from Karma and Rebirth, ch. 2
Every human life is the story of the suffering of the karmas of past lives. No one escapes it because a human life is always the admixture of sins and holy deeds. In birth after births, they give their results. The karmas of a person chase him, says theMahabharata (the world's longest literary epic poem), in every birth of his. Karmas recognize its doer as a calf recognizes her mother, the cow, even in a herd.
Quotes from the Mahabharata
One's karmas are like treasures which are safequarded according to the laws of scriptures. In the right time, Time draws them towards itself.
Honour and dishonour, gains and losses, rise and fall all these are the results of the karmas of past lives, stage by stage. After they are enjoyed or suffered, they are exhausted.
Unhappiness is the result of one's own karmas of past lives and so is happiness. The moment a person enters the womb of the mother, he begins to experience the results of the karmas of his past lives.
reprinted with permission