Though the Law of Karma is simply stated – ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’ – it is no simplistic, tit-for-tat theory, nor is it an arbitrary human creation. The Law of Karma is another name for Newton’s Third Law of Motion: ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ As such, it is inherent in the universe’s structure: ‘The doctrine of karman and phala, act and fruit, is less a product of man’s sense of justice, that one shall be punished for what one has done, than a necessary consequence of the doctrine of the inherent efficacy of the acts’.
Everything does not happen all at once in our world, thanks to the inherent limitations of time, space and causation. A tree and the seed from which it sprang cannot exist simultaneously; the former must develop from the latter. Events occur in our universe according to a sequence, which is scheduled by the Law of Karma on the great calendar known as time.
In living individual beings the Law of Karma acts primarily at the level of ahamkara. Humans, who have much more self-awareness than do animals or plants, have a proportionately greater ability to self-identify with their actions. What they sow and reap depends on the relative balance of the Three Gunas in their personalities. When Sattva predominates, a person performs altruistic karmas, unattached to their results, while a predomination of Rajas causes one to act from passion, blinded by desires. Those who act without thinking act from a predominance of Tamas. Only those whose minds are fixed solely on the Absolute remain untouched by the Three Gunas.
Astrologer attempt in their analyses to interpret the varieties and intensities of a person’s karmas in particular domains of life. Sanchita Karmas are assumed to form a constant karmic background that is not totally comprehensible by ordinary means, Jyotish included. It is Sanchita Karma that prompts Indians to claim that the ways of karma are unfathomable. Prarabdha, Kriyamana and Agama Karmas are, however, knowable through Jyotish.
Astrology assumes that the human condition always arises from a dynamic interaction between fate and free will. Fate is fundamentally an expression of the Sanchita and Prarabdha Karmas, and free will the result of Kriyamana and Agama Karmas. Agama and Kriyamana Karmas eternally evolve into Sanchita and Prarabdha Karmas with the passage of time, the axle that turns the great wheel of karma. What was done by free will today acts as the cause of what is experienced as fate tomorrow. Though no one is ruled by fate alone, it may seem so until true free will emerges. Only when free will emerges can the quantity and qualities of effort invested in modifying a situation equal or exceed the quantity and quality of effort that created the situation; only then can transformation, as opposed to simple change in life, be achieved. The quantity and quality of effort required to after previous karmas depends on the intensity of the Prarabdha Karma.
The three degrees of karmic intensity which may apply to one, many, or all areas of a person’s life are:
1. Dridha (fixed) Karma
2. Dridha – Adridha (fixed/non-fixed) Karma
3. Adridha (non-fixed) Karma
1. Dridha Karma
Dridha Karmas give fixed results because they are so difficult to change that are practically non-changeable. These karmas, pleasurable or painful, are destined to be experienced because of the intensity of their causes. Most people have noticed that from time to time an experience simply ‘happens’, despite all efforts to avoid its occurrence. If, for example, a pregnant woman who has enjoyed perfect health before and during her pregnancy and who has had the best of medical care delivers a child with a congenital deformity, a Jyotishi might well find that she was experiencing Dridha Prarabdha Karma concerning children, and that her child was experiencing Dridha Prarabdha Karma concerning its body. Remember that this kind of karma may be pleasurable as well as painful; as we all know, those who seem the least deserving are often those who get ahead in life.
Dridha Karmas appear in a horoscope where confluence exists. Confluence occurs wherever many astrological factors converge in their indications. The greater the number of indications for good OR for bad in a particular area of a horoscope, the more obvious its results will become.
2. Dridha- Adridha Karma
Dridha-Adridha Karmas occur wherever some (but not most) horoscopic factors relating to a particular area converge in their indications. These karmas, good OR bad, can be changed through the concentrated application of creative will, though considerable effort is required. They give fixed or non-fixed results according to the quantum of effort employed. If the congenital deformity in the child mentioned above is corrected or substantially alleviated through surgery, prolonged diet, intensive exercise, or some other corrective, then its Prarabdha Karma was of the Dridha-Adridha variety.
3. Adridha Karma
Adridha Karmas are said to give non-fixed results because they are easily altered. Wherever no confluence exists in a horoscope, Adridha Karmas are present. This state is skin to having a clean slate on which you may write what you please. When a child of normal physical exercises and her body responds with increased strength so that the gain is directly proportionate to the effort made, and no unforeseen hindrances or other unanticipated variances occur, it is a case of Adridha Prarabdha Karma in the area of her physique.