What is Karma?

Karma is defined as reaping what one sows in terms of our thoughts and actions. In other words, it is the effect of our actions and thoughts which we have to endure. Karma may be good or bad; it depends on our actions. This concept is common to all religions. Perhaps it evolved as a tool to instill ethical and moral behavior in human beings. Or perhaps it was a truth that played out in real-time across societies before it was accepted as a universal and eternal fact.

Hindus believe in reincarnation. They also believe that our karma in this life determines our birth in the next life. Good karma assures a good birth and comfortable circumstances in life, whereas bad karma may result in an impoverished life full of struggles or even life as an animal.

Astrology and Karma

Indian astrology or Vedic astrology can help us understand our current life in terms of our past life. An astrologer uses our birth chart to interpret how our past life karma will play out in our current life. The way planets are positioned in each of the 12 houses of the natal chart gives a clear picture of how different aspects of our life will be affected by our past life karma. In essence, past life karma is the basis of Vedic astrology.

People and circumstances we will encounter in life may help us rise or fall. Such encounters are the born of our karmic connections. These karmic connections are created by the karmic transactions that we had with different people in our past lives. How long these relations last is also decided by these karmic connections.

The favorable and unfavorable planets in our horoscope reflect the karmic balance (unaccounted good and bad Karma of past life) we are born with in our current life. Hence, it is very important to perform good actions or karma. All the good or bad deeds that we do will return to us like a boomerang because the Universe is keeping tabs on us always!

Astrology is nothing but an interpretation of our past unaccounted karmas. It can predict the events that are likely to happen in our life. These events happen because of our past karma. This is how astrology and karma are related.

We tend to blame people or circumstances when things go wrong in our life. But in fact, our karma is to blame for such things. This perspective helps us to understand many things clearly and to get answers to baffling questions. For example, some people suffer many problems despite leading blameless lives. The answers may lie in their past life karma. Once we understand this, we will feel less bitter and frustrated about our life and try to amend things by doing good karma. This will also reduce our problems in the long run.

Astrology also offers pariharas or remedies to mitigate our problems. By doing these remedies, we can also get some relief. Getting insights about our past life can throw light on habits and patterns that do not benefit us, and we can then change them.

The 3 placements related to karma

A human soul, says Vedic astrology, waits for the right star to take birth on earth. The heavens decide, based on the soul’s past karmas, the date, time, and place of birth, as well as the parents. The bad deeds we committed in our past life form Rinanu-Bandhan or past life debt. We need to pay off this debt to achieve progress and happiness in our current life. This involves making certain changes in our mindset and attitudes. Once we do so, our life will start moving in a positive direction.

Three important planets reveal our past life energy, which forms the crux of the karmic lessons we need to learn in this life.

Let us see what they are.

The 12th house

In Vedic astrology, this is the house dealing with past lives and karmic lessons. The sign in this house and the planets in it or aspecting it reveal a lot about our life in the womb before we were born. Some planets like Jupiter or Venus in this house indicate a happy pregnancy and that the baby was desired. But malefic planets like Mars indicate stress/danger. Saturn is another malefic, and its presence shows restrictions or burdens.

Saturn or Shani acts like a judge as it is the planet of justice. It metes out rewards and punishments to us based on our past and present karma. It is the teacher of our karmic lessons. If it occupies a person’s 5th house (which indicates accumulated karma) in a debilitated, combustible or retrograde position, it denotes that the native’s accumulated karma is negative. This makes the person suffer in their current life.

Ketu, or the South Lunar Node

Ketu is the south lunar node and indicates our actions and habits as well as what we are born with. The ways in which Ketu interacts with the rest of the chart can be very revealing.

Rahu, or the North Lunar Node

Together, Rahu and Ketu make a ‘couple.’ They tend to work in opposite directions but with the same energy. The result is the unlocking of your karma. Though they are in opposition to each other, they also balance each other.

Astrology and Karmic relationships

Rahu, Saturn, and Ketu are the planets that are responsible for karmic relationships. Such relationships can often be painful and destructive. But they also teach valuable lessons. To free one’s soul from past life debts, such bonds must be broken in a peaceful and positive manner. This will also break recurring negative patterns in our relationships. Until these past life debts are paid, the Universe will bring two people together by making their paths cross repeatedly in each life. The souls are the same, but the relationship may be different. Often, when the horoscopes of family members are examined, one can see a strong connection between their planets. This is a clear indication of a karmic connection.

So remember, the only way to be free of bad karma in past, present, or future lives is to keep doing good karma. This will lead you to Moksha, or liberation from the birth-death cycle.