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What is special about human birth? What is karma?

‘Karma’ is a fashionable word; it seems to crop up everywhere. But what exactly is karma? What is good and bad karma? And what does karma have to do with us?

The Sanskrit word ‘yoni’ translates to womb or place of birth. This meaning is close to the word ‘species’. So, the scriptures inform us that there are 8.4 million species where we are forced to take birth in the cycle of life. Why use the word ‘forced’? Because we have no choice. Fate decides it, we don’t have a say in it. If, because of our evil deeds, it destines us to be born as an insect in our next birth, nothing can change it.

It will surprise you that there is no consensus in modern science on the number of species on earth. Estimates range from as low as 2 million to as high as 30 million.

Leave that aside, there is no consensus on what makes up ‘species’! Biologists don’t even agree on what the term ‘species’ means.

But we are not discussing biology here, our subject is spiritual science. In the spiritual world, the yonis are not limited to only material bodies. They also include subtle yonis such as those of devatas, the deities of heaven. Of all these wombs, humans have something very special - the ability to do karma, to act or perform.

You may ask - doesn’t every living being do something or the other? Birds fly, fish swim, horses run and cattle graze. They are all doing something or the other, don’t they? They do, but in the spiritual sense, this is not karma.

As per divine law, karma means good or bad action that has a spiritual result.

Karma means an action that effects change in the spiritual bank balance of the jeeva. Every jeeva, before attaining God, has a spiritual savings account. The statement runs to infinite pages and it is a ledger of our good deeds as well as bad ones.

Some animals are violent by nature. How ferocious a tiger is! It spends its whole life in preying on other animals. Yet, the tiger commits no karma when it kills a deer. This violent act does not result in sin for the tiger. But, if you kill a deer, then it is sin. It is a legal sin in India to kill wildlife, entailing a heavy prison term. And spiritually too, you will be punished for killing an innocent animal. The tiger, whether it kills a deer or takes sympathy on the deer and lets it go unmolested, cannot add or subtract from its spiritual bank balance.

Not only animals, but even the deities of heaven also cannot do karma. There is nothing they can do to effect change in their spiritual bank balances. The only yoni that can do karma is human.

Note: If you have any spiritual queries, feel free to ask. Devi Ji may answer your query as a blog post here. Send your query to,

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