Go on efficiently doing your duty at all times without attachment.
Doing work without attachment, man attains the supreme. – Bhagvad-Gita
Karma in simple terms means action. One can think of Karma as a spiritual equivalent to Newton’s Law of motion. “For every action there is an equal reaction”. If one exhibits negative force through thought, word or action, that negative energy will be resonated back. Karma is an endless cycle of deeds and thoughts a soul passes through. The present body can be considered as a sleeve the soul wears temporarily till its expiry (death). Different religions have multiple variations of Karma, with a common base line of action & reward. A soul breaks these karmic cycles when it stops building new Karma, achieving Moksha/Nirvana.
Important laws of Karma:
- Cause & Effect – As you sow, so shall you reap. Whatever one puts into the universe comes back to them.
- Creation – whatever surrounds us, gives direction to our inner state. Surround yourself with what you want to have in your life.
- Humility – there is good and bad existing in this world like Ying & Yang. If one keeps focusing on the negative traits or beings around them, they’ll not be able to focus on higher strata of life. Accept everything with a positive stride, in order to bring change.
- Growth – to grow spiritually one should understand there is no control on anything but ourselves. If we want to change anything around us, we have to start changing ourselves. Because that is the only thing we have control over. When we change our coding, life and universe follows suit and change accordingly.
- Responsibility – whatever we are, our situation, our condition or current status is all our doing. We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors us. One must take responsibility for what is in one’s life.
- Connection – everything in the universe is connected. There is no big, small, important or immaterial task. Each step leads to the next step. Neither the first or the last step are of greater significance, they are both needed to complete the task.
- Focus – focus is a very feeble thing, it is very hard to gain, but once gained it comes with immense rewards. Second important aspect about focus is, it is unilateral. One can focus on one thing at a time.
- Giving – when we start understanding the make of this universe, one realises that there is nothing that can be possessed or called as ‘my property’. Everything is temporary and it keeps changing hands. Hence sharing, helping and giving back to the world is the purest form of love and good one can do.
- Here & Now – one should live life by each moment, by the minute by the hour and by the day. This is true bliss! Examining your past and being lost in old thoughts, deeds, patterns or behaviour only brings misery. One should always take lessons from the past, treat each day as a present and not worry about the future.
- Change – change is the only constant in the universe. To change our course of life we need to change our old habits, old patterns and old attitude, once we take control, life will follow the path we choose.
- Patience & Reward – “You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work” – Bhagvad-Gita. Every reward comes in time, with initial grind. Rewards of lasting nature require patience and persistence. True bliss comes from what one likes to do, keeping in mind that reward comes in its own time.
Karma is a lifestyle that inspires positive thinking & actions. It should not be considered as a punishment, but it exists for the sake of education.
In Jainism, there are 8 types of Karmas that attach a soul to samsara (the cycle of death & birth). When one breaks out of these karmas, the soul is liberated from samsara and attains Nirvana. The 8 karmas are:
- Gyanavarniya – knowledge obstructing
- Darshanavarniya – perception obstructing
- Vedaniya – sensation producing
- Mohniya – deluding
- Ayu – lifespan determining
- Namm – body producing
- Gotra – status determining
- Antaray – power obstructing
Every religion speaks about Karma in its own way and methods of breaking the karmic cycle. But the common factor between all of them is – what you give is what you get. We are all connected and our actions, deeds and thoughts affect the environment around us, and the same energy is reverberated back at us.
- Do good and good will follow.
- Accept whatever you get, with time you’ll get what you deserve.
- The only thing you control is yourself. So, if you want to change something, change yourself and the world will follow.
- Live in the present, because past is gone and future is unknown.