What is Karma?
Karma is a psychic equivalent of Newton’s theory of action and reaction, the psychic equivalent of Newtonian physics, for as far as you push in one direction, the pendulum is going to swing back an equal arc on the other side.
Karma in essence is a principle, that for every turn of the mind-body complex and every action in the external world there must be an inevitable consequence.
Basis of Karma
This is not to alter your belief system. You may or may not agree with the concept of life after life, an endless cycle of birth and death and rebirth but it doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not, that is of no consequence.
Half the world’s population believe in the doctrine of Samsara – the eternal bondage of rebirth the cycle of life and death. Buddhists, Hindus and offshoots of Buddhism and Hinduism and Esoteric teachings in the West all agree upon this and consequently reincarnation has become a formal doctrine with half the population of this planet.
There is an outer teaching and there is also an inner or esoteric meaning to the concept of reincarnation.
Life after Life or Thought after Thought
This is one aspect of the esoteric or inner teaching about the doctrine concerning ‘life after life’.
What does reincarnate, in endless rounds of birth after birth, is the chain of associational thinking that eternally goes on within all of us.
Each thought is a birth and each cessation of the thought is a death.
The tendency for us is to ‘recycle’ our thoughts in ever-recurring patterns.
The Yogi gains freedom from the wheel of rebirth by sacrificing thinking for being.
Types of Karma
We have the following three categories of Karma: SaBija Karma, Agami Karma & Parabdhra Karma
SaBija Karma is the cycle of events that happened to you in the womb and continues to affect you after birth. It means that at the moment of birth there are seeds of Karma already within you, which may or may not be sprouted, and each of us in this room is carrying around SaBija Karma, and it can be sprouted at any moment.
“The seeds of destiny already stored as a result of former lives, but which have not yet begun to germinate. Left alone, these would generate in time a set of latent dispositions, which would yield a biography, but they are still in the seed-state: they have not yet begun to sprout, mature, and transform themselves into the harvest of a life.” – Heinrich Zimmer; Philosophies of India
Agami Karma is Karma that we collect during our life after birth and the seeds are there but not yet sprouted, they can be sprouted at any moment and they are the result of inevitable action and reaction or consequences to things that we have done.
“The mental and physical acts performed by an individual in the present life, the fruits of which are to be reaped in the future.” A Ramakrishna -Vedanta Wordbook
There exists a third type of Karma and that third type of Karma is known as Parabdhra Karma. Parabdhra Karma is Karma that has already sprouted and nothing can stop it. It is the consequences absolutely one hundred percent unavoidable. No one can stop Parabdhra Karma!
It is Parabdhra Karma when the seed is sprouted and the consequences are already clearly and irrevocably manifest. Parabdhra Karma may be described as ‘Kinetic Karma’ i.e. in full motion.
“The seeds collected and stored in the past that have actually begun to grow; i.e., the Karma bearing fruit in the shape of actual events.” Heinrich Zimmer; Philosophies of India.