In Sanskrit a mental or physical act is called karma. Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is also the word used to describe the consequence of this act, and hence what we call 'fate'. Our fate is nothing other than the sum of the consequences of our past actions in this and previous lives. Every thought you think, every word you speak, every act you initiate, initiates a force that will react accordingly. It is equivalent to Newton’s law in physics, that every action must have a reaction. This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people are not able eradicate it.
This law of cause and effect is not reward, punishment, payback, or retribution, it simply is how things function in the manifested universe.
A person may not escape the consequences of their actions, and will suffer only if the person himself or herself has ripened the conditions for their suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether laws are man-made or universal.
However after a person has achieved liberation in yoga, their acts will cease to produce karma. The remainder of their earthly life will be governed only by the karmas which were already in existence before their liberation. Like an actor on the last night of a play, s/he knows that play will never be performed again, no matter how well s/he play their part, not matter whether the audience boos or applauds. S/he has nothing to gain or lose by their performance, nwevertheless s/he must play it through to the end until the final curtain falls and s/he can go home.The actions of a person who has achieved liberation are performed as it were, from memory. They are like remembered actions of a dream.
To become empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here are some pointers about karmic laws.
Cause and Effect, The Great Law
- “As you sow, so shall you reap.” This is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect.”
- If what you want is happiness, peace, love, and friendship, then you need to BE happy, peaceful, loving and a true friend.
- Whatever you put out in the Universe is what comes back to you.
The Law of Creation
- Life doesn’t just happen. It requires your participation, conscious or unconscious!
- We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
- Whatever surrounds you provides clues to your inner state.
- Be yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have in your life.
The Law of Humility
- You can’t change something if you refuse to accept it.
- If what you see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that you deem to be negative, then you yourself are not focused on a higher level of existence.
The Law of Growth
- “Wherever you go, there you are.”
- To grow in Spirit, we must change, and not the people, places or things around us.
- The only given you have in your life is yourself, and that is the only factor you have control over.
- When you change who and what you are within your heart, your life follows suit and change too.
The Law of Responsibility
- Whenever there appears to be something wrong in our lives, there is something wrong within us.
- We mirror what surrounds us, and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
- We must take responsibility for what is in our life.
The Law of Connection
- Even if something you do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
- Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
- Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
- Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance, as they were both needed to accomplish the task.
- Past, Present and Future are all connected.
The Law of Focus
- You cannot think of two things at the same time.
- Because of this, when our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is impossible for us to harbour lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
The Law of Giving and Hospitality
- If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
- Here is where we put what we claim that we have learned into actual practice.
The Law of Here and Now
- Looking backward to examine what was, or forward to worry about the future, prevents us from being totally in the here and now.
- Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, and old dreams block and prevent us from having new ones.
The Law of Change
- History will continue to repeat itself until you learn the lessons that you need to change your path.
The Law of Patience and Reward
- All rewards require initial toil.
- Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
- True joy comes from doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and understanding that this is the reward. However, often knowing about the reward will come in its own time.
The Law of Significance and Inspiration
- You get back from something whatever you have put into it.
- The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
- Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
- Lackluster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
- Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire, the Whole.
Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.
Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography
Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime.