Chapter 1: Secrets of Death and Karma
The second type of karma is known as prarabdha. The second type of karma is that part of sanchit which you have to fulfill in this life, which has to be worked out in this life. You have lived many lives; you have accumulated much. Now, a part of it will have the opportunity to be acted out, realized, suffered, passed through in this life - only a part of it, because this life has a limitation; seventy, eighty, or a hundred years. In a hundred years you cannot live all the past karmas - the sanchit, the accumulated - only a part of it. That part is called prarabdha.
Then there is a third type of karma that is known as kriyaman; that is day-to-day karma. First, the accumulated whole, then a small portion of it for this life, then an even smaller portion of it for today or for this moment. Each moment there is an opportunity to do something or not to do something. Somebody insults you: you become angry. You react, you do something; or, if you are aware you simply watch, you don’t become angry. You simply remain a witness. You don’t do anything; you don’t react. You remain cool and collected; you remain centered. The other has not been able to disturb you.
If you are disturbed by the other and you react, then the kriyaman karma falls into the deep reservoir of the sanchit. Then you are accumulating again; then for future lives you are accumulating. If you don’t react, then a past karma is fulfilled - you must have insulted this man in some past life, now he has insulted you; the account is closed. Finished. A man who is aware will feel happy that at least this part is finished. He has become a little freer.
Somebody came and insulted Buddha. Buddha remained quiet, he listened attentively and then he said, “Thank you.” The man was very puzzled; he said, “Have you gone mad? I am insulting you, hurting you, and you simply say thank you?” Buddha said, “Yes, because I was waiting for you. I had insulted you in the past, and I was waiting - unless you had come I would not be totally free. Now you are the last man; my accounts are closed. Thank you for coming. You may have waited, you may not have come in this life and then I would have had to wait for you. And I don’t say anything anymore, because enough is enough. I don’t want to create another chain.”
Then the kriyaman karma, the day-to-day karma, does not fall into the reservoir, does not add to it; in fact, the reservoir is a little less than it was. The same is true about prarabdha - the whole life, this life. If this life you go on reacting, you are creating the reservoir more and more. You will have to come again and again. You are creating too many chains; you will be in bondage.
Try to understand the Eastern concept of freedom. In the West freedom has a connotation of political freedom. In India we don’t bother much about political freedom, because we say that unless one is spiritually free, it makes not much difference whether you are politically free or not. The fundamental thing is to be spiritually free.