Karma – Principle of action and debt

School of Yoga explains the principle of action – karma

  • When we like something, we bring it close to ourselves.
  • When we dislike something, we push it away,

The action of bringing close or pushing away is called karma. 

Since this covers all relationships, karma can be considered as the governing principle of all relationships; covering all sentient, non-sentient, animate and inanimate entities.

School of Yoga explains – the results of karma – debt (rinn) 

  • Karma or action is the foundation of all relationships.
  • All relationships are governed by transactions, give and take. 
  • In both situations; when there is like or dislike/ give or take, there is movement of one relative to the other, resulting in karma or action.
  • We know that transactions are rarely equal, one will give or get more.
  • This causes the one who takes more to become a debtor and the giver to become a creditor.
  • Consequently, this debt, like any debt, needs to be repaid; if not in this life, in a rebirth.
  • Consequently, the like-dislike response results in a give and take outcome between the two entities.

However, this give and take need not be material; it could be ideas, feelings, opinions etc. or a mix of these. So, the generation and repayment of debt can take many forms.  

School of Yoga explains : Principle of like-dislike which results in karma 

  • We know that we exist because transact with our environment.
  • Consequently, the feedback we receive from our environment gives us confirmation of existence.
  • This aspect which evaluates our existence in the environment is a “sense of self-worth”. This is called “asmita” in Sanskrit.
  • The “sense of self-worth” (asmita) gets its values from our conditioning (dharma).
  • Conditioning (dharma) is evolved by our home, parents, school, society, friends and environment.
  • When the interaction with the environment is positive, our “sense of self-worth” (asmita) experiences an expansion, resulting in like/ motivation/ attraction or eustress (raaga).
  • Similarly, when there is a low level or no interaction; the “sense of self-worth” (asmita) experience contraction, resulting in dislike/ repulsion, anxiety, distress or fear (dwesha).
  • Consequently, when we experience attraction (raaga), we pull the object closer. When we experience repulsion (dwesha), we try to push the object away. 
  • This is the principle of action or karma in Sanskrit.

School of Yoga explains Karma and rebirth

If the debt generated in this birth is not paid off, then there comes a need for another birth to pay the debt off. This is the basis of the concept of rebirth. 

  • The generation of debt results in the creation of a bond (bandana) between two entities.
  • This bond exists for as long as the debt exists. Thereafter, the bond between the entities will dissolve.

School of Yoga explains types of karma:

  • Any transaction where the give and take are equal is called samabandhana (equal bond). Mostly, this is between married couples where give and take is not measured. So, in India, the in-laws are called sambandhi or samdi (those of equal bond)
  • All debt accrued to or by us in current situation is called agami-karma (current debt generation).
  • The overall aggregation of our debt or credit is called sanchita-karma (overall karma consolidation).
  • Also, debt which comes for repayment is called prarabda-karma (debt reconciliation).
  • Finally, karma which impacts everyone such as weather, climate, pandemic or war is called samasti-karma (equal-of-all debt reconciliation)
  • In conclusion, the bond created by debt is called rnanubandhana (bond of debt).

Anecdotes, experiences and situations to help understand karma…

It is very late in the evening. You are driving home. You are tired. Suddenly, you realize that a car is following you very closely. The driver is a teenager, honking continuously and driving in a very offensive manner. There is no room on the street for him to overtake you and you are getting irritated.  You hope that the kid will stop, but it gets worse and you suddenly decide to take the kid to task. So, you stop your car and get out…

  • What is your emotional state at this point?
  • How is your energy level changing?
  • What is your opinion of the other driver?

You stride across to the other car which has stopped some distance behind you. There are two people in the car. You go to the driver’s side and notice that it is a young girl and she seems scared.  She tells you that she is just learning to drive, and that the person next to her is her father who fell unconscious when they were having dinner.  Furthermore, she somehow managed to get him into the car and is now trying to get him to hospital…

  • What is your state at this point?
  • How is your energy level changing?
  • What is your opinion of the other driver?
  • How have you changed?

Principles of action (karma) – Points to Ponder

Internal Tags: Self Awareness or Asmita, Karma Yoga (Bhagawat Gita – chapter 3)

External Tags: Vasana (karmic image)

  • Does experience change when we “sleep over” a situation? Why?
  • Is there experience when we are doing nothing or not react?
  • Is environmental degradation a karma of nature?
  • Does nature perform action or karma? How?
  • Can inanimate objects increase/ decrease energy in others? Can a car increase energy in you? Does the attachment or aversion you have to your car or cat result in karma?
  • What are the ways in which we can increase energy in ourselves & others?
  • Can we perform actions with complete awareness and reduce karmic load or debt?
  • What is the relationship between karma & accountability?
  • What is the relationship between karma& Self?
Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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[…] Internal Links: Dharma (conditioning), Stress and Situational Awareness. Karma,  […]

[…] transaction or give-take results in Karma (action) because there is either are in congruence / like (raaga) or in dissonance / dislike (dwesha) […]

Namaste immortal soul. Thank you for this clear explanation of Karma.

[…] Concept – How should we perform Karma? […]

[…] also occurs when the other person does not reciprocate to our expectation, raaga or desire. Consequently, our sense of identity reacts to being […]

[…] Internal Tags:  Self Awareness or Asmita, Karma […]

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