Saturday, September 6, 2008


Karma may be the second most important word after Dharma in hinduism .

Karma again has many meanings, but to put it simply , means deeds acts , works , or action , and the accumulated merits / demerits that accumulate as a result of such actions .

Karma is a fundamental concept in Hinduism , Buddhism etc . Closely linked to Karma is the belief in reincarnation , where all souls go through of thousands of rebirths into various living things . The highest birth is human , which gives one the opputunity and intelligence to make spiritual progress and release oneself from the cycle that binds and attain eternal freedom . Every act produces an effect which leaves behind a psychic residue called karman which binds the soul or atman to the world of existence .

The law of Karma governs the world where every action has its effect . In a way Karma assumes even more importance in Buddhism, since Buddhism is a bit agnostic in its approach ( especially the Hinayana form ) and is not too preoccupied with God . Karma and Dharma form the foundations of Buddhism.

The concept of conditioned rebirth also implies the eternity of the cosmic process , every existence being conditioned by a multitude of prior thoughts and acts done either in the present or in past births , whre there is no first beginning or definite end to the world , but a series of cosmic cycles . Every thing and every being is interdependent , each having its own place in the scheme of things . This knowledge also prevents the seperation between humans and animals , and humans and nature , which is unfortunately the case in other religions , thus leading to exploitation and cruelty .

A persons karma is a subtle substance that belongs to him yet which may be detached from him, as can fame , beauty etc . Just as the conduct of an individual is determined by his present and previous acts , so too does collective karma of all beings influence the type and quality of the world we live in , and will further condition the worlds to follow .

Karma should however not be confused with the western doctrine of divine retribution by an angry god for evil done by us ; since the effects of Karma are not decided by a deity but are immanent in all cosmic phenomena and processes and present in every deed .
One should not look upon the law of karma as fatalistic , since although ones present state is determined by past actions , ones future state is determined by present actions over which we have control .

Types of Karma - Sanchita , Prarabdha , and Agami .

Sanchita Karma is one's accumulated baggage of Karma .
Sanchita Karma can be destroyed through Jnana , or by bhakti leading to divine grace .

Prarabdha Karma is that portion of Sanchita Karma that has begun to bear fruit in the present life .
One cannot prevent the effects of Prarabdha karma .

Agami karma is the Karma that we are creating now , which is under our control , which will have its effect on future lives .

God is the Karmadhyaksha , the Supervisor of the Natural Laws of Karma .

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Entire volumes have been written about the word " Dharma " , which is one of the most important terms in Hinduism Buddhism etc . The term is infinitely rich in meaning and symbolism.

In short , however ,

Dharma is The sacred law , universal custom , Justice , morality , ethics , duty , truth ,nobility , etc all combined.

Dharma governs the the eternal wheel of time , being the axis of wheel .

The Vedas talk of Rta or Divine Law , which deals with the correct performance of sacrifices .

This concept later expanded and evolved into Dharma .

Dharma is Brahman .

In Theology Dharma is Divine Law.

In Epistemology Dharma is Truth .

In Ontology Dharma represents the balance of all Cosmic Manisfestation .

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The ancient Sages

The term Saptha Rishis , refers to a list of seven very important ancient sages .

As per the Mahabharata they are

1. Vashistha ( Guru to King Dasharatha and Rama of the Ramayana)
2. Pulastya

The Vishnu Purana adds Brighu and Daksha to the above list and calls them the Nava Prajapatis ( ie the Nine Brahma rishis ) .

The term Brahma Rishi is given to a sage of the highest attainment who has realised Brahman, the supreme spirit , and is a perfect being .

The four levels of rishis , in increasing order of attainment are

Rishi , Maharishi , Rajarishi , and Brahmarishi .

The Sathapatha Brahmana has a different list

1. Gotama
2. Bharadwaja
4. Jamadagni
7. Atri

other lists include sages such as Kanva , Vyasa , Valmiki , Manu , Vibhandhaka etc .

Other famous sages who also play a major role in history and mythology are
Agastya , Durvasa , Parasara , Ashwathama , Garga , Kanada , Kapila , Pathanjali, Jaimini , Badarayana etc .