Karma literally means “deed or act,” but more broadly describes the principle of cause and effect.
Simply stated, karma is the law of action and reaction which governs consciousness. In physics-the study of energy and matter-Sir Isaac Newton postulated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Push against a wall. Its material is molecularly pushing back with a force exactly equal to yours. In metaphysics, karma is the law that states that every mental, emotional and physical act, no matter how insignificant, is projected out into the psychic mind substance and eventually returns to the individual with equal impact.
Many people believe in the principle of karma, but don’t apply its laws to their daily life .There is a tendency to cry during times of personal crisis, “Why has God done this to me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?”
While consciousness creates and sustains the cosmic law of karma, it does not dispense individual karma. It does not produce cancer in one person’s body and develop Olympic athletic prowess in another’s. We create our own experiences. It is really an exercising of our soul’s powers of creation. Karma, then, is our best spiritual teacher.
An important lesson to learn is that karma is conditioned by intent
Life’s real attainment is not money, not material luxury, not sexual or eating pleasure, not intellectual, business or political power, or any other of the instinctive or intellectual needs. These are natural pursuits, but our divine purpose on this earth is to realize our identity and true reality.
This is now called by many names: enlightenment, Self-Realization, God-Realization and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. After many lifetimes of wisely being aware of the creation of karma and resolving past karmas when they return, the self is fully matured in the knowledge of these divine laws and the highest use of them.
Then there is no need for physical birth, for all lessons have been learned, all karmas fulfilled
That individual soul is then naturally liberated, freed from the cycle of birth, death & rebirth.
The belief in karma and reincarnation can bring to each Yogi inner peace and self-assurance.
The Yogi knows that the maturing of the soul takes many lives, and that if the soul is immature in the present birth, then there is hope, for there will be many opportunities for learning and growing in future lives.
This Knowing and the attitudes they produce eliminate anxiety, giving the serene perception that everything is all right as it is. And, there is also a keen insight into the human condition and appreciation for people in all stages of spiritual enfoldment.
There is no attitude that “ this is just their Karma” because from the realized interconnectedness of life there will come a need to help another human to alleviate their karma as best as your ability but with that will come a knowing that everything is “just “and life unfolds exactly as your karmic conditions allow.
You cant get away with anything
Karma operates not only individually, but also in ever-enlarging circles of group karma where we participate in the sum karma of multiple souls. This includes family, community, nation, race and religion,. So if we, individually or collectively, unconditionally love and give, we will be loved and given to. The individuals or groups who act soulfully or maliciously toward us are the vehicle of our own karmic creation. The people who manifest your karma are also living through past karma and simultaneously creating future karma. For example, if their karmic pattern did not include miserliness, they would not be involved in your karma of selfishness. Another person may express some generosity toward you, fulfilling the gifting karma of your past experience. Imagine how amazingly interconnected all the cycles of karma are for our planet’s life forms.
We spiritually learn and grow as our actions return to us to be resolved and dissolved. In this highest sense, there is no good and bad karma; there is self-created experience that presents opportunities for spiritual advancement. If we can’t draw lessons from the karma, then we resist and/or resent it, only to be confronted later with the same pattern of unresolved karma
Karma is also misunderstand as fate, an unchangeable destiny decreed long ago by agencies or forces external to us such as the planet and stars, or Gods. Karma is neither fate nor predetermination. Each soul has absolute free will Its only boundary is karma. God and Stars do not dictate the experiential events of our lives, nor do they test us.
Therefore, the Yogi knows that the belief in a single life on earth, followed by eternal joy or pain is wrong and causes great anxiety, confusion and fear. Yogis know that all souls reincarnate, take one body and then another, evolving through experience over long periods of time. Like the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into the butterfly, death doesn’t end our existence but frees us to pursue an even greater development.
In the Bhagavad Gita one of the greatest Yoga scriptures Krisna says to Arjuna, who is trembling with fear:
Like a man who cast off his old cloth puts on others that are new, thus the embodied self casts off old bodies and moves on to other that are new
Understanding the laws of the death process, the Yogi is vigilant of his thoughts and mental processes.. He knows that the contents of his mind at the point of death in large part dictate where he will function in the astral plane and the quality of his next birth.