One of my favorite books on Karma is by Dr. Robert Svoboda. It is the third book in the Aghora series and can be found here:
Aghora III: The Law of Karma
In this third volume of the Aghora trilogy, the Aghori Vimalananda uses the backdrop of the Bombay racetrack as metaphor for the ultimate game of life, where destinies and fortunes are won or lost on the momentary edge of the finishing line. Our lives are masterfully entwined with the cause and e...
Karma means action
Karma includes things that have a clear doer and things that are completely obscure
four karmic categories
- Sanchita - sun total of all karmas accumulated over lifetimes
- parabdha - karma that will be experienced in this lifetime
- kriyamana - what we do at any moment and our will to create
- Agama - capacity to envision future actions
three karmic intensities
- Dridha- fixed karmas are so intense that they aren’t changeable
- dridha-adridha- fixed-unfixed are karmas that can be changed with concentrated will
- adridha - easily altered and you can choose what you please
It's satchitananda - reality that is aware of itself and filled with bliss - which had no qualities, desired to possess qualities so it could get to know itself.
Desire is the foundation of human karma
- We think what we want to do
- Express it to ourself
- Do it
Law of karma is action and reaction. There is some kind of movement in space and that action, no matter whether it is done by something large with a lot of density or something as subtle as a thought, causes a change from one condition into a new condition. The result of the change is called a "rna" in sanskrit which translates to "debt".
There were a lot of different possibilities of the combination of things. By making a choice we have made all of the other realities impossible. You have made an obligation to yourself because now all those other things are left out.
The original debt was the creation of the universe and therefore has to return to being static.
Since the original creation of the universe, a series of actions took place over 13 billion years that leads to where we are today.
The supreme consciousness, which has no qualities created the universe to manifest itself through the densest possible matter, the earth element, and to turn it's attention back towards the supreme reality so the self can love the self.
The creation of organisms was a great advancement because now evolution can proceed quickly and consciousness can perceive itself more fully.
The debt for this evolutionary growth is the increased do-ership by the organism.
To the extent you are able to do actions without identifying with those actions, you will not incur more debt.
We get all the way to the giant asteroid smashing into earth to have a huge effect on earth which in a way had own karma. Primates start to become more prevalent after this event. Eventually we get to humans.
At some point homo erectus was able to start to harness fire - a destructive force until that time - and bring it into relation with them. It enabled the increased amount of food and light we could consume. The fire also created a change in the way we saw the world. Our sense of sight developed dramatically with the use of fire. All humans ever after are dependent on this.
Vedas employed fire as their chief method of worship because of all the other types of karmas it enables.
Fire enabled a lot of karmas including burning down rainforest.
Agriculture comes into picture about 11,000 years ago so we can accumulate food and not be solely at the mercy of the environment. Increased our doership, our desire to be unique. We can see the damage done by modern agriculture on the rest of the world.
Using fire and developing agriculture and shared by all cultures. Some karmas are shared by only tribes or cities.
In addition to shared general karmas, we also have karma in our genes. Our ancestors decided to do some things in their specific situation. The implications of some of those changes affect both the doer and their descendants. This includes creating the conditions for our svabhava or our natural nature.
"How have I come to be who I am today?"
The real heroism is to conquer your own nature, to be able to identify results of previous karmas and not necessarily limited the actions that one is able to perform.
The more choices we make, the more the number of potential futures is limited.
Is everything fated or is there free will? Yes. More choices made leads to more fate. If you don't do the same thing over and over again, the more those karmas tend to become fixed.
Do the karmas you were fit to do but never think about the result. - Krishna
It's ridiculous to say the ends justify the means because the ends are the means.
We are always trying to understand the karmas we are fit to do.
If we look at the life of Rama, he is always trying to balance his life as a human and his obligations as a king. He has to find the duty that is most appropriate for him.
We need to do things that we know how, when, and what amount of intensity to apply to an action. This is of course challenging because we are motivated by desire.
Our desire can sometimes bleed into a neutral state of action. If we impose our will on the universe, there will be implications, some foreseeable and some not. We can't precalculate everything. We should have a sense of what actions will and won't make our lives more complicated.
The best way of to perform karmas is to do sadhana, or practices. We want to take actions that will bring us into alignment with people, places and things that bring us closer to the ultimately reality.
Sadhanas are bound to have some reactions in the contexts of the bigger effects that you want to have a good result from.
Sadhanas should clear our ability to think and perceive our dharma.
Sometimes it is clear to perceive our dharma. Other times it is unclear. We need that sadhana to claify what we should be doing with our lives.
Strive for balance.
Life pace today is very fast. We need to slow down to balance. Master inactivity.
Societal pressures make it difficult to be okay with our own truth. We need to restrain our senses. People who want to take our money do so through the senses. Pratyahara, or restraining the senses, is essential.
The internet is taking us away from the fundamental world. We are beings that have to have relationship with the elements around us. Keep a relationship with the elements. Directly establishing relationships with the elements enables us to do positive karmas for the rest of the world who are moving into the ether.