I understand that it is possible to lessen the effects of our karma by behaving rightly. Is it possible to help others lessen their karma by praying or doing meditation practices for them?
This is a very good question. Karma is simply energy that is being held in a specific pattern. We create karms by the energy we invest in certain attachments, longings, shames, and so on. Because karma is basically a whirlpool of energy and magnetism, it can be shifted at any moment by applying energy and magnetism in a new pattern. Therefore, in theory at least, we can dissolve all our karma in an instant – IF we can apply enough balancing energy. A big “if”!
In practice, though, our karma changes slowly. Generally speaking, it took a long time to apply enough energy of a particular type – kindness, selfishness, fear, love, etc. – to create a karmic pattern. And generally speaking, it takes much time and effort in a new direction to set a new pattern.
Think of karma as a river flowing to the sea. Some of the water gets trapped along the river bank by debris. You can free the whirlpools of water by removing the debris that keeps it trapped there. Or you can simply draw the water by the force of the river’s mighty flow.
The river in this image is the flow of energy in our spine. The whirlpools are the vrittis – whirlpools of karma that are stored in the chakras. When you behave rightly, you increase the flow of positive energy in the spine, and this positive flow of energy will eventually help dissolve various karmas. By not doing the wrong things that created the karma, you starve it of energy. And by behaving rightly, you create an energy that can draw the negative karma into its powerful positive flow.
Meditation practices such as Kriya Yoga are a powerful way of shifting karma directly. By drawing a powerful current of energy up the spine, the karmic vrittis are drawn into the positive current, and the karma dissolves without your having to live through its consequences outwardly.
You ask if prayer, or doing Kriya Yoga for others, can help dissolve their negative karma. Yes, it can help. However, if you are trying to impose your will on someone, it will be far less helpful.
Even a positive prayer – “Please stop drinking!” – is less effective than if you give the person pure divine energy. Send the person the energy of your divinely inspired prayers, and their soul will know what to do with it. Fill them with divine light with your prayers, and it will help them fulfill their destiny. In this way, you are assisting the Divine in helping free them, without depriving them of their free will.
Be prepared for things to get worse before they get better. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does. Sometimes what the soul needs is to go even deeper into a difficult lesson before it can achieve sufficient insight and longing to change direction. Offer your prayers, and do your Kriyas, in the faith that the Divine Mother is in charge.