One Janam or Many

After having read the article on the Karma Theory under Enlightening Information, on my web-site, a reader sent me the following questionnaire. I share the same with you.

Q1) Whilst there is no doubt about the fact that  we are the result of the karmas. How is it decided that a person at this time will get a result of karma that was done five births ago? Is that a uniform order or is that random?

My Answer:
I believe that the result of a bad karma is not to be made to suffer but to learn. So I would say that the soul or maybe a Higher Authority decides when the soul would be ready, to get the result of a certain karma. It may be this life or 5 births hence.

Q2) To go one step further, it is also mentioned in the scriptures that after the soul leaves the physical body, it goes to heaven and hell to enjoy or suffer. Now why does it not end its karmas at that time. Also, what percentage of the karmas get wiped out?

My Answer:
I believe that no soul is equipped to wipe out all karmas so soon, unless he gets the Gyaan or Ultimate knowledge. In that case his Sanchit (Accumulated karmas) do get burned out and he need not incarnate any more. The  karmas that get wiped out would be  those through which he has achieved deep understanding and learning.

Q3) Going by the above theory, does it mean that sometimes when we see a devotee who gets darshan of Krishna at the age of five (eg Prahlad) had done a lot of punyas in the past life compared to say Mirabai, who
got darshan at a later age? I assume the answer is yes to this question, so if we go one step further, it is told that those who get moksha, their seven (this figure could be 21, but that is not the point) generations will get moksha. Now, if I get moksha, by that definition, my 7 generations will get. So again by this theory, my seventh generation child will get moksha. But the law of karma says that it is only because of my karma will I get moksha. So when we combine these two theories, it will mean that my seventh generation child because of his karma will be getting moksha and so he comes in my lineage. Then the question arises that by the first theory, my seventh generation child will have his 7 generations below have moksha. But then something is wrong either law of karma or the law of 7 generations getting moksha. Could you clarify?

My Answer:
I would presume that just like a child inherits his father’s property, so the Scriptures are talking about inheriting ‘Moksha’ or Enlightenment. Since the Scriptures claim that we get parents according to our karmas. i.e. in the Material context if you are a charitable person you would be born into a rich family in a subsequent life, so also it happens in the case of a child who has progressed considerably in his Spiritual  life. He would obviously be born into a highly Spiritual family. In that case it is not difficult to believe that a child or grand-child of one who has achieved Moksha, also would.

Q4) It is mentioned in the article that the results of the bad karmas have to be met but saints tell us that bad karmas effect can be reduced by chanting or selfless service. Again by that theory, it will be difficult if not impossible for anyone to get moksha. I think I may be missing something here, so it will be nice if you could tell me as to what happens as a person progresses spiritually. i.e. what happens to the karmas.

My Answer:
As you have rightly mentioned it is very difficult to get Moksha. The reason being that while we clear out one karma, others are being made. However the Scriptures claim that if one becomes a clear instrument. ‘A Saakshee’ or an ‘Observer’ of ones actions without getting involved in its right or wrong. One can burn out ones karmas. To reach the pure Saakshi stage one has to chant, perform selfless service and thereby get the Ultimate Gyaan or knowledge.

I am aware that the questions that I have asked may consume a lot of your precious time, but I am confident that you will reply me. Thanks for your time and sorry for botheration.

Hari Bol

My Answer:
It has been a pleasure and I do hope that I have been of some help in clearing your doubts.

Reader’s Responses

From Suneel

Dear Shakun,

I would like to add some points to your reply to the reader.

The laws of Karma are fixed and apply to all.  The only one who can rescind the laws on a person is the Supreme Lord himself.  Hence the idea of chanting mantras and praying to the Lord is to ask for his grace to reduce the bad karmas that we may have to face.

In regards to moksha, the scriptures say, and in essence, The Srimad Bhagwad, that whoever reads the Srimad with love for the lord, will gain moksha for himself as well as three generations prior and three generations thereafter.  Here, the matter works on the power of the Lord’s name.  By taking the Lord’s name or by reading it, one gains the benefit of wiping out bad karmas.  The power is in the Lord’s name.  This is well illustrated in the Ramayana.  When Ram and the monkeys had to build a bridge to Lanka, Hanuman and the monkeys would write the name ‘Ram’ on each rock, and the rock would float in water.  But when Lord Ram put a rock without his name in the water, it sank.  It was the Lord’s name which kept the rocks afloat.

Also, reading the Srimad Bhagwad, may lead the person to the right guru for that person.  And by coming within the blessings of a guru, the guru takes the bad karmas of the person onto himself / herself thus enabling the person to gain moksha.  This also applies to the generations as they come within this power.

All this comes through the grace of the Lord, hence we must always pray for his grace, as that is what can work wonders for us.