The order of karma includes the karma that we do here in this life and the karma we brought along with us. The karma that we brought along with us is the result of karma that we did before; it need not be in the previous life.
The human life which includes parentage, place of birth, the contemporary society, in general the whole humanity, at this period of time - internet humanity. Babies are born with the hand near the ear (for mobile). So, it is an entirely different kind of society. I have seen all this changes in my whole life time. To be born now is entirely different. It is all karma. It is a combination of karma to be born in an internet society.
The relationship with father, mother, siblings - I don’t know whether it is the same as it was before. Why do I say this? Because to be born now, needs a special karma,. So, that is the gati of karma. Gahana karmano gatih, not easy to track, to trace the karma for what we have.
So, this karma flows as though into this life, setting up this life and continues to be the one which sets up situations, because it is a life-time karma. Karma for your life-time, for your life. The karma for your life is going to be unfolding situations for you to face. Not only the past karma unfolds, the present karma also joins in this unfolding of old karma. So old karma can pull down the present karma, can enhance the present karma, can completely silence the present karma; power. The old karma is too powerful. The present karma can be overwhelmed, overpowered.
We use the word karma for karmaphala (result of karma) also. The effect is also called by the cause. Like a shirt is called as cotton, it is cotton. A chain is called gold.
So when you say it is my karma, it is karmaphala, the result of karma, punya and papa. Punya helps you to be at the right place at the right time. And papa accounts for what is unpleasant. This punya-papa we create by our own karma, in this life also. We cannot say what unfolds in the present moment, is on account of which punya or which papa.
The interconnection, the people you hang out with, all this is past karma, present karma. Past, present, past, present. They go together. That is why we can create antibodies to unpleasant karmas, by doing good karma, by prayer. In spite of that something happens in the present means the karma was powerful.
There are a lot of other things involved in karma. Like sancita karma (accumulated), agami karma (karmaphala generated in this life). The karma standing in your account, is over beginningless time. The jiva has no beginning and therefore it is a cycle.
We are in svetavaraha kalpa. And the kalpa consists of manvantaras, and out of them our manvantara is vavaisvata. A manvantara consists on yugas, and among the four yugas our yuga is kali yuga. Kali yuga consists of four quarters, four padas. We are in d in the first quarter, the segment of the period of time blessed by Buddha avatara.
Kalpa is one cycle. We have karma since kalpa after kalpa after kalpa. In every kalpa even if you have one human birth you have limitless karma. Atma is eternal, this jiva also is as though eternal. Jiva is atma, therefore eternal. Being centred on atma is eternal. If you understand it is eternal, if you don’t understand it is eternal. So the jiva who has been around from beginingless time has enough karma to assume any body. So when you take a given body like a human body, it is not one karma. Means what you experience now. It is a group of karmas. Therefore all these karmas, among them, one is called sancita. What is waiting for expression.
Karma phala is definitely going to fructify. It has got a certainty, it will definitely fructify. That is called sancita karma.
The group of karma that has fructified is prarabdha karma, the fructification takes place in time; in time. In hundred years; in seventy years; fifty years, in a span of life time fructification takes place. That means the karma goes along with the span of life.
How is the span determined? By reckoning your breathing. It is not a calendar. You breath in, breath out, the life span time clock ticks. That is the count down. You have that much span of breaths, and prarabdha unfolds in that span. So, tick. If you do pranayama, tick……tick…….tick……..you can slow down. And if you dont care ….Tick.tick. tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. That is calld udana, the time clock is called udana. The time clock is the karma clock. Karma works in tandem with time, with praṇa. This is called prak arabdha karma, prakarshena arabdha karma, well begun karma.
Then we have karma called agami. In this life we pick certain karma whose result cannot be fulfilled in this life. They require a special body, a special time and place. May be a human body, but at a special time and place. Or after leaving this body, assuming another body should be in special time and place, with special parentage. All the specifications for what is going to come in future. Agami is the name for what is going to come in the future.
So these are the three-fold karma. These three fold karma is all within the order of karma.
Nitya karma, naimittika karma, all within the order of karma. Vaidika karma, in the order of karma. Karma order is huge. It is not easy. Sending a satellite up to a rocket is all karma. But generally we don’t include them, but anything that produces punya-papa, as well as laukika (worldly)karmas are included. In fact laulika karmas produce punyam and papam.
So this order of karma is gahana, too vast and too intervened with the karma of others. And therefore the Gitāasays gahana karmano gatih, the ways of karma are too deep, too vast to unravel.
The order of dharma is not a different topic. In the Gita we repeat every day the verse. “sarva dharman parityajya, mamekam sharanam vraja…..”. We repeat this at lunch time.
Parityajya means giving up; sarvadhaman means all dharmas; mamekam sharanam vraja, bhagavan says please surrender to me, take my refuge in me alone. That means give up all dharmas and come. There dharma is karma.
You cannot do dharma. Can you do dharma?
You cannot do dharma. You can only do karma, which is dharma, which can produce punyam and papam. That is also dharma. Therefore dharman parityajya Bhashyakara translates dharma as sarva karmani. Dharma becomes karma.
When we talk about order of dharma, it includes the order of karma and itself as a matrix of values, motivating the person to do proper karma. And those karmas are samanya and vishesha. Samanya values, universal values, like ahimsa, universal values. Based upon ahimsa there are other derived values, they are also universal. I don’t hurt because I don’t want to get hurt. Samanya. And from this universal value of ahimsa it follows :- I don’t want to be robbed; I don’t want to be cheated; I don’t want to be in any way hurt. All the values are derivatives. In other words I don’t want to get hurt in any manner and I know that others also don’t want to get hurt.
This order of dharma is the order of universal values. They are meant to guide one while doing karma. What is to be done, what is not to be done. A life of karma is guided by and based upon dharma.
Then we have vishesa dharma. That is also the order of dharma. What I have to do as a student. What I have to do as a married man, house holder. The house holder is a funny translation of grihastha. House-holder, nice. But grihastha doesn’t say that. Grihastha also if you translate is funny, -grihe tishtati the one who sits at home. She works, he sits at home, cooks. That is grihastha. There is a root ‘ stha’ and the ‘stha’ doesn’t permit you to move this way or that way. Then we have to go for the rudhi meaning. Vyutpati here doesn’t work. So the one who makes the home, both the man and woman, they make home. That is grihastha ashrama dharma.
What is to be done as a grihastha, what is to be done as one prepares oneself for sannyasa, so vanaprastha, they are all laid out. As the time changes, so this dharma ashrama, dharma also undergoes change. These are all anitya rules.
In grammar you have anitya rules. They change themselves, they adapt themselves to the time. The influence of other cultures brings about changes. But the core basis for making these dharmas, that doesn’t change. Playing as a role, as a son; as father; as mother; as husband; as wife, these are all roles one has to play in life. And every role has a script and the script is dharma. It is called vishesha dharmas. They are endless … All under the order of dharma which we all sense.
The human beings have to conform to this order, samanya dharma and vishesha dharma. This conforming is in terms of karma always.
Thus the order of karma, the order of dharma is important. They are Ishvara. When you live in harmony with this dharma order, you are in harmony with Ishvara.
...adapted from Talks at AVG Annikatti 2015