Whatever we get is the result of our actions. however, it is possible to impact our future karma by changing our thoughts, words and deeds.
How many times have we groused to ourselves that life is unfair? Each time our sibling got the larger slice of cake, or our classmate got the award we were eyeing, or our colleague bagged the promotion we were working for, we sang that litany.
However, the truth is that life is absolutely, scrupulously fair. We always get our just desserts. If we topped in school, married the spouse of our dreams or have a livelihood that we love, it is because we deserved it. On the other hand, if everything we touch crumbles into disaster, and misery upon misery piles upon us, it is because we have deserved that too.
How? It is karma that creates the life we lead. What is karma? Karma is the sum total of the fruits of our past thoughts, words and deeds. None of us enter this world with a clean slate. We are the product of our samskaras, the conditioning that coats us based on the lives we have led so far.
The sum total of all the karmas we have earned through all our innumerable lives is called Sanchita karma. The contours of each lifetime is based on the karmas that have ripened and are ready to fruit. This is called our prarabdha karma, and will determine the key circumstances of our present lives — such as the person we marry, the job we hold, when we die and so on.
Now here is where it gets interesting. Since our karma is caused by our past thoughts, words and deeds, we can positively impact our future karma by changing our thoughts, words and deeds. Karma is not a fatalistic concept at all. On the contrary, it tells us that we and only we, are responsible for our lives and that we, and only we, can make it better. It is not fate, destiny, God or the devil that has power over us — we are damned or redeemed by our own selves!
So quit brooding about the cards life has dealt you and determine instead to deal yourself a better hand. The best thing to do to get out of the hold of karma is to learn the lessons it holds for us. Illnesses, bad relationships, money problems, have all happened because of our belief systems and behaviours. Introspect and become aware of your own habitual thought and behavioural patterns. While you may need a little patience to void the circumstances and situations your karma has thrust you into, I promise you that with patience, the capacity to endure and the willingness to change, you will change your karma! A friend who was not on talking terms with her parents, has a great equation with them today. Another friend healed herself of what is considered to be an incurable disease by her dogged determination to pursue a cure, and the willingness to look within.
I, myself, have healed from various ailments and relationship situations because of my commitment to work on myself.
So if you are not happy with your present life, just do the inner work and you will have (not immediately but in the fullness of time) the life you long to have!
Oh, and guess what. If you think we are condemned to live out endless cycles of birth and death, thanks to the karma we keep on earning, life has given us one shot at freeing ourselves of the full baggage. And that is through enlightenment. The moment we have an enlightenment experience, our full store of sanchita karma earned through millions of lifetimes, burns up! All that we are left with is prarabdh karma, the conditioning of our present lifetime. If we deal effectively with that — we are home and free. What a jackpot!
The writer is the former editor-in-chief of Life Positive magazine and founder, facilitator of the Zen of Good Writing Course. Contact her at sumavarughese @gmail.com