In the Autobiography of a Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda meets again with his resurrected Master Sri Yukteswar and he tells him that after one attains nirbikalpa samadhi some people may still have to work past their astral and causal karma. What are these type of karmas, how is one generating astral and causal karma? As far as I understood it, it’s only some yogis that MAY still need to get past these type of karmas, but can one overcome these by deep meditation and merge with the Beloved?
—Karen Moreno, United States
Even after the highest nirbikalpa samadhi, all yogis need to work out their astral and causal karma. All of them. Some succeed here on the material plane to achieve such full liberation (freedom from all material, astral causal karma), through intense devotion and deep spiritual practice. But it is rare. Sri Gyanamata, the highest woman disciple of Yogananda, was such a rare soul.
What is astral karma? It is generated by is the desire for astral enjoyment: marvelous colors, tempting tastes, thrilling sounds, attractive smells, astraly-charming experiences. Sri Yukteswar calls it in the Autobiography of a Yogi the “desires for experiences in the pleasing-to-the-eye astral cosmos.” He adds: “Just as most people on earth have not learned through meditation-acquired vision to appreciate the superior joys and advantages of astral life and thus, after death, desire to return to the limited, imperfect pleasures of earth, so many astral beings, during the normal disintegration of their astral bodies, fail to picture the advanced state of spiritual joy in the causal world and, dwelling on thoughts of the more gross and gaudy astral happiness, yearn to revisit the astral paradise. Heavy astral karma must be redeemed by such beings before they can achieve after astral death a permanent stay in the causal thought-world, so thinly partitioned from the Creator.”
What, then, is causal karma? It is generated by the desire for causal fulfillment, which lies in brilliant ideas, cosmic thoughts, and all kinds of blissful causal perceptions. The causal world is close to the Creator, but it is still limited. Such karma is overcome, as you say, by loving God more than all these relative enjoyments.
In short: yes, it is indeed possible to overcome all these karmas by deep meditation, merging with the Beloved. The soul must sing, “I want only Thee Lord, Thee, only Thee.” If such God-desire is in your heart, you will fly beyond all astral and causal attractions.
All the best for your soul freedom in Him,