so, A gets mango fruits on his plantation
and B gets lime. B can go do what he wants, but his lime will never turn as
sweet as A's mango fruit, so this is B's PRAARABDHA. Similarly, in life we
are all doing some action at any given time which can be compared to the seeds
planted by A and B and what fruit it bears depends on the seeds you are
planting, and when it bears fruit, it is called Praarabdha or manifest Karma.
MASS KARMA : By creating this Law of Karma, God shows what excellent
managerial skills He has. Mass Karma means that when God sees that a particular
number of souls have reached a same level of karmas (whether good or bad), he
cuts it all in one effect - for instance a certain number of souls may be on a
similar level of good karmas and now its time for them to enjoy, so he will make
them countrymen of a country who is enjoying huge prosperity, happiness and
wealth. Similarly if a number of souls have done enough bad karma and it
is time for that set of souls to suffer, he creates disasters like famine or
floods, plane crashes or earthquakes. Here we clearly see that in any of the
mentioned events, nature does not see age or quality of a soul, it just effects
a huge number of souls whether they are rich or poor, whether they are just new
born or whether they are at the end of their old age, there is just no
Very often we read of natural calamities and wonder that what wrong could the
small, tender and innocent children have done that they have to go through all
this, well, this is the effect of Mass Karma, for what they have done in their
War is another example of Mass Karma, and sometimes it is connected with meat
eating, probably a huge number of people have really crossed the limit killing
animals for the pleasure of their tongue, so God probably creates them in a
country which faces war and bloodshed and death of hundreds and thousands of the
so called "innocent" people.
Sometimes, it so happens that people try to use their smartness or science
and think that they can change the results of their karmas or change their
"kismat" or "bhaagya". To this here is a very heartbreaking
There was a doctor who had two daughters and thought that they would go for a
third child and when his wife would be expecting, he would use all his
contacts, and the best of equipment to test the sex of the baby. And
if they found out that it was a female, they would abort the child.
So it happened that when the doctor's wife was expecting their third baby,
this doctor carried out all the various tests and after confirming and
reconfirming they got the result that the third child in the making was a
female. The doctor, as he had made up his mind, had that child aborted.
When the process was carried out and the dead child was dragged out of the womb,
the doctor who was also present, saw that it was a male child. The doctor
had killed his own son!!
Dear Devotees, let us learn from this incident that whatever is happening to
us in our lives, whether good or bad, is all a result of our previous karmas and
no matter what we do, we have to go through the enjoyments or sufferings of our
karmas. While suffering or enjoying, again we are undergoing and creating some
So how do we get out of this?
Very simple - Total surrender at the feet of your Sadguru or the Lord.
Once this is achieved, then all karmas performed would be surrendered wholly to
our Sadguru and it is Him who will then take all our responsibilities and see to
it that we are freed from this cycle. The point to remember here is TOTAL
surrender, not just surrender. (POORN SHARANAAGATI)
To conclude, another story to highlight the law of karma.
There was this Indian man in the U.S.A. He was drunk and was driving and was
over speeding. A policeman spotted him and chased him. The drunk man was afraid
and in his fear, sped even faster and pushed the police vehicle off the road.
Messages were sent and there came a stage where 5-7 policemen were standing on
the road with guns pointed at the drunk man, who was finally forced to stop, was
arrested and put into prison.
After a few months of his term, he was released and came back to India, a
very good friend of his met him and asked, "So how was the prison in the
To this the person replied " Better than my home in India, there we had
24 hrs cold and hot flowing water, it was fully air conditioned, it had a bigger
T.V. set than the one I have here in India, it had so many indoor games, a
library with more books than any one in India, it was so comfortable that when
my term ended, I left the prison with a feeling of regret".
Dear Devotees, the comparison we are hinting here is that this world (this
life) is a prison cell and we are all prisoners. Now what type of cell we
are put in, depends on our crime committed or so called "karmas" of
this birth as well as previous births. We may be put in an A class cell, with
all the money and facilities of life, or a B class cell, which corresponds to
middle class families or a C class cell, which corresponds to the poor class.
If we are a part of the rich, we are in A class cells, where we have all the
comforts of life and somehow start to love this life and feel horrible at the
time of parting with this life and can go to any extent to save ourselves from
losing our lives.
But after all we must not forget that this is a prison cell, whether A class
or C class, and our main aim must be to get out of this prison cell.
By trying to make connections with the wardens or jailors, all we can do is
improve our quality of stay in the cell, but cannot get out of it, so these
jailors/wardens are compared to the Devi/Devtaas, whom we can pray to for a
better lifestyle and solutions to our problems, but they cannot give us
liberation. The only way we can get liberation is by a Presidential
Pardon. Now how can a prisoner approach the President for a Pardon ?? It
has to be with the help of a lawyer. A lawyer is a person who can come in and
out of the prison but the prison rules do not apply on Him, so the lawyer here
corresponds to a Spiritual Leader or a Guru and it is this Lawyer (Guru) who
will prepare the application to the President (God) for our pardon so that we
can get liberated out of this prison cell (Moksha)
This in short, very clearly explains the importance of a Guru and also proves
that no one can achieve oneness with God (Moksha) without the help or without
the following of a Guru.
In conclusion, there is one more thing which we must never forget and often
it is misunderstood, which is that when anything bad happens to us, we think
that it is happening to us due to some bad karma performed in the past and so it
is a lesson for us to only try and do good karmas so that nothing bad happens to
us, but this is not the correct way of thinking, actually when something bad
happens to us - it is for us to realize that we are not in the right
place. This world is not a place for us, it is just a prison cell, and we
have to find a way to get out of this place - once again, the only way to do it
is to surrender to your lawyer, in other words total surrender at the feet of
your Guru or the Lord and leave it on Him to take you out permanently from this
cycle of birth and death.