By: Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Around 300 years B.C., there was a Greek philosopher named Zeno who lived in Athens. One day, the philosopher caught his slave stealing. He decided to teach him a lesson by giving him a beating for stealing.

The slave, who was a bit of a philosopher himself, said, “Zeno, why are you beating me? It was fated that I should steal.”

The philosopher Zeno quickly responded, “And it was fated that I should beat you for stealing!”

This story is rich in meaning for those who think about the question of karma. Many times people say that they committed a wrong because of their karma. They tend to confuse the law of karma with free will. The saints speak of human beings as having twenty-five percent free will. The other seventy-five percent of what happens to us in life is due to the reactions of our past karmas.

The karmic events in our life are those that are reactions of the past. They tend to be reactions that happen to us. Despite our best care to be safe, an accident befalls us without any explanation or reason. We may be working hard to make a living, and out of the blue we suffer a financial setback. We may live our lives as good people, but something bad happens to us. The law of karma is based on the belief that these seemingly unexplained events that occur in our lives are due to reactions from the past, either earlier in this life or in a previous life.

We may not have been trying hard to have something happen, but we have a stroke of seeming good luck and win a prize, get money out of the blue, or meet a special person with whom we fall in love and marry. We may suddenly meet good fortune out of the blue. All these events, both good and bad, that come to us without trying are usually the result of our past karma.

Some people use karma as an excuse to do wrong, but when it comes to our making a choice as to how to act in a certain situation, that usually falls under free will. It is not ordained that we break the law, hurt someone, or steal. Those are choices that we make in our own lives. We cannot blame God and our karmas for our shortcomings. We may come into life with our personality, but what we do is up to our choice or free will.

Just as Zeno and his slave used fate as the excuse for committing a wrong, when we do so ourselves, we are bound to get the reaction. The initial wrong might be due to free will, but the consequence then is our karmic debt that we incur.

As we live our life, we can live by the principle of “Be Good,” as Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj said. We have free will to choose between committing good or evil. We need to take responsibility for our actions. Whatever we choose, we reap the reward or the punishment.

Rather than spending time pondering over what is our karma and what is free will, we should take it that we have choices to make and should always choose to do good over evil.

The greater part of most people’s thinking is involuntary, automatic, and repetitive. It is no more than a kind of mental static and fulfills no real purpose.

Strictly speaking, you don’t choose to think; Thinking happens to you. The statement “I think” implies volition. It implies that you have willfully chosen to think what you think (or that you think in the first place). For most people, this is not yet the case. “I think” is just as false a statement as “I digest” or “I circulate my blood.” Digestion happens, circulation happens, thinking happens.

The voice in the head has a life of its own. Most people are at the mercy of that voice; they are possessed by their thinking and its repetitive, unconscious content. This circular, repetitive, incessant thinking is conditioned by the past, and it keeps you trapped in the past. It is as though you continue to relive the past over and over again. Do you ever wonder why the same problems challenge you throughout your life? Your unconscious mind is re-creating them, but you don’t even know it.

The Eastern term for this repetitive cycle is karma. You continually bring to your life experiences that correspond to your thinking. What you reap, you will sow. What you think, you will attract. If the contents of your thoughts are locked in past events, you are destined to repeat them. This is karma. And it goes both ways.

We have heard of good karma and bad karma. Bad karma is the experiences we have that are attracted to us by our mind’s obsession with all the bad things that have happened to us. Bad karma not only produces experiences that are undesirable, it is also a life lived in the past, not the present.

Good karma, on the other hand, comes from living in the present moment. When we liberate our mind from thoughts of the past and negative rumination, we are free to engage our mind in original, creative thought. We are free to be spontaneous and fun-loving. We are free to live our life now with a sense of curiosity, discovery and adventure. Far from being trapped in a cycle of negativity, we live a life of freshness, proactivity and healthy self-expression.

If you have been living life in the past, caught in the cycle of bad karma, you can get free of it.

Just in the way that thinking happens to you, bad karma happens to you. It is an involuntary predicament. It is a condition that you do not consciously choose.

The solution is to begin choosing what you want for yourself. Instead of being a victim of your own thinking, be an active, engaged choice maker.

* Choose to be more present.
* Choose to be more aware of what thoughts are circulating in your mind.
* Choose to engage your mind in original, creative thinking.
* Choose to make your mind an interesting, adventurous place.
* Choose to make good karma by using your mind for positive and productive thinking.

Karma is your pre-disposition and is one of the primary influences which decides whether you will have money, relationship etc.
Karma is the fabric of your life, and it encompasses almost all of the experiences that we go through life after life. Ever wondered why some people have tons of money, great romantic life and vibrant health while many others suffer for the want of it? This is due to karma which rules all aspects of human life like health, wealth, education etc