The rise of Karma

The Karma vipak or the rise of Karma has a cause. The following are the causes.

(i) Object (Dravya). An object can cause the rise of Karma. The object can be living or non-living. As the objects are perceived by our senses, the rise of Karma can be caused in the following ways

  1. Touch. Touch of objects such as hot and cold, soft and hard, smooth and rough, etc. may develop specific feelings in the person.
  2. Taste. Taste of a thing which we eat or drink develops a feeling in us. Various kinds of food dishes, drinks and beverages, tobacco and drugs, etc have effects in two ways. First the immediate effect in the form of taste and second, the more important effect, takes place when they chemically act in the body system. Both these effects develop feelings in the user.
  3. Smell. Good smell is pleasant and bad smell produces aversion and may also be harmful.
  4. Vision. The sight of a near or dear produces a feeling of love and the sight of an opponent produces a feeling of hatred. The sight of a ferocious animal produces fear and sight of sweet – meat produces water in the mouth.
  5. Hearing. Music and noise, words of love and hate, sweet and harsh words, sound of a water stream and a storm, all arouse different kinds of feelings.

(ii) Place (Ksetra). When you go to a temple, cinema, vegetable market, Himalayas or a battlefield different kinds of feelings are developed.

(iii)Time (Kala). Time is the agency for transformation. Chemical, physical and biological changes in the body take place with time and they produce different feelings at different times. The fruition of Karma is also time dependent. The time may become instrumental in fruition of Karma even in the absence of any feeling.

(iv)Feelings (Bhava). The above three are external factors for development of feelings. There are internal factors, and perhaps more powerful, which can produce feelings of all kinds. These factors can be physical, mental or emotional.

  1. Physical internal factor. The body is different from the soul but is regarded as internal considering the whole system. The physical, biological and health conditions of the body produce multitude of feelings in a person. Any deficiencies in physical structure, biological malfunctioning or disorder, ailments and illness, etc produce feeling of pain. Healthy conditions, beauty, good structure of body etc. may produce feelings of pleasure. Even our outfits and what we wear influence our feelings. Any artificial change in the physical structure and composition of the body may alter our feelings and produce a different kind of experience.
  2. Mental internal factors. Our mind is never silent, it is always thinking. We notice the activities of the conscious mind only, what is happening in the sub-conscious mind are not known to us. But the activities of both the conscious and sub conscious minds influence our feelings. That is why sometimes we know the reason of our feelings and sometimes we do not. The input through the physical sense organs is only one cause of our mental activity. Even in the absence of such inputs the mind may generate thoughts which produce feeling of pain, pleasure, fear, love, hate, anger, pride, kindness, violence, attachment, greed, etc. and a person may be inclined to take a particular course of action. Our own mental environment is a very important factor for the way we behave and discharge our functions. Mental thoughts are in fact, obstructions in the path of spiritual progress and one has to find ways to circumvent this mental state.
  3. Emotional factors. Emotions at times can be so strong that it may change the course of life of a person. We have well known examples of Valmiki, Angulimal, Tulsidasa, etc in history whose lives totally changed on realization of wrong doings. Emotions directly attack the Karma, strong emotions can cause significant nirjara and completely change the personality of an individual. Bad emotions can push the soul towards hell and good emotions can open the way to heaven. Emotions of a person are changed when self-realization of right and wrong occurs. Condemning own self for wrong doings and making a determination to reform can advance a person on the path of spiritual progress.