What is karma?
Even though karma is intricately woven into our everyday existence, shaping our lives and directing our evolution, it remains largely misunderstood. Only by raising our karma consciousness, can we hope to improve our lives and create a more compassionate and loving environment around us.Here are some myths about karma.
Myth 1 – Karma is vengeful: As a universal law designed to maintain harmony and balance through divine justice,among parts of a greater whole called God, karma is anything but vengeful. It is instructive, not vindictive. It strives to purify, not punish. It aspires to remedy the unloving vices that afflict human behaviour, causing separation, so we can learn to coexist more lovingly.
Myth 2 – Karma is destiny: Karma is not a predetermined blueprint of life. It is an always changing set of influences that determine what is required to refine and balance the afflictions of our soul and help us overcome ignorance and darkness. Good karma earned in past lives brings us many easy opportunities to evolve and grow. Similarly, a conscious willingness to remedy the poor karma of our past can alter the uninspiring default destiny we are born with.Through the scrupulous use of discrimination,onepointed focus and strong will power, we can burn karma’s rope and upgrade our destiny.
Myth 3 – If I do good karma, I will be born to luxury: Divine laws are not driven by human needs and desires.They are designed to uphold truth and purity. Souls choose experiences to learn unlearnt lessons, develop fortitude, and cultivate empathy and compassion.Although good karma earns us some creature comforts, these are usually aligned to the soul’s purpose and syllabus. If a soul deserving of kingly comforts chooses to develop spiritually, it may prefer being born as the son of the temple high priest, rather than a king, because it will have many more opportunities to serve people, learn wisdom teachings, engage in spiritual practices and yet, it wont need to worry about food or shelter.
Myth 4 – Hardships or suffering means we have bad karma: Many old souls choose difficult lives so they can help others grow. By doing this, they build their good karma balance instead of expending it.When a soul agrees to live a wheelchair- ridden life, or incarnates as an autistic, it helps its earth parents and caregivers to develop patience, tolerance, generosity,empathy and love.The suffering of such people may appear to be the consequence of bad karma, but it’s more likely that these are ‘karma-rich’ good souls because it takes immense courage for a soul to choose such a hard life.
Myth 5 – Karma cannot be dissipated: Those who gain a deep understanding of how life works, recognise that karmic imprints can be counter-balanced by conscious forces of equal measure.They realise that the effects of bad karma can be restrained by curbing negative thoughts, letting go of lower tendencies, rising above attractions and repulsions, and learning to give and forgive. By controlling vices and cultivating insights, acceptance, forbearance and wilful surrender, one can reduce the impact of an unkind past. Karma is a wise teacher. If the student learns his lessons spontaneously,karma willingly reduces the hardships designed to teach him.
Myth 6 – Our guru will redeem our bad karmas:A guru removes our darkness, not our karmas. He helps us see the oneness of all things. Karma teaches us this lesson through cause and effect.Unloving causes (thoughts,speech, and actions) initiated by us, bring us unloving effects (suffering).The wisdom mind awakens through insight,and most humans awaken to insight through suffering. By redeeming our karmas, a guru would effectively be depriving us of the opportunity to learn and grow. A true guru will never do this because his sole concern is our spiritual purification and evolution.
¦ Myth 7 – Karma no longer applies: Many internet theories abound, claiming that karma no longer applies in the fifth dimensional consciousness that humanity is presently moving into.This is a misconception. Karma is a universal law of the earth plane.The only possibility for its redundancy maybe in a future time when everyone has learnt to love selflessly.That remains a distant dream in our greed and power- driven world. A century ago, the learned theosophist,Annie Besant said that the only way to be free is to ‘study karma, and apply our knowledge to the guidance of our lives.’ This is true even today.