Karma


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Swami Maheshananda Saraswati is the first wandering yogi to conduct Yoga programs on all the seven continents of the world. As an independent wandering yogi, he travels worldwide to conduct seminars, workshops and retreats on Yoga and Tantra. Over last 10 years he has shared the art and science of Yoga with people from over 50 countries, travelling all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole. He is an avid hiker and has climbed many tall peaks in the world, including Kilimanjaro and Everest Base camp to name just a few. 

Born in India, Swami Mahesh had series of psychic experiences from an early age that guided him on the path of Yoga and spirituality, and connection to his Guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati in 1994. He served in his Guru’s mission in various capacities over 14 years and entered into his wandering stage in 2008.

Through his experiential understanding, combined with the study of classical texts of Yoga and Tantra, and a rational approach to ancient spiritual wisdom, Swami Mahesh is able to present some of the most advanced and esoteric knowledge in down to earth style. His lectures are very popular and well received due to his scientific and holistic approach, friendly attitude and personal interaction. He continues to guide aspirants all over the world into the art and science of Yoga. Sohum Yoga Studio in Westboro, MA is hosting Swami Mahesh on Oct 25-26 for four separate programs. Please see Sohum.org for details.

Karma is the primal seed of desire that guides the destiny, thoughts, actions and behavior of every individual. Activity is the very breath of human existence. Living organisms cannot live even for a moment without action. Everyone is made to act helplessly by the impulses born of prakriti (nature). Without work, life cannot be sustained. Cosmic existence is based on dynamic activity. It is necessary for any social order.

The Law Of Karma

Just as we have the law of causation as the foundation of all the physical sciences, we have the law of karma in the moral and spiritual dimension. According to this law, all our karmas bear fruit without exception. For good karmas there are positive and pleasurable experiences; for bad karmas there are experiences of pain and suffering. "As you sow, so shall you reap." 

Our karma decides the fruits, similar to the universal law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Our present life is the result of our past karmas, and our future life will depend on our present karmas. If we see people living a happy life, it is due to good karmas done by them in the past. Similarly, for those experiencing pain and suffering in this life, it is due to their bad karmas in the past. In a nutshell, every individual is responsible for his destiny. He has choice and free will. Those who stay in harmony with the cosmic laws can live in peace and bliss.

Types Of Karma

Although there are many different classifications of karma, we will take into consideration the following two only.

Sakama karma: Karmas done with selfish desires, for personal attainment, propelled by passion, infatuation and sensual gratification. These lead to bondage because they are ego-centred.

Nishkama karma: Karmas done with selfless motives for the welfare of others. The motive is to give, give, give and not take, take, take. These do not cause bondage; rather they bring inner peace, wisdom and joy.

The Relevance To Our Life Process

For worldly people, life is a continuous struggle and sacrifice. Ceaseless activity in the turmoil of life takes its own toll. Life appears as a series of painful experiences due to the various kinds of stress we have to experience. Stress seems unavoidable, reaching into one's work environment, social affairs and home life and even intruding on one's sleep. There may be many causes of stress: physical, psychological, social, environmental, etc. Often these factors work together. No one is spared this whirlpool of stress and it is difficult to know how to escape. 

If this is the reality of life, then it becomes increasingly important to analyze and train the internal process of our being so that we become creative in the external world and attain a state of tranquility at the same time. Our mental-emotional life needs detailed analysis, understanding and systematic organization. Only then can we master our potential and function effectively and harmoniously in the external world, for all things happen within before they are expressed externally.

If we are to live life happily, we need to be aware that others are also striving to attain happiness. Consideration for others is a primary requisite for finding happiness and building a good society. We have to go to the root of the problem, the fundamental cause, and analyze our duty in life, the way to live harmoniously, living and coping with the world in a practical way.

Karma Sannyasa And Dhyana

"Work for the sake of work without any motive" is all very well in theory. But when we endeavor to put it into actual practice, we will encounter countless difficulties at every step. Only those who make sincere efforts and attain the knowledge that directly flows from the centre of consciousness alone can do unselfish, motiveless action. If those in a state of mental-emotional confusion that leads to serious internal conflict try to attain this, then when the case becomes un-resolvable they will lose all incentive and motivation and become desolate. The purpose of life will then remain unfulfilled. The concepts related to the topic as explained in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita (the reference text) give all the systematic efforts and practices necessary to organize the internal life so that human beings can attain a state of tranquility in the midst of activity and thus become useful to themselves and others.

Thus the basic aim should be to perform actions with meditative awareness from moment to moment. This requires the following:

  • Awareness of the centre of consciousness,

  • Understanding, training and mastery of one's internal states, and

  • Skillful and selfless performance of actions in the external world.

There are two areas of life that have to be looked into. One area is that of action and the other is that of meditation. Although they appear as two opposite processes, one of external activity and the other of inner passivity, yet they form a complementary pair.

Karma sannyasa, though literally translated as renunciation of action, actually means renunciation of the fruits of action. It aims at becoming the perfect instrument of the supreme consciousness in the manifest universe. Our perfection is limited by our whims and ego. Renunciation is actually related to the idea of giving up the sense of doership in all actions. He who works, having given up attachment, resigning his actions to God, is not touched by sin, even as a lotus leaf is untouched by water.

The Bhagavad Gita requires us not to renounce work, but to do it, offering it to the supreme in which alone is immortality. When we renounce our attachment to the finite ego and its likes and dislikes and place our actions in the eternal, we attain true renunciation that is consistent with free activity in the world. Such a person acts not for his fleeting finite self but for the self that is in us all. Outwardly renouncing action and mentally dwelling on the sense objects is hypocrisy. When actions are motivated by selflessness, it leads to freedom of expression.

There are a few indispensable requisites for attaining perfection when following this path. It is here that dhyana or meditation plays the key role. Dhyana is the system of training the mind in a unified way. It helps us to free the mind of all its complexes, fears and confusion, thus helping us to use our creative potential to its fullest capacity. With the help of dhyana we learn to discipline our mind, train our senses, regulate our emotions and keep our intellect working in the light of pure consciousness. We also develop the right attitude of surrender, which leads to right action, using our will power and at the same time remaining unattached.

Read more at http://wanderingmahesh.blogspot.com/

Swami Maheshananada Saraswati will be at Sohum Yoga in Westborough for four programs on October 25–26, 2019. Learn more here.​

See also:
Is It True? Is It Kind? Is It Necessary?
Bhakti — The Path Of Love

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