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Five Factors Responsible For All Karma

Life in this planet bristles with activities. Everything, static and kinetic alike, is in motion. The Sanskrit word jagat, meaning the universe, implies that which is on the move. Sri Krishna also says in the Gita that none in this universe can exist a moment without doing work (3.5).

According to the Gita (18.14)., five factors are responsible for every karma:

  1. The body that is the seat of the doer
  2. The doer or agent of work
  3. The instruments of work
  4. Various techniques or skills of work, and
  5. Divine dispensation

By ‘instruments of work’ is meant, in yogic parlance, the work done by the five organs of knowledge, jnanendriyas; the five organs of work, karmendriyas; the five vital forces including prana, udana, vyana, apana, and samana; and the modifications of the mind.

From this it becomes clear that for every action there must be a doer or agent to appropriate the work for oneself by thinking, ‘I am the doer as also the enjoyer’. Thus, karma is a conscious effort to bring about some change in nature, external as well as internal.

As a logical corollary to this involvement of the doer in all karmas, it can be said that the will comes into force in the performance of every karma. And so long as willpower is not purified, it will wreak havoc on nature with its wanton ways, thus inviting unwanted trouble for a person.