The word ‘chitta’ means both, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. All our past karmas leave deep impressions in the subconscious mind. It means that all the seeds of your past actions lie in your own subconscious. The conscious mind is restless and cannot retain information for long. You don’t know what you had for breakfast ten years ago, one year ago, a month ago or even a week ago…Why? Because the conscious mind is unable to access this information stored in the subconscious. Although you don’t know what you had for breakfast ten years ago, but this memory is there in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious is a storehouse of all memories, not only from this life but also from all past lives. This means that all your, good and bad, past karmas are stored right in your own chitta.

There is a collective pool of your previous karmas called sanchit karma. The karma fruits your bear in this life time is called prarabdha karma. And then there are new karmas happening every moment which will bear fruit in time. Prarabdha karma fruit is like an arrow which has left the bow - you can’t take it back. Thus, one has to endure its fruits, even if you get enlightened. But what about sanchit karma? Raja yoga says that in the fire of nirvikalpa samadhi, all accumulated seeds of your sanchit karma, get burnt

But prarabdha karma stays intact. Continuing with the example of an archer’s arrows: Say an archer has some arrows in his quiver, one arrow on his bow and there is one arrow which has already been released. The arrows in the quiver can be broken, can be burnt. The arrow which is on his bow can be taken off but what about the arrow that has already been released? You cannot bring it back! Thinking he is targeting a tiger the archer shoots an arrow but it turns out that he was mistaken. The shadowy figure he targeted was not a tiger but a human being. But can he take the arrow back?

Your sanchit i.e. accumulated past karmas are like the arrows in the quiver. These can be burnt in the fire of nirvikalpa samadhi but for that you will need to follow the path of raja yoga and attain the heightened state of meditation viz samadhi. But until they are burnt, they will bear fruit. And these fruits are responsible for what type of life you get.

The life you have received is not accidental. There is a reason why you have received a particular body. There is a reason why you been born to a particular set of parents. Your siblings, your spouse, your children, your friends, your teachers – none of this is accidental. Meeting a bad teacher is a result of your bad karma. Meeting a great master is a consequence of your own good karma. There is no such thing called co-incidence in this life. Some people’s entire lives get wasted by being with a charlatan claiming to be a guru. And they realise this only after spending years and years in their service. Then there is nothing left beside regret and self-reproach. What a waste of precious life.

Arrows of your karmas that have left the quiver, will bear fruit and you will have to endure their consequences. That is why it is said that even after self-realization, there is a possibility of few more births. However, an enlightened person knows how to experience the beauty of this world without getting entangled in it. For a self-realized person, having a body is not a punishment.

Ignorant beings are born in bondage; enslaved to their desires, attachments, entanglements. Their lives are marked by miseries and suffering. On the other hand, you have rishis like Ved Vyas, Ashtavakra or king Janaka or Sri Krishna or Sri Rama who are born enlightened. Their entire lives are marked by beauty. Beauty of virtuous actions, beauty of wisdom, beauty of helping others to eradicate their ignorance.

The enlightened person is not afraid of coming into a body. When you know who you are, then even when the body is alive, you are liberated. When the body is gone, you are still liberated. New body is received, you are still liberated. It does not make any difference at all.

Vedanta brings you to the point where getting a birth is not a punishment, it is not a scary experience. Why? Because the light of knowledge dispels all darkness of ignorance. For e.g. you enter a dimly lit room and mistake a rope lying in the corner to be a snake. Frightened, you run out of the room but happen to stumble and break your leg. Someone takes you to a doctor who plasters your fractured leg. And when you return home, you are told that there never was a snake in the room. In full light, the rope is seen as a rope.

So, now will you be scared of the rope? Or will you just laugh at your own stupidity? The rope is still there but you are not scared any more yet what you have fractured will take time to heal. Nevertheless, the ignorance goes away in an instant. In the same way, the light of Vedanta dispels the darkness of illusion in a moment. Right knowledge with a guidance of an enlightened master alone can bring the light that will permeate the mind and the intellect. And in this light, you will see your own real Self. Then, you will be who you really are

Taken from videos and writing of revered master Anandmurti Gurumaa