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Karma – Part I
One of the greatest misunderstandings about karma comes from the judgment we bring. There is no judgment or “punishment” in karma. I have found it is easier to view karma to be more like a natural law, such as gravity, rather than as a spiritual principle.

Here’s why. Natural laws function, with no judgment, beyond our likes and dislikes. We understand them on those terms and we are at peace with them on those terms. For example, we don’t judge gravity as being right or wrong. Gravity is not right when it keeps us rooted on the Earth, then wrong when it pulls airplanes out of the sky killing people. Fire is not good when it cooks our food, then bad when it burns us.

It is meaningful to see the law of karma the same way, yet often we do not. When discussing karma, our mind grapples with themes of unfairness / punishment / innocent beings suffering harsh realities. But we are not seeing clearly in this assessment.bt2lf0515_a

Use the gravity example. Imagine a small baby is crawling on a fifteenth-story balcony, then falls off and plunges to his death. That is a sad event, and no one would want to see that happen. Many among us would have a very hard time saying, “Well, it was the baby’s karma to plunge to his death.” That would seem cold. The baby did nothing to “deserve” that “karma,” we would say.

But the truth is, “deserving it (or not)” is not for us to say. Actions produce results. Furthermore, we do not know the reason that baby incarnated in order to live such a short life.

A Quick Story to Illustrate Karma

I will never forget hearing the story told of an elderly devotee of an Indian enlightened master.

One day a respected and elderly devotee came and offered himself for karma yoga, for selfless service to his guru. The enlightened master told the elderly man to go clean the toilets. This took place during an event at which there were thousands and thousands of people present, and many toilets to be cleaned. It was a difficult and dirty job. The elderly devotee made no complaints and went off to work.

Several devotees close to the master asked, “Why would you give such a difficult job to such an elderly man, and one so respected? What did he do wrong?” The devotees could not understand. To them, it seemed like punishment. But the master answered, “By cleaning toilets for me tonight, he just avoided three lifetimes of cleaning toilets.”

There are those who are masters of reality, who have knowledge of past, present and future, as Krishna and Patanaji stated. We do not have such knowledge and make many mistakes by trusting our limited senses and judgments. This is especially true when it comes to these immutable laws of the universe, like the law of karma.

Law Breakers Beware

There is no judgment in karma, any more than there is judgment in the gravity that pulled the baby off the balcony. We don’t say, “Gravity punished the baby for the sin of crawling off the balcony.” We know better. Gravity is a law. Failure to obey that law, or have knowledge of that law, is its own punishment. So we better learn that lesson as soon as possible.

If someone sticks their hand in fire, they get burned. Fire is not punishing them. We understand the nature of fire and failure to understand that results in pain. But we can’t live without fire, just like we can’t live without gravity; otherwise we would fly off the Earth. Similarly, we cannot live without the law of karma teaching us the results of our actions.

Action Equals the Truth

It is easy to overlook the depth of the word “karma”, and its meaning, “action.”
Your actions about something are the aggregate result of your wisdom about it.
For example:
You have a lot of ideas and philosophies about romantic relationships. But the truth of what you actually know is shown in your actions toward partners. It is shown in what you do, and what they think of you as a result.

Also, actions are always in the present moment even though your mind is not. All of your ideas happen in retrospect, as stories and “ego spin”, whereas the truth of your life is shown by every action in every moment. Everything that comes back to you as a karmic result, began as present moment. For example, you may decide to stay home and meditate rather than go out to a bar. The different actions produce different results – both inner and outer. The increased peace of mind and stillness will arrive as a “present moment” directly related to the previous action.

Then, the next time you are faced with the choice of going to bar or doing meditation, you will hopefully remember how good it felt to stay home and meditate, and hopefully do that again. Eventually these “moments” become habits, which then become rituals that ripple into lifetimes of practice.

judgment-resized-600One of the greatest misunderstandings about karma comes from the judgment we bring. There is no judgment or “punishment” in karma. I have found it is easier to view karma to be more like a natural law, such as gravity, rather than as a spiritual principle.

Here’s why. Natural laws function, with no judgment, beyond our likes and dislikes. We understand them on those terms and we are at peace with them on those terms. For example, we don’t judge gravity as being right or wrong. Gravity is not right when it keeps us rooted on the Earth, then wrong when it pulls airplanes out of the sky killing people. Fire is not good when it cooks our food, then bad when it burns us.

It is meaningful to see the law of karma the same way, yet often we do not. When discussing karma, our mind grapples with themes of unfairness / punishment / innocent beings suffering harsh realities. But we are not seeing clearly in this assessment.

Use the gravity example. Imagine a small baby is crawling on a fifteenth-story balcony, then falls off and plunges to his death. That is a sad event, and no one would want to see that happen. Many among us would have a very hard time saying, “Well, it was the baby’s karma to plunge to his death.” That would seem cold. The baby did nothing to “deserve” that “karma,” we would say.

But the truth is, “deserving it (or not)” is not for us to say. Actions produce results. Furthermore, we do not know the reason that baby incarnated in order to live such a short life.

A Quick Story to Illustrate Karma

I will never forget hearing the story told of an elderly devotee of an Indian enlightened master.

One day a respected and elderly devotee came and offered himself for karma yoga, for selfless service to his guru. The enlightened master told the elderly man to go clean the toilets. This took place during an event at which there were thousands and thousands of people present, and many toilets to be cleaned. It was a difficult and dirty job. The elderly devotee made no complaints and went off to work.

Several devotees close to the master asked, “Why would you give such a difficult job to such an elderly man, and one so respected? What did he do wrong?” The devotees could not understand. To them, it seemed like punishment. But the master answered, “By cleaning toilets for me tonight, he just avoided three lifetimes of cleaning toilets.”

There are those who are masters of reality, who have knowledge of past, present and future, as Krishna and Patanaji stated. We do not have such knowledge and make many mistakes by trusting our limited senses and judgments. This is especially true when it comes to these immutable laws of the universe, like the law of karma.

Law Breakers Beware

There is no judgment in karma, any more than there is judgment in the gravity that pulled the baby off the balcony. We don’t say, “Gravity punished the baby for the sin of crawling off the balcony.” We know better. Gravity is a law. Failure to obey that law, or have knowledge of that law, is its own punishment. So we better learn that lesson as soon as possible.

If someone sticks their hand in fire, they get burned. Fire is not punishing them. We understand the nature of fire and failure to understand that results in pain. But we can’t live without fire, just like we can’t live without gravity; otherwise we would fly off the Earth. Similarly, we cannot live without the law of karma teaching us the results of our actions.

Action Equals the Truth

It is easy to overlook the depth of the word “karma”, and its meaning, “action.”
Your actions about something are the aggregate result of your wisdom about it.
For example:
You have a lot of ideas and philosophies about romantic relationships. But the truth of what you actually know is shown in your actions toward partners. It is shown in what you do, and what they think of you as a result.

Also, actions are always in the present moment even though your mind is not. All of your ideas happen in retrospect, as stories and “ego spin”, whereas the truth of your life is shown by every action in every moment. Everything that comes back to you as a karmic result, began as present moment. For example, you may decide to stay home and meditate rather than go out to a bar. The different actions produce different results – both inner and outer. The increased peace of mind and stillness will arrive as a “present moment” directly related to the previous action.

Then, the next time you are faced with the choice of going to bar or doing meditation, you will hopefully remember how good it felt to stay home and meditate, and hopefully do that again. Eventually these “moments” become habits, which then become rituals that ripple into lifetimes of practice.

Three Types of Karma and the Archerthe_archer_by_zaroe

Another simple and powerful framework shows the karmas of the past, present and future as akin to an archer and his arrows.

Sanchitta: Past karma or karmas waiting to ripen. Sanchitta karma is the record of every action we have ever done and the energy impression it has left behind, from this and every other lifetime. Sanchitta is the unresolved portion of our karma, waiting to be experienced. These are like the arrows that have already been shot.

Parabda: This is our present action, what we are doing now. Mainly it refers to this lifetime, but on a micro level it is this very moment. Certain events from the storehouse of our Sanchitta karma ripen and we must act accordingly. In this way we learn the truth of how much we have learned based on our present actions. This is like arrow in the archer’s bow that he is about to shoot.

Agami: This is the future that will be a direct result of our present actions. This is the good news. We create our own karma. There is no wrathful god waiting to punish us for our misdeeds. We punish or reward ourselves based on our present actions and it has always been so. These are the remaining arrows that need to be shot.

to be continued,..


You can get this amazing class special this week. 4 Major Courses – more than 60 Hours of Classes at a CRAZY Discount
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS
Click Here to Register Now


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