Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A puppet in the hands of Engrams!

My friend asked me a few days ago 'according to the law of karma, is it true that if I get an illness, then I have nullified something else? And then does this mean I can deliberately get ill and offset effects of things in the past?'

Swamiji throws a great clarity about karma in this video. If you haven't already watched it, then please do so:

In very simple terms, it is to be understood that what propels us in doing what we do is our unfulfilled desires. Some people interpret karma as if you do this, then that will happen. Although it is true that everything we do has a cause and effect, eventually it is our mental set up that counts. (Note: In this post, karma, samskara and its English counterpart engrams (for engraved memories) including desires are used interchangeably although there are subtle differences)

It is the mental attitude that decides the future actions and their outcome. That is why they say that even a so-called crime committed by an enlightened master can only do good to humanity. But even a so-called noble deed done with greed or fear can only harm the society.

In other words, it is our mindset that we carry with us attracts similar incidents and people and situations in our life.

Having said that, our actions also matter. Why? Because actions contribute in strengthening the mindset.

To answer my friend, if I have killed someone and expect that the 'sin' of killing is wiped off if I suffer with an illness, that is not the correct understanding. If I have a tendency to kill, then as long as this tendency remains, I only attract incidents that support this tendency. And the actions that follow only further strengthen the tendency.

This applies to anything that makes up our mindset. If we are lazy, we would attract only those people and situations that promote the laziness. Because mind you, when these engraved memories (samskara/karma) live though your body, they do not care about you. They just want to make sure they live well and grow well. So as long as the laziness is living through us, it only becomes stronger and stronger. We are sidelined.. survival of the fittest in a way! In other words, we are simply exploited by them.

That is why, Swamiji says, it is only when these samskara die, that we actually start living! Till then, they live through us.

The first step towards dissolving these samskara is to become a witness. Techniques like meditation allow this separation to happen. Till then, we do not realize that we could even exist without them.

An interesting thing to ponder: When our deepest true desires are fulfilled, why should we feel good, joyful, blissful etc? Because deep down that is our true nature. Fulfillment of a deep desire (samskara) causes the samskara to die. This liberation from the samskara exposes us to our true nature.

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