Karma – Janma

Life, when examined deeply, will appear to be an endless chain of “causes & effects”. Every effect becomes the cause for further downstream effects. After considerable time passes (decades, centuries, millennia) – the cluster of effects are so large in number with random inter-relationships – one cannot make out which is the cause and which is the effect. It then becomes “chicken-egg” or “seed-tree” puzzle as to which came first. The original puzzle that preceded all puzzles of human mind is the cycle of “Karma-Janma”. Karma is dynamic thought & action – while Janma is physical birth … which came first? This can be left to any one’s own imagination and self conviction – as no convincing is possible by others.

What I am going to attempt now is to get some clarity on the definition & theory of Karma itself – which often is very nebulous, when one tries to get some insights into it. Sri Malladi Venkata Krishnamurthy – a Sanskrit scholar has drawn extensively from “Niralambopanishad” to give us some clarity on Karma-Janma – I am grateful to him.

1. What is Karma…?

Kriyate Anena Iti Karma! This means everything that gets done is Karma. The word Karma originates from the root word “Kru” meaning dynamic thought & action. Karma means an action committed by mind or body! The completed work is called “Karma”, while the work in progress is called “Kriya”. Hence the seed of Karma lies in the Kriya.

Niralambopanishad defines Karma as – “Any action by mind or body with full involvement of all 5-senses and awareness of –“I am doing” – is Karma. There is never a moment in human life – that one is not involved or engaged in doing some type of Karma or the other. Hence there is no life without Karma.

2. Types / divisions of Karma …?

  1. Sanchita Karma: This is the cumulative Karma (good & bad) of all the previous births collected till now – and held like a bank account. Occasionally we draw from this bank balance to the present time situations – to experience good & bad luck.  Often we come across situations that we get windfalls of gains effortlessly – or troubled cruelly for no apparent present time fault of ours. This is actually subconscious withdrawals from the past accumulated bank balance – where there is never an error in accounting.
  2. Agami karma: This is also called Kriyamana Karma. Day to day living imposes conditions – forcing one to commit Karma of one sort or the other. All such Karma is Agami Karma. The effects of Agami Karma are either experienced immediately or added to the cumulative Bank account of Sanchita Karma – as the case may be. Hence Agami Karma is possible only while living – as later it gets added to the Sanchita Karma after the death of the body.
  3. Prarabda Karma: Every type of Karma that has come to the maturity & fruition to be experienced for its results are called Prarabda Karma. This is actually a combination of selective withdrawals from Sanchita Karma – with proper reinforcements from Agami Karma.

I do not wish to saturate the minds of the readers by giving all at once. This will take some time to digest. Depending on the response,  I will add clarifying and expanding articles to this series of Karma-Janma.


MSR Ayyangar.


About MSR

I am a Healthcare products manufacturer & exporter and also a healthcare counselor. The areas of my interest include Spirituality, Philosophy, Science, Engineering, Humanities, History and Sports.

Posted on September 8, 2010, in Religion and Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. sir, i want Malladi venkata krishna murthy’s address and contact numbers, please help me.

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