KISHOR KULKARNI suggests a practical approach to nullify past karma

The law of karma is extremely complex. We do not know what kind of karmic baggage we are born with. We do not know how to get rid of that baggage. The only possible guide is to engage in good karma in the hope that it will set off our past bad karma.

However, it is not possible to engage only in good karma, since we have many desires that we need to fulfill and that process invariably leads to accumulation of more karma. Moreover, the definition of good or bad karma is usually quite tricky and relative. So, in the process of doing so-called good karma in accordance with our own definition, we may end up with accumulation of more karma without knowing it.

So, is there any way to get rid of past karma? I propose the following:

Consider every action/experience in the present moment as setting off some past karma. In other words, do not regard your action/experience in the present moment as a cause of something that will happen in the future. It is our normal tendency to link every action to a scenario, past or future, in a cause-effect relationship, that is the basis of the law of karma.

Kishor Kulkarni

Instead, we should regard each action as simply that ― action in the moment ― which is just nullifying a part of the past accumulated karma. Again, here also, do not try to link your present action to any specific past scenario in the hope that it will obliterate some specific bad karma on that count. Instead, simply put your present action into a common pool, as it were, and move on.

This approach is referred to in the scriptures as sowing roasted seeds ― they can never germinate. On the other hand, action with some conscious or unconscious desire is like a “live” seed that will sprout into a tree bearing fruits of karma that will, in turn, have further live seeds. Thus, the karmic cycle perpetuates due to desires.

Imagine our having an overdraft bank account that has a negative balance. We have to go on reducing the negative balance by depositing money in it. So, whenever we have some cash to spare, we deposit it in that overdraft account. Instead, if we deposit it in our savings bank account, what will happen? We will get interest on the savings bank account, but we will also continue paying more interest on the overdraft account.

Our karma bank also has an overdraft account and a savings account. Performing our karma in every present moment without any expectation of fruit in the future is like depositing in an overdraft account that will reduce the negative balance. On the other hand, performing karma with an expectation of a fruit in the future is like depositing in the savings bank account. That deposit will fetch “interest”, in the form of some pains/pleasures; but it will do nothing to reduce the overdraft of your past karma.

Moreover, the deposit into the savings account will cause us to have a false sense of a capital possession and is likely to tempt us into ventures that may result in bad karmas, further increasing the negative balance in the karmic overdraft account.

The wheel of Karma

We do not know what kind of karmic overdraft we are born with. The law of karma is extremely complex. Even if we perform a supposedly “good” deed, we are, more often than not, likely to have some conscious or unconscious desire while performing that good deed.

For example, when we drop a coin into a beggar’s tin, we may have a hidden desire that the beggar’s hunger will be eventually satisfied. All said and done, it is a worldly desire. Even a conscious or subconscious feeling that I am doing a “good” deed and it will “benefit” me or someone else in some way in the future, is like withdrawing from the karmic account. 

A better way is to drop a coin into the beggar’s tin thinking that you are in a position to do so and that it is the right thing to do at that moment. All thoughts about the future consequences of our actions should be shunned. Then the action will be like a deposit into the karmic account reducing your negative balance.

The choice is with us as to whether we want to deposit our present karma into the overdraft account or in the savings account. But we must remember that we will have to keep coming back to this planet till we can finally manage to reduce the karmic overdraft balance to zero.

Kishor Kulkarni is a technologist by education with work experience of about 30 years, spanning banking and information technology. After he developed spiritual interests around the age of 50, he quit his job to pursue spirituality. He has written many books on spirituality and self-published them on Amazon. Many of his articles have been published in the ‘Speaking Tree’ column of the ‘Times of India’.

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