Understanding karma

Understanding karma

The law of karma they say runs deep. This is because it is Divine Law. Consequently, it is guided by divine logic and not considerations that human beings construe as order.

When we look at life around us, we are astonished by its diversity and its contradictions. Some individuals are born into incredible suffering and we wonder what could have caused such circumstances to come about. Others are born in luxury. Still others are visited by disease, starvation and want. Similarly, we see spiritually inclined undergoing great suffering and we see wealthy people going through life unscathed.

We also see wealthy people suffering from unhappiness and misery. How do we account for this seemingly bizarre concatenation of human experience?

According to the hallowed traditions of yoga, the answers to these complex questions are to be found in the working of the law of karma. This is God’s law and even the God is obliged to follow that law. For every action that we perform, we are bound to reap its consequences.

This includes both positive and negative consequences. In trying to either cling to these outcomes or reversing them, we engage in more actions. These actions in turn breed fruits and these fruits in turn create more actions.

The period between life and death is a karma kshetra in which we continuously sow and reap the consequences of our actions. It is this repetitive sequence of sowing and reaping that is referred to as the endless cycle or birth and death. The scriptures tell us that it is important that we extricate ourselves from this cycle, we remain in bondage.

Freedom lies in breaking away from this cycle. By uncovering the mystery that lies between birth and death, we become the creator of our destiny.

For this to happen, we need to break free from the bonds of karma. Good actions create good karmas and harmful actions engender negative karmas. If we want to move away from this vicious cycle, it is necessary to dissociate ourselves from our actions by not attaching ourselves to its outcome. This is why Sadguru Sharavana Baba exhorts his devotes to convert all thoughts, words and deeds into offerings to the Supreme Intelligence. This is why spirituality must come foremost in life.

This is why the ancients tell us: “Be not disheartened O child of Divinity! The light you are seeking burns within you. Surrender and it will unveil itself to you.