What is that we can do to escape the consequences of past actions which were done in previous births but are bearing consequences now?

There are three types of karmasprārabdha karmas are those which are now bearing results. saṅcita karmas are those that are already done, but their consequences are yet to be experienced, and āgāmi karmas are those which you may undertake now. All karmas have consequences, and one must experience them sooner or later—this is the law. The example given in our scriptures is that of an archer with a bow and arrows in a quiver. The arrow that has already been shot and cannot be stopped is like prārabdha karma—this has already happened and therefore its effect must be experienced. The arrows in the quiver which are yet to be used are like saṅcita karma—this has been done earlier but are yet to bear the consequences; and the arrow which is placed on the bow is like the āgāmi karma—this is about to happen but hasn’t happened yet. From this analogy, it’s quite clear that the archer can do something about the arrow placed on the bow, but not the one already shot.

When one becomes Self-realised, his saṅcita karma and āgāmi karma does not have any effect on him, but the ones that are already bearing fruit – the prārabdha karma must be experienced even by him. The difference between the realised one and others is just that the realised one is able to bear his prārabdha karma with a smile, as he is able to rise above the mundane human existence; but the rest suffer through the consequences. A realised being who has no doership, has no karmas for the future as he does not associate himself with the body and the mind and therefore the actions that are performed through them. He simply becomes an instrument of the Divine, for the Divine to do its will through him. In a way, he becomes a witness to the actions being done.

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