Karma / कर्म

Man is bound by actions. All action is impelled by the Jeeva Shakti (Life Force). The vesture(परिधान) worn by this Life Force is the body. The body is the agency for the performance of Karma. It is also the product of karma (one's past actions). In a sense, the body and karma are one.


 The actions performed by men are described as karmas. To reap the fruits of their actions, they take birth in bodies. Hence, man is represented as bound by karma. It is for experiencing the results of one's good and bad deeds that one takes birth.

Religious practices will not lead to God-realisation. We are familiar with the pairs of opposites like good and bad, sin and merit, truth and falsehood. The performance of Vaidheek Karmas (prescribed religious rites) like Yagnas, Yaagas(sacrificial rites) charity and penance, is regarded as Punya Karmas (meritorious actions). While engaged in these acts, if a person is concerned with worldly gains, Ahamkaara (egotism) arises.There is the feeling, I am doing these sacred rites. On the other hand, indulging in evil deeds like fraud, cruelty and deceit, man forgets his higher nature and is oblivious to the consequences of  his actions. Involvement in actions, whether good or bad, results in bondage.

The chains that bind may be made of gold or of iron, but they are chains all the same. Good deeds alone cannot be the means of liberation. The Vedhas (ancient spiritual scriptures), the Upanishaths, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Suuthras have declared that rituals and religious practices will not lead to God-realisation. As they are external acts, they are related only to the body. They are not conducive in any way to the development of the inner vision. Only when one is able to get rid of egotism and attachment can one develop the inner vision. Saakshaathkaara (realisation of Divinity) cannot be attained by rituals.