[Advaita-l] Doubts on Karma, future births etc.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Dec 30 21:08:30 CST 2013

On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 8:27 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste,
> I am aware of the basics - that we all come into this world with some
> karma to work through. We may also accumulate more karma, so we must
> perform our duties in such a way that we dont - nishkama karma. Point is,
> Karma should be eliminated completely for us to realize our true nature and
> NOT take birth again.
> My doubt is, How do we know that our karmas are being exhausted? Is there
> any tangible hint, or must we simply assume this? If a person still has
> greed or anger issues, lust etc., is it safe to assume that he has a long
> way to go, many more births? So we observe our own behavior and then
> conclude as to how much karma we have left?

(sanchita) Karma can be destroyed only by Jnana.  JnAnAgniH sarvakarmANi
bhasmasAtkurute. (BG).  And prArabdha will end only by experiencing -
upabhoga.  So, there is no such thing as 'karma is reducing' except in the
case of the jIvanmukta in whose case alone it can be said that the
prArabdha karma has ended with the fall of the body.  sAdhana can never
eliminate karma; only jnAna will.

> I am confused about this because there are many people who do sadhana for
> years but they remain the same (insofar as character or behavior is
> concerned) even after, say, 20 years. Does this mean their karmas are not
> being eliminated by their sadhana - meaning their sadhana is faulty - or
> does it mean these things cannot be empirically observed (and therefore no
> solid conclusion can be drawn)?
> Any insights?
> Suresh
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