Hindu Teachings on law of karma

There are three kinds of karma, according to the Hindu teachings, namely:
1.There is the Samchita, or 'piled up' Karma—the whole mass that still remains behind the man not yet worked out—the entire unpaid balance of the debit and credit account.

2. There is the Prarabdha, or 'beginning' Karma—the amount apportioned to the man at the commencement of each life—his destiny for that life, as it were.

3.There is the Kriomana Karma, that which we are now, by our actions in this present life, making for the future.

That second type, the Prarabdha Karma, is the only destiny which can be said to exist for man. That is what an astrologer might foretell for us—that we have apportioned to us so much good or evil fortune—so much the result of the good and evil actions of our past lives which will react on us in this. But we should remember always that this result of previous action can never compel us to action
in the present. It may put us under conditions in which it will be difficult to avoid an act, but it can never compel us to commit it. The man of ordinary development would probably yield to the circumstances and commit the act; but he may assert his free will, rise superior to the circumstances, and gain a victory and a step in evolution. So with a good action, no man is forced into that either, but an opportunity is given to him. If he takes it certain results will follow—not necessarily a happy or a wealthy life next time, but certainly a life of wider opportunity. That seems to be one of the things that are quite certain—that the man who has done well in this life has always the opportunity of doing still better in the next. This is nature's reward for good work—the opportunity to do more work. Of course, wealth is a great opportunity, so the reward often comes in that form, but the essence of the reward is the opportunity and not the pleasure which may be supposed to accompany the wealth."

As all these phases of Karma have sway over the individual man, so they similarly operate upon races, nations and families. Each race has its karma as a whole. If it be good, that race goes forward; if bad, it goes out—annihilated as a race—though the souls concerned take up their karma in other races and bodies. Nations cannot escape their national karma, and any nation that has acted in a wicked manner must suffer some day, be it soon or late."

To sum up the idea of individual unhappiness in any life, as follows: "(a) It is punishment for evil done in past lives; or (b) it is discipline taken up by the Ego for the purpose of eliminating defects or acquiring fortitude and sympathy. When defects are eliminated it is like removing the obstruction in an irrigating canal which then lets the water flow on. Happiness is explained in the same way—the result of prior lives of goodness.

Every single bit of pain and unhappiness in this life is the result of some bad deed done either in the present life or in the past, and every bit of happiness, joy or pleasure, the result of some good action performed either in the present or past life. This conception of Karma affords us the most intricate, complex and detailed idea of reward for good, and punishment for evil (even when called "the operation of natural law") possible to the mind of man. In its entirety, and carried to its last refinement of interpretation and analysis, it has a tendency to bewilder and terrify, for the chance of escape from its entangling machinery seems so slight. But still, the same authorities inform us that every soul will surmount these obstacles, and everyone will Attain—so there is no need to be frightened, even if you accept the interpretation of doctrine in its completeness.


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