If you fall into a ditch, your body will get dirty. You will then wash yourself to cleanse your physical body. No one wants his body to smell foul or to be dirty. We have the five indriyas, the five sense organs — eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Eyes see the dirt, the nose can smell the bad odor and the skin will feel the irritation of the dirt on the body. The mind, too, will insist that we get rid of the dirt at the earliest — else we may end up with an infection.
We have been given the indriyas, and the power of viveka, discrimination, to help us know what is good and what is bad. Do not mistake the power of viveka with the mind because the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. If you follow the mind and not your viveka, you will end up making mistakes. Mind has the power to grasp but not discriminate. That is why Indic tradition emphasizes the need to control both our mind and our sense organs because they impact our karma.
In every birth, each individual must carry the baggage of karmas of his past life. Science recognizes the principle that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is precisely the principle on which karmic philosophy works.
The indriyas must follow the path of truth. See good, hear good, talk good and do good. Use them properly. A knife can be used to cut fruits or vegetables. The same knife can be used to cut a person’s throat. Use your indriyas such as to yield positive results.
The karmas accumulated in each person cannot be washed away overnight. But if one prays sincerely and invokes divine nature that is full of purity, compassion and truth, the power of your intention could work wonders.
When the universe was created, the law of karma came into play. No one can escape it. Therefore the intention to do good karma has to come from within; only then can you set in motion the process of overcoming bad karma.
Scriptures highlight the principles of sathya, dharma, shanti and prema – truth, righteousness, peace and love. If we use viveka to ensure that the five indriyas follow the path of righteousness, our accumulated ‘bad’ karma can be reduced to some extent. When a person dies, his karmas are not burnt or buried with his lifeless body. Karma stays and gets carried forward to the next birth.
Karmic baggage is carried by you. You cannot employ a porter to carry your karmic baggage on your behalf nor can you transfer your karmic baggage to someone else. Karma is solely the result of self-action based on the action-reaction philosophy.
Therefore it is important to be very cautious with the five sense organs. We have been given sense organs, mind and free will so that we can lead a happy life. It is the misuse of these which causes undesirable karmas to accrue leading to the baggage getting heavier. And if we do not work on this in our current life, the karmic baggage will get heavier and heavier and will be carried into our next life also. We have to leave our negative characteristics in order to lead a positive life.