Karma – what is it and how can Mantra help.

We hear the word ‘Karma’ bandied around in our culture so much. ‘Karma’s a bitch’ or ‘Hey, it’s Karma – what comes around goes around!’ There is this not so subtle idea that Karma is a vengeful and unforgiving force in the universe – out to get YOU!

This is not the case.

Karma is likened to a beautiful sandy beach where the tide has just been in and is slowly ebbing out. A large seagull walks upon it looking for things to eat and leaves it’s foot impressions on the sand.

It’s like that. We do an action and it leaves an impression. The more we do that type of action – the larger the impression and also the more we will be pulled into repeating those actions.

The problem with Karma is – is that we are dealing with aeons of time and uncountable past lives of impressions to deal with and consequently Karma is hard to transform and get beyond. It’s so powerful in this world.

There is hope though – another very important point to remember is that once you see samsara for what it is and see the truth of your minds nature – Karma no longer has you fooled and cannot play its game upon you.

But that’s easier said than done!

Karma is divided up into 4 types of Karma :

Sanchita Karma  – this is the accumulated Karma from all past actions in all previous lifetimes.

Parabdha Karma – this is the portion of Sanchita Karma that you bit off to chew in this lifetime. Part of your Karma is the position of the planets at the time of your birth. This is the Karma we can work on with Mantra – as it is our day-to-day Karma. While we can’t change what we are born with, we can shift our inner landscape so it is subdued a tad, shall we say.

Often, there is an example given of – you might have in this lifetime the Karma to break your leg – but because of the amount and intention of your Sanskrit mantra practice, when it comes time, all you do is stub your toe.

Kriyamana Karma – results from Karma in this present lifetime and will go forth to affect our future lives. A good reason to live with the awareness that your actions affect your future lives dramatically. Nothing gets dismissed.

Agami Karma – this is immediate Karma – you hit someone they are likely to hit you back.

A teacher of mine loved to say the fact that Karma only ripens once. And thank goodness for that. Even though we may have a lot of the same type of Karma ripening – it’s never the same Karma.

So, everything we experience in this realm is Karma. Our birthplace, our family, our siblings, our education, our place in society, our job – everything – until of course we have the Karma good enough to step out of that.

A great Mantra for working on your Parabdha Karma is:



You can say it as often as you can – maybe 2 or 3 malas a day as it’s a short one.

With Love,

Aly M. Dunne

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