Law of Karma and Rebirth

ammassridhar's picture



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Law of Karma and Rebirth

Swami Brahmeshananda

A former editor of THE VEDANTA KESARI, the author is presently the Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Chandigarh.

Question: How do we explain why people suffer and how our service to them is a part of the law of Karma?

Answer: Suppose a number of people have suffered loss of life and property due to a natural calamity like earthquake. A situation like this, it is believed, arises on account of the collective Karma of the affected people. Though a situation is caused by collective Karma, there can be great differences in how various individuals react to it. One person may be busy in making money by overcharging the injured or looting the helpless or only looking after his near and dear ones, another may engage himself in serving others out of sheer compassion. A person with spiritual inclination may offer his services to the affected people with an attitude of worshiping God through them (narayana seva).

Question: How do the three types of sufferings (viz. adhyatmika, adhidaivika, and adhibhoutika) affect the life after and before death?

Answer: Everyone has to face the three types of suffering. Though they have nothing to do with life after or before death, our reaction to all the experiences that we face does make a difference in our life. What is, therefore, important is how you react to them.

Question: If a person has fulfilled all his desires in life, can he escape from rebirth?

Answer: Yes. But all desires can never be fulfilled by enjoyment. One has to go beyond all desires by discrimination and prayer and other spiritual disciplines. Pray incessantly to God to make you desireless.

Question: According to the principle of reincarnation, one soul, at the time of death, leaves one body and goes to another body. Then how the population of mankind is increasing?

Answer: Indeed when a person leaves his gross body, his subtle body travels, according to the law of Karma, to another gross body. That is how man is reborn, and this continues as long as man has desire, the material that makes a subtle body. But many other animal species are getting extinct. Are they getting evolved into human beings? Says Swami Vivekananda in his Complete Works (CW, 1: 430-31):

`. . . only man makes Karma. Karma means work which will produce effect. When a man dies and becomes a Deva, he has only a period of pleasure, and during that time, makes no fresh Karma; it is simply a reward for his past good Karma. When the good Karma is worked out, then the remaining Karma begins to take effect, and he comes down to earth. He becomes man again, and if he does very good works, and purifies himself, he goes to Brahmaloka and comes back no more . . .It is a significant fact that as the human population is increasing, the animal population is decreasing. The animal souls are all becoming men. So many species of animals have become men already. Where else have they gone?'

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Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

Question: How do we explain

Question: How do we explain why people suffer and how our service to them is a part of the law of Karma?

E)~~~People suffer because they reject the oposites of existence. Being conditioned to believe in good and evil we cling to good and reject evil, thus, when our desires are not met we suffer. To serve such people we are required to teach them opposites of existence and called in the Bible "sowing to the spirit". We teach them pains and pleasures alike are only present for a short, time therefore do not persue pleasure nor reject pains, accept them for their short times.

Question: How do the three types of sufferings (viz. adhyatmika, adhidaivika, and adhibhoutika) affect the life after and before death?

E)~~~All types of sufferings are self induced to recognize how others felt under those conditions. All are based on past lives or future lives since we all incarnate in a predetermined pattern from our first life-type until man, the last life-type.

Question: If a person has fulfilled all his desires in life, can he escape from rebirth?

E)~~~One can escape rebirth only after they have balanced all material karma. What happens is upon balancing Karma the person begans to remember all past lives and integrate those attributes into a whole personality giving us "everlsating life". Everlasting life is maintaining the body for a time of such length we can call it forever.

Question: According to the principle of reincarnation, one soul, at the time of death, leaves one body and goes to another body. Then how the population of mankind is increasing?

E)~~~The ghosts, breaths or life-force-mind-combinations [the soul is the body, ghost and mind integrated into a whole being] do not always immediately enter another temple upon discarnating. Some wait years, others wait centuries, some wait the whole cycle of material and spiritual civilizations of man while a few reincarnates immediately. During the termination of the material civilization [once the spiritual civilization commence there is no birth nor death]the total number of different incarnations during the 84,000 year civilization will incarnate during the last days of the civilization. This is the time of "Cali Yuga" when the largest number of man goes into "everlasting life".

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Elijah "NatureBoy"--If I have caused you to question your beliefs I have accomplished my mission. Now, reason the differences in our concepts and reason that until you have reasoned all pros and cons and integratede them.

Elijah_NatureBoy | Wed, 09/10/2008 - 02:30
leo's picture

Frankly, I think people

Frankly, I think people suffer out of the fear from nothingness which means for the mind a threat of nonexistence (as mind is movements of excitements, attachments, thoughts = things) and so like any other entity in nature it fights for its survival by provoking a stress we call boredom, fear of emptiness etc.

I have met people who were tacitly "enjoying" their suffering, being satisfied unconsciously from the fact thatt there is something there in the mind to play with, be it even a bad thing.

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If I have caused MYSELF to question MY beliefs I have accomplished my mission.

leo | Wed, 09/10/2008 - 08:17
Phroggy's picture

Absotively. Ego drama of the

Absotively. Ego drama of the worst kind is created and perpetuated as a convenient way to self stimulate.

BTW, love the sig. Hehe.

Phroggy | Wed, 09/10/2008 - 08:41