Karma Adam Wojtanek
|A modern wisdom religion
of the Mother goddess is based on esoteric truths that
her ancient religion was based on. Those basics are
explained in the following three short chapters about
Karma, the Self and Maya. Karma is a universal principle;
The Self is the truth we find through negation, and
removing false assumptions about the Self; Maya is the
cosmic energy that is of the nature of consciousness.
Reality is a play of difficult-to-predict karma that was created by past actions, reactions, or lack of any of those. It is the totality of one's conduct and actions in this life and past lives. Thus, karma is often used as another word for fate and destiny.
The term comes from the Vedic Sanskrit word "Karman", which means "action, work, or deed(s)". Though karma has different meanings in various forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, and other worldviews, karma generally refers to the principle of cause and effect, in which actions and intentions influence one's future, and also future rebirths. The term has almost the same meaning in Western languages and popular culture.
Laws, rules of conduct, and ethics are related to the principle of karma. The general idea is that if we show goodness, we will reap goodness. In other words, similar deeds lead to similar effects. Simply speaking, karma means that we forge our future and destiny. We do that through our habits (vasana), which create our nature, our self-perception, and our character that affects every aspect of our life, and the course of our future.
There is a scriptural passage about karma in Mahabharata XIII.6, but I won't be quoting it here because it is very long. Instead, I'll put it in just a few words that you may have already heard elsewhere many times before. Those words come from the Bible and are well known to all: What you sow, you shall reap. And the Mahabharata says more about it: One's acts are like the soil, and destiny is like the seed, and the harvest grows from the union of the soil and the seed. There is much more about karma in the Mahabharata and in other Vedic scriptures. For example, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.2.13 we read:
A man becomes good by good work (Karman), and bad by bad work (Karman).
Further down in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5-7 we read:
As a man is like this or like that, according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be: - a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad. He becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds.
And here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.
To whatever object a man's mind is attached, to that, he goes strenuously together with his deed; and having obtained the end (the last results) of whatever deed he does here on earth, he returns again from that world (which is the temporary reward of his deed) to this world of action.
So much for the man who desires. But as to the man who does not desire, who, not desiring, free from desires, is satisfied in his desires, or desires the Self (Brahman) only, his vital spirits do not depart elsewhere, - being Brahman, he goes to Brahman.
When all desires which once entered his heart are undone, then does the mortal become immortal, then he obtains Brahman.
Some may ask what kinds of actions are good, and what kinds of actions are bad. To answer that, various types of rules of conduct and laws have been created. Those laws and rules of conduct are a bit like rules of the road that we follow to avoid collisions and for a harmonious flow of traffic. Those rules of the road may vary from one country to another, and the rules and the laws that people follow may also vary in different parts of the world, societies, groups, etc. If one studies them all, one will find that they are based mainly on just a few fundamental ideas of not harming others (Ahimsa), honesty and truthfulness (Satya) and non-stealing (Astaya).
Karma puts the burden of fate into our own hands and gives us the freedom of choice. But we are not the only ones forging our future. There are situations, in which other things can influence our karma. The cosmos is our building block, and we are all interconnected. So, it is difficult to predict accurately how karma works because there are many factors involved. Some of them are the collective karma of different groups of people, neighborhoods, towns, cities, countries, continents, planets, etc. That is why we are advised to keep company with good people, whenever possible. Finally, the fruit of all matured karma (prarabdha) comes from the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient Entity (Brahman) that knows all about us, all our intentions, and all our deeds from past incarnations. Karma matures through the agency of time. When matured it is bound to yield its fruit (Tripura Rahasya XXII.30).
Yoga is a spiritual practice, a worldview, and a way of life. Though it can be practiced everywhere, being a decent person i.e. a person with a so-called straight backbone (straight spinal chord: an honest; not coiled; not curved; a person of moral fiber) will create good karma for Self-Realization in every area of life activity. Yes, the creation of good karma is that simple, and yet so difficult. That is why, for those that don't understand, that need detailed instructions on how to be a good person, many different sets of instructions have been created, which can be found in different scriptures, for example. What can I say? it is a mad, mad world in this age of darkness (Kali Yuga). What used to be common knowledge in the earliest ages of man, when humans enjoyed almost a divine existence, today is blurred and difficult to understand because people do not clearly distinguish confusion from clarity.
Sages (Jnani) would say that modern man does not distinguish the Self from their physical form (Annamaya kosha), from their life energy (Pranamaya kosha), from their instincts and mental perceptions (Manomaya kosha), from their cognitive; and conscious self (Vigyanamaya kosha), and their feeling of inner bliss (Anandamaya kosha). Taittiriya Upanishad II.1-5 tells us that knowledge of That which lies beyond those five coverings or sheaths (kosha) is the key to Self-Knowledge, which is the object of ego-transcending yoga practice (sadhana).
Finally, in Tripura Rahasya XXII.17, we read the following
The sky appears blue to all alike whether they know that space is colorless or not. Even the one who knows speaks of the 'blue sky' but is not himself confused. The ignorant man is confused whereas the man who knows is not. The latter's seeming confusion is harmless like a snake that is dead. His work is like images in a mirror. There lies the difference between a sage and an ignorant man. The former has accurate knowledge and unerring judgment, whereas the latter has a blurred conception and his judgment is warped. Knowledge of Truth never forsakes a sage although he is immersed in work. All his activities are like reflections in a mirror for, being Self-Realized, ignorance can no longer touch him.
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad trans. by Max Muller.
- Tripura Rahasya trans. by Swami Sri Ramanananda Sarasvathi.