Food being the main sustenance for life, feeding people, animals, plants and other life forms is considered good Karma. Most spiritual texts talk about having langars or mass feeding ceremonies. People hold such langars on special occasions like religious ceremonies, birthdays, marriages, death ceremonies, birth & death anniversaries of their ancestors, etc.These Karmas accrue to those who spend on them or often they are transferred to others, like their departed ones, as a profit to their Karmic balances.
Allowing a seed to grow and investing in its space, nutrients and nurturing is considered great karma. The greenery also provides fodder to animals, man and other life forms. Trees provide fruit, which is food to birds, animals and man, shade for animals and humans, and wood for various uses. They also provide manure through dried leaves. Not to mention the ecological benefits.Therefore helping to grow and sustain greenery is a multiple karma as it has multiple effects and benefits. If a tree was to bear fruit for 60 years, the benefit of that fruit being consumed would accrue to the planter or the person responsible, probably both, for those 60 years. All the plants, insects, birds, animals and humans who took refuge under the tree would also be obligated. The use of the wood of the tree during its lifetime or thereafter would also be a credit to the planter and a debt to those who benefitted from its usage.
One can benefit life forms in several ways. Food is only one of those ways. One can provide shelter, medication, and other such benefits. A lawyer in Mumbai goes around putting up artificial cones for bird housing in Mumbai city to help provide bird shelter. A film producer’s wife recently spent a lot of time with her friends to raise money for an animal hospital in Panvel near Mumbai.Many Indians who have studied ancient Indian wisdom, try to benefit cows by providing them fodder, shelter, etc. The Indian saints of yore, considered the cow to be the second most evolved species after human beings. Some gave it the anointment of being a second mother. After mother’s milk, what helps bring up a child from a nutritional point of view is cow’s milk and its products. In the villages, cow-dung is used as an air purifier and a coating on walls and floors. Cow’s urine is used extensively in Ayurvedic recipes, in a modified way. It is considered a privilege to serve a life form which benefits us in so many ways.
Educating even one person who cannot afford to educate himself or herself can have a magnifier effect. That one person could do well in life and work and benefit several others. My grandfather was helped by a benefactor who helped him gain a college graduation. My grandfather rose to be a General Manager of an insurance company before it was nationalized. He helped educate all his family members and other relatives. His son set up a free school for handicapped children. Several hundred children have got free education from that school and its ancillary units in Mumbai and Delhi. In another 10 years that education would have benefitted over a 1000 children who are deaf. Did my grandfather’s benefactor know the geometric progression of his single kind act?My sister got a scholarship from the Rotary Club of Mumbai and did her education in U.S.A. She settled there and started her own news-based television program. Several people learned from her and became successful in their media businesses. Again, it was a magnifier effect.Part of the revenue of a hotel in Bandra goes to a trust. The trust funds education for the village kids next door. Many of them would have remained illiterate without this help. Some of these educated people may help uplift the state of their own brethren. In 10 to 20 years this would have a multiplier effect to the benefit of 10–20% of those dwelling in that village. Providing educational help is providing a better lifestyle not just for one, but for a multiple of one. The Karma of educating people has potential to benefit many. Many people do service by giving their time to help educate others and enhance their positive Karma.Positive Karma
Medical aid can help alleviate many people from physical suffering which is akin to torture. If one can help people escape from so much suffering, one has the right to claim positive karma, and plenty of it. Philanthropists help fund hospitals, provide free medical treatment, organize free medical camps and free distribution of medicines. Several doctors work without fees for helping poor patients.A lady who used to make fudge in Lonavala, near Mumbai, set up a free homeopathic clinic there After her death, friends, carried out her good work, and today hundreds of poor people get free treatment in this clinic. A doctor friend now goes there once a week to give free consultation to poor patients suffering from diabetes.Her investment in a one room hall flat has benefitted and will benefit several persons. A better proposition to an investment reward ratio may not be found on Wall Street!
People are normally highly indebted to their parents and grandparents for all the care, nurturing, physical aid, mental growth, education, etc. To convert this karmic loss into a profit, people do a lot of good deeds in aid of their late parents and ancestors. Feeding people, growing trees, giving medical help, educating children, are some such ways adopted. Helping ancestors to gain good Karmas to add to their balance, helps repay debts to one’s ancestors to some extent.
Many people suffer due to the anger of their ancestors. The ancestors sometimes make sure that this suffering is meted out to their descendants, for them to pay for having troubled the ancestors. Giving birth to disabled and mongoloid children are said to be some of the effects of pitra peeda in some cases. Ancient Indian beliefs are that your deeds are shared, by three generations above and below you and vice-versa. I can only conjecture that if the ancestors feel let down, they ensure your suffering.Sharing my own experience, I have a child who suffers from cerebral palsy. My Guru said I needed to do a few things to undo the pitra peeda faced by my family. He made me do ‘greening of land’ and farming on it, and made sure that the produce was donated to an ashram. He also made me keep a few cows and repeat the procedure of donating the milk. He said it would take a few years and so we should not have another child, till he gave us the go ahead. Thereafter, he said, we would have a son who would be good looking, healthy and lucky. And so it was! A few minutes before his birth, I heard a voice in my ear that said he is born and his name is x.He is a good looking boy and his name is x. (Unfortunately, he is a bit arrogant and his sense of entitlement is something I need to learn to deal with). Before he was conceived, he whispered to my wife in her ear and said he wanted birth and that he was my grandfather!)As if the story is not bizarre enough, I hesitatingly share with you another related experience. Months before my wife conceived, I woke up one night after meditation, and as I opened my eyes, I saw a man, made of a thin shining cloud form, sitting below her bed, just staring at her feet whilst she was asleep. It was 4 am! I freaked! The spirit noticed me I guess, turned to look at me, (as I was 270 degrees from where he was), and when his ether eyes met mine, he displayed a gesture of shock and disappeared. My Guru said he was giving my wife a mother’s form! (Of course he was not my grandfather!)
If you don’t believe this story, just ignore it.
However, the way to resolve pitra peeda is to do many deeds in your ancestors’ name, do their shradhs regularly (shradh is the belief that there are designated days in the year to make offerings in the names of your ancestors and the benefit accrues to them).
Prayers like the Antim Shradh (final ceremony) are done at GAYA in Bihar. There is a ceremony for pitra peeda, done at Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra. A ceremony for calming down agitated ancestors is performed at Kuruk Shetra in Haryana. These, of course, are religious dogmas and you can just say PASS! Or you can make the effort, consult your religious teacher, and complete these rituals. Many people I know have found it helps. The long and the short of it is that we must perform good deeds, in the name of our ancestors, and pass the credit on to them.
Pitra Peeda is not applicable to any person particularly. It is applicable to a line of descent-what Indians call ‘Kul’-a few generations of a family. This happens when some of the ancestors are left without salvation, not settled after death, in any astral dimension.
There are considered to be three astral worlds where spirits generally get placed, if they are lucky enough. The lowest is the plane where spirits with more tamasic nature linger. The second is the plane where spirits with a Rajsic nature flourish and the third is a plane where Satwik Spirits exist in harmony.
When people criticize us wrongfully and talk against us, they owe us for their slander. They pay us for the defamation. Similarly if someone was to hurt us emotionally, mentally or physically they would owe us a Karmic compensation for that.When we criticize a person for certain qualities, you may have discovered that often we attract those qualities to ourselves, and start showcasing a list of those very qualities we talked or thought aversely about. It is a known yogic principle that you will acquire the qualities of that which you meditate on. Continuous criticism ends up to be a meditation of sorts! The person, whose negative qualities you attract, is rid of a part of them. It kind of works on the principle of electromagnetic attraction, from one aura to another. Most great saints have warned against the loss made by criticism of others and the profit, conversely, by admiration of the good qualities of others. So many prayers, mantras, poems are odes to the greatness of either saints, Gods or prophets.Therefore allowing people to wrong us, and not reciprocating, helps us to grow our positive Karma balance in lieu of someone else’s negative balance. Reacting negatively would neutralize that.
Jesus was a grand Karmayogi, so was Saibaba. Gurudev from Himshiri, Najafgarh, healed me of Arthritis in a few minutes. I saw him heal thousands of people. His only teachings were ‘SEWA’ He practiced it day and night and never allowed himself to be photographed by the press, never gave interviews. Remained low profile even though every month there were queues of people in thousands to meet him. Nor did the prophet Mohammed ever want personal fame and glory.The L.C.M. (lowest common denominator) of most religions is service to others. The Sikhs, Muslims, and almost all others believe in Karsewa, charity and philanthropy. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are modern saints of today, because they decided to give up their personal wealth, or most of it, in order to serve disadvantaged people in third world countries. Thirty billion dollars donated by each, would make them serve millions now and hereafter. Their Karma would get a mega boost and will keep multiplying as their projects keep advancing. This multiplier effect would continue even after their deaths and provide positive profits. No religiousness, belief in God, desire to pray, is required to multiply positive Karma.The power to spiritually help and heal others comes to a person only if they have a huge Karmic positive balance. It may take several lifetimes to achieve these energizing powers. Many saints have been able to attain these. Often the potential to heal needs to be unlocked by an experienced preceptor. (I have met many people with such abilities who would go about their good work without making a noise about it).Such service towards spiritual healing of ailments, mental conditions, psychological problems, diseases of aura, victimization by black magic (as commonly called) adds immensely to your Karmic profit. Positive Karma does not need social recognition and so there are hundreds of saints in the present, who we shall never probably discover, and who are performing these karmas quietly.
Being an acceptable member of a family, of a society or of a group and following the acceptable norms and rules helps make you a ‘blend in’ person. Believing and following a set of principles and avoiding excessiveness in action takes you to better Karma.Being righteous can be translated into small issues. Not being aggressive with people, courteousness, fair-play, smiling more than frowning, pleasant conversation, positive body language and expressions are all going to make Karma neutral or positive but not negative.
Few people understand destiny and others don’t. Even those who do understand destiny often forget its role in human actions & behavior. They become judgemental, fault finding, and hold onto their expectations from people. Destiny forces behavior and action. It is almost impossible to be constantly aware of this, hence we hold people responsible for what they do and react to that.Personally I have followed the policy of having an astrological analysis done of most of our senior managers. This gave me information on their personality traits, weaknesses, strengths, good periods and negative periods. I learned how to excuse their inefficiencies during those predictable periods, and bear with their bad times. This helped me retain some of them, as I learned to flow with their tide. Conversely when I knew some of them had predictable changes in their career trends; it became easy to accept their departure. People who had arrogance as a part of their trends became easier to get rid of. Empathy helps to understand people’s moods, behavior, errors of behavior, slip ups, and makes it easier to forgive.
When good Karmas fructify, people get wealth (of different kinds like money, property, etc), status, significance in the eyes of others, fame, glory, well paid jobs, thriving businesses. They also get good physical wealth like good looks, good health, physique, etc. Some get wisdom, intellectual wealth, spiritual wealth, whatever!People think these favours of good karma are their own achievements.They credit themselves, their education, capabilities and are self impressed. Often they get arrogant, show off and become demonstrative. Their behaviour offends others and makes people feel awkward. Even if this does not get you very negative Karma, it takes away the opportunity for a neutral or positive one. Being humble helps condition your mind to see things differently.Humility and acceptance of good fortune, lend a shade of goodness and greatness to an individual. Humility makes a person more expressive than impressive. It is a perfect seed to sprout good Karmas. Therefore one should aspire to be humble and lead to positive potential.