2002 Kauai Innersearch Day 2, Part 2 Bodhinatha discusses three correct concepts about karmathat it is a universal system in place which works automatically, that it is divine, created by God for a specific purpose, and that it is our teacher.
We have three new correct concepts today to look at. First one is, karma is a divine system of justice. Sometimes this isn't mentioned at all. Every religion has some kind of justice built into it. Some religions say, "God punishes you. God rewards you", and so forth. Some teach you to fear God. Hinduism has a system of justice built into it, called the Law of Karma. In setting the whole system up, God put the Law of Karma in place as a system of justice, so He doesn't have to do anything anymore. It is a self-governing principle. He just put it in place. He put the Law of Gravity in place, this law in place, that law in place. When it comes to man's actions, He put in place the Law of Karma. He doesn't have to worry about it. He doesn't have to know what you did, punish you or reward you. It is all taken care of through the Law of Karma. It is a self-administrating system. It is in place, but it is divine. The point is divine, it was created by God on purpose. It is not just a fluke that there is a Law of Karma. But sometimes this isn't stressed enough, that it is there as part of the way God set up the Universe. The Law of Karma is there for good reason. It helps us, in many ways, grow spiritually.
One of the aspects of this divine system is you can never get away with anything. You know, the child can get away with something because the parents don't know, right? The adult gets away with something because the police never find out. The Law of Karma, no way. Everything you do, every action you do, creates a reaction. But it is not immediate. So, you have the illusion that you have gotten away with something. "Boy, nobody caught me. This is great. I will do it again." But what the wisdom is teaching you is, don't be so short-sighted here. Let us look in scripture to see what it says. It is says every action has a reaction. It says whatever we do, whatever good deed we do will eventually be rewarded. If someone gives money to a charity anonymously, that good deed will be rewarded even though no one knows he gave the money. If someone stole something and no one knows it was stolen, he will still receive the negative karma back from that, at some point in this or future life. So every action has a reaction, nothing is missed. That is the idea of karma being a divine system that is self-governing.
Second correct concept about karma is, karma is our teacher. In looking at the system of justice, what is the system of justice trying to do? What is the goal of this system of putting someone in jail, putting someone in jail again, if they do it a third time you increase the sentence and so forth, what is the point of that? You are trying to have them stop repeating the offense. You want them to stop doing the same thing. You are trying to prevent the repetition of this action. That is the goal of the justice system. It gives an appropriate punishment in hopes that that punishment will induce you to not do that again. Then you keep doing it, increases the punishment. You are going the wrong way here. You are supposed to not do it again. You are not supposed to do it again. If you do it a third time your punishment goes up again. The whole system is set up to encourage you not to be a repeat offender.
Karma is the same way. When it says karma is our teacher, what is it trying to teach us? It is trying to teach us not to make the same mistakes over and over again. That is what it is trying to teach us. So if we keep making the same mistakes over and over again, karma is not our teacher. We are not learning from it, we are not benefiting from it. It is not serving its purpose. In order for karma to be an effective teacher, we have to be an astute student. If we make a mistake, we don't become negative and go into self-doubt and self-criticism. No, we look at what did we do wrong, how can we avoid doing this wrong a second time. That is the goal. We don't want to repeat the same mistake.
Gurudeva says one way to tell a young soul from an old soul is how many times they keep repeating the same mistake. A young soul just keeps on repeating the mistake, not self-reflective. An old soul might just do something once and realize, "This just didn't work out right. I am not going to do that again. It just didn't feel right, it did not give the result that I thought it would, it is unwise to do this again."
We have paraphrased Alexander Pope's statement. His statement was "To err is human, to forgive is divine." You have heard that. So ours is, "To err is human, but to err only once is divine."
We all make mistakes and this is true particularly in raising children. We have a whole approach to that called, 'Positive Discipline'. You don't want the child to just be punished for making a mistake. You want the child to not make the mistake again. So you need to find out what the child doesn't know. What does this child not know? What have I not taught this child? What has this child not experienced? What knowledge is missing? Because to us, it is self-evident you shouldn't do that. Something isn't present in the child's understanding yet. We need to help that understanding be there. Of course, it might not work but we need to try. That is the part of being a parent, trying to find what is missing in the understanding of the child. Get it there so the child doesn't repeat the same mistake twice. So that is how raising children relates to spiritual progress as an adult, that sense of correcting our mistakes so we don't repeat them.
Moving on we get the three hard-to-pronounce words - sanchita, prarabdha and kriyamana. You have read them all? Ready for the test? It is not important to remember the words, so long as you remember the concepts. It is talking about different kinds of karma.
One of the analogies Gurudeva gives when it comes to karma is, to think of karma as seeds. So we have a storehouse full of seeds. That is our karma, our individual karma. These are different kinds of seeds. Some will sprout sooner than others. Some will sit there forever and look like they are never going to sprout. They don't all sprout, they don't all manifest at the same time. Sprouting means it is happening in your life. If you have ever wondered why children go wild, it is their karmas start sprouting at a certain age, all of a sudden. You know they have been pretty good up till then. All of a sudden, their karmas start manifesting, start sprouting, start expressing themselves and the child's behavior changes drastically. Well, that is why. The karmas were dormant. Before, they weren't sprouting. All of a sudden, some of them started sprouting.
Everything in the warehouse is called sanchita karma. The portion of it which is going to sprout in this life is called prarabdha karma, and even that doesn't sprout all at the same time. It sprouts according to the astrology. The karma determines the astrology and the astrology determines the expression of the karma as to when it happens in life. But the karma is creating the astrology. The astrology comes from the moment of birth. So your karma determines the moment of birth, which creates the astrology, which determines the release of the karma.
Kriyamana karma is the karma you are creating in this life. New karma, karma you didn't bring into this life. We create both good and bad karma, not just bad. Good and bad karma by our actions in this life and then that carries forward. Some of that expresses itself in this life and others of that expresses itself in future lives.