Knowledge of the Law of Karma, which governs human life, is very important. Once you understand the essential purpose of Karma, all confusion is removed. The purpose of Karma (the Universal Law of Cause and Effect) is not to punish you; it is only to awaken you to the reality that you are here for a higher purpose, to surrender to God and His Grace and live moment to moment in awareness of His infinite gifts and blessings.
Karma is sometimes interpreted as a punishment. At times, you feel as if you are being punished without knowing the reason for it. If you have done something wrong in this life, or if you believe in past lives, in some past life in ignorance, why should you be punished today?
How do you know the reason for the plight that you are going through today? You may not be able to correlate the agony you are going through with the Law of Karma, because you do not know when or where you made the mistake in some unknown past.
This has always remained a puzzle. It has also created a Karma-phobia in the minds of those who know of Karma only superficially, without realizing its deeper blessings. How could the universe, with all of its infinite intelligence and joy of continual creation, function by a law which is so heartless? But the laws of Nature are for the celebration of all creation. It is not and cannot be ruthless. The Universe is absolute joy, perennial celebration. How could the Law of Karma operate against the nature of universal love for beauty and harmony?
Don't misunderstand Karma as only being negative. Karma is not only the difficult incidents of life such as emotional and physical afflictions. If you do well, it is Karma too. When you cry for those who suffer and do what little you can, you have added to your balance of positive and good Karma. If you are enjoying even a moment's pleasure, however transient, that is a withdrawal from the account of your good Karma. It is simply cause and effect, a chain of actions and reactions manifesting in its own spontaneity.
Every good thought or small good action brings with it the blessings of the Karma of happiness. The seed of good Karma will bear fruits that ripen into joy and success in life. When you bring joy and peace in another person’s life, don't forget you are clearing a Karmic debt to that person who has done something good for you at some time in the past. The bodies have changed through rebirth, but the Soul has not changed. The Soul is omniscient. It can recollect its past through its own state of pure consciousness. It always attracts those Souls with which it has to work to evolve further in order to move along its path of Self-Discovery.
Karma is the stairwell that must be climbed to the peak of human excellence. It is not only bondage. It is the pathway to the ultimate freedom of unity with your Beloved.
You search only when you are missing something. Your search is your Karma. When you find your way home, the searching ends. Karma begins with you and ends in the union of you with your Beloved.
There is nothing to fear in Karma. Are you afraid of the stairs to your home? Of course not! When you use the stairs you feel their utility, but do you remember the stairs when you have reached the door?
Your Karmic stairs are there for you to reach your home--your true Home within. And when you do finally reach your Home within, you will no longer need those stairs. They will effortlessly drop away.
Karma is only an educator, a true friend. It brings out of our past the most painful and also the most thrilling experiences of life. It gives you misery and also happiness. Remember that happiness is also a part of Karma. It, too, has no more of a reality than pain does. If it was a reality, it could not be so temporal. Who can hold happiness forever? From happiness and the greed for more happiness come the consequences of misery. Can Nature allow you to hold on to a shadow and think it is the reality? No. Karma is the instrument of Nature that gradually awakens in us the hunger for the reality of Life and living.
Therefore, Karma is not punitive. In Nature there is no deliberate punishment or reward. There are only manifestations of the energy operating at diverse levels. Karma is only for our education. It is like the Compassionate Teacher who reminds you to read the lesson and come prepared for the test. Ultimately, the experience of Karma will remind you that there is nothing that your Soul does not know. It is only the veil of the material body-mind that puts you into a state of temporary forgetfulness. Karma is the reminder.
As you become more and more aware of the role of this teacher, Karma, you become an obedient student with earnestness to learn and excel. The past presents its fruits of happiness and sorrow, success and failures, praises and insults, but you have become aware of their unreality. You don’t identify yourself with either. You allow them to pass over the screen of your mind and over the physical body. Rooted in the realm of inner Spirit which is unaffected by such superficial projections, you are on your way burning the old, not creating the fresh, moving toward a state beyond the bonds of Karma. This is the state of Yoga, the goal of meditation, the peak of spiritual illumination. Karma thus becomes your guru, guiding you toward your own kingdom of peace, beyond dualism. Remember, Life is an arduous, daunting journey, but God does not send us to this earth alone. Karma as the most compassionate teacher will continuously work in your heart till you have reached the pinnacle of spiritual experience, the realization of “Who am I?”