Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi


by Swami Rama

This is an excerpt from Freedom from (Bondage of) Karma by Swami Rama, Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy of the U.S.A. 1973. Pages 33 – 34.

Karma is the expression of the rule of perfect justice within us. It is the law of the cosmos reflected in the microcosm, man. There is nothing arbitrary or punitive about it; it is universally the guarantee that every act produces results which finally return again to the source. Karmic results may be immediate or delayed, but they are always inevitable. Such is the truth behind the verse in the Bible and Gita, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

It is a mistake to think of ourselves as individuals who live once as mere products of favorable or unfavorable circumstances which seem to surround our present existence. Actually, the Self is reincarnated into many lives due to the necessities of karma. Reincarnation is a strange concept to many in the West because it seems alien to Western culture and traditions. Reincarnation is not discussed in the Bible as it is in many of the great scriptures of the East. However, even in biblical times, reincarnation was taken for granted by many throughout the East and Middle East. Christ refrained from openly teaching the concept of reincarnation to His uninitiated followers so that they would not develop fatalistic attitudes. Reincarnation has been known and mentioned by others in the West from the times of ancient Greece onward, and many philosophers such as Plato, Hegel and Schopenhauer accepted this concept. For Plato, reincarnation was an important metaphysical principle since, according to his teaching, knowledge is built up in this life on the foundation of learning and experience gained in previous lives.

The concept of karma leads to the conclusion that nothing happens by accident. This is not a fatalistic idea, however, since whatever happens is both the result of previous choices and actions and is necessary for completing the experience of the individual. What happens to us is the fulfillment of what we have done in the past; what is to be in the future will likewise be the result of present actions. The karma created by past action cannot be altered. We can, however, determine future karma.



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