Being a Hindu, we are all aware that all karma eventually gets back to us. If we perform a negative karma, sooner or later the negative effects of our earlier karma will catch us up. In addition, we are aware that every karma leaves a deep impression in the mind (samskara). Now, despite having a firm belief in the theory of karma, and also feeling penitent about such, why does a jiva act out the karma as if under the control of some forces in spite of his best wishes to prevent such action. For instance, consider the simple case of addicts, who are well aware of the harmful effects of the addiction but are unable to break out of the addiction. What results in the auto-pilot of the mind? Is the jiva still responsible for the karma?

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    I heard that this is the effect of Kali yuga where corruption, bad habits, lies would be on High level.
    – Mr_Green
    Jun 26, 2014 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


An advice from Bhagavad-gītā: param drištvā nivartatē (2.59). By getting a higher experience, one gives up the previous interest. So one can gradually change his faith by hearing about the advantages of spiritual practice and the defects of sensual urges.

This is again corroborated in Bhagavad-gītā 9.2:

 rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakšāvagamam dharmyam su-sukham kartum avyayam

King of all knowledge, king of all secrets, this topmost purifying upholder has to be experienced directly, very joyful, must be done incessantly.

The knowledge referred to in this verse is about Krishna's supreme position, transcendental to matter, and how to contact him, and how by that contact one can get heavenly delights, satisfy all needs and become free:

 šubhāšubha-phalair evam mokšyase karma-bandhanaih
sannyāsa-yoga-yuktātmā vimukto mām upaišyasi

(Those who) engage mind in renunciation (from material activity) and yoga (cooperation with Krishna), certainly get rid of auspicious and inauspicious results of karmic bondage and, completely free, attain me.

Krišna's supreme quality is mādhuryam (sweetness), and by engaging in personal exchanges with Him, one quickly becomes disinterested in passive material objects, which were enforced upon him primarily by commercial advertisements. Social duties are also a kind of advertisement. Because people want something from you, they enforce you into some kind of relationships and activities. There are also demoniac entities that gain control of people if they seduce them to intoxication and other sins. To seduce people, they supply some amount of "canned" happiness in the beginning. Unless one has access to higher happiness, it is very difficult to withstand.

In verse 3.43 of Bhagavad-gītā Krišna recommends to overcome material desires (kāma) by realizing one's spiritual identity as being superior to senses, body, mind and intelligence:

evam buddheh param buddhvā samstabhyātmānam ātmanā
jahi šatrum mahā-bāho kāma-rūpam durāsadam

You can also take a look at http://adityadham.com/aditya/samskara.htm and the aštanga-yoga process, which gradually clears one from all karma:

  • yama fixes gross health problems
  • niyama fixes problems with social relationships
  • asana fixes subtle (internal) health problems
  • pranayama clears sinful impressions from mind
  • pratyahara detaches outer senses from the sense objects (forms, smell, touch etc.)
  • dharana pacifies subtle (internal) sensual urges
  • dhyana detaches mind from material activity
  • samadhi detaches oneself from the false material identity (ahamkāra)

Jīva is responsible for the choice it makes, but many aspects of how that choice manifests are beyond jīva's control, so he is not responsible about that. The most basic choice is whether you pay attention to live beings (cit) or dead matter (acit).

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