The purva-sanchit karmas are the set of accumulated karmas that have been bound in our past life and whose result we yield in this life. Let us understand this through an example….

Say we go to eat in a lower-end restaurant, enjoy the taste of the food there and intend that ‘one must often eat such restaurant food’. Based on our intent, we bind the karma ‘to eat at restaurant’. Through the life, we bind various such karmas, which keep getting accumulated at the subtle level within us; and on death, the entire stockpile of all karmas leave the dying physical body and travel along with the Soul to the new physical body, where they remain stocked therein in the form of ‘purva sanchit karma’.

Now, as and when the particular purva-sanchit karma ‘to eat at restaurant’ ripens to give its fruit, the purva-sanchit karma (cause) gets translated into prarabdha karma (effect), and we get inspired to eat junk food at the restaurant. As a result, we may end up having dysentery and become sick, which is called kriyamana karma (effect of effect that’s experienced in same life).

Thus, we can say that the purva-sanchit karmas are in the form of a plan, as though designed on a piece of paper; they are the seed karma (cause or charge karma) of the previous life, which give the fruit of karma (effect or discharge karma) in this life. If our intent has been bad, it results in bad purva-sanchit karma, will yield a bad effect and a bad effect of effect too.

For instance, we may happen to rush to help an elderly person cross the road one day. And within a moment, we may feel, ‘Oh! I shouldn’t have run to help this person, I shall unnecessarily get late for my appointment.’ Now, although our outer action is that of benevolence, the inner intent got spoilt. Nature takes into consideration this inner intent and thus delivers a bad fruit of this karma in next life. Consequently, even if we wish to, we’ll not be able to help people in need.

How can we get rid of our bad Purva Sanchit karma?
As per the law of karma, we cannot get rid of our bad karmas by setting them off against our stock of good karmas. Nature is very precise and just; and therefore the fruit of each karma is to be borne separately.

1.However, while our bad purva sanchit karma unfolds, based on the right understanding that ‘It is my own bad purva-sanchit karma that is giving me pain, and not anyone else!’, we will try and remain utmost aware that not even slightest negative inner feeling arises within us towards anybody. By not seeing anyone in this world at fault, we do not bind further new bad karmas and eventually become free one day.

2.Next, we will do pratikraman. This is a process of asking for forgiveness for our mistakes. For example, ‘to get angry’ is fruit of bad purva sanchit karma. But by doing pratikraman the intensity of anger at every instance keeps reducing and the anger eventually leaves one day. Asking for forgiveness is done in three steps:

●Alochana: Confessing our mistake before the Pure Soul residing within the person whom we hurt by getting angry.
●Pratikraman: Asking for forgiveness for our mistake of getting angry.
●Pratyakhyan: Making a firm resolve to never repeat this mistake again.

So, we acknowledge the mistake, seek forgiveness and resolve never to repeat it again. Yet, the mistake will continue to repeat until the particular bad purva-sanchit karma exhausts completely. And we must continue to wash off each mistake by doing pratikraman. Not only anger; but false pride, greed or illusory conduct etc. too can gradually be cleared off by doing pratikraman in this manner.

3.Karmas have been sowed owing to the wrong intents and they can be corrected through the right intents. Following are the prayers, which when done daily, will automatically rectify all our wrong intents that led to bad karmas:
1.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not hurt, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to hurt, the slightest ego of any living being. Please give me the supreme strength to conduct my speech, thoughts, and actions in a manner such that no living being’s ego gets hurt at all.

2.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not hurt, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to hurt, to the slightest extent, the foundation of any religion. Please give me the supreme strength to conduct my speech, thoughts, and actions in a manner such that the foundation of no religion is hurt at all.

3.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not criticize, offend, or insult any preacher, monk, nun or religious head.

4.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not dislike or hate, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to dislike or hate, any living being at all.

5.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme to not speak nor cause someone or encourage anyone to speak the slightest of harsh or hurtful language towards any living being. If someone happens to speak harsh and hurtful language, please give me the strength to speak soft and kind language only.

6.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not indulge into, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to indulge into, slightest of sexual sins, desires, gestures or thoughts for any living being, be it male, female, or of neutral gender. Please give me the supreme strength to remain free of sexual impulses and passions forever.

7.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not get engrossed in any particular taste. Please give me the supreme strength to consume food that has a balanced taste.

8.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to never criticize, offend, or insult any being, who is present or absent, living or dead; nor cause someone or encourage anyone to criticize, offend, or insult such being, to the slightest extent.

9.Oh Lord! Please give me the supreme strength to become an instrument for the salvation of the world.

4.There are some karmas which are so dense that nothing can change their results (nikachit bad purva sanchit karma). However, if we attain Self-Realization and thereafter while these type of karmas unfold, remain separate and thus unaffected, by not having like or dislike towards the karma, it will help dissolve the amassed karmas over time. It’s a rule that as many karmas we manage to see and know through the pure vision of the Self, those many karmas depart forever.

5.Moreover, we bind karmas because of our ignorance of Self. With Gnani’s divine grace, once we attain Self-Realization and become aware of who we really are and what makes karma happen, we stop binding new karma forever!!! This is the greatest achievement of human life. And this will help enhance all of the above steps too.

Whether we like it or not, karmas have to be endured by all living beings. However, the way to be free from the pain and misery of bad karmas is by attaining the knowledge of Self from Gnani; it is only Gnani and his given Gnan that can free us from the torments of charging and discharging karmas.

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Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization