Sunday, February 10, 2013

Karma, if it were so simple

I was speaking to one student. She was talking of karma and said that she was assured that when somebody did something bad to her, the person's karma will in itself create a punishment. I told her I disagreed. Because karma is not a pat good and bad thing. That is very philosophically immature thinking that has been thrust us on us -- it is not the eastern way of thinking..

Karma is very complicated. Wishing that bad karma will be adequate punishment for someone who does something bad for us creates a karmic loop with this person.  Instead of ending, as all karma is meant to, for all us and which is supposed to be our spiritual goal, u set it right back in motion, back into  an endless loop. Because wishing somebody ill, even as bad karma, is also an action in the spiritual world.

Behind the mounds of texts on this subject, a simple line that says it all: all karmic knots must go. Sounds simple. When good yoga clears up the debris in your eyes, you get to see clearly that one is constantly creating karmic loops, perhaps because one is afraid that to end these loops would mean the final entry into the void. But those of us, who may choose the void, have to discriminate ... The bad ones are easy to chop off.  But the good and casual ones, they will drag us down, just as effectively. So, seeing that this is so, is perhaps why our own soul chooses certain nasty surprises for us. Because when we suffer a loss, or move off a relationship or get into a situation that otherwise makes no sense, I believe secretly, that it is our own soul that makes this choice, for a short suffering towards a  longer release. Our very own soul invites a problem or a tough situation in our lives, unexpectedly, complete the cutting off of some deep attachment that will keep us from the void, the final consummation that consumes us.  soul chooses our challenges. This is an exciting release. There is nobody out there, just us and our karma and our choice to be rid of it!

So, apart from the simplistic viewpoint of karma -- of good and bad, there is the more accepted definition of it as  part of karma, that we all get excited, when introduced to this topic is how it has three stages -- of sanchita, prarabhda, and agami karma -- of things that happen to us from our past, present and future -- very exciting. It gives a state of control. The ideal description of this has been the example of arrows -- sanchita (past karma) is of arrows shot out from a bow, and  which happen to us due to our past lives. Prarabha which happen as when an arrow leaves the bow, aimed, and could be controlled if the focus is clear. And the final one, of agami of potential arrows, still in the quiver, of your future.

There are several lives in all these karmas, and engages u someplace as an actor. But this is the second stage in the understanding of karma. I believe, this stage too must be transcended. because the sages talk of the other karmic stage, where there is no karma -- past, present or future. All burnt. Like a seed so burnt, that it has nothing in it, no life to sprout. That is what is required. So, yes, I believe when the soul chooses its challenges, it is choosing this final definition of karma. The most difficult of them all:)
Here, as Sri Ramana Maharishi, says karma is inert.
Where faith is challenged because all senses are dead, you have no map, and the one which must reveal itself is just now playing hide and seek, with a very dead body.

This stage, I believe, is the razor's edge that all three major religions refer to, in one's spiritual life. The dark night of the soul.

Where Bhairav howls at the gate, seeking entry.

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