Karma and Divine Laws

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Each deed, each word, each thought has a karmic consequence of its own. As you sow, so shall you reap. This is the divine law. So sow in the soil of your mind and in the garden of your heart, only seeds of divine love and divine understanding. Perhaps no other law in nature controls our lives as does this one law. God created the laws of nature, but is himself beyond law. And while he may be approached with devotion, it is vital to live in harmony with His laws.

The law of karma urges you to think before you act, and to be wise in your expressions in speech. God in His great kindness has given us divine gifts of free choice, reason, and will. Before we act, we have an option, but once we do, we are bound by the consequences of our act. Transgression of karmic laws will delay man in his spiritual development.

Karma is the fruits, the good or evil effects, of action. Action of itself is a manifestation of energy. So every action, be it physical, mental, or spiritual is energy in motion. Energy by itself is devoid of emotion and so is not bound by the conditioning of good and evil. Energy is energy, vibrating at a subtle or a gross frequency.

Appropriately, the effects of each of your actions are either good or evil, only in the sense as we may define good or evil. Good actions may be simply defined as those that serve to bring about harmony in the internal and external states of the body, mind, and the soul, and evil actions as those that strengthen the fetters of maya and imprison us further in the cocoon of ignorance.

In the practical sense, actions done with the consciousness of God as the Doer, bring divine returns and those done in the consciousness of the ego reap gross returns. If at a party you pamper your palate on delicious and difficult-to-digest food, you probably end up with dyspepsia, but if you eat wisely and think that it is God eating through you and surrender the act of eating at the feet of the Divine, you actually undergo a certain level of purification of the consciousness and thereby also of your body!

As soon as you are confronted with a want, check within to see whether it is wholesome or not. Anything that is wholesome will lead you away from material enslavement to the lake of true happiness. Every act is good that will bring forth a blossoming of your inner divine qualities and understanding.

In some cultures of the world, one is not considered evil if one's actions are not evil, but just as ideation preceded creation, thoughts precede action. Within the realms of your inner consciousness, your thoughts are more powerful than your actions. The nature of your thoughts will draw to you like circumstances and if the level of feeling is intrinsically high in a particular set of thoughts, stronger proportionately will be the manifestation of their karmic effect. Animals live by instinct and have no discrimination, and thereby are free from individual karma. They are governed by the influences of their environment and by mass karma, but man is a free agent. So guard the cave of your thoughts and muse only on good and powerful positive thoughts.

Almost all of us undergo the throes of misery at one time or the other in our lives. And at every prickly thorn on the path, we are quick to blame others for our troubles. The law of karma educates us in the realization that we alone are responsible and to blame for all that befalls us - be it grave ill-health, a broken marriage, misunderstandings in daily life, or something else.

God created us free, and with free choice and the inner wisdom to see creation as He sees it. But over time, we have let our outwardly turned senses rule roost over our minds and our lives. Suffering comes because we have broken some pertinent law of nature ... either in a distant life or in the recent past.

Suffering comes as a result of man's own delusion, and also as a consequence of mass karma. Suffering has a purpose and seeks to awaken the divine strength in you, that with courage and determination you may imbue the lesson that life is striving to teach you. Until you absorb the underlying lesson, Nature will keep slotting you into those very troublesome circumstances again and again.

God urges you to refrain from identification with creation and its protagonists. In sleep you experience a garish nightmare, but when you awake, you see it was only a dream. Similarly this whole creation is a dream in the consciousness of God, and if you identify only with His consciousness, then delusive pain, desires, actions will no longer bind you with the chords of karma.

The only real way to escape from the karmic law therefore is to realize the Self within. As a thumb rule, do all your deeds without desire for the fruit of action and in all that you do, feel and realize that it is God who is the Doer and not you. Destiny, fate, luck, are creations of the human mind. Everything in nature is born of a scientific law and what man ignorantly calls destiny is nothing but 'effects', the cause of which he himself set into motion in the past.

Karma is the law of action and is rooted in the law of causation. It is as applicable to our family lives as it is to our professional, business, or academic experiences. Action can be born of current influences of environment, inner impulses and acquired habits, or of habits and influences of past lives. We are therefore responsible for all our actions, even those born of uncontrolled innate impulses, for we ourselves created those impulses through actions in past lives.

The scriptures teach us that good and bad effects of actions in the present life settle down into the subconscious and those that are brought over from the past are submerged in the subtle state of the super conscious. Here these seeds stay until one starts to awaken spiritually and work out their effects. As a general principle, ordinary man stirs his subconscious karmic baggage first, and simultaneously starts to relieve the weight of karma stored in the super conscious primarily through the practice of specific spiritual techniques, including meditation.

In the fire of scientific meditation, one may roast the brain cell grooves of past evil deeds, and will the awakening of past health and success tendencies. Change your life patterns by continually doing good karma, so that the weight of the good within slowly but surely drowns the evil and no matter what your pain, acquire the tenacity of mind to stay detached in the emotion of each situation. God has not damned us eternally. Sin is a coating, a parasite. As souls we descend into earth to work out these sins, and experience the good karma. When this process of 'working out' is completed we will be free to be one with God again.

Life is prompting us to look at the futility of living without Him. Depend less on man and opportunity and more on His grace. Continue to be virtuous even when sorely tried in every possible way. The balance of the tide will eventually sway your way, and good fortune, happiness, and peace will be yours for the asking.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda said, "To seek things only for yourself is destructive; to seek things for others is expensive; but to seek to please God is the best attitude. It will lead you directly into the Divine Presence".