Q: Please help me: In some religions if one commits a sin and then sincerely asks for forgiveness the same is granted. On the other hand in the Hindu philosophical thought, one has to keep on being reincarnated until all the Karmas have borne their fruits. How do we reconcile this?
Karma is a law: whatever we sow we reap–for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is the way the universe is set up. However, we need to understand the nature of karma. Karma is not some blind force set loose in the universe. Rather, karma is totally psychological.
The acts we do condition the mind, which is really a field of vibrating energy. Negative actions create negative conditions in the mind, and positive actions create positive conditions in the mind.
As a result, negative karmas can be mitigated or wiped out completely by positive actions, especially in the spiritual realm: meditation, prayer, worship, almsgiving and good deeds of many sorts. Of course they must be done with the right disposition and intention–not as a bribe to placate God or the gods.
The heart must be pure in its intent. Only then can the defiled mind become pure through such tapasya.
In the Gita Lord Krishna tells us:
“If even an evildoer worships Me single-heartedly, he should be considered righteous, for truly he has rightly resolved. Quickly he becomes a virtuous soul and goes to everlasting peace.
Understand: no devotee of Me is ever lost.
Truly, those who take refuge in Me even though they be from wicked origins, they also attain the Supreme Goal. Having come to this impermanent and unhappy world, devote yourself to Me. With mind fixed on Me, devoted, worshipping, bow down to Me. Thus steadfast, with Me as your supreme aim, you shall come to Me” (Bhagavad Gita 9:30-34).
Please study the Gita daily. There you will find the highest truth set forth in a totally practical manner.
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