Chapter VIII

Karmas – Actions and Deeds

Each thought, each word and each deed has to be accounted and compensated for in Nature. Every cause has an effect and every action brings about a reaction. Uproot the cause and the effect disappears. This has been done by the Masters Who have transcended these laws, but all others are bound by the bonds of karma, which is the root-cause of physical existence and the clever device of Nature to maintain this existence. The law of karma sees to it that we are paid an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, in the shape of joy or suffering.

It is the goading whip in the hidden hands of Nature.

The mind contracts karma, puts a covering on the soul and rules the body through the organs and the senses. Although it is the soul that imparts strength to the mind, the latter has assumed sovereignty and is governing the soul instead. Control of the mind, therefore, is the first step to Spirituality.

Victory over the mind is victory over the world.

Even accomplished yogis and mystics who can transcend to high Spiritual Realms are not left untouched by the hand of karma.

Saints classify karmas into three distinct groups, as follows:

1) Sanchit – stored:

Good or bad deeds that stand to our account as earned and contracted in all previous bodies of the order of Creation, counting from the day of the first appearance of life on earth. Alas! Man knows nothing about them or their extent.

2) Pralabdh – Fate or Destiny:

The result and effect of which has brought man into his present body and has to be paid off in this life. The reactions of these karmas come to us unexpectedly and unperceived and we have no control over them whatsoever. Good or bad, we have to tolerate or bear this karma laughing or weeping, as it happens to suit us.

3) Kriyaman – Account of our actions and deeds in the present body:

This is distinct from the above mentioned two groups, as here, man is free to do exactly as he pleases within certain limits. Knowingly or unknowingly, deeds committed and coming under this heading bear fruit. The result of some of these we reap before we die and the residue is transferred to the Sanchit storehouse.

Karma is the cause of rebirth, and each birth is in turn followed by death. Thus the cycle of enjoyment and suffering, which are concomitants of birth and death, continues.

As you think, so you become,

is an unalterable Law of Nature, owing to which this Universe exists.

No amount of integrity or genius can absolve a man so long as there is the slightest trace of karma. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and though there may be some concession or relaxation with man-made laws under special circumstances, there is no such allowance made for this in Nature’s Laws. Prayer, confession and atonement may give temporary mental relief but they cannot overcome karma. All karma must be wiped out completely before permanent salvation can be had.

Disturbed by these facts, man seeks solace in deep pious doctrines, or when he comes to know that both good and bad deeds are fetters – one of gold, the other of iron – he turns to renunciation. Different faiths promise relief but he soon finds out that this is only temporary.

How then does a Master approach this problem?

At the time of initiation, the Master begins the process of winding up all karmas of the initiate.

He gives him a contact with the Sound Current, by practising which the Sanchit account is burnt away. The process is similar to putting a handful of seeds in a pan and placing them on a fire, which then causes the seeds to puff up and lose their property of growing again.

Then the Kriyaman account is dealt with. After warning his disciples to guard against opening any new account of bad deeds, the Master grants a general clemency in respect of past deeds, part of which the disciple has already settled in this life up to the time of initiation. He is enjoined to lead a clean life and to weed out all imperfections in him by self-introspection from day to day.

The Pralabdh Karma is not touched by Saints because this is the cause of the physical body, which would vanish due to the interference with Nature’s Laws. Thus a very small amount of karma now remains to be tolerated in the physical body for the remaining years of the disciple’s life, but even this is softened by the Grace of the Master. The law of Grace works wonders and a devotee, who out of loving devotion, reposes all his hopes in the Master, passes off unscathed from the pinching effects of the reactions of past karmas. In moments of misery, worry and trouble, the Master is our refuge. He acts unperceived at any distance. Just as a mother of a sick child holds the child securely in her lap during an operation so that it does not feel any pain, so too the Master holds us in His loving embrace.

Out of Their abundance of sympathy, Love and kindness, the Saints at times take upon Their own shoulders some karmic sufferings of Their disciples through the Law of Sympathy. There is no court of trial after death for a devoted disciple. The Master is all in all for him.

Why does a Master-Saint take all this on Himself?

Because He inherits His merciful nature from God above, Who commissions Him to personally distribute this treasure of Mercy. Thus, the Master is honoured like God. Sant Mat has volumes of books written in praise of the Masters, and if just as many more books were to be written, it would hardly do justice to the vastness of Their Love and kindness.

Time casts its heavy shadow over man. He has to toil hard to keep pace with the changing times. So deeply is he absorbed in his external needs and desires that he forgets all about contentment, sympathy and Love. Entangled and surrounded by the Deadly Five – lust, anger, greed, attachment and vanity – he stumbles and cries out to the Unseen for help. Heaven’s Mercy is stirred and as times stiffen, the Almighty extends His help through the Masters more and more lavishly. Such is the case in this Kali Yuga – the Iron Age.

It is indeed very hard to believe that anyone can be above the five passions mentioned above, and that he can enter the Kingdom of Heaven during his lifetime. All mankind is under the control of these five and only a Master can save a man from their clutches. We all demand reliable proof before committing ourselves, and this is given by a Master in the shape of an experience of the Life-Impulse, or Naam – the Word –, and some Inner Vision. Contact with a Master is essential. Those who keep aloof and depend on themselves or rely on tradition and priests – equally ignorant as themselves – are deprived of contact with this Power, and as the saying goes,

When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch.

Indifference, non-acceptance or disbelief will not be to our advantage when Nature enforces its universal ordinance – death. Our position will be that of a pigeon who, on seeing a cat approaching, shuts its eyes and believes that the cat cannot then molest it, but in a few seconds, the poor bird is in the powerful jaws of the cat. It is then too late to think of escape.

So be alert while there is yet time!