Creation, and life, as a part of Creation is governed by karmas. Karmas decide what you are and where you are headed. Life runs in a spiral, the physical life is a downward moving spiral and spiritual life is an upward spiral. Physical life pertains to gratification of the five senses, a life of selfishness. Such a life paves way to entry to lower dimensions and lower levels of existence and more painful births. Spiritual life starts when one can feel the pain of others and works to reduce that pain, a move towards selflessness.
Under the influence of Maya, the glue that binds us to the physical, one forgets the path of karma and is driven into the whirlpool of destruction by living for just the self.
Lord Vishnu, the energy responsible for running Creation, ensures that one is amply warned and reminded of his/her karma at various stages. For this, he has four tools at his disposal, the Chaturbhuja, namely – Padma (lotus), Shankh (conch), Gada (mace) and Chakra (discus).
Nobody gets a big shock straightaway, it is preceded by gentler warnings. The problem is, majority (99% of the population) ignores the subtler warnings and only wakes up when the damage is done.
The first warning is a lotus. Something which you were wanting comes your way – beauty, money, relationship, job etc. and you are complimented on your achievement. That compliment is a subtle warning, that what you have is only for a while. It is in passing and will soon leave you, and the pain of it leaving will be directly proportional to the pleasure it brought your way. Hardly anyone heeds the lotus.
The second warning is the conch, which is blown when you are around the age of 30. It comes in the form of a physical problem – a health issue, a legal or family dispute. Doctor may relieve you of the pain of an ailment through medication or the dispute might get settled and things may appear to run smoothly, what one misses to hear is the sound of conch. Rarely does one think about why that problem manifested in life or what he/she should change to not let it recur.
Wise heed the conch, learn from their mistake and improve, others are in for the third warning, the mace. As one hits his/her mid-forties, the mace strikes in the form of a major ailment (in you or your near one) or a major financial/legal chaos. The disturbance stirs you emotionally/physically and it takes a long time to recover.
Many in the process of recovering understand their responsibility towards Creation and mend their ways, most resume old patterns – same lifestyle, same desires and the same deeds. This leaves the Lord with little choice, and he deploys the chakra. Just like a child who fails to perform despite being given compartment is made to repeat the class, those who don’t learn after three warnings, their life is ended and they are given another body and birth. Because beyond a point, body cannot take the weight of your karmas.
The Laws of Creation are same for everyone as are the ways and means of the forces that run Creation. It is up to us to choose our destination and to heed or ignore the signs enroute.