This life I was a gentle, spiritual & peace loving person but I got a very tough life since childhood with violent parents, health issues and financial struggles. I know it must be my own past bad karma. What can I do to ensure that my next life is good with wealthy spiritual peaceful parents, good health, material & spiritual success etc ?. Do any mantras help ?
—Jehangir Nariman, India
Thank you for your question. The law of karma is about cause and effect and a vast one to understand. Here are some thoughts.
One difficulty in understanding karma is that it is often seen as ‘bad’ karma. This is not true. Karma is set up to lead us back to the Infinite. Karma is action, and an action can be good or bad. Really, what the world presents to us is not good or bad — it is what we do with it. Reaction is the key. Reacting with an even-minded and cheerful attitude will reconstruct our life and our karma. How to begin?
To change or improve karma, begin this moment! Change your thinking. To feel bound by karma will only dilute your inner power and energy to overcome and change. Try seeing your ‘obstacles’ as good luck! You can affirm, “There are no obstacles: There are only opportunities!” You can, now, begin by saying in your heart with love, “God, God, God, please be with me, guide me.” Give God the simple love of your heart. He likes that and always hears such simple and spontaneous devotion. He will answer in your heart.
There are ways to work with your situation brought on by karma. Our karma is meant to bring us back to God. Seek answers in God in the Inner Silence, and with self-offering ask for guidance on how to handle what is ours to do. Accept ‘what simply is’ and then consider what can be done. At that point we begin to neutralize our karma.
A way to work with a karmic tendency is to realize it is a lesson for us. It may be to learn to develop will power, perseverance, or discrimination, and then we will be able to change any tendency. What happens in our life is perfect for who we are and what we need to grow. Seemingly bad karma may just be the push needed to put out more effort toward finding a better life — thus eventually taking us back to God.
Another thought that can be used as an affirmation is: “As I learn the lessons that life teaches me, I grow toward ever-greater joy and freedom.”
Remember, God loves you very much and only wants the best for you. It is up to you to recognize His love.
Many blessings on your efforts!