Karma is not fate; it is the natural consequence of one's own action. If one sows goodness, he reaps goodness. If one sows evil, he reaps evil. Humans are bestowed with free will and can make their own destiny. Karma is the sum total of the consequences of our action in the present and previous births which gives rise to experiences pleasurable and painful.
"My daughter is good looking, well educated, well mannered, well employed; still she is not getting a suitable groom".
"Doctors say all our test results are normal, but I am not able to conceive."
"I have spent my whole life in the interest of my children, giving them the best of everything and sacrificing my personal comforts, now I have become a liability to them"
"I take healthy food, exercise regularly, never touched alcohol in my life, never smoked and now I have got cancer."
"I have been very good and kind to her. Now, my daughter in law has filed a section 498A (harassment for dowry) complaint against me."
"See, he has not even finished his 10th and today is roaming around in a Mercedes."
These experiences are not in line with the expected results of the deeds of this lifetime. Where do these experiences come from ? They can be traced back to deeds in the past lives.
Karma is categorized as follows
Sanchita karma is the sum of one's past karmas – all actions (good and bad) until now including those from past lives, the results of which are not yet experienced and may be experienced in the present and future lives.
Prarabdha Karma is that part of sanchita karma which is ready to be experienced in the present birth.
Agami karma is that part of the sanchita karma to be experienced in future lives.
Kriyamana karma is the karma being created by the action at present the fruits of which will be experienced now and in the future.
Human experience is a continuous dynamic interplay of the results arising out of his own prarabdha karma and results arising out of the present kriyamana karma created using his own free will.
There is no strict one-to-one relation between the deed and the result, If Mr.X has broken somebody's leg in the past life, which does not mean somebody will break his leg in the present birth. Yes, he will have to suffer the agony and pain in some form.
The result goes into the pool of collective experience. It is like making a dish. All the ingredients contribute to its taste and texture and any ingredient added subsequently will modify its taste. That means the karma of the present can modify this collective karmic experience. If salt is more in the dish, add some curd to it. This is the role of remedies.
In terms of intensity karma is classified into
1. Dridha karma - most intense in nature. Their effect can not be modified or avoided. The dish has got ten times the required amount of salt. No matter what you do it won't help.
2.Dridha - adridha karma - they are of moderate nature in intensity. Their effects can be modified depending on the quality and quantity of effort employed.
3.Adridha karma - they are of mild nature and can be modified with effort.
The role of astrology
Planets are agencies who have been delegated the task of dispensing the results of past karma both good and bad. A man is born into this world when the planets are placed in such a way that by their influence and interaction they can make him to reap the results of his past karma.
As an example, take the case of person who has committed sin such as harassing a child or making false allegation about a girl's chastity. He as a result of his karma ends up being impotent in the next birth (partial or total depending on the intensity of the karma). This effect is given by planetary combination such as Saturn in the fifth house or Saturn aspecting the fifth house. That means this person will take birth at a time and place when a malefic Saturn occupies or aspects the fifth house.
The intricacies of karma are too complex to be completely comprehended. Astrology gives us some useful insight. In the first place, astrology helps to determine in cases such as mentioned above whether there is any karmic influence from the past lives. It may or may not exist. If it is there in the horoscope, it exists. If it is not there, it could be due to the present karma -omissions and commissions.
If a boy has been bunking classes and watching movies and later on fails in the exam, it is present karma. If he puts in his best efforts, still fails, it could be past karma.
If it is due to present karma adopt corrective measures. If it is due to karmic influences from previous lives, try remedies.
The horoscope shows these karmic influences and tendencies. They may be strong or light. A very strong influence (Dridha karma) will make one to wrongly assume that it is fate or predestined.
Predictive astrology is based on these karmic influences which come from past lives. Take the case of an aircraft just about to land. There are calculations involved. The pilot decides based on the altitude, wind etc., the angle of descend and speed so that the touch down is on the runway. Now, given the above parameters, we can say where the aircraft is going to touch down. This is destination not destiny. Astrology says in addition to the present action and reaction there could also be karmic influences - strong or weak - from the past lives the momentum of which could also influence one's present path of life.
Now, the pilot at the last moment can decide to abort landing. This is free will. How much of free will is available to one depends not only on individual factors but also on social factors. Free will of an individual born in India and Saudi Arabia differ. The pilot's decision to abort landing or not depends on the fear of consequences. He won't decide to abort just for the sake of it. There should be valid reason, else he will be sacked.
Horoscope reveals in short, left to itself (with no effort to change or influence it) how the prarabdha karma will influence the present birth. If karmic influences that reflect in the horoscope even strong ones do not come into effect, it could be that they have been modified by present karma or they are part of agami karma and will give result in future.
How does prasna marga help ?
In addition to the prarabdha karma, there exist eleven types of doshas associated with the present birth such as devakopa, pitrushapa etc. again arising out or omissions and commissions. These can be ascertained only with prasna marga. It is also helpful in arriving at suitable remedies. When specific issues are taken up, prasna marga can give better clarity and is very helpful in decision making such as "Can I buy this particualar house ?", " Can I take up this particular job ?".