Karma - The Mechanism: Tattvarthasutra 8.10

Published: 27.08.2014
Updated: 27.08.2014

Narakatairyagyonamanusadaivani (10)

Karma that determines the duration and place of (future) embodiment(s) (ayu) causes us to manifest in four spheres of existence:

  • as naraka - as a being residing in regions of infernal character
  • as deva - as a being residing in regions of celestial character
  • as human being and
  • as animal or plant. (10)


Living beings - whose fundamental nature is consciousness - can manifest in a multitude of bodily forms in the entire area of the universe. The purpose of these incarnations is to gain all the experiences we intuitively and emotionally feel attracted to and that appear important to us on an individual basis.

An obvious question comes to mind here: Why would any being not prefer the permanent embodiment in celestial areas over all other regions? - Yet the answer is easy: An existence in heavenly regions obviously offers - in contrast to all the idealized pictures religions like to propagate - not the entire range of experiences and knowledge a being may want to go through on his self-determined way to ultimate freedom (moksa).

The strong desire e.g. for revengeful or cruel thoughts and action causes an incarnation in regions inhabited by beings with similar disposition. Here this desire can be satisfied without disturbing other beings with different objectives in life.

Although on our present level of manifestation an existence in 'hellish' regions may appear extremely negative, this opinion is only relative. How 'hellish' might our rather chaotic and often violent world appear to an inhabitant of heaven who is accustomed to only harmony and peace?

It is important to understand that each of those four spheres of existence are open in all directions. Our own ideas, values and emotional drive attract us to those regions where the manifestation of our goals and values are supported best.

Once we gained the desired knowledge and our emotional attachment to a particular region of incarnation weakens, - i.e. once our particular time-karma (ayu) is dissolved, - we inevitably will obtain opportunities to leave the respective region and go on to different types of encounters. All of us have experienced this process many times, even though our Western concepts presently do not permit any recollection of this process.

It is further important that this denotes no (religious) concept of heaven and hell in the sense of 'punishment' and 'eternal damnation' or 'reward' and 'eternal bliss', but a mechanism that positions us in exactly those conditions of life that are ideally suited for our desires and our present abilities. It is an optional path that everyone defines by his behavior in the present.

Sources

Title: Karma - The Mechanism

Publisher: Crosswind Publishing

Edition: 2000

HN4U Edition: 2014

'The purpose of souls is to assist each other.'
TATTVARTHASUTRA - Chapter 5, Sutra 21

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ayu
  2. Consciousness
  3. Deva
  4. Karma
  5. Moksa
  6. Naraka
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