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October 15, 2023

What is the Relationship between good deeds and bad Karma? Do they cancel each other out?

In general, the concept of karma refers to the idea that actions have consequences that affect a person’s current and future lives. Good deeds are believed to create positive karma, while bad deeds create negative karma.

It is important to note that karma is not a tally of reward and punishment, where good deeds cancel out bad deeds or vice versa. If one could cancel bad deeds with good deeds, then people would take advantage of it. The smart people would end up doing a hundred good deeds and ten bad deeds, leaving behind ninety good deeds to his credit, without having to pay anything for the ten bad deeds done by him. But Nature is just and precise; it ensures that the result of both good and bad deeds are experienced respectively. The effects of all karmas have to be experienced as they were sown.

Good deeds, such as acts of kindness, charity, and selfless service, create positive karma, which can bring good results in this life or future lives. On the other hand, bad karma, such as harming others, lying, stealing, or being dishonest, creates negative karma, which can bring negative consequences.

Good deeds are those that are done with a selfless attitude and with the intention of benefiting others. Here are some examples of good deeds:

• Helping others in need

• Being kind and compassionate towards all living beings

• Practising non-violence

• Practising humility and serving others

• Seeking forgiveness if someone is hurt (pratikraman) by us and

• Letting go of grudges and negative opinions.

On the other hand, bad deeds are those that harm others or oneself and are motivated by greed, anger, deceit and greed. Here are some examples of bad deeds:

• Harming others physically or emotionally

• Lying, cheating, or stealing

• Engaging in immoral acts and enjoying it

• Engaging in immoral or unethical activities

• Being selfish or self-centred at the cost of the happiness of others

So good and bad deeds, both have their own independent effects. Therefore, the focus should be on cultivating positive qualities and letting go of negative habits and tendencies, rather than trying to balance good and bad deeds because good deeds and bad deeds do not cancel each other out. Rather, they both contribute to a person’s overall karmic balance, which affects their future experiences and circumstances.

However, it is possible for a person to mitigate the effects of negative karma through the good deed of asking for forgiveness. This cancels out the bad deed, if repentance is true and sincere. Doing so, one also rises spiritually higher. And eventually one meets the Enlightened One, who helps one attain Self-realisation and leads one towards ultimate liberation.

To become free from the cycle of karma and attain liberation, one must seek the true Self and attain Self-realisation through the grace of a Gnani, a spiritually enlightened master.

Once Self-realisation is achieved, all karma, whether good or bad, begins to dissolve and one attains freedom from the bondage of karma. Therefore, in Akram Vignan, the focus is on attaining Self-realisation rather than trying to balance good deeds and bad karma.

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