If you believe that you are born in this world with empty hands, and you will die empty handed and your negative karmas will automatically cancel out once you die, you are mistaken. You will never find a yogi expressing such a thought, for he knows what he brings along and what he takes away when he leaves his body - karma. There is always a difference in the weight of a living person and his or her body soon after the soul departs. This is not the weight of the soul, but that of karma.
To this effect in 1901, an experiment was conducted in Massachusetts by Dr. Duncan MacDougall over six dying patients who were placed on specially made weight scales just prior to their deaths. His intention was to weigh each body before and after death to determine any differences measured by the delicate scales. The patients were selected based upon their imminent death. Once the patient died, a sudden loss of three-fourths of an ounce was noted. Everything was taken into account, from the air in the lungs to bodily fluids, yet they were unable to explain the reason behind the sudden weight loss. They concluded it is the weight of soul...but soul has no weight, it is in fact the weight of karma.
Vedas have detailed that we carry forward the karmas of one lifetime to another like a genetic code and it is our karmic balance that decides our next birth. In the Mahabharata, after the Kurukshetra war, Dhritrarashtra asked Krishna the reason why all of his hundred sons got killed in the war. To which Krishna replied that fifty lifetimes ago, he was a hunter. While hunting, he tried to shoot a male bird, but it flew away. In anger, he ruthlessly slaughtered the hundred baby birds that were there in the nest. The father-bird had to watch in helpless agony. Simply because he caused that father-bird the pain of seeing the death of his hundreds sons, he too had to bear the pain of his hundred sons dying. Dhritarastra then asked why this payback did not occur earlier but took fifty lifetimes. Krishna answered that it waited for him to carry out good deeds, and accumulate good fortune to be blessed enough to first have a 100 sons.
Today if you look around, so many animals are being killed, so many crimes happening...all of this is accumulating as negative karma for those inflicting the pain, and also those watching it happen. You will have to payback, whether in this lifetime or another. If the mighty Dhritrashtra could not escape his karma, then you cant either, no matter how much wealth or power you have. As you progress in practice of Sanatan Kriya, your past life karmas unfold in front of you and you know where you are headed. The sadhaks at Dhyan Ashram experience this routinely are working day in and day out to improve their karma. You can also do that, or wait for karma to play out.
(Yogi Ashwini, head of Dhyan Ashram, is the author of this article)