Category: Karma, Reincarnation
While all results of bad karma are also surely spiritual tests, my understanding is that the reverse is not necessarily true. When caught in a trying situation, I often wish I knew for sure the root cause. If it was bad karma, then I would be prompted to introspect as to what I did wrong and strive to avoid similar thoughts/actions in the future, as well as to respond correctly in the moment; if not, I would take it simply as a cue to focus on the latter. Any tips on distinguishing?
It is helpful to see karma and spiritual tests as one and the same rather than distinct and separate causes of challenges in our lives. We've attracted by previous actions whatever tests or karma we face at any moment in time.
The following are helpful quotes from Swami Kriyananda's Course in Success and Happiness regarding karma:
Over the past few days I've "done more harm than good". A lot. It's been something as simple as keeping a door open for someone who doesn't need to walk through it, to jumping the gun at work and trying to do something that ultimately gets in the way of other people's progress. Am I going through a karmic pattern right now? How can I more consciously correct this behavior and how can I tune in to what God is trying to teach me?
I am sorry that you had to go through these challenges right now. Everything that happens to us is a part of our karma.
It will be helpful for you to review each situation carefully, and get clarity into what motivated you to act the way you did. Was your motivation pure? did it come from a desire to help others, or did it come from a desire to control others?
When a soul evolves into its first human body, what are the likely characteristics of that person?
A person newly in the human body has animalistic desires and habits. It will use its body more for physical enjoyment, trying to get the greatest physical enjoyment for the least amount of effort (example: a couch potato). They will not be mental. They will be lazy physically and mentally, and selfish.
I was walking across a cemetery and I saw this grave with a person who died in 1858. And when I saw the name on the grave I had a strange feeling that I know this person or knew that person. Could this be a memory of a past life or am I just imagining it ?
It is almost as if I can see the person in front of me. Could it be that I knew this person or could I just be imagining it ?
Yes, it is quite possible that you were this person or that you may have known this person well in a past life. Things like this often happen to many people - little glimpses into one's long journey through time and space and through many different incarnations.
Hello, I would be grateful for your guidance. My mom taught me to hate almost everyone since my early childhood. I grew up hearing stories of how badly my father had mistreated her. So, I grew up hating my father, and thus had mistreated him. Not until after my mother's death that my brother told me those were all fabricated stories. Since then I fear that in my next incarnation I will have to face serious bad karma such as being crippled. How do I get rid of this constant fear? Thank you. Kathy
You have the karma to be born into the family you were born into. You were condtioned to hate by your mother as karma brought over from past incarnations and manifest again in this one.
At this time you have the opportunity to heal the hate you have acquired in this lifetime and previous ones by offering your sincere apologies to anyone you have treated in thought or action with hatred. If someone is no longer living in the body, pray to that soul and ask for forgiveness and let them know how sorry you are for your errors.
I have some Q's from Autobiography of a Yogi.
1) What is difference between Soul and Astral body?
2) In the books he says that in the Astral planes the astral beings Who have overcome physical karma and live permanently in the astral planes, reincarnate again an again to overcome their astral karma until they move to the Causal plane. But how can a Soul die by itself and reincarnate in the same astral plane? Isn't reincarnation from astral to physical only? What rebirth here means?
Paramhansa Yogananda taught that the soul is not the same as the astral body that encases it. In fact he taught, in line with the teachings of Sanaatan Dharma, that the soul, which is the pure reflection of Spirit, appears on the causal plane, not the astral plan
Many people are suffering in poverty and seem to never be able to get out of it. Is this only karma or lack of effort. Recently I see people printing fake money and no one seems to be able to stop it. Will this create bad karma for them because even though it is bad, they are not hurting anyone?
It is very difficult to see people suffering and in poverty. The karma of individuals, both in this life and from past lives, certainly plays a role in why they have to deal with this. Karma, the law of action and reaction, is also why it is so difficult to get free.
Yogananda says: "The life of an advanced Kriya Yogi is influenced, not by effects of past actions, but solely by directions from the soul." This implies that a true kriya yogi is in complete control of his destiny & can direct the events in his life. Yet some gurus could accurately predict future events in their disciples' lives (disease, death, etc.) implying those events were pre-destined, i.e.: the yogi didn't have complete control over these occurences. So I am very confused, please can someone explain?
An advanced kriya yogi being influenced by directions from the soul precludes ego-directed actions. So the concept of being "in complete control his destiny" doesn't apply in the way we understand or experience that.
A true guru can perceive the subtle workings of karma in the life of a disciple and thus might be able to predict certain key events in the disciple's life. Such things are karmically directed but are not in conflict with an advanced disciple's being influenced by soul wisdom.