Three types of Karma
The Law of Karma states, that every living entity has to suffer or enjoy the reactions of his work, whether good or bad. In order to avoid bad karma one must know to work properly, without incurring negative results. Otherwise, if one does not know how to work in a genuine way he will be entangled in the unwanted results produce by his activities and thus suffer the consequences.
One should know what the right kind of work is to be done, and one should know what is not to be done. One should therefore understand the difference between karma, akarma und vikarma, or the tree types of work, before one starts his activities. Also one should understand how ones activities are influenced by the three gunas, or the three modes of nature.
Regulated activities, as prescribed in the scriptures [karma],
in terms of the different orders and divisions of society, performed without attachment
or proprietary rights and therefore without love or hatred, and performed for
the service of the Lord, without self-gratification, are called actions in the
mode of goodness. [Bg 18.23] By acting in the mode of
goodness, which brings happiness, the living entity gets illuminated with knowledge
of self-realization and thus can free himself from the miseries experienced in
the hard struggle for material existence. Such activities lead the performer to
the heavenly planets for prolonged sensual enjoyment. However, when a person's
pious credits are exhausted, he must return to Earth, just as a person returns
from a holiday and resumes his work.
Works which don't incur karmic reactions is called akarma.
Such activities are able to free one from the cycle of birth and death, because
such activities are spiritual in nature, and are dedicated to the Supreme Lord.
Devotional Service, done for the Lord, is called Bhakti. A devotee engaged in
bhakti-yoga does not get any karmic reaction for his
service, because is spiritual and completely transcendental to the three modes
of material nature. A person working in devotion for the Supreme Lord is said
to be a worker for whom the reactions of work have been burned up by the fire
of perfect knowledge"
All material activities involve actions and reactions in the
three modes of material nature and are carried out in goodness, passion
or ignorance, or a combination of these. See also: the three
gunas. According to the mixture of the three modes of material nature,the
living entity is subjected to the particular results of his actions.
"By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect," Krishna says [Bg. 18.45]. "One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water," says the Bhagavad-Gita [5.10]. By work directed toward the highest perfection of self-realization understanding one's constitutional position as Krishna's eternal servitor one's karma ceases to exist.
In order to avoid bad karmic reactions we do not have to cease all activities and become inert like stones. Rather our activities and consciousness has to be changed, namely from material to spiritual. Spiritual activities done in purified consciousness can liberate the living entities. If one works in materialistic consciousness, one will be bound up to the material world and suffer the consequences. But if one works in spiritual consciousness one can stop karmic reactions and free himself from the repeated circle of birth and death.
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