Karma is the most commonly used and misused word in the recent days. Many of us fear karma. So what is this karma?

Karma literally means action. This action can be something happening now, or a latent action sitting in the form of impressions in the mind, waiting to manifest. The impression in the mind will manifest into an action at some point. This is what karma is. Simple isn’t it?

A simple example is that you want to sow a mango seed in your garden tomorrow. This is a latent action, something that will happen tomorrow, a future happening. Today, you are actually sowing the mango seed in your garden. Both are karmas, the first one is waiting to manifest and the second one manifesting now (the action is already happening).

If the impression is strong in the mind, then it might turn into a habit or addiction.

Does this mean there are different types of Karmas?

Yes there are 3 types of karmas, Prarabdha Karma, Sanchitha Karma and Aagama Karma. For some of us, these terms sound familiar right?

Prarabdha karma is the one that is manifest now. The action is already happening now. You are reading this article now. This is prarabdha karma. Yesterday you wanted to read this article. Today, you are actually reading it.

The impression in the mind that is a latent action, which is yet to manifest is Sanchitha Karma. The impression is already set in the mind. There will be a time when this latent karma will manifest. This is Sanchitha Karma. Often when we undergo difficulties, we tend to ask why? Why does bad things happen to good people? Yes we are good today, but we do not know or remember what we did yesterday. What we sow, we reap.

The impression that will form in our mind in future is Aagama Karma. You might get a desire tomorrow to buy a Dachshund, about which You have no clue today. This future impression (which you do not know anything about today, but will get created based on your future desires, hatred, craving or whatever) is Aagama Karma.

So, can we overcome Karma?

No we cannot, but yes we can!! Sounds ridiculous isn’t it?

Well, Karma as I said is an impression in the mind, but is written on water, not a set in stone that cannot be erased. From this perspective, yes it can be erased. However, not all types of karmas can be erased.

From the 3 types of karmas we saw above, Sanchitha Karma is an impression that is already created in the mind but yet to be manifested. This can be erased through knowledge, awareness, services, spiritual practices, prayers and most of all by meditation.

Aagama Karma as we see above, is an impression that is not yet formed in the mind. So, apparently it is in our hands. If you are going to eat a plate full of spicy hot biriyani or 20 ladoos, then you know for sure you are going to get a tummy ache. Whether to eat or not is your decision. With awareness we can avoid Aagama Karma right?

However, Prarabdha Karma is the one that is manifested now. The one whose fruits you are reaping currently. Can you go back? Obviously ‘no’. Prarabdha Karma or the one that is manifested now cannot be erased or taken back. It has to be undergone.

For those who have heard the Lingastakam song, there is a line which states ‘Sanchitha paapa vinaashana Lingam’. Now we know why only Sanchitha Karma can be erased and not Prarabdha Karma 🙂.

So what does a wise do? Before a Sanchitha Karma transforms to a Prarabdha Karma (before the impression manifests into action), a wise will erase the Sanchitha Karma through different ways mentioned above.

How do we know which karma yields what?

The rules of Karma are unfathomable (in the words of my Master). Yes, it is hard to say which karma yields what.

When does an impression manifest into action?

In other words, when does a Sanchitha Karma manifest into a Prarabdha Karma? Today or tomorrow or after a year or only in the next birth? It truly depends right? If you put your finger in the fire, you feel the burning and pain immediately. Whereas, if you sow a mango seed, it takes several years to enjoy a mango from the tree. Again rules of Karma are unfathomable. It is all a mystery.

By the way, Karma means both good and bad .. lol!!

I think so much is sufficient to know about Karma in this article. Based on requests, I will publish my next article on the continuation of Karma, how Karma is related to rebirth, animals and karma, free will and other related topics.

Please feel free to post your comments, questions and feedback regarding this article.

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