Breaking free of our karma

“Why have you followed the spiritual path for your whole life ?”  There are many answers to this question, but a big one is, “It brings me freedom”.  Freedom to change negative patterns that have kept me in their clutches, freedom to respond with calmness and kindness even when others are angry or challenging, freedom to enjoy whatever life brings.

Swami Kriyananda says, ” When you see a fault within yourself, don’t despair, but rejoice.  It has been there all along, but now that you have seen it, you can start working to change it.”  What are some spiritual tools that help us to break free of our Karmic patterns ?  Karma is simply energy generated by past thoughts or actions that we have steered in a certain direction.


Karma chakra


With conscious awareness and determination, replace a negative pattern with a positive one.  Use affirmations repeatedly with deep concentration to change chronic patterns of thinking.  Be patient.  The deeper the Karma, the longer the time required to change it.  Don’t constantly dig up the spiritual seeds you are sowing to see if they have taken root.  Let them grow in their own time to become mighty plants.

Bring the problem to God in meditation and prayer.  Our sincere efforts and desire to be free draw the grace that brings release.  We have to do our little part, and then God steps in and unties the knots of Karma that have kept us bound.

—————– Nayaswami Devi.  

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The Hidden Splendour

A person who meditates sincerely generates tremendous energy within and around him.  Existence blesses him with healing powers that are also felt by others.  The same could happen to a devotee whose prayers originate from his heart and is not a mechanical ritual taught by priests.  Authenticity is needed in both the cases.  The healing with the meditator or the devotee is not something of his own, but a blessing from the divine or God’s grace.  When the flower blooms it has the fragrance that spreads around.
The flower does not go into an ego trip.  In one of his discourses on THE HIDDEMeditation dhyanaN SPLENDOUR, Osho makes this point with a Sufi story :  A Sufi mystic was so full of love and joy  —- his life was filled with laughter, music and dancing.  So God became very interested in because he never asked for anything, he never prayed.  He never went to the mosque, he never even uttered the name of God.
God became intrigued with the mystic and came to the Sufi and said, “I am immensely happy because that is how I want people to be.  I don’t want them to pray for an hour and do the opposite in the remaining 23 hours.  I don’t want them to become pious once they enter the mosque, and when they go back, they leave their piety in the mosque and are just their own selves : angry, jealous, full of anxiety and violence.  I have watched you and I have loved you.  That is why you have become the prayer.  You are, right now, my only argument in the world that something more than man exists —– although you have never argued, you have not even uttered my name, but you live, you love, you are so full of joy that there is no need for any language, your very presence becomes the argument for my existence.  I want to give you a blessing.  You can ask for anything.”
The Sufi said, “But I don’t need anything.  Forgive me, I cannot ask, because I really don’t need anything.  You are generous, you are loving, you are compassionate, but I am so full, there is no space within me for anything else.”  God said, “I knew you would not ask for anything.  Don’t ask for yourself, but you can ask for others, because there are millions of people who are miserable and sick, and have never known anything for which they can be grateful.  I can give you powers to do miracles, and you can change the lives of all these people.”
Yoga meditationThe Sufi said, “If you insist, then I can accept your gift under one condition.”  God said, “Condition ? You are really strange.  What is the condition ?”  The Sufi said, ” My condition is that I should not become aware of what is happening through me, by you.  It should happen behind my back.  It should happen through my shadow.  I may be passing and my shadow may fall on a dead tree, and the tree may become alive again, but I should not know it, because I don’t want to fall back.  If I know it —– that I have done it, or even that God has chosen me as the instrument to do it —– it is dangerous.  So my condition is : a blind man might start seeing, but neither should he know that it is because of me, nor should I know that it is because of me.  My shadow behind my back will do all the miracles.”
And it is said that God said to him, ” You are not only strange, you are unique and rare.  And this will be so : You will never know what things are happening around you.  Miracles will happen.  And I will remember your condition.”
————- Swami Chaitanya Keerti.

Nishkama Karma

Nishkama karma


NISHKAMA KARMA (State of No – Action) becomes possible only for a yogi at heart.  Meditating on what is unimaginable is considered to be the ultimate sadhana.  It is supposed to be beyond any conceptualisation.  If we imagine light, that is also a kind of form.  If the mind keeps thinking about the term ‘unthinkable’ to focus on, that is also limited in sphere.  So it is a challenge,  one has to overcome and the secret is that it can be attained by not pursuing anything with an intention to pursue, by becoming absolutely blank.

That is the state of ‘no – action’ in every sense (the state of Godhood) that supplies the energy for all action.  Why do we need sadhana of the unthinkable ?  We need the strength to pursue the most fruitful action.  Ramakrishna talks about three thieves, representing three gunas : RAJAS (can make you exhausted), TAMAS (can completely destroy you ) and SATTVA (the thief that has a lot of compassion)  SATTVA also guides you to the road that takes you safely home, the STATE OF NO – ACTION.

Kabir Das called this SAHAJA YOGA.  If we can become completely blank even for a moment, that is the real state of GOD – REALISATION.  In deep sleep, we may attain this stage.  But from a spiritual point of view, this state has to be experienced when we are awake.

It is very difficult to become completely thoughtless.  After remaining blank for a while, w may feel sleepy, but even then it is worth practising.  The effort to make ourselves thoughtless is also an action.  So, that action has to be discarded.  But as a beginner, we may take some form or light and remain blank, which may ultimately lead to the state of nothingness and thoughtlessness .

A sage suggested, you may think of God’s feet to begin with, but do not try to perform anything on the feet.  Just remain stable.  A state will come when the feet will disappear ——- what would remain is ‘nothingness’.  As one attains the state of ‘nothingness’ spontaneously, permanent peace prevails.

That is why it is said that BRAHMN is ‘unspeakable’.  Even one who realises cannot utter a word about it.  Buddha simply smiled and said nothing as He was asked to comment on NIRVANA.  It is for individuals to experience it.  Those who follow the path of sadhana and human welfare are able to perform this selflessly.  Thus, NISHKAMA KARMA becomes possible for a yogi at heart.

———– Arup Mitra. 

The soul is layered

Once there were two frogs who lived in a well.  One day one of the frogs jumped out of the well and disappeared.  He was gone for several days, and when he returned, the other frog asked him where he had been.

“There is such a whole big world out there beyond the well”, said the first frog, and he began to describe all the sights and sounds he had heard. ” You must be making all this up”, said the second frog.  “There is nothing but this well.  You are imagining all the things you have told me.  If there were all those things you describe, then surely they would be here in the well.  I have not seen them.  They cannot possibly exist”.

human soul


Often we are like the second frog  We my think that because we have not seen all there is to see, that nothing else exists.  We close our mind like the frog in the well.  There was a time when people believed that the world was flat, until an explorer proved it was round  There was a time when scientists believed that the Earth was the centre of the Universe and the Sun revolved around it, until they discovered this to be false.  Throughout the ages, there have been visionaries who discovered their soul.  They left behind accounts of their experiences in the form of scriptures and oral traditions, which were then recorded by their students.  We are their beneficiaries and we can try these techniques for ourselves.  We some practice, we can expand our inner vision.

We need a burning desire to find out who we really are.  When we want something intensely, we become so focussed that we block out other distractions.  When we desire to awaken our soul, it responds and its faint call can be heard.  Its own power starts to stir and our attention can no longer ignore it.  The stronger the cry, the more our attention is drawn to it.  With time, the call of the world can become more and more faint as our attention is pulled irresistibly towards love, music and bliss of our soul.

——–Sant Rajinder Singhji.

Mediocrity

The message in the Bollywood flick ‘Three Idiots” was loud and clear.  Listen to your heart, follow your passion and step away from the mundane chores of life.  While we all want to make the essence of the movie our ‘mantra’, in reality, the situation is pretty different.  Believe it or not, we often love to indulge in this sin called ‘MEDIOCRITY’, as that allows us to slip into this cosy, comfort zone, which we find difficult to abandon.  Here is a sneak peak at ‘stereotypes of mediocrity’, and decide for yourself which category you identify with.

(1) The HARDWORKING mediocre : “No news is good news”.  You have often heard this proverb.  Well, a typical HARDWORKING person who is very diligent describes a perfect life with this punch-line.  Sure, in hard work, you can’t beat him. Give him a task and he meets the deadline five minutes before the stipulated time.  A ‘hardworking mediocre’ shirks taking risks and is therefore often hesitant in taking up new challenges.  He is just happy at being adept at mediocrity.

(2) The BORED & FATIGUED mediocre : This one is ‘problematic’.  These are people who are thoroughly BORED & FATIGUED with life  —— be it their mundane jobs or with their equally monotonous lives, and this combination cannot be deadlier.  They often ask this question to themselves, “Why does life suck so much ?”  Stay away from them.

mediocre-samaritan(3) The CHAMCHA mediocre : This is a rather common category.  They mould their ways to fit into everyone else’s shoes but their own.  So, more often than not, they land up becoming CHAMCHAS of other larger mortals around.  The problem with them is they have devoted too much of attention to the people around them —– be it in their professional, social or personal life.  If they want to foray into a brighter zone, it’s high time that they live life on their own terms and conditions.

(4) The LUCKY mediocre : This is an offshoot of the previous category —— the ‘chamcha’ mediocre.  In this classification, people don’t know much, they are not too adept at work (there are others who are actually far better than them), yet they are achievers in their own right, thanks to their Godfathers.

(5) The SHORTCUT mediocre : Lots of ambitions but no patience ——- this is an apt description for the people who ‘qualify’ for this category.  They are always busy  ——– busy scouting for SHORTCUTS around.  They are happy to meet people’s expectations and have no qualms about not exceeding them.

(6) The MISFIT mediocre : A lot of times, people stuck in this situation may dread to spell it aloud as it may require them to change or restructure a big part  of their lives, yet they must do it.  They should chase the muse within, mull over the things that they enjoy doing the most and carve out something that suits them.  After all, no one in this world should spend time doing things they are not good at or live in situations that are not meant for them.

So all in all, if you want to exceed your competition, make sure you pick up a fight with the mediocrity within you and take a leap forward.

——– Anisha Motwani (Bangalore Mirror)

What is ego?

Ego


We can expand the term EGO as “EDGES GOD OUT “.  EGO is nothing but I-ness inflated to the point of occupying one’s entire inner space and the consequent exclusion of everything other than the self.  It connotes vanity, pride and stupidity.  The same ‘i’ without vanity and arrogance is called ASMITHA in Sanskrit, meaning innocent or the very personification of innocence.  Everything is created by God.  There is logically nothing that justifies our pride.

EMPTINESS is the absence of ego, a willingness to be hollow on the inside, so as to be able to be filled with Divine Music.  If you have draw love from the Lord or music from His lips, empty yourself of all your self-centredness.  No AHANKAR or I-ness, no vanity, just remaining in a state of SHUNYA.

All of us are conscious.  The conscious mind can be considered as functioning like a filter.  When certain memories and experiences in the conscious mind pass through this filter, they become part of the subconscious.  We cannot directly access the subconscious.  Hypnosis is one way through which the subconscious becomes accessible to us.  Dreams are the other means.

Dreams are the mind’s way of reconciling with unfulfilled expectations, signals sent by the subconscious to the conscious mind.  The best way to deal with a dream is to live that dream in the waking state.

 There is a traditional way to prepare your mind before going to sleep to receive dreams and signals during sleep.  Try to recollect all that had happened from the morning till then, go over your experiences of the day in detail and reframe them with heightened awareness with deep positivity.  Then go over the previous days as best as you can.  Your mind is now in a spiritual level, and this is SADHNA that takes your mind to a greater degree of sharpness.

———— Swami Sukhabodhananda.  

We are custodians, not possessors

Lord Krishna : Everything which we possess today was possessed by somebody else yesterday and will be possessed by others tomorrow and somebody else day after tomorrow.

Everything which we possess —— money, house, car, jewellery, property, etc., — was possessed by somebody else in the past, which means they got transferred to us.  We might have either earned it, or inherited it, or won it in a lottery, but the fact remains that they were possessed by somebody else, and in the present we possess them.

Will these possessions remain with us permanently ?  Will they not go to somebody else tomorrow, the way they came to us ?  They will definitely go to someone else after our death.

The land on which our house is built belonged to somebody else before our house was constructed, and maybe after 100years belong to somebody else with another house built over it.  Is it not our ignorance that the house in which we live is felt to be ours, the wealth which we own today is felt to be ours ?  All these things are temporary.


Krishna painting


Our body is not  permanently ours, as we will leave it after our death.  Our thoughts that emanate from our mind are not ours.  They have been received from other people and since our mind liked them, it possessed them.  We change our thought pattern too when we grow in age  or get influenced by others’ thoughts (of more intelligent, successful or spiritual people).

Everything in this creation is passing through from person to another, from one hand to another and from one place to another.  Everything is in a transmigratory state be it wealth, property, relationship or physical body.  We can at the most feel custodianship of all that which we possess.  A custodian is never attached to anything, has no ego of ownership, as he knows full well that all that which he possesses belongs to somebody else.

The laws of creation do not permit anything to remain permanently with anybody.

———-  Sadguru Rameshji.