I had a click the other day at work when a concerned mother told me that her son, an Indigo, seems troubled by his karma. While they were at the dinner table discussing their weekend plans, she told him to do as she said, or his karma would get him. (She must have seen Kali in my eyes, because instantly, before I could give a disapproving comment, she said that she would never again try to guilt him or scare him into following her orders.) Anyways, she said that his answer gave her a jolt. Only thirteen years old, he said to her, “I know all about karma, Mom. I get instant karma.” She asked him to explain, and he said, “Some people do something bad, then maybe in another lifetime the karma for it comes back to them. But me- even if I do something just a little bit bad, the karma gets me for it really soon. Instantly...” She told me she didn’t know what to say to him, because she herself was not clear about what karma really is. It seems to me, this is a new-age variation of the age old question “Why do bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people?” Of course, the update is- “Why do well-intentioned people who do one little bad thing instantly get bit for it, while people who go on abusing and harming others continually seem not to get bit at all?”
This concerned mother was not the first client to bring up the odd phenomenon to me. And actually, it’s something I’ve experienced throughout my own life. It’s become so prevalent, in fact, that “Instant Karma” is a known and regularly used term in metaphysical circles.
Finally, she asked, “Why does my son have instant karma but his friends don’t? Is he just imagining it?”
Just so I could be absolutely certain about her son before venturing an answer, I asked her if she could give a few examples. She kindly obliged.
“When he was in the first grade, he was sitting with a few of his friends, who were passing candy back and forth behind the teachers back. He said he didn’t want to, because it’s against the rules to eat in the classroom, but he had a fear of being labeled a ‘teacher’s pet’- so, against his better judgement- he joined in. The moment he took the candy into his hand, their teacher turned around. Of all of them, he was the only boy caught and given detention.
“More recently, he was at the mall with one of his buddies. They were doing the typical young teenager thing- wandering aimlessly and checking out girls. He’s very open with me... Anyway, my son is shy so, although he likes to look at girls, he still hasn’t reached the level of social maturity to approach one. His friend, on the other hand, is a bit more eager, and he whistled at a group of young women. When they didn’t respond, he became upset, and yelled some disturbing comments. Of course, when the girls had had enough, they turned around and saw only my son. His friend ran into a store to hide. It was devastating for him; he took the shame, yet his only ‘crime’ was the crime of keeping bad company.
“You know, when he first told me he gets this thing called ‘instant karma’ I thought it was all in his head, but his list of examples goes on and on. What should I tell him?”
I started by explaining to her exactly what karma is by quoting Swamiji. “My guru, enlightened master and Avatar Paramahamsa Nithyananda, says Karma is an Action.” In Sanskrit, the word ‘karma’ doesn’t mean reward or punishment, but simply, action. Now, every action inherently comes with a cause and an effect. As an example, one might choose to buy a watch for a hundred dollars. The action is the transaction of giving one hundred dollars to a shop keeper, who in turn gives the watch. As a result of that action, you have a watch, but a hundred dollars less in the bank. This result of the transaction can be called karma just as much as the transaction itself, and truly, both are one. Wanting the watch (cause) + paying a hundred dollars (action) + receiving the watch (effect) = Karma. With an example like this, it’s clear to see the karma happening, and the ‘karma’ is ‘instant.’
Now, it only gets complicated when we think of it in terms of mystical rewards and punishments based on actions weighed by scales of right and wrong. If you want the same watch but you don’t have money, you might steal it. Then, you gain a watch, and the shop owner loses a watch. In the first example, the transaction has no morality associated with it; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ however, in the case of theft, the shop owner does not agree to part with the watch. It’s then that the ‘cosmic hand’ can be felt. It’s not that you are punished for a crime; actually, it’s just that the result of the action is not complete, so existence completes it. You may have a lingering sense of guilt over taking the watch, or fear wearing the watch publicly in case the shop owner sees you with it; that guilt and fear would be your karma for the theft- a continuation of your action. The shop owner, when he finds the watch missing, might check the surveillance camera and have you arrested. This would also be your karma, another continuation of the action. The possible karmic results to an action not properly considered are endless.
If we look at physics, we know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s common knowledge. When we know very well what the equal and opposite reaction to our action is going to be, we make informed, ‘good’ choices. When we don’t know what the equal and opposite reaction is going to be, we are gambling with our karma.
All that aside, why is it that some people never seem to experience the equal but opposite reaction to their actions while others experience it instantly?
For this, we need to look into Swamiji’s teachings one more time. It’s about prarabdha karma and agamya karma. Without an ounce of doubt, the moment my client told me that her son has instant karma, I knew he had come into life with a very pure prarabdha. (It helps that she had already told he is an Indigo.) The prarabdha karma is the karma someone brings into this lifetime to work out- the life experiences they choose to have, and the re-actions to past actions lived in other lifetimes they choose to face. If someone has had a vast number of other lifetimes, including a vast number of conflicts, confusions, likes and dislikes, lusts, greeds, and ambitions, they may come in with a large number of set characteristics to resolve and grow from. (Swamiji has spoken on this in detail, so it may be a re-cap for you.) The agamya karma is the additional karma built up once in body and living. These are the desires, conflicts, actions, etc, that were not a part of our prarabdha karma, but that life in our society has instilled in us as conditioning from birth. (Call it conditioned deviations from the prarabdha.) Any prarabdha karma which is not extolled in this life is carried forward to the next, and any agamya karma not completed is added to the sanchita karma- this is the sum total of all an individual’s karma from all lifetimes. The entirety of the sanchita karma must be lived through before moksha- liberation/enlightenment- can be reached. But only so much can be done in one lifetime, so, we pick up certain parts of our sanchita before taking a birth, and that’s called prarabdha. (I’m sure this is all beautifully and clearly illustrated somewhere in Living Enlightenment, with a diagram of a big pile of suitcases to represent the sanchita, and one suitcase from that pile as the prarabdha. We can add to that illustration a bag of useless, unhealthy crap bought at the Duty Free shop as the agamya... If an individual takes a suitcase from the sanchita pile and completes all the incomplete karmas in a lifetime, through spiritual practice and surrender, then his pile becomes smaller. If he picks up more karma in the lifetime, through laziness, greed, and ‘crime,’ it becomes bigger, and he has to come back into life again and again to work through all of it.)
Anyhow, back to the point: why do Indigo Kids, Crystal Kids, Rainbow Kids, Starseeds and ‘Lightworkers’ experience instant karma? I’m sure you already know the answer to that if you read the above paragraph. The answer is this: Because they do not have the same overwhelming pile of prarabdha and sanchita karma to work through that is prevalent in society! Some of them have taken conscious birth with no karmic kinks to work out at all- just a ‘mission’ to do the best they can do to experience life in this third dimensional plane, become enlightened, then help others do the same. It’s exactly because of this that the moment they act, they experience a coming together of the cause and effect to their action. Instant karma. It’s the best kind of karma we can have, because it means we are not storing up unknown (and unwanted) repercussions to deal with in the future.
Example: the little boy didn’t want to be teased (cause) + so he decided to go against his better judgement and sneak candy behind his teacher’s back (action) + he was caught instantly by the teacher and given detention (effect) = Karma! It’s not that getting caught by the teacher was his karma, or the detention; no- the entire three step process was complete karma! Cause + Action + Effect = Karma. Wanting a watch [cause] + Paying money for it [action] + Having a watch but being $100 poorer [effect] = Karma, or ‘complete karmic cycle.’ Neither of these examples will have a balance that carries forward.
Now, let’s look at the little boy’s friends. Some kids peer pressure him into sneaking candy- they don’t get caught, but their friend does. Perhaps they will build up a feeling of guilt and shame around the incident, and even if they forget why, an engraved memory will be there that could cause a future distaste for candy. Or, they could start to feel like they can get away with anything since they were not caught once, and go on doing worse and worse things until finally one day the punishment is explosive. And the boy who whistled and called out obscenities to the girls at the mall: he had no intention of speaking kindly and kindling a friendship with any of them from the beginning, so most likely, his juvenile reaction to the female form is already the continuation of a past karma. Not being reprimanded for his inappropriate and rude behavior fuels his fire, and also fuels his attention need (remember, he got mad when they didn’t turn to his whistle) and the karma piles up higher and higher. This can lead to a life-long struggle with sexuality, and a frustration regarding communication. Maybe in this life, or maybe in a future lifetime, he will have to resolve the conflict he has with women. Our Indigo boy, on the other hand, who was troubled by the experience of instant karma, doesn’t have to worry about his actions “catching up with him” at some unforetold date- his detention completes the candy incident; the dirty look from the girls will prevent him from even considering rude calls in the future. (And also, it will cause him to reconsider the company he keeps...)
A lot of individuals who experience this ‘instant karma’ phenomenon come to me with lamentations that Existence is out to get them, and they know it because they can’t step out of line even one. But really, I say to them it’s a huge blessing! If you experience Instant Karma, it means that you have a short road to travel to liberation; you’re not weighed down by your past lives! Either you’ve worked them out already during intense spiritual practice in former births, or you’ve chosen to take a conscious birth to help elevate the frequency of humanity. Either way, Existence is neither punishing nor rewarding you with Instant Karma, simply, you have no major effects of past actions coming your way, so even little things become a priority for resolution, and you are kept in balance. If you are one of the lucky ones who experiences instant karma, pay attention to all your positive actions, too- see how quickly “cause + action + effect = Reward” when you’re doing exactly the right thing at the right time! (That’s the real ‘Secret’ of true ‘Manifestation.’) Enjoy!
You don’t experience Instant Karma, and are concerned about the heaviness of your prarabdha load? Only one thing you can do about it- Inner Awakening. Surrender to a fully Enlightened Master who has awakened all 12 strands of DNA, and allow Him to burn it. That burning happens in the ashram, which is an intense energy field, that takes care of all your unfinished business. Then, you’ll see, the Instant Karma starts happening. That’s why the 21 day program sets you up for life- because afterwards, for one thing, the clarity you receive prevents poorly planned actions, and if you do deviate and act badly, the karma is instant, and will not be carried forward as a forced future life balance. Assuming, of course, you follow the program intensely. One other small note- Why does Swamiji always tell us, “Less thought more action is Living Enlightenment”? Because, when we act without calculating our actions, there is no cause- there can’t be an effect without a cause, so immediately, all actions are free of ‘karma.’ This works only if we practice ‘less thought more action’ while always acting from intuition, and in the best way we know to act.