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Three Kinds of Karma

by Swami Sivananda

1. Sanchita Karmas are accumulated works

2. Prarabdha Karmas are ripe or fructuous actions

3. Kriyamana or Agami Karmas are current works

Sanchita are destroyed by Brahma Jnana. One should enjoy the Prarabdha anyhow (Vyavaharika Drishti). Kriyamana are no actions, as the Jnani has Akarta and Sakshi Bhava. Tarash, the case in which arrows are accumulated, represents our Sanchita Karmas; the arrow that is ready for discharging represents our Agami Karmas; and the arrow which has already left the bow, which cannot return, which must hit the target, represents the Prarabdha Karmas. The articles in the store-room represent the Sanchita; the articles that are put in the shop for sale are Prarabdha; the daily sale proceeds are the Agami.

There are three kinds of Prarabdha, viz., Iccha Prarabdha, Aniccha Prarabdha, and Paraiccha Prarabdha. There is difference between the Iccha Prarabdha of Vivekins and non-Vivekins. Non-Vivekins think that they are the agents of all actions. They are egoistic. They do mischief to other people. They always do evil actions. They are always full of misery. Vivekins eradicate attachment, desires and egoism. They have no desire for money. They lead a peaceful life and serve others.

Aniccha Prarabdha is common to Vivekins and non-Vivekins. Both suffer from the heat of the sun, wind, rain, disease, accidental injury to the head by striking against the door, lightning-stroke, etc. Paraiccha Prarabdha is common to both. One man prostrates before a Vivekin or a non-Vivekin and implores him to render some help or service. He has to undergo the pleasure and pain that accrue from this work.

The seed-like subtle impressions of the entire accumulated actions lie dormant in Chittakasa (the mental space). When a great Jnani gets illumination through direct intuitive knowledge, that he is not the five sheaths but transcendental to them and also their witnessing intelligence (Sakshi), the Atman, then the subtle impressions of Sanchita Karma lying in Chittakasa of the Manomaya Kosha remain in the sheath only; they can no longer enchain the liberated Jnani.

Just as a potter, having set in motion the wheel by a rod, removes his hand and rod from it, allowing the wheel to revolve till the momentum previously imparted to it is exhausted, in the same way, the Jnani, even after his attainment of Jivanmukti through Self-knowledge, continues enjoying the fruit of his Prarabdha Karma up to the end of the present body. Prarabdha is exhausted by no other means than by enjoying its fruit.

Just as the potter's wheel, after being set in motion continues revolving, even after the connection with the potter is cut off, so also a Jnani continues to enjoy the fruit of his Prarabdha Karma; but they cannot produce the seed of Sanchita Karma on account of his non-attachment or absence of craving for them.

The enjoyment of the fruit of Prarabdha Karma falls to his lot by the force of Prarabdha. He has not the least desire for them as he has realised, through Self-knowledge, their impermanent and unreal nature. So their enjoyment does not in any way affect him. The experience of happiness and misery, owing to his non-attachment, is impotent to produce the seeds of Sanchita Karma, as the parched grains are impotent to germinate and produce any crop.

Brahma Jnana annihilates Agami Karmas (current works) of a Jnani as he has no contact with them, that is, he is untouched or unaffected by his Karmas, like the lotus leaf which is unaffected by the drops of water on it.

The accumulated and current actions of a Jnani take shelter in Brahmanda Prakriti.

Those who serve and adore a Jnani acquire his merit of current actions, while those who hate and censure him get the demerit of his current actions.

Thus the Jnani gets disentangled from the fetters of all Karmas (Tattva Bodha).


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