Astral Karma: Do We Have to Go Through Our Karma Twice?


As far as I understand Yogananda, someone who has died enters the astral world at the level that corresponds to his karma (lower or higher astral worlds). After a set karmic period of time, he reincarnates back to earth according to his karma in the corresponding family, health status, etc. Is that correct so far? If so, I’m surprised because in my opinion the deceased has to go through his karma twice. Once in the astral world and then again on earth. What do I understand wrong?

—Alexander, Germany


Dear Alexander,

The part where you state “someone who has died enters the astral world at the level that corresponds to his karma” is the confusing part. If I am a selfish person and have accordingly acted selfishly, I have generated through my actions a certain level of karma. But these actions arise from my selfish attitude. So there are two aspects: my consciousness, and, the actions that result from them. So when a selfish person dies and gains entry into the astral level, he’s not going to be experiencing divine bliss. His selfish consciousness will place him at an astral level that is in tune with his selfish consciousness. I don’t know what that’s like but it must be somewhat self-enclosed perhaps even lonely, even a little scary. But the actions themselves also have generated a waveform of energy that, like a boomerang, will return to the doer. That person may have cheated someone or hurt their feelings and may have some karma to pay in respect to either the specific action or the specific person.

All creation arises from consciousness entering into form via the power of energy and in the process form is separated from consciousness.

I can be a happy and content person and accordingly express happiness and contentment in relationships, work, health and spiritual seeking. Both have their specific consequences which will reinforce one another, to be sure, but which can be understood to be separate. Both are not unilaterally good or bad. Some people might take advantage of me or dislike me because I don’t seem ambitious enough. Even being selfish can teach another person to take responsibility for themselves when they mistakenly ask for help from a selfish person who refuses that help. What might therefore help another person is still an ego-affirming, selfish act on my part. Do you see?

The dichotomy described here is much like the paradox that light is both a particle and a wave! I call it the both-and phenomenon of duality. I hope this isn’t too mental or abstract. Okay?

May the Light of wisdom be ever your guide,
Nayaswami Hriman