Karma is a law of the universe, and you can learn to cultivate positive karma and purify negative karma. What precisely is Karma, and why should I care about it?
Growing Good Karma is a Lifestyle
So what precisely is Karma, and why should I care about it? Several philosophies and religions talk about it, but some don’t identify it by that name. You’ve probably heard the following quotes. They are talking about Karmic returns.
“Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue.”― Dalai Lama, The Path To Tranquility: Daily Meditations
“Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it.” ― Sakyong Mipham
“Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can’t get away with screwing people over your whole life, I don’t care who you are. What goes around comes around. That’s how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.” ― Jessica Brody, The Karma Club
“…You reap what you sow.” ― Galatian 6:7
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” ― Newton’s third law of motion
Karma is the reciprocal force of our actions, the universal law of justice. It is a kind of spiritual bank account which is part of the legacy of our ancestors. We receive it as part of our inheritance, we can improve or worsen it when we pass it along to the next generation.
It includes the concepts of reincarnation and cosmic returns or reaping what you sow. You may not see it happen, but it eventually returns to the sender. It is the law of ebb and flow. This philosophy is interwoven throughout Eastern thought and tradition.
Purify Negative Karma
There are two essential mindsets to viewing Karma, love or fear. If you see it as fear, then it’s all about fear, and dire consequences will return to you because of your actions. So, if you fear Karma, you believe in it; you just don’t like it. If you see it as love, then it’s all about being open to receiving any lesson or gift because of your actions. You find ways to grow good Karma. You watch for synchronicities and opportunities to spread peace and compassion.
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”” ― Wayne W. Dyer
The messages about karma from Western religion are confusing. First, it denies the concept of karma, but then the leader of the religion, Jesus, gets reincarnated. It’s awkward.
The family tree of Jesus is also important, it provides proof for the divine origins of the religion. This means they place a high value on family lineage and ancestors just like the concept of karma.
You graft yourself into this divine lineage to get the benefits of the religion. The main benefits are forgiveness of all your bad deeds, and afterlife rewards. You can pay for these. You buy indulgences and pay tithes. In other words, you do good deeds to offset your negative karma.
So, there is a sense of karmic destiny in Christianity that affects your eternal rewards or punishment. You can purify negative karma by becoming a member of their religion. They also hold that nothing happens without a divine reason, an unseen cause-and-effect relationship throughout creation. In the Jewish faith, karmic density is Middah k’neged. Middah means measure for measure. In other words, what goes around comes around. So, one way to grow good Karma is to do good deeds. Spread love, compassion, and friendliness.
The Catholic Encyclopedia (1) describes Jainism as achieving enlightenment by removing one from the cycle of rebirth. Being saved is removing oneself from the process of rebirth. Rebirth implies the concept of reincarnation. Jainism, in their view, is somewhere between Brahmanism and Buddhism, which they believe are inferior to Christianity. Whereas, in Christianity resurrection is a divine inhabitation of spirit, not reincarnation. It sure sounds like reincarnation.
The American Psychological Association (2) gives us another practical perspective of karma. Studies show helping others is the best predictor of success. Learning to help others is a better than any other type of training technique. Want to be a great leader? Start helping!
Helping others has other benefits. When you help others, you increase self-worth. You are more likely to show positive traits of compassion and kindness. When you grow karma, you help yourself and everyone in your circle of influence.
How to Grow Good Karma in The Garden of The Mind
Think of your mind and soul as a garden. If you want to harvest beautiful flowers, you’ll need to make sure you have good soil. You’ll also need to water and take care of it.
Like any gardener, you’ll need to start repairing the soil and taking out rocks and weeds. It’s hard, but necessary. You’ll want to do this before trying to plant seeds. To do this, we need to identify the harmful programming of our minds and remove them. Then, you’ll also need to tend the garden by watering it. The last step is applying affirmations and mantras.
“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love, there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Are You Growing Good Karma?
There are four kinds of Karma that act much like a spiritual credit card. If we want to improve our lives, understanding these will help us see where to put our focus:
The sum of all accumulated past actions, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It also includes Karma from past lives. Part of growing karma is learning to purify negative karma we inherit.
You’ve probably heard of past-life regression techniques where people learn about the previous incarnations. You can do this, but it’s unnecessary. After all, we cannot change the past. You don’t need to know what happened before. Dwelling on what can’t be changed is a waste of your energy. All you need to know is that you are here in human form, the highest life form on the planet. Instead, strive to make things better for yourself and the world. Help others grow Karma.
“The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in one lifetime it’s obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same ole addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it. This is the supreme lesson of karma ( and also of western psychology, by the way)- take care of the problem now, or else you’ll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering that’s hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding, there’s where you’ll find heaven.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
Prarabdha is that portion of Sanchita Karma that gave you your current incarnation. However, by using mantras and doing good works, we can alter our hearts and improve our current and future paths. Yes, we can grow Karma! Yes, we can also purify negative karma.
Here is where some serious inner work can help you pinpoint the roadblocks to your growth. There are several tools you can use to explore your subconscious, your personality, and your soul.
The Enneagram Personality Profile will help you identify any negative baggage you are carrying. Comparative Analysis is a structured approach to comparative religious studies. Researching your sacred ground will reveal the source of harmful beliefs, which support unhealthy actions or karma. Finally, the Shamanic Journey is a powerful way to explore your spiritual essence or soul. Here you can also find clues about what kind of ancestral baggage you may be carrying.
There are a lot of places in the mind and spirit where we accumulate different kinds of karma. Once you identify your roadblocks, you may use a mantra to soften or remove the blockage. Then you can rewrite the future portion of your life story.
It results from actions in the present life that will affect future incarnations. It’s the source of generational curses. So, many practitioners seek help in breaking these chains now. It results in a better life and pays dividends for all future generations. Generational issues (curses) often show up as addictions.
It is also known as Immediate Karma. For example, if you hit someone, they will hit you back. If you speed in your car, you get a speeding ticket. It’s synchronicities that are easy to spot.
Practice being a good person and see what kind of returns your goodwill brings.
Learn How To Repair and Grow Karma
1) Identify the roadblocks. Then, use the tools listed above and find out what you need to repair. Inner work like this is difficult. It isn’t fun, but it’s a necessary step if you want to restore and improve.
Finding the issues makes us face our fears. These roadblocks tend to get buried in our sacred ground. So, we want to hide them.
2) Remove the harmful thought scripts and negative programming from the cultural narrative. Use the right mantra to soften or eliminate the Karmic effects.
Most healing mantras are general, and you can apply them to almost all conditions. An example is the mantra of Dhanvantre. He is the Celestial Physician, and you can use his mantra to heal any illness.
Om Shri Dhanvantre Namaha. This mantra translates as Salutations to the being and power of the Celestial Physician. Helping to Heal others will grow good Karma.
For many people, the planets of their astrological signs are the key to the right mantra. If, for example, the sun appears in some astrologically negative aspect for you, you may wish to chant the following sun mantra: Om Suryaya Namaha. This mantra roughly translates to Om and salutations to Surya, presiding spirit of the sun.
3) Reprogram with positive affirmations and positive actions. You’ll need to fix your negative programming before using affirmations. Otherwise, you’ll likely discover they don’t work. You can’t cover up harmful programming with good. The only way to grow good Karma is by doing the inner work.
Karma is the concept of cosmic return. Whatever you do will come back to you. Religions like Buddhism and Hinduism embrace this idea openly, while Western religion denies it, but uses it within the framework of giving and receiving.
It is one of the spiritual and practical elements of life. We see its reflection in the words and deeds in our lives, all we need to do is open our eyes.
(1) The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 8 (1907): https://archive.org/details/catholicencyclop08herbuoft
(2) The American Psychological Association, The science of karma: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/10/karma