Karma and Liberation

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Most humans are involved in vikarma. That is, they are performing selfish actions without any regulation. A portion of humanity, however, is doing karma – they are performing selfish actions too, but are following the regulations of some type of authority figure, ultimately a scriptural authority.

Vikarma creates what people nowadays call “bad karma” and karma creates what they call “good karma.” Bad karma puts you into distress and makes your next life in the sub-human species. Good karma puts you at peace and makes you your next life in the super-human species.

Between the two types of people mentioned so far, that’s probably about 95% or more of human society. The small remaining portion is very different because they are trying to become unselfish in their actions. The majority of these people attempt to perform practical charitable actions meant to benefit others. This is karma-yoga.

A very small portion have already become significantly unselfish by these charitable and dutiful actions, and take to jnana-yoga: where they cease all activity, as far as possible, and focus their energy on meditative contemplation of knowledge.

A very very small potion of those persons attain a complete realization of selflessness. They are brahma-bhuta.

A very very very small potion of brahma-bhuta persons go beyond inactive selflessness and enter a vast state of active selflessness, otherwise known as “divine love” – Bhakti Yoga.

The majority of humans, vikarmis and karmis, are involved in creating good and bad karma for themselves. The minority are not doing this. They are instead involved in various stages of “yoga.” They are ceasing the production of new karmas, therefore as their old karmas fructify there are no new karmas to replace them, so karma gradually disappears and the person gradually becomes free from bondage to the illusory plane of existence (“samsara”).

All the yogas are powerful and each can gradually lead to the next, from karma-yoga to jnana-yoga to bhakti-yoga. Karma and Jnana yoga lead to the brahma-bhuta platform, where the soul finally becomes liberated from all selfishness and its resultant karma. This culminates in a realization of the self as being one with the spiritual essence of the universal substratum (brahmajyoti). This is a stage of liberation from samara, but it is somewhat unnatural for a spiritual atom to remain inactive as the state of comeplete selflessness entails. Therefore the souls in that condition are prone to eventually seek either a higher or a lower plane in which they can express their active nature.

If they seek a lower plane they again come down into the karmic cycle of samsara (repeated birth and death). If they seek a higher plane they come into contact with active, personal selflessless – LOVE, divine love. This is bhakti.

Bhakti Yoga goes beyond liberation and takes one to the “vaikuntha” manifestation of spiritual reality, which is a vibrant, variagated place full of individuality and distinction. The objects of divine love are the various forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead conceived of as Narayana, Rama, Dvaraka-Natha, Mathura-Nath, Bala-Krsna, Pauganda-Krsna and Vrindavana Kishor Krsna in ascending degrees of intimacy and intensity. Bhakti Yoga situates one in a direct transcendental relationship of divine love with the manifestation of Godhead appropriate to perfectly reciprocate with ones loving affections.

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