We are all lovers, devotees of a higher power, thousands of lovers, but the Beloved is one for all. He whom we desire is the beloved of the whole world and is the one God for all men, not specifically for Muslims only, or for Hindus only, or for Christians only.
          Sant Kirpal Singh

Karma: The law of action and reaction


Q. Please explain why the enact­ment of the drama of life.

A. It is all an expres­sion of the inex­or­a­ble law of karma. Desire is the root-cause of all bond­age and rebirths. Unless one becomes a Con­scious Co-worker of the Divine Plan by com­plete self-sur­ren­der and anni­hi­la­tion of ego, the goal of spir­i­tual per­fec­tion can­not be attained. Please refer to the Wheel of Life for exhaus­tive expla­na­tion.

Q. How much are our lives pre-ordained, and what part does ‘free will’ play after we become ini­tiates?

A. Six things are pre-ordained or cov­ered by fate-karma; viz. health and sick­ness, pov­erty and opu­lence, hon­our and igno­miny. Stren­u­ous effort, self-con­trol and dis­ci­pline do play an impor­tant role for our bet­ter­ment with the Grace of the Mas­ter. Many dear ones with unhappy and check­ered careers claim to have become saintly per­sons after holy ini­ti­a­tion and faith­ful med­i­ta­tions on holy Naam. For elab­o­rate dis­cus­sion, ref­er­ence is invited to Wheel of Life.

Q. What hap­pens after death; do we enter another place to go through a period of birth and growth and grop­ing until we find our Mas­ter again?

A. It is sup­posed that the ques­tion relates to the ini­tiates of the liv­ing Mas­ter only, and as such, it should be under­stood in the light of what fol­lows.

The dear ones who have been blessed with the sacred boon of holy ini­ti­a­tion into the mys­ter­ies of the beyond, are all granted full pro­tec­tion by the gra­cious Mas­ter Power in the beyond. Most of their kar­mic debts are paid off as they had lived their nor­mal fate karma. Smaller kar­mic debts are paid off even before leav­ing off the body and as such they are not rein­car­nated. If, how­ever, there remain some over­whelm­ing worldly desires, the ini­tiated souls are granted human birth, but are placed in such con­gen­ial envi­ron­ments where they will have the chance of con­tin­u­ing their inner jour­ney, by meet­ing the liv­ing Mas­ter work­ing at the time. Spir­i­tual growth and progress thus con­tin­ues under His guid­ance.

Q. Why must our past lives be con­cealed from us?

A. It has a sig­nif­i­cance. The entire human life is a drama based on the inex­or­a­ble law of karma which results in union and sep­ar­a­tion of the souls for the liq­ui­da­tion of their mutual give and take. If one is told about these kar­mic debts involved and the sons or daugh­ters born to us are only our past debt­ors, the rea­son and sense of their breed­ing will be harmed. It is one of the chief func­tions of the neg­a­tive power to con­ceal these truths from the humans for keep­ing the earth life ago­ing. You will be per­haps aston­ished to know that kal has obtained three main boons from the Almighty, as con­tained in Sar Bachan. These are:

1. Nobody will know of his or her past life;

2. Nobody should know about his or her exact time and date of death; and

3. The liv­ing Mas­ter should not grant holy ini­ti­a­tion to the humans by show­ing mir­a­cles but sim­ply hold Sat­sangs and if the dear ones come up of them­selves and seek ini­ti­a­tion, only then should they be ini­tiated.

Q. Is it less fortunate karma to be born a woman, and is a woman’s potential for spiritual development in this life less than that of man?

A. It is not less for­tu­nate karma to be born as a woman and there is not poten­tial dif­fer­ence in regard to the spir­i­tual devel­op­ment in this life between man and woman. The Mas­ters do not attach any spe­cific impor­tance to the gen­ders and con­sider all the humans as equal and see them from the soul-level. Women have rather more devoted to their spir­i­tual growth, hav­ing an innate incli­na­tion to devo­tional ded­i­ca­tion.

Q. If a Sat­sangi aids another per­son in dif­fi­culty, as to money or sav­ing another’s life, does the Sat­sangi take on kar­mic bur­den of the one he aids?

A. The Satsangi’s ren­der­ing mon­e­tary help or phys­i­cal assis­tance in sav­ing life does not involve kar­mic bur­den. Such like noble actions should be under­taken in a sense of self­less­ness, which rids the dear one of the sub­tle ego which creeps in sur­rep­ti­tiously, and sows the seeds of future reac­tion. Since it is an embar­rass­ing and baf­fling prob­lem to find out whether such and such Sat­sangi is in dire need of help, phys­i­cal or finan­cial, the ini­tiates should endea­vour to donate to the Mas­ter, who knows best about its even­tual dis­pen­sa­tion and dis­po­sal. Saint Kabir cau­tions the sin­cere dev­o­tee that dona­tions must be made self­lessly and only through the Sat­guru who knows best as to how these are to be dis­posed of.

Q. If Sat­san­gis exchange gifts, do one or both of them take on some kar­mic bur­den from each other?

A. The law of karma is immut­a­ble and inex­or­a­ble. The exchange of gifts amongst the Sat­san­gis will result in mutual bal­anc­ing and adjust­ment. It should be under­stood care­fully that the kar­mic bind­ing lies in the fact that any gift is given or taken with the inner inten­tion of doing so, whereas if the giver gives in as spirit of self­less­ness as a ded­i­ca­tion to the Mas­ter Power, and the other receiv­ing the same receives in a grat­i­tude as a token of grace from the Mas­ter Power, both are relieved of the bur­den involved.

Q. Do I have a lot of bad karma to work off?

A. Every ini­tiate has a lot of good and bad karma to be worked off dur­ing phys­i­cal exist­ence. The ter­mi­nol­ogy of good or bad karma can­not be ade­quately jus­ti­fied, as both entail some debts requir­ing fair liq­ui­da­tion. Suf­fice it to note that the decrees of heaven are sub­ject to no error and the Divine dis­pen­sa­tion is invar­i­ably fla­voured with mercy. The inner rare bliss from reg­u­lar and devoted med­i­ta­tions changes the entire out­look of the ini­tiate when he or she finds the gra­cious hand of the Mas­ter pro­tect­ing him or her at every step. You should know it for cer­tain that every­thing what­soever that comes to your count­ing is def­i­nitely for your spir­i­tual progress, and you should gladly with­stand the trials and trib­u­la­tions of this life, by repos­ing your hopes and aspi­ra­tions at the feet of the gra­cious Mas­ter Power over­head.

Q. When met­a­phy­si­cians heal, is this the power of God or kal?

A. Heal­ing done by met­a­phy­si­cians falls within the scope of neg­a­tive power when the kar­mic debts involved are put off for the time being, and have to be repaid some­time with com­pound inter­est. The gra­cious God Power does not actu­ally pun­ish the souls but deals out jus­tice tem­pered with mercy in accor­dance with our karma. The degrees of heaven are in no way sub­ject to error and the Divine dis­pen­sa­tion is invar­i­ably fla­voured with Grace.

Q. Can the Power of God work in our lives in spite of bad karma?

A. The Divine Power of God con­tin­ues work­ing for our spir­i­tual wel­fare irre­spec­tive of the response. It is rather the enliv­en­ing prin­ci­ple in human body which sus­tains and main­tains the life, and as such works cease­lessly through­out the phys­i­cal sojourn. What we term as ‘bad karma’ means lesser good and if one is granted the boon of holy ini­ti­a­tion, there are ample chances of improve­ment.

Q. What are the teach­ings of the Mas­ters regard­ing hell and pur­ga­tory?

A. The Mas­ters do not con­tra­dict the scrip­tures which describe these places meant for the ref­or­ma­tion of human souls in accor­dance with the law of karma.

Q. Can karma apply to nations as well as indi­vid­u­als?

A. Yes. The cumu­la­tive reac­tion of kar­mic debt of nations results in wars, epi­dem­ics, destruc­tion by fire or floods etc. For exhaus­tive expla­na­tion, a ref­er­ence is invited to the book Wheel of Life.

Q. On page 319 in ‘Spir­i­tual Gems’ it is stated: "There is no racial karma.’ We have been taught there is both racial and national karma. Will you please explain this?

A. Karma, besides being indi­vid­ual vis-a-vis soci­ety of which he is a mem­ber, may as well be racial or national and in this sense may be called col­lec­tive karma. Races, like indi­vid­u­als, have their own prides and prej­u­dice, pride of col­our as the whites gen­er­ally have against what they call col­oured peo­ple, and this prej­u­dice of theirs they man­i­fest in diverse ways: by rais­ing all kinds of col­our bars for denial of civic and social rights, polit­i­cal priv­i­leges and legal rem­e­dies, all of which in course of time redound upon the per­pe­tra­tors of social indig­ni­ties and ine­qual­i­ties caus­ing unrest lead­ing, and at times, to bloody racial wars. Again, some races boast of super­i­or­ity of blood in their veins and on that score think that they form a priv­i­leged class by them­selves favoured by God to rule over and exploit oth­ers; but, as is usual in such cases, they are sooner or later over­taken by nem­e­sis – for they, that rule by the sword, very often per­ish by the sword.

In like man­ner, some nations when swayed by national inter­ests, get embroiled in unfair trade com­pe­ti­tions, build high tar­iff walls against other nations and at times even try to boost the sale of their unwanted prod­ucts on the point of gun with the nat­u­ral result of repri­sals, embar­goes and other retal­i­a­tory meas­ures from those who suf­fer from their dis­crim­i­na­tory acts and deeds.

Next come what are gen­er­ally termed and com­monly believed to be nat­u­ral calam­i­ties, like floods, famines, earth­quakes and epi­dem­ics etc. These too, like all other ills, are the result, more or less, of man’s ignor­ance of the laws of nature, his inca­pac­ity to fore­see things and fore­stall meas­ures nec­es­sary to elim­i­nate the threat­ened dis­as­ters. With the pro­gres­sive advance­ment in sci­en­tific knowl­edge and tech­no­log­i­cal skill, man is grad­u­ally com­ing to his own, press­ing the forces of nature more and more to the ser­vice of his kind, and mak­ing the most of the poten­tial energy lying hid­den and untapped. This is how the law of karma works silently and unno­ticed but inex­or­a­bly to the good or ill as the case may be. In this con­nec­tion please refer to the book Wheel of Life.

Q. Is it nec­es­sary to pray that we can have a hus­band (spir­i­tual) in this life or is this deter­mined by karma or one’s fate?

A. Unions and sep­ar­a­tions are gov­erned by the law of karma. Prayer is the last weapon of the spir­i­tual aspir­ant and must not be over-used or over­looked. Please refer to the book Prayer – Its Nature and Tech­nique.

Q. How does karma work on lower ani­mals?

A. Lower ani­mals or forms of crea­tion are bound by their past kar­mic debt and they do not con­tract any more karma dur­ing their life span. They sim­ply are born to undergo their kar­mic liq­ui­da­tion.

Q. Does God move us around like a chess­man on a board or do we, with our free will, move our­selves?

A. It is our past kar­mic evo­lu­tion which moves us around under His Divine will. We are bound within cer­tain lim­its on account of past karma and free within cer­tain lim­its. We can make the best use of free kar­mas to change our course to pro­ceed on our spir­i­tual way. For exhaus­tive expla­na­tion please refer to Wheel of Life.

Q. I have an ant hill in my gar­den which I wish to get rid of; is there any nat­u­ral way, prayer or plant­ing some seeds or flow­ers which would dis­perse them?

A. You should please not wish like that and let them live there. How would you appre­ciate the Divine Grace when you are blessed by Prov­i­dence with a charm­ing house to live in which is adorned with a beau­ti­ful gar­den and your act of remov­ing them would be sheer cruelty to the dumb and mute. You will appre­ciate that here in India, the Hin­dus feed the ants with wheat flour which shows their deep com­pas­sion for their lower breth­ren. How­ever for san­i­tary pur­poses you may please take reme­dial meas­ures as advised by the health depart­ment of the gov­ern­ment.

Q. We have been taught in our Sat­sang that all thoughts that enter the mind dur­ing med­i­ta­tion reg­is­ter on the astral and take the form of karma for us. Would you please com­ment on this?

A. The thoughts con­tinue feed­ing the mind and reg­is­ter impres­sions in the chita – the sub-con­scious­ness res­er­voir of the mind, and serve as seed karma to fruc­tify at a later stage. How­ever the thoughts enter­ing the mind dur­ing med­i­ta­tions become more potent to bear fruit at the ear­li­est oppor­tu­nity, and as such are con­sid­ered more vio­lently harm­ful than those enter­ing the mind in the nor­mal wak­en­ing hours. It should be attrib­uted to the inner con­cen­tra­tion dur­ing med­i­ta­tions when the mind becomes com­par­a­tively more sharp and one-pointed. The lis­ten­ing to the holy Sound Cur­rent as com­ing from the right side with rap­tur­ous atten­tion and absorp­tion therein burns away these seeds of kar­mas and ren­der them infruc­tu­ous to bear fruit.

Q. What is the dif­fer­ence between indi­vid­u­al­ity and per­son­al­ity and which one is involved in our karma?

A. There is no dif­fer­ence between indi­vid­u­al­ity and per­son­al­ity so far as karma is involved. The Divine pen writes in accor­dance with our karma and does not make any dif­fer­ence for one or the other.

Q. If one prac­tices the Sound Cur­rent, but does not go far or hear the higher Sounds, does the weight of karma become lighter?

A. Yes, the load of kar­mic debt gets lighter by lis­ten­ing to the holy Sound Cur­rent even if it is in its low­est links for it holds the keel of one’s barque steady on the stormy sea of life and saves it from run­ning aground among shoals, sand-banks, and sub­merged rocks. But one must strive to catch higher Sounds for it is the lat­ter that exert a pow­er­ful pull upon the soul by fol­low­ing which one is led to even­tual lib­er­a­tion. These higher Sounds can, by lov­ing devo­tion and prac­tice, be eas­ily dif­fer­en­ciated and com­muned with by the Grace of the Mas­ter Power which is ever ready to extend all fea­si­ble help to the aspir­ants on the path.

Q. Please explain the law of sym­pa­thy and how it affects our karma?

A. The law of sym­pa­thy denotes our innate com­pas­sion for those who are suf­fer­ing. It affects our karma to some extent, when we feel obliged to learn the good les­son of liv­ing a dis­ci­plined life. The sym­pa­thy by the mor­tals for oth­ers may be help­ful to the extent of their own resources, but unless it is sup­ported by gen­u­ine sub­stan­tial help, it does not bring about any tan­gi­ble result. The sym­pa­thy of the liv­ing Mas­ter for the suf­fer­ing human­ity is of supreme impor­tance, as His benign impulse will result in the lib­er­a­tion of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. He expresses His sym­pa­thy by actu­ally grant­ing a con­scious con­tact of holy Naam within for inner spir­i­tual progress.

Q. Can a sin­ner like myself attain to God-hood in this very life­time?

A. Yes, you can attain God-hood dur­ing this life­time pro­vided you work for it strictly accord­ing to the behests of the Mas­ter. Let His words abide in you and you abide in Him. You have been granted the sacred boon of the holy ini­ti­a­tion which is a valid visa on to the Sach Khand and it is your ear­nest efforts and stead­fast­ness which bless you with frui­tion of your wish in due course.