A study in Karma

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A Study in Karma

By Annie Besant

Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar

 (Second Edition, 1917)

1  Fundamental Principles

2  Laws: Natural and Man-made

3  The Law of Laws

4  The Eternal Now

5  Succession

6  Causation

7  The Laws of Nature

8  A Lesson of the Law

9  Karma Does Not Crush

10 Apply This Law

11 Man in the Three Worlds

12 Understand the Truth

13 Man and His Surroundings

14 The Three Fates

15 The Pair of Triplets

16 Thought, The Builder

17 Practical Meditation

18 Will and Desire

19 The Mastery of Desire

20 The Other Points

21 The Third Thread

22 Perfect Justice

23 Our Environment

24 Our Kith and Kin

25 Our Nation

26 The Light for a Good Man

27 Knowledge of Law

28 The Opposing Schools

29 The More Modern View

30 Self-Examination

31 Out of the Past

32 Old Friendships

33 We Grow by Giving

34 Collective Karma

35 Family Karma

36 National Karma

37 India’s Karma

38 National Disasters

39 How the Ego Selects

40 England’s Karma

41 The French Revolution

42 A Noble National Ideal



(From The Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold)

It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter true

Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;

Times are as nought, tomorrow it will judge,

  Or after many days.

By this the slayer’s knife did stab himself;

The unjust judge hath lost his own defender;

The false tongue dooms its lie; the creeping thief

And spoiler rob, to render.

Such is the Law which moves to righteousness,

Which none at last can turn aside or stay;

The heart of it is Love, the end of it

Is Peace and Consummation sweet.    Obey!


A Study In Karma

1. AMONG the many illuminating gifts to the western world, conveyed to it by the medium of the Theosophical Society, that of the knowledge of karma comes, perhaps, next in importance to that of reincarnation. It removes human thought and desire from the region of arbitrary happenings to the realm of law, and thus places man’s future under his own control in proportion to the amount of his knowledge.

2.                                       The main conception of karma: “As a man soweth, so shall he also reap,” is easy to grasp. But the application of this to daily life in detail, the method of its working and its far-reaching consequences – these are the difficulties which become more bewildering to the student as his knowledge increases. The principles on which any natural science is based are, for the most part, readily intelligible to people of fair intelligence and ordinary education; but as the student passes from principles to practice, from outline to details, he discovers that difficulties press upon him, and if he would wholly master his subject he finds himself compelled to become a specialist, and to devote long periods to the unraveling of the tangles which confront him. So is it also with this science of karma; the student cannot remain always in the domain of generalities; he must study the subdivisions of the primary law, must seek to apply it in all the circumstances of life, must learn how far it binds and how freedom becomes possible. He must learn to see in karma a universal law of nature, and learn also, as in face of nature as a whole, that conquest of and rule over her can only be gained by obedience.( “Nature is conquered by obedience”.)

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