Types of Karma 29. December 2006 Vishwa Vedanta (2) The word Karma came from Sanskrit word “Kri”, it means “to do”. Karma means not only action, but also the result of an action. The consequence of an action is a part of the action, and cannot be divided from it. Karma is a neutral, self-perpetuating law of the inner cosmos.Thus, Karma refers to Any act or deed The principle of cause and effect A consequence or "fruit of action” or "after effect" which sooner or later returns upon the doer. What we sow, we shall reap in this or future livesAccording to Vedas - "Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. As is his will, so is his deed. Whatever deed he does, that he will reap."The concept of Karma is central in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Breathing, thinking, talking, seeing, hearing, eating, etc., are Karmas. Thinking is mental Karma. Karma is the sum total of our acts both in the present life and in the preceding lives. The innumerable Karmic Seeds we produce by our various actions - desire, aversion, love, hatred, happiness, etc. will undoubtedly produce, sooner or later, a positive or negative result according to the nature of the seed, if not in this life, then in some future one.All living creatures are bound to perform some act or Karma. Even if someone decides not to do anything, in reality an act is being performed in form of doing nothing and hence its result will be accordingly. Types of Karma? Karma can be divided in three parts:1. Sanchita Karma (Acquired Karma): In Sanskrit it means – “The accumulated consequence of an individual’s actions in present and past lives.” This is the storage of all karma or sum of all karmas which can be referred as total cosmic debt, in which every moment either an individual is adding or reducing Karma. Following five aspects of our life are governed by Sanchita Karma :1. Birth, place of birth and our parents2. Education and line of education3. Wealth and source of wealth4. Longevity and illnesses5. Death, place of death and mode of deathThis karma also refers to the psychological, mental subconscious tendency which determines the propensities for psychological and physical illnesses, particular kinds of obstacles, and a natural habit or tendency to behave in particular way. For example, you have no control over your birth or death but it happens based on your Karma. As time passes Sanchita Karma takes the form of Prarabhada Karma and yields its results. It is very complex to predict that which Karma will yield exactly what result but as a general rule of thumb “As you sow so shall you reap.”2. Prarabdha Karma (Present Karma) – In Sanskrit it means – “Action that has been unleashed or aroused.” It also refers to the action which manifests now. This is the portion of Sanchita Karma which was earned in the past and it is already in action now. This Karma you can not erase, you have to go through it, because it is already in process. You have no freedom to make any changes to it. This is already yielding the result and thus we have no control to make any changes.3. Agami Karma (Approaching Karma): In Sanskrit it means –“Actions that has to come.” The Karma or the actions that are now going to be done which will give their results later in future. Some of Agami Karmas bear fruit in the current life; others are stored for future births in form of Sanchita Karma. There is a freedom in choosing an action here but Agami Karma is influenced by our old tendencies and habits from Sanchita Karma and Prarabdha Karma. If an indivisual is fully aware of his actions he can choose the good Karma which will yield the good result in future.Some of the following aspects of our life are governed by Agami Karma :1. Growth of Wealth2. Growth of Knowledge3. Social life4. Marriage5. ChildrenMode of KarmaThere are mainly three ways an indivisual performs Karma. You perform your acts or deeds every moment in your life through following ways1. Manasa - Mind2. Vaachaa - Speech3. Karmana - Actions Can we erase our Karma?Karma is infinite. Every habit is sort of Karma. Each Karma has a limited time bound affect. The result can be good or bad based on an individual's perception. Being aware of the tendencies may help to overcome the tendencies. But, Karma which has already yielded the result or in process of yielding the result can not be changed or erased. It means Prarabdha Karma is inevitable and should be suffered and endured.Spiritual Masters say, you can erase your Sanchita Karma through spiritual practices - prayer, meditation and selfless service. And, Agami Karma can be erased through awareness. Only a meditative state of mind does not incur any Karma; and it becomes a witness of every act without any entanglement.Thus, Karma can be erased only by knowledge (not the information) in form of awareness and spiritual practices, which helps us to make right choices when we act. What if we do not erase?As most of us do. Either we do not care what we do or due to lack of awareness or ego stay in the trap of the vicious cycle of Karma. Some part of Agami Karma becomes Sanchitra Karma for future. Then, portion of Sanchita Karma becomes Prarabdha Karma and starts yielding the result and at the same time we perform new actions towards Agami Karma and thus we are forced into the cycle of birth and death till we pay all the dues of our total cosmic debt.Why some good people face bad things in their life?A person may be very good from all his acts in present life, but you never know what he did in his previous life (lives).