Karma is like opening a bank account. We have choices on how much money we want to put in, to add to our balance or how much we want to withdraw. We can choose different investments that result in interest to increase what we have in our account. We can also choose to use credit card in which we pay interest on what we spend. The choice is ours to make.
Similarly, we have a karmic account. Each day we can choose whether we want to engage in thoughts, words and deeds that are going to result in good that comes back to us. We can also engage in thoughts, words and deeds, for which we must pay the consequences.
Beyond creating good and bad karmic accounts, we can also choose to do things that create a balance of zero so that we do not have to return to this world to either reap the benefits or pay the consequences.
Reducing our Karma
We can reduce our karmas by living mindfully of the karmic law. That means doing things that do not incur good or bad karma. However, if we are still not living life in a neh-karma or karma-less way, it is better to have good karma than bad karma.
There are many examples of people who can directly see the rewards that came back to them from a deed of good karma. Many times, we cannot read the correlation between what we have done and what we received in return.
Sometimes the effects span several ifetimes. At other times, what happens to us is a result of something we set in motion years ago. Everything we do is recorded in the karmic accounts. It is wise to make sure that we do not commit any actions, thoughts or words that can rebound to us with consequence.
Speeding up the Journey
If we are on the spiritual path, we do not want to return to this world to reap the rewards of what we do. There is a better plan. The solution is: do good in the Name of God, without wanting any reward for ourselves.
This means we are doing good in the world, but the credit is being passed on to God. We do not want material gains for what we do. We only want to accumulate spiritual benefits, and the love and pleasure of God. These are termed acts that are neh-karma or karma-free.
How can this be done? We do good things because it is the right thing to do, not to make name for ourselves or earn money. We say good things to others because it is the kind and loving thing to do, just out of goodness of our heart, without expecting anything in return. We think good things about others as an expression of the spiritual love we are developing in which we recognise all people as members of the same family of God.
We still do good, but our deeds are selfless without us wanting any material rewards. We do get benefits, but they come in the form of spiritual progress, the love of God, earning the pleasure of God, and the burning of our karmas without creating new ones.
Another activity in which we can spend our time without creating more karma is meditation. When we sit with a still mind, we are not creating more karma. Sitting in meditation but thinking critical and hurtful thoughts of others is not karma-less meditation. That is why Simran or repetition of the name of God is an important helping factor in preventing karma in meditation.
If we repeat the name of God, our mind is focused and does not have a chance to create karma by thinking negative thoughts against anyone. Simran helps us forget the past hurt or future worries, helps us focus on being in the present in which we are meditating to progress on the spiritual journey back to God. The analogy is like keeping our car in neutral at a red light. We are not using up our gas, but we are also not moving in any direction.
Our Soul's Progress
The soul undergoes a long journey through various forms of creation from the moment it is separated from God until it returns to God. This journey involves transmigration of the soul in which it accumulates karma.
Karmas accumulated can be good or bad. The law of karma, or the law of action and reaction, provides a system of justice in which one is rewarded for good karmas and punished for bad karmas. A soul must pay off all karma to get back to God.
The realities of the karmic law should sink into us so that we make better choices in our thoughts, words, and deeds. If we want to make spiritual progress, the roadmap is laid out for us and is our choice as to whether we put our car into drive and move forwards, stay in neutral and remain idle, or drive in reverse. Our free will means the choice is ours to make.
Let us remember that whatever we do will come back to us, whether good or bad. Let us also realise that others, especially our children, are watching us and will model their behaviour upon ours. Let’s be aware of the effect of our thoughts, words, and deeds and ensure that we do not do anything that will come back to us as karmic debt in the future.
It is better if we do everything good in the Name of God without wanting any material rewards. In this way, we will not be creating karma and we will find that we will wind up our karmas, reunite with God, and enjoy eternal peace and happiness.