Param Para: Answers to Questions on the Spiritual Path  
by Swami Amar Jyoti

When will this Iron Age end and the Golden Age begin?

One theory is that by the end of the twentieth century the Iron Age will be over. The other theory is that we still have four hundred eighty-two thousand years in the Iron Age. I would not like to believe the latter. Between these two theories one thing is common: by the end of the twentieth century there will be a breakthrough. The normal cycle of the four Vedic ages: Gold, Silver, Copper and Iron, is two thousand five hundred years. That means that every ten thousand years the whole cycle changes, but in God’s working there are mysteries behind mysteries.  

Some of my friends tell me that there is going to be a holocaust. I wonder what we should be doing about it?

In the history of the world, holocausts have been always there. Earthquakes, fires, epidemics and wars have always been there. If you are talking about a holocaust, it will be one among thousands of episodes. What we should be doing is just being good and doing good. What else? If we are good, the holocaust will be averted. Otherwise there is no chance.

Is that the same thing as Armageddon, the battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light?

There is a curiosity in human nature about sensational news. It is an ego satisfaction only. Not that these things may not happen, but averting them is also possible if done in time. In the case of Noah’s ark, angels told the people many things. They warned them that if they did not live by God’s laws of righteousness, a holocaust was going to happen. But the people did not listen. Only Noah listened. When the command came to build an ark and take animals of every species, he did what he was told. He had faith in the Lord. And Noah and his family and the ark were all saved - in spite of the holocaust. That means there was a chance of averting the holocaust if people had listened to what the angels told them. Moses told the Hebrews at the base camp of Mt. Sinai, I’m going to meet my Lord. I’ll come after such and such time. Don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do this. They did not listen and a holocaust came - forty years wandering in the desert - in spite of their attaining freedom from Egypt.

When you hear about a coming holocaust, all of a sudden you feel fear. But the next hour, the next day, the fear loosens its grip and you begin to live as you have been living. Even now, let’s assume that fifteen years ahead is some holocaust. If we take it seriously, if we listen to the voice of God, it can still be averted. If God sees that we are good, He might change His mind. Or putting it more scientifically, let’s say that by certain instruments we come to know that an earthquake of such and such intensity is going to happen at such and such time. At this time we feel helpless to avert such a catastrophe because we do not know the relationship between earthquakes and our averting them; we have not gathered that power or knowledge within us.

There is a law to averting such things. In traditional language we say: live righteously. In scientific language there are vibratory phenomena around every individual, every nation, every social group and institution. These vibrations are so powerful that our collective deeds can create earth changes. Just as there are remedies for human diseases, there may be a medicine or natural law or the power of God to avert such catastrophes if we knew how to tap that source.

The earth is not separate from us. We are linked not only ecologically but through vibrations such that we cannot isolate ourselves. The rain, drought, earthquakes, epidemics, floods - all are linked with our karmas, our thoughts and actions. When you change your thoughts and behavior patterns, your vibrations change. Our own vibrations are powerful. Together we influence things. When the Earth trembles or shakes it might topple thousands of buildings and take thousands of lives, but that is the price we pay for injustices to the Earth. Karma theory does not apply to human beings only but also between human beings and birds, animals, plants and the Earth itself. 

So what should we do in the meantime? We can repeat the name of God, live by God’s laws, and listen to guidance from within. With due respect to predictions, I have also respect for changing predictions. We have that capacity. We are responsible for these things.

Swamiji, one time you said something about the fact that we can change our own destiny.

I will give you one simple idea: if God is within you and you believe that, why can’t you change your destiny? No destiny can block you. But if you want to pay importance to destiny, it will work upon you as it is predicted. You have a capacity to overrule your destiny if you want to. If God is within you, what can you not do?

The Earth has a destiny also. It undergoes changes all the time. Its contours, the boundaries of nations, oceans and rivers continue to change throughout history. It is not a dead substance; it is a living being. You are not able to visualize how it is a living being because you see stones and earth and think they are inert matter. Earth has its own body but so big that we can hardly visualize it as such. We call her Mother Earth. We are linked with her. We have common karmas with her.

Through all of one’s births, does the ego remain the same?

Yes. If you had no ego you would not be reborn. Do you remain the same person in every birth? No. You will change as a person, just as your mind goes on changing every moment even in this birth. From year to year, haven’t you changed? In the same way you will change but your ego remains the same, a unit binding the mind together. What changes is your body and mind. Ego will go on directing or guiding your body and mind until you no longer have ego. Then you are a Liberated Soul.

If you go by the normal course of life you are going to live according to your karmas or destiny. But if you are a yogi or higher being you have liberty to change your destiny. Actually Gurus do this with disciples. They go on changing their karmas. There is always scope for this. If there were no scope to change one’s life pattern, preaching would have no meaning; sadhana would have no meaning. Normally speaking, if you go the way of a worldly person - eat, drink and make merry -  then you cannot change your destiny. You are a victim of your habits and instincts and karmas. But if you have the grace of God or Guru or your own practices, and you gather up your higher intelligence and willpower, then you can change your destiny.

Would you please explain blocked karma?

The karmas that you do not exhaust go back as a residue into your subconscious mind. There are two ways to exhaust karmas: either by renouncing them or by going through them. Until then, they carry on as a residue in the subconscious mind. When these karmas come to the surface, they produce results. In Sanskrit these are called sancha karmas, blocked karmas. They remain as seeds, whether good or bad. You have to deal with these karmic seeds otherwise they remain pending in your subconscious.

Can one exhaust karmas that they have with someone else in an astral state?

Yes, yogis do this. Ordinarily you cannot do this, but if you raise your consciousness, then you can do it. As a matter of fact, the astral plane is where the seeds of karmas reside, not in the physical world. For all the karmas, the seed or root is in the mind, meaning the astral plane. If you take out the root in the mind, the karma is gone. This is what Sri Ramakrishna called “burning the seed of karma.” It never sprouts again.

© 2012 by Truth Consciousness. Excerpted from the Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti: Life Divine on Earth (O-12) and Truth Is Universal (Q-15). For further information on the audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti please see