Can We Clear Our Karma?


What are the symptoms, when one undergoes the process of karmic clearing?

How long does the process continue?

Does it happen phases? If so, how many times ?

How could we know that the karma ended ?

—Hari Prasad Sahu, India


Dear Hari Prasad,

I think all of us would like it if someone else could clear our karma — painlessly, preferably. And yes, there are many people who advertise that they can do it (the only pain being monetary). With all due respect, I don’t think they are clear about karma.

Karma is incredibly complex, for it is the accumulated momentum of millions of lifetimes of thoughts and actions. Yes, even our thoughts can generate karma. Nayaswami Kriyananda has said, “It takes a master to understand karma.” That in itself should give us second thoughts about someone else claiming to be able to clear our karma.

A true guru can help us navigate our karma. S/he might even take away some of our karma – although that’s rarer, because a true guru knows perfectly well that we need to learn our lessons, and karma is God’s mechanism by which we learn right ways of living.

All this is not to say that we have to sit back, helpless, while our karma plays itself out. Not at all. We can’t change the past, but neither do we have to be slaves to it. There is much we can do to mitigate our karma. But only we — in partnership with God and Guru — can do that, not someone else. Some other people might be able to work with energy to a degree sufficient to temporarily affect some of our karmic patterns, but those patterns will quickly reassert themselves unless we make a sufficiently strong effort to change. No one can do our changing for us.

Karma is a huge topic, and I cannot satisfactorily address it here. If you would like to go deeper into it, I suggest you begin with the book, Karma and Reincarnation, by Paramhansa Yogananda.