One fine morning during the lockdown days, we happened to be listening to a talk which referred to the ‘Karma Account’. As accountancy professionals, we registered the summary as follows:
The rule is Debit for sin and Credit for good deeds. There is also the concept of brought forward of balance in the form of ‘sanskars’ from the previous birth to this one and carry forward from this birth to the next.
Most of us would distinctly recall our elders referring to ‘pichale janam ke sanskar’ (impressions of an earlier life) / ‘pichale janam ka karz’ (debts of an earlier life), etc.
The talk also elucidated the brought forward ‘sanskars’ by referring to child prodigies who, though without training, were manifesting the ‘sanskars’ of their previous birth. In fact, we are always puzzled when we see a scoundrel or a lazy or stupid person rolling in wealth. ‘How can it be?’ is the question that we ask.
A beautiful analogy was provided as an answer to a seemingly difficult riddle. Have you ever been to a flour mill? Sometimes, you see pulses being poured into the hopper at the top but see wheat flour being turned out at the end of the process. And you wonder how this happens, without realising that the wheat that was poured in earlier is now coming out as the white wheat flour. The ground pulses shall appear later. It is only a matter of time.
If this is so, this account of ‘sanskars’ should be kept pure. What will happen if this account is carried forward with inappropriate entries and manipulated transactions resulting from an incorrect living? What will happen in the next birth? Everyone should take care to pass correct entries as a reflection of right knowledge, right faith and right conduct in their present lives so that the balance is either zero (state of bliss) or the balance carried forward is of the nature of credit strengthening our lives in the next birth.
A cursory appraisal of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (7th Century BC) at 4.4.5–6 gives us the following:
Now as a man is like this or like that, according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be; a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad; he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;
And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.
The Jain philosophy elaborately provides for the nature and working of Karma as also the pathway to be free of the Karmic Account – released of worldly affairs and into the perfect blissful state, i.e., moksha.
To conclude, we cannot but help recall Kabir who said