One of the most difficult things is not to change society - but to change yourself, ~Nelson Mandela

Karma is a Sanskrit word from the root Kri, which means to make or to do. Karma simply means action. It operates in the Universe as the continuous chain reaction of cause and effect. Karma means that as you sow, so shall you reap in this and other lifetimes, until we understand the complete consequences of all our actions. Karma is the universal law of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. A good cause, a good effect; a bad cause a bad effect is a common saying when referring to karma. Karma works on both action and thought, and this is why it is so important to train our mind to think positive thoughts no matter what situation we agreed to embark on in life's journeys and spiritual lessons.

Karma is the sum of a person's actions in this and previous lives. While on Earth, all souls live in both worlds of reincarnation and karma. Karma is justice. It does not reward or punish and shows no favoritism.

The purpose of karma is to maintain balance in the Universe. In order for that balance to be maintained, living things must learn their lessons to live consciously and responsibly with a view that extends wider than just themselves. This is the path to enlightenment, and enlightenment brings greater understanding of all living and non-living things around us.

There are four different types of karma that a soul works on in life:

1.Sanchita Karma:

Sanchita karma is the sum total karma or accumulated actions. It is the accumulated result of all our actions from all our past lifetimes. This is our total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either we are adding to it or we are reducing our cosmic debt. Sanchita karma is the vast store of piled-up karma accumulated in the preceding and in all other previous births that has yet to be resolved. This is our total cosmic debt. It is waiting to be fulfilled in our future births. So unless and until the Sanchita karma of a soul is cleared, it will remain with us in each new physical body, in order to exhaust its balance.

2. Praarabdha Karma:

Praarabdha karma is considered fructifying karma or the theory of an action beginning and being set in motion. This is the portion of our sanchita karma being worked on in our present life. If we work down our agreed-upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface and can be worked on as well. This is how Sanchita karma gets dissolved.

3. Aagami Karma:

Aagami karma is our future karma. It is the karmic map that is coming as a result of the merits and demerits of the present actions of our current birth. It is the portion of actions in the present life that add to our Sanchita karma or cosmic karma. If we fail to work off our debt, then more debts are added to Sanchita karma and are sent to future lives.

4. Kriyamana Karma:

Kriyamana karma is the daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off. For example, if we do something wrong, we get caught and we spend time in jail. It is karma that is right in front of us to decide or act upon and contributes to our future karma in a big way. This type of karma can also be worked off immediately.

As a soul, we experience constant cycles of births and deaths into a series of bodies until we have learned all the spiritual lessons that the totality of all experiences have to teach a particular soul. Every day, people are working these experiences via physical and spiritual forces in the Universe. Physical, spiritual and mental thought and action is never lost but transformed and played out through a soul's karma.

Through actions, thoughts and words, people are releasing spiritual energy to the Universe and are in turn affected by influences coming in other directions. We are our own sender and receiver of our thoughts and actions. As we sow, so shall we reap, so to speak. Any physical action or thought sent out by an individual changes their energy. Bad actions and thoughts create bad energy, good actions and thoughts create good energy and the circumstances created by these energy patterns are played out through a karmic balance sheet.

What we think, and our character, is dependent on good thoughts, actions and words. If we have thoughts, these thoughts will have an effect on our circumstances and karma.

If we hit someone, we may cause harm, pain or injury to the person and the law of karma requires us to experience the same pain. This is so we learn to behave in a way that causes good experiences to others and especially our self.

We may also attract people that have the same or similar karma that we have. If we physically fight others, we may attract these people over and over. Until we become aware of our own behavior and want to change it, we will stay in the same karmic pattern until we start to strive for change and a more peaceful environment.

The law of karma affects all individuals as well as friends, families, cities and countries. It also affects all we do toward any being - including animals, plants, planets and beings of any nature and humans.

Every action, thought and emotion is energy and this radiates into the Universe like a radio station. Some people may radiate thoughts and feelings of love, raising their vibrational frequency. Some may cause mental or emotional stress to others, causing and influencing mental or emotional pain, which lowers their vibrational frequency.

All this energy is constantly rippling through the Universe. Our thoughts and emotions, no matter how private we may consider them, affect others around us. We are a result of the energy we create from our thoughts and actions, which contributes to our karmic balance sheet. This energy is also part of our aura and affects those around us including our family, friends or the world and Universe.

Being aware of all our thoughts and emotions, as well as all our words and actions, will help create positive energy in our life. Be prepared to receive the kind of energy we radiate from others and to receive physically what we radiated in our thoughts or mind. Thoughts of violence or punishment toward others may hurt them even more than any physical violence and may come back as a karmic boomerang towards us. Thoughts of love and good will towards others will bring us good karma. If we are kind to all, even those who are not kind to us, we will find true happiness.

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