Aug 8,2011-QA 6

Is there any such thing like we have done something wrong and that is why we have to suffer now and maybe after we die? If we do something wrong now, do we have to suffer next life?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

First of all you must know that those who died they have no suffering, they died finished. Suffering ends with death; got it. Don’t think they are suffering. It is the people who are still here, they are suffering. Those who are dead they are at peace, those who are alive they are suffering.
So every effect has a cause, either it is an individual cause or a collective cause. Now see all these people in Afghanistan are suffering, why? There is a collective cause because they did not educate the children there in a more liberal, tolerant way of life. They were educating people in the Taliban style. So all the youths were brain washed and they were thinking only narrow. That act of theirs gave suffering to the whole country, isn’t it? Why Afghanistan is suffering today? Because of an action, so every suffering has karma, has an action.
Karma means what? An action that you did. So individually you may say I didn’t do it but collective karma is also there. Collectively a whole nation chose the path of Talibanism. That brought so much suffering to the whole nation. Last 35 years they are suffering; no food, no roads, no water, extremism. So that is karma; the past karma which is affecting the present. Do you see what I am saying?
Similarly for every action there has been a cause. Without cause an action cannot happen. Are you with me? See, you sow a seed of a pine tree ten years ago; today it has become a pine tree.
There are two types of karma. One is, you put your finger in the fire, and will it burn now or tomorrow? You do an action now, the result is immediate. You put your hand in the fire and it will burn now. So this is karma right. At the same time you sow a mango seed and do you think today you will get the fruit? Ten years later your children will enjoy the fruits of the seed that you have sown today. Mango you will get several years later, say 5 years or 8 years later. So certain karmas are there that you do and get the result now, and some karma gives the result after some time. So that is the next type of karma.
Similarly, your height; suppose you are 25 or 30 years old, I ask you what is your height? 150cm, now you can’t change that correct. You can put high heel but it doesn’t change your height, you are looking simply taller. Now, what is your weight? 50 kilos, this you can change. You just have cheese and butter and bread for two weeks, from 50 you will go up to 60 or 80. So you can grow like fat or you can thin down, that is your choice but once you are 150cm and you have crossed 22 years of age, that’s it. So similarly certain karma you cannot change but certain other karmas you can change them.
But if you think all karma cannot be changed or all can be changed, both are wrong. What do you say? Today that is what people are in confusion about karma. Some people say you have free choice, you choose, you can choose anything, you can change anything in the world. Some people say that or not? They are wrong. Some people say nothing you can change, it is all karma, everything is fatalistic, that are wrong also, got it! So certain things can be changed, certain things cannot be changed, got it. Very good!