The law of karma is seen as an unerring law of cause and effect where each action, each desire, each thought, produces its result with unfailing certainty. “As a person sows, so shall he also reap.”
This makes perfection possible, for knowledge is power, and when a person knows the law and works with it, he can produce any result he chooses, he becomes master of his destiny. Thought is the most potent factor in the creation of causes.
Each thought affects the mental body for good or evil, and as mental faculties are the powers of the soul working in the mental body, the mentality shown in any one life is the result of repeated thinking in past lives.
Hence the splendid mental apparatus of the person of genius is not a gratuitous gift, but is due to hard work in the past.
Thought is also the parent of action, and its subtle vibrations, traveling through space, affect others, awakening similar thoughts in the minds attuned to the same key.
Many a thought has thus urged other men to actions, good or evil, in which the thinker has his share of responsibility.
As thoughts evolve the mental body, so desires evolve the astral body, and also influence others by their far-reaching vibrations. By controlling his desires, purifying them, turning them toward spiritual things,
a person refines his astral body and rises above his animal instincts. Actions, speaking broadly, determine future physical surroundings; those surroundings are favorable or unfavorable,
according as the person has made others happy or unhappy. Reincarnation and karma explain the apparent injustice in the world, the mental and moral differences among men,
and the inequality of mental, moral, and physical conditions amid which men are placed.
Some eastern philosophies hold that a time will come when people, having reached the full perfection attainable in the human stage,
shall need no longer these earth-experiences, and shall pass on to spheres of usefulness whose glory is beyond our conception.
One of the missions of such philosophy is to proclaim anew the possibility of treading the “ancient narrow path” which leads to adeptship
and liberation, when a person need not return to earth unless he choose to remain and help his less-advanced brothers. The more advanced members of humanity, a mere handful as yet, have already reached that level.
How can we be free of the karmas bound in the previous lives? We have some notion that we are here because of good and bad karmas in our past life.How can we find a solution to the problem?
Dadashri: Now if someone bothers you, you should understand that you must have done something bad to him in your past life, and now he is returning the favor.
So you must resolve the situation calmly and peacefully. But because you cannot remain peaceful, you end up sowing new seeds of karma.
There is only one way to deal with karmas bound from the previous life and that is through peace and equanimity. You should not have a single bad thought about other people.
You should simply feel that you are experiencing your account and that whatever the person may be doing to you is all on account of your own karma.
You should understand that you are suffering because of your own previous bad deeds. Only then is there any freedom.
As a matter of fact, he is giving you such a difficult time because of the unfolding effect of your own karma: he is simply an ‘instrument’ (Nimit). All the troublemakers of this world are merely ‘instruments’.
Even he that steals a hundred dollars from you in the street is an ‘instrument’. It is your own account. Why is it that you were awarded the prize and not someone else?
Now, is it the body or the soul that is bound?
Dadashri: The body itself is karma, so how can it have any other bondage? He, who feels that he is not free, is bound. Who suffers imprisonment, the prison or the prisoner?
So this body is the prison, and the one within, is bound. The one who believes, “I am bound, I am this body, I am Chandubhai*,” is the one who is bound.
Do you mean to say that the soul binds (charges) and discharges karma through the body?
Dadashri: No, it is not like that. The soul is absolutely not involved in this. In fact the soul is free; it is independent.
It is the ego, which has been created through false impositions that binds karma, and it is the ego that experiences the fruits of karma. You are the pure Self and yet you claim that you are Chandubhai. Claiming to something you are not, is called the ego.
This is the false imposition of the ego. Egoism is to usurp someone else’s space and call it your own.
When this ego leaves, you can return to your own place, where there is no bondage.
Chandubhai = Whenever Dadashri uses the name ‘Chandubhai’ or the name of the person Dadashri is addressing, the reader should insert his or her name for exact understanding.
What is the definition of ‘karma‘?
Dadashri: Supporting any action, with the claim, “I am doing it,” is karma. Claiming doership of any action, binds karma. To support the action with the belief ‘I am the doer’ is called binding the karma. It is this support of the belief of ‘doership’ that binds karma. If you know that you are not the doer and are aware of who the true doer is, ‘I am not the doer’ and ‘who is the doer’ then the action will not have any support and the karma will be shed.
Questioner: What is the principle of karma?
Dadashri: If you yell, “You are a thief!” into a well, what happens?
Questioner: You will hear the word’s echo.
Dadashri: Exactly! If you don’t like to hear what comes to you, then you should say, “You are a king!” instead, so that you will hear, “You are a king.” Say that, which you would like to hear. Give what you would want to receive. That is the principle of karma. Karma means action. What is reaction? That is the echo. All reactions are like ‘echoes’ of your previous actions; the fruits will be inevitable. What does the well illustrate here? It tells you that the world is your own projection. What you were referring to as karma, is really a projection.
Questioner: Is there a principal of karma or not?
Dadashri: The whole world is nothing but the principle of karma. The existence of bondage lies entirely on you, you are responsible for it. Everything is your own projection. You are responsible even for the formation of your body. Everything you encounter is your own design; nobody else is responsible for it. For endless lives, you have been responsible, “wholly and solely.”