Dharma represents world order. Karma is generally understood throughout the world but at the same time misunderstood. All action produces results. But is action only a movement? Certainly action that has some intention of producing a result is a karma. But a dog, which doesn’t have freedom of choice, doesn’t have intentions and therefore doesn’t create karma.
Freedom always demands responsibility. But we must use that responsibility with consciousness. Immediate results stemming from action is called drishtaphala – the visible results of action. Results that are not seen now are adrishtaphala.
Whereas God has created so many creatures – insects, fish, birds, animals – alike, he has created humans with many individual differences. The best way to explain that is via karma, which applies to humans alone. The purva janma (previous birth) must be responsible via its actions in that life to have created results in this life.
In each janma we take a different shape but the jiva remains the same. There is continuity to normal life via memory of what happened day-to-day but in successive janma there too is also continuity.
The karma theory puts responsibility upon me. I may not know what I did in a past life but I do know what I am doing in this life. If I perform meritorious actions, I experience positive results, and vice versa. Conversely, if I am happy, it’s because I have performed meritorious actions in the past, and vice versa, unhappy because of papa karma performed in a past life. Thus we see that we cannot blame others for our woes.
It is false to blame our parents for our problems because they are only instruments in the scheme of things. If we have done something bad, we cannot reverse it or erase it, but we can atone for it. Rather than feel guilt, or saying sorry, we must make an acknowledgement that hurt has been caused to someone else, and now make a commitment not to repeat the same mistake again.
Our choice of actions is in the present. Even our memory of the past occurs now – in the present. The karma theory dwells neither on the past nor on the future. It is all about the present, where we are continually at one crossroads after another – choosing papa or punya.
People go to doctors only when they are sick. People go to an astrologer only when there is a problem. I am responsible for my actions and so I choose to do the correct things for the sake of subsequent results I wish to enjoy – whether drishtaphala or adrishtaphala.
Prayer also is an action, even if it is in the mind alone. In order to act with integrity, I need to know what are the right actions or appropriate behavior. If you know, just do it. If you don’t know, then ask. But ask whom?
The Dharmashastra is the guide for life – right action, right place, right time. There are people who have the wisdom to guide us. If you look, you will find such a person, and vice versa. As a mature and intelligent person, I have a responsibility to choose appropriately.
His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology offers a compilation of Vedic astrology techniques, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of world events. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com