Cleansing of Karma’s
How to change your Karmic destiny
Friends, man is the only creature in this Karma oriented universe who has the right to Karma. Karma has 03 divisions – Sanchit , Prarabdha  and Kriyamana  Karma. Sanchit Karma (accumulated Karma) and Prarabdha Karma (Inherited as fruits of previous karma) are such arrows which have already been released by man. Good or evil whatever Karma has been done is done. We cannot return to the past to rectify our misdeeds. If we can do something, it is only in relation to the Kriyamana Karma (the present Karma in action). Accumulated Karma stands accumulated. We have not started reaping the fruits of them as yet. But we start reaping the fruits of the inherited Karma from the beginning of our lives. Hence, we can do something now in the present so that we remove the bitterness or increase the sweetness due to us for our inherited Karma. The special Karma done for this purpose is also known as penance or purification of Karma.
Is our birth, in this trouble-infested world a result of the influence of supernatural entity or are we ourselves responsible for it? It is said in our Shastras that both birth and death are connected with intense pain. But what should we do so that we can escape from the pain that we have to suffer in life between birth and death? This is an important question. When we know the right answer to this, then only can we make ourselves happy and joyous.
The great souls who have taken birth on this earth from time to time for the purpose of social welfare, have prescribed some ways to balance the present life and the life beyond keeping in mind the contemporary environment. It is clear from this prescription that man’s present life is very important and the most important part is man’s present Karma in action. Those people who believe in such a faith where there is no belief in reincarnation, the present life becomes even more important for them because this life is the only opportunity to dispense Karma and man will be rewarded or punished after life based on this Karma only. Those who believe in reincarnation, they do not hesitate to accept that the cycle of Karma keeps following man for many births for dispensing rewards and punishments according to the Karma. Every creature has to suffer one part of the accumulated Karma as the inherited Karma. Since man has got the right to Karma, he can purify himself through penance so that he can get rid of pain and suffering due to him through inherited Karma.
Lord Buddha propagated four cardinal truths. Out of these four – Karma, reaping the fruits of Karma, Karma done to alleviate suffering and aiming for Salvation – all are related to Karma. One may belong to any caste, creed or religion, may believe in heaven or hell, may accept or not the concept of rebirth – it makes no difference. Every man has to accept Karma. Hence, even if we deny the concept of rebirth for sometime, we cannot deny that every creature has to reap the fruits of Karma in the present birth. Those who believe in rebirths, they know that when one takes birth to reap the fruits of Karma, it is known as inherited Karma. This is nothing but a part of accumulated Karma which has to be suffered in the present life.
Here I want to remind that the Planets are no imagination; they are real and an identity of the law of the great God. As science has been progressing many of the principles of spiritualism and astrology are being proved right. Every planet contains certain proportion of a colored ray in its light. These rays affect and influence our bodies. Planets do not disburse any happiness or pain; rather they disburse the fruits of man’s actions. It is true that man suffers because of his own misdeeds. Planets only indicate the destiny which man gets because of his own Karma.
The artificial / worldly life-style adopted in the present day may not indicate the effects of the rays of the planets on our lives, but this cannot be ignored that Indian philosophy and spiritual studies have revealed that the main reason behind man’s suffering-happiness, progress-regress, life-death is his Karma. Planets only foretell about them and caution how adversities can be changed.
This further clarifies that man is not helpless just to suffer because of previous misdeeds. He can influence previous Karma by doing the right Karma in the present life. For example, if a person suffers from constipation due to irregular food habits and goes to a naturopath, he would advice him to go on a fast for ten days. That means he suffers for ten days going without food for his previous Karma of irregular food intake. But if he goes to a doctor and takes some remedial medicine, he will be cured in two days without suffering from any fasting. Like this if we take the remedial steps based on the indications given by the planets, our sufferings due to previous Karma can be avoided or lessened.
If we make efforts to rectify / remove potential adversities as indicated by the positioning of the planets, i.e. if we can take advantage of the previous information got from the movement of the planets and take the right step at the right time, we can not only make better our present but also our future life.
It is clearly specified in Indian philosophy that we have to reap the fruits of our Karma. But there is a law when we shall reap that Karma. Every doer receives the fruit according to this law only. It is said that Karma is ripe when the time arrives for the doer to receive the fruit. The principle which specifies this is known as completion of the cycle of Karma. Hence from the point of view of the cycle of Karma, whatever Karma remains un-dissipated through births to the present life is known as accumulated Karma. It is not possible to reap the fruits of Karma gained through many births at one go, as many of these fruits are contradictory to each other. That is why they have to be reaped one after another. Those fruits which have already got being dispensed are known as the inherited ones. The implication is that whatever fruits we reap in the present is a very small part of the accumulated fruits of Karma which is the inherited one. But whatever Karma we are doing now, the fruits of that are known as the fruits of the Karma in action.
Life is such a precious gift which has been given to us as a favor by our maker. That is why it is inherent in every living being since birth to live this life to the fullest. That is why every living being, whether big or small, wants to live on. Nobody wants to die or suffer pain. Everybody wants to live a life of happiness and enjoy it fully. Hence, all living beings make efforts to do everything that is required to remain alive and are ready face great risks to save their precious lives.
You must have noticed how even a small ant tries to save its life and make its life joyful. It keeps on making continuous efforts to arrange for its food and abode so that it remains alive. Along with it, it also ensures the safety of the next generation without any complaints. This fact is applicable to other birds and animals also. Man is considered to be the best creation of life. He too keeps on trying to live a life of happiness naturally. But if man too, spends his life only in the pursuit of getting his livelihood like other creatures, then what would be the difference between him and others? Then why should he be called the best creation of all? Most of the people think that man is called the best creation because of his intelligence. But our ancient seers have considered man the best because of him being a part of the Karma dominated birth. Only man has got the special right to do Karma. And if he wants to be free from the cycle of births and rebirths, then he can do it in his human life only.
Most of the people are influenced and enchanted by the worldly pleasures and they aim at satisfying their senses. As such all of man’s focus is centered on satisfying the five senses like sound, touch, sight, smell and taste through the sense organs like ear, skin, eye, nose and tongue which are again manifestation of the five aspects of nature like sky, wind, fire, water and earth. Man’s efforts to satisfy all these senses further give rise to new desires. The more he tries to satisfy his worldly pleasures, the more his desires keep increasing.
This is the reason why our ancient seers have cautioned man time and again to rise above the tendency to be immersed in worldly pleasures. But man being tied in pleasures would take such advice lightly and think – these pieces of advice are for others, not for me. But, remember. Whatever our seers have advised, they have been for the welfare of mankind only.
To be true I should pay attention to such advice in such a way as if it is meant for me only. Because such advice is for all human and I am also a human so this is for me first of all. If we think like this, this would do us good. Whatever pain or suffering other creatures go through because of their Karma, there is no way out of it. But our Maker has given a man great opportunity so that he gets rid of the fruits of his misdeeds in previous births by undergoing penance. He can achieve Salvation also easily.
Wherever we live, we keep that place neat and clean. But the soul which resides in the human body, we pollute that body with our evil thoughts and the garbage of despair. As a result we are filled with negative attitude and a large chunk of our hard-earned money is spent on medicines and doctors. It is said spending give rise to loan-taking; similarly illness give rise to pain and suffering. People try in their own ways to get rid of this pain. But relief from one pain leads to another pain taking hold. This is true to not one but almost all people.
In reality it is almost impossible to find one happy man in this world. If we meet a happy one, we realize that he is not really happy when we get close to him. If we peep into the heart of the richest men, we will find they are even worse than the poorest men. Someone is unhappy because of lack of wealth, someone else unhappy because of his inability to enjoy wealth Inspite of having it. Everyone is unhappy. People are unhappy because of some reason or the other. There is sorrow everywhere in the world.
Every second person is unhappy because of many illness like mental stress, anger, irritation, jealousy, worry, sleeplessness, addiction to drugs, inferiority complex, pride, dissatisfaction, fear anxiety, heart ailment, blood-pressure, diabetes etc. these lead to the growth of negative feeling / thinking in man day by day and the disappearance of positive thinking. As a result we find life to be a burden and we tend to run away from life in despair.
We keep on learning something or the other throughout our life. There is always an urge to learn music, arts or enhance knowledge etc in us. But truly speaking are we able to learn the true art of living?, Probably not. Inspite of this, everybody wants a happy life and a disease free body. But how – that is the main question. Our Shastras in religion and Yoga tell us about the ways of getting rid of sufferings. But most of us keep away these Shastras considering them to be displayed through begging alms. Let me remind you once again that human life is a matter of great fortune and that is why we are privileged to Karma. Destiny is also decided by the Karma of our previous lives. We should make the best use of our Karmic rights. Penance is also a part of Karma in action. This is also known as cleansing of Karmic destiny.
Everyone in this world wants happiness. No body wants pain. Still man has to taste both from time to time. But these are received according to one’s Karma. Vice leads to pain and virtue to happiness. Devotion to God gives you conscience to do penance for your misdeeds. This widens the path towards the purification of past Karmas. If you have wealth, start distributing it among the needy. If you are suffering from an incurable disease, start taking care of the ill in hospitals. If you want recognition and fame, give respect to the subordinates. This will yield respect and a disease-free life. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you devote yourself selflessly to the needs of the needy, you will surely be blessed. If you need love, love others. Embrace the ignored and the homeless. As a result you will receive fame and recognition. Everyone receives the fruits of one’s good or bad actions. This is an eternal law. Devotion to God yields results which are sweet and eternal. If you adopt yogic practices, you will develop such natural strength that you will be able to find a way to physical, spiritual happiness and well-being. This will inspire you to help others also on the path to well-being.
People worry a lot not only about their present happiness but also future happiness. They invest in various insurance policies to ensure theirs as well as their close relative’s future secure. But remember these insurance policies are limited only to safety of the present worldly life. But all religions holy books more or less agree that man has to reap the fruits of his Karma even after death. Hence, insurance policies are a guarantee to this life only, not after life. According to the ancient thoughts man has to go on suffering the fruits of his Karma for many-many births. If we want our present and future lives to be happy ones, we must pay attention to our present Karma in action because based on this only we will be either rewarded or punished. That is why great men and saints have advised mankind to follow the path to goodness, whatever man does, he reaps accordingly in the present and the future.
Remember, we are all tied down by own Karma. Some people think that they can hide their misdeeds and nobody would know anything about them. But such a thought is absolute foolishness because nothing can be hidden from the Omnipresent God. Secondly, no one else might know about the misdeed, but what about the doer himself? How will he hide it from himself? We can not avoid the punishment by any means because this is the law of divinity that man has to reap the fruits of his action.
Some people indulge in thefts, violence, misbehaviors, corruption etc for immediate benefits. They usurp others’ properties and rights also. But this way no one can be happy neither in this world nor in the other world. It may be possible that sometimes it appears that an evil-doer is enjoying life surrounded by happiness and prosperity but if we look deeper into the person’s life, we will find that he is sitting on a volcano of pain and sufferings keeping him disturbed and restless all the time. This pain can be well understood by the one who himself faces it.
One cannot guess easily the anxiety of the one who acquires wealth through thefts, black-marketing, deception etc. But if one peeps into the mind of such a person, one would know that inspite of acquiring so much of wealth, he is unhappy. A hard working labor feeding on just dry bread is much happier than him. I am not talking about rewards and punishment through births purposely here because in this present day changing world, there is a tendency to reject such principles as orthodox out dated thinking. But remember, the thoughts and principles advocated by our ancient great thinkers in their ancient books were true and eternal then also and they are true and eternal today also. What is required is to adopt them according to the present context judiciously.
Hence, if man adopts to cleanse past misdeeds through penance, after having understood the concept of Karma and its effects, then his present life will surely be a happy one and the future a bright one. He will be able to provide a happy environment to his relatives and countrymen and gain for himself a happy environment through births and rebirths. So, we must engage ourselves in the welfare of mankind as God is omnipresent and he sees everything everywhere.
All reap the fruits of their own Karma. It is foolish to blame others for our own misfortunes. The wise thing is to be alert about our Karma. We should not do anything which pains others. As much as we can, we should give happiness and extend co-operation to others. Our future will be redeemed with the interest of our doing good to others.
We can do welfare to ourselves and the society by helping the needy and bringing happiness to others. We should always do good to others as per our capacity and desire. Whether one’s capacity is to feed an ant or an elephant doesn’t matter. What matters is doing welfare to others.
Extend a helping hand to people facing adversities freely. This way you help not others but yourselves, this should be your attitude. This way the seed of pride will not grow within you because a good deed done with pride is such a shackle which does not break easily.
Hence we must do good to others devoid of all self pride. We should think that by doing so we are not doing a favor to others, but to ourselves and we must feel obliged to them who have given us the great opportunity to do good. Dedicate all your karma to god so that you can free yourself from the cycle of Karma easily and your future too becomes truly bright.
Whatever we are getting today are the fruits of our Karma. If we have done something good, we receive good results and if we have done something bad, we shall surely receive bad results. When we make chapatties, if we are not careful about the right method, then the chapatti will remain uncooked or will get burnt. Such a chapatti is a result of our carelessness and we will have to suffer from stomach ailment if we eat them. Not only is this, to make a chapatti the right proportion of wheat flour and water is also important. But whatever carelessness we display in the making of it, we will have to suffer its result surely. And if we make it carefully, it is us only who will taste a well-made chapatti.
This is also true to our destiny made by our own Karma. Whatever Karma we had done earlier, we are reaping the results of that today. Whatever we do to-day. We will have to reap its fruit tomorrow. Whatever we have already done, that is done and cannot be changed. We cannot go back to the past to change them. But we can surely do something in the present so that the bitterness of the suffering is reduced. For example, if we suffer from a stomach ailment for consuming uncooked or burnt chapattis, we take medicines and cure ourselves. Similarly, if we are going through adversities because of our previous misdeeds, we can lessen our suffering by doing penance. This is known as cleansing of Karma. Our ancient seers have prescribed many methods of penance based on their personal experiences like worshipping, fasting, pilgrimage, donation, welfare works etc. There have been many changes in the society because of the changing time. There are many items required in a yagna which are not available today and even if available, their quality is not the same as before and so the effects of a yagna are also not the same as before. Many great seers have opined that every age has different religious rituals performed to bring in welfare of mankind. But in the present age i.e. Kalyug, prayers and devotional songs are sufficient to open up the path to well-being. A lot of importance has been given to donation and welfare for others in the present age which can redeem us from adversities and make way for coming out of the cycle of sorrow.
We have to reap the fruits of our Karma, there is no way out of it. But there are some ways by which we can reduce the bitterness of fruits of our previous misdeeds. I stress upon the worship of Shri Shani Dev who is the dispenser of all the fruits of Karma because it is very simple to worship him. He can be easily satisfied by an offering of oil, gram, sesame, foggery etc. It is very easy to make him happy by helping the neglected and the homeless people. It is very easy to do so in the presently changing world. Hence, I prescribe three methods to those who want to undertake cleansing of Karma and do penance for their previous misdeeds.
Shani Worship, Welfare Work & Meditation
The first method to cleanse Karma is to worship Shri Shani Dev who is the planetary manifestation of the dispensed of the fruits of Karma on behalf of the great God. One can cleanse one’s misdeeds of the previous births by worshipping and adversities received as a result of one’s own misdeeds.
The second method to cleanse Karma is to take up welfare work for others. Charity begins at home – that is the best. If we look after our parents and old folks, then the penance for our misdeeds is easily achieved. Caring for parents nullify big sins or previous births and their blessings help to get rid of all kinds of obstacles in life. Hence, one should never try to hurt one’s parents through words, thoughts or actions. Otherwise their hurt will nullify even the fruits of great virtues of previous births.
Fulfilling your responsibilities is the second step if welfare works. Many of the effects of previous misdeeds get nullified by treating your life-partner conscientiously. If at all there are any shortfalls in life, mutual co-operation with the life-partner spreads such a fragrance that all stink of the adversities disappear. Along with this one should not ignore the welfare of the dependent children or other relatives whose responsibility one has taken up. Cleansing becomes easier by helping the neglected and the homeless lot of the society. Caring for birds and animals also leads to cleansing of misdeeds. We also owe some responsibility to the country and the society that we live in. it is our duty to fulfill that responsibility. Those who are ready to sacrifice everything to fulfill their duty, they can easily cleanse their past misdeeds. That is why I remind the devotees at Shanidhaam that they should be sincere to charity work and service to others. Whether it is service to parents, conscientious behavior with the life-partner, discharging responsibility towards the dependents or it is service to the nation, one should do it with full intention and sincerity so that one gets the desired fruit and happiness. Such services cleanse past misdeeds and help to receive positive results and fulfill all desires of man.