The Sanskrit word karma
has two closely related meanings, which reflect two
phases of the same process: a) activity influencing
the formation of one’s destiny (this gave the origin
of the term karma yoga), and b) consequences
of such activity, i.e. destiny proper.
This article discusses the second
Formation of karma
Everyone builds one’s own destiny
oneself — by decisions and corresponding deeds which
have ethical significance. Depending on such deeds
of a person, the Holy Spirit (Brahman), Who controls
our destinies, chooses for that person the place
where he or she will be born, chooses the parents,
the body, the illnesses for incarnation of that
person, also chooses what people — good or bad,
clever or fool — that person will meet, etc.
In particular, if we make
unjustified harm to a living being, then by this
action we program a similar situation to occur in
our own lives — but this time we will be the victim.
contrary, kind thought, emotions, and deeds create
This is called
the law of karma — the law of destiny
In this way
God teaches us not to do evil deeds, teaches us to
be compassionate to the pain of others — He teaches
us through our own pain.
remember: by causing pain to others, we program pain
to occur in our own destinies; by stealing now, we
form our destinies so that we will be robbed, etc.
The only way to avoid such consequences is to reform
and to repent sincerely: so that we rid ourselves of
the very ability to do such deeds.
of the law of karma is not limited by the time of
one incarnation; its effect is manifested in the
next lives as well. This is why, in particular, sick
children are born.
and acquired karma
The destiny of
every one of us is composed of two interlacing
destiny lines — the inborn one and the one acquired
in this life.
if children are born with some kind of bodily defect
or acquire it at a very young age — this is their
inborn destiny, i.e. complication of their lives as
a result of their making gross mistakes in previous
grow up, they acquire the ability to make ethically
important decisions. As a result of these decisions,
the destiny line in the current incarnation is
formed. It gradually starts to prevail and then even
to dominate over the inborn one.
Thus, an unfavorable destiny can
be completely changed if we develop ourselves in the
versa, a good destiny can be degraded by one’s own
ethical mistakes in the current incarnation.
Destiny is not
some sort of a mechanical law defined by stars or
planets, as astrologers claim. Destiny is the direct
guidance that we receive from God — from the Supreme
Consciousness, Who possesses Omnipresence,
Omniscience, absolute Love, Wisdom, and Power.
He leads every one of us to Himself, into
Himself. If we move the right way — then He
encourages us by giving us a feeling of bliss, but
if we turn away from the Straight Path to Him — He
points out to this by causing us some kind of pain.
incarnated or non-incarnated life
note that there is a difference between a) formation
of good or bad karma during life in the material
body b) predetermination of the qualities of the
the problem of what abode we prepare ourselves to
live in after the death of our bodies — hell,
paradise, or Divine eons. And it depends not only on
our actions but also on the levels of
subtlety-coarseness that we have accustomed
ourselves to during life in the physical body.
words, the quality of the abode where the soul
appears after the death of the body is determined by
the emotional status to which we got accustomed
during life in the material body.
The abode of
those living in subtle, pure emotional states will
be paradise, at the least.
predetermine themselves to abide in hell after