Karma Management Day 3, Part 2
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-08-24
2002 Kauai Innersearch Day 3, Part 2 Bodhinatha introduces two new concepts about karma, more about astrology and the concept of karmas being active or inactive.
Moving along we are looking at two new, additional concepts today. The first one is - Astrology indicates the patterns of karma. I will read it since it is a little technical.
Prarabdha karma, remember? That is the karma that is going to manifest in this life. Prarabdha karma means, of the karma you carry with you, a certain portion of it is going to manifest in this life unless you do something unusual. You can manifest more but we will get into that later. You cannot manifest less. But this amount is scheduled to manifest in this life. It is called prarabdha karma. Some will manifest at the beginning, some in the middle, some at the end. But everything that is scheduled to manifest is called prarabdha karma. The sum total of that determines one's time of birth. This is important. Prarabdha karma determines the time of birth. Which makes sense, right? The time of birth determines one's astrology. The astrology meaning the different mahadasas and the bhukti dasa. Those of you who are astrologers can explain it to those who want to know afterwards. The astrological periods determine the release of the karmas. So, it is an interesting cycle. Thus, an individual will experience certain astrological periods as difficult and other periods as auspicious and positive.
Understanding this principle is very useful because it helps us understand the relationship between astrology and karma. It is a very important relationship. Therefore, when we have that basic understanding that there is a relationship between astrology and our karma, when we approach astrology with that understanding, we can gain an understanding about how our karma will be manifesting say, during the next twelve years. We say, this is going to be a period where everything is successful. This is going to be a period where everything is going to be difficult, we are going to have some major setbacks. An astrologer can tell you that. That is helpful to know. Why? Because if you are having setbacks, you can remember that it is in your astrology. Otherwise, you tend to think of it as, "Gee, everything is failing. I am a terrible person or I am limited or I am doing something wrong." You also think it might go on forever. You say, "Oh, I only have ten more years left, I am hanging in there. Only five more years left. I got through it! Let us have a celebration!" It helps put it into perspective. It is very helpful in that way. Also in your positive periods, it is good to take chances, business chances and so forth because you are more likely to succeed. If you are going through a negative time, you don't want to take chances. You want to be more conservative in terms of a business venture, an investment and so forth.
But the problem is that the stereotype is, "Difficult times are bad, positive times are good. We are not supposed to have difficult times." It is a stereotype. Everything is supposed to be good. It is better if things are going good than if things are going poorly. Right, that is the stereotype idea? But we are not looking at it correctly. That is just an ordinary human way of responding. There is no wisdom in that. We are not looking at it through karma. A better way of looking at it is if something negative happens, we go through difficult times and we get through them we say, "Oh, how wonderful I got rid of that difficult karma." We got rid of the karma. It is like Swami Sivananda's story. When someone attacked him, he thanked the person for attacking him. Why? Because he was rid of that karma, maybe that was his last karma.
So, if negative things happen we should not complain, should not blame God and we should not feel that it is not a positive event in our lives. We are getting rid of a karma. That is important to remember. We are getting rid of the karma.
Next concept - Karmas are either active or inactive. Again I will read it, it is a little technical. Sanchita, prarabdha and kriyamana karmas can be divided into two categories. We are going to have a test on those! So, you have to learn how to spell them. Prarabdha, begun, undertaken, karma that is sprouting. Anarabadha not commenced, dormant or seed karma. The idea is, just like we were talking about be before, it is like seeds. If you want something to sprout right away, you can choose an alfalfa seed right? Alfalfa sprouts are very popular. Why? Because they sprout quickly, you put them in water and they sprout. If you want to grow a coconut tree, it takes longer. Right? It takes maybe a year to get something to sprout out of a coconut, it took a week to sprout an alfalfa. Just because something is a seed does not mean all of them are going to sprout at the same time. Some of them are not sprouting at all. They are sitting there for a long time. If you store a seed in a dry place or a moist place, it determines how fast it sprouts and so forth. Some karmas are already sprouting, some are about to sprout and some won't sprout in this lifetime.
So, those are our two new concepts. Turning now to our principles. Our review, first we have four principles so far. We will review them very quickly. I think most everyone has heard them all.
Our first principle of course is, 'Forego Retaliation' and that is required because if we retaliate, we are creating new karma and there is no possible way we are going to do anything more subtle than just create new karma.
'Accept Responsibility' is the idea that whatever happens to me, I created it. Usually we only want to accept the fact if something good happens, I am responsible for that. If something bad happens, we want to blame someone else. But, of course, accept responsibility means whatever happens, good or bad, I created it. Whatever happens. If we have children, whatever happens to our children, they created it. You don't have to blame yourself, when something happens to your child. Your child attracted it because of the karma of the child. So a person is responsible for everything that happens to him.
Third principle is, 'Forgive the Offender'. Even if we manage to not retaliate and accept responsibility we can still harbor resentment toward the person that did it. We know it is our responsibility but they should not have done it anyway. So we are kind of hedging, we have got it right but not quite right. To get it fully right, we have to forgive the person who did the action to us. Just fully say, "This is me, doing it to me through another person. I did this to myself through another person." If we look at it that way, we don't really see the other person, we are transparent. We see ourselves doing it to ourselves over a period of time. We do something two lifetimes ago, in this life the reaction to what we did comes back. So, we did it to ourselves through another person.
Those three go together as a team of principles. Forego retaliation, accept responsibility and forgive the offender has to do with actions that are happening to us. Things are happening to us from others and we are responding a certain way to them. So, that is a set.
'Consider the Consequences' focuses on actions we are doing in the present or considering doing in the present. So it is a second situation. The first principle in review is, we consider the consequences. That is the idea of, "Think before you speak" applied to karma. We consider the karmic consequences of what we are about to do before we do it. Karmic equivalent of, think before we speak. So that is what we have covered so far.