Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton’s law of ‘every action must have a reaction’. When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly.
This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able eradicate it.
This law of cause and effect is not a punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning.
A person may not escape the consequences of his actions, but he will suffer only if he himself has made the conditions ripe for his suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether the laws are man-made or universal.
To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws.
1. THE GREAT LAW
– “As you sow, so shall you reap”. This is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect”.
– Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us.
– If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, Friendship… Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend.
2. THE LAW OF CREATION
– Life doesn’t just HAPPEN, it requires our participation.
– We are one with the Universe, both inside and out. – Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
– BE yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have present in your Life.
3. THE LAW OF HUMILITY
– What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
– If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.
4. THE LAW OF GROWTH
– “Wherever you go, there you are”.
– For us to GROW in Spirit, it is we who must change – and not the people, places or things around us.
– The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
– When we change who and what we are within our heart our life follows suit and changes too. THE
5. LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY
– Whenever there is something wrong in my life, there is something wrong in me.
– We mirror what surrounds us – and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
– We must take responsibility what is in our life.
6. THE LAW OF CONNECTION
– Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
– Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
– Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
– Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance,
– As they were both needed to accomplish the task.
– Past-Present-Future they are all connected…
7. THE LAW OF FOCUS
– You can not think of two things at the same time.
– When our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
8. THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
– If you believe something to be true,then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
– Here is where we put what we CLAIM that we have learned, into actual PRACTICE.
9. THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
– Looking backward to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW.
– Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams…
– Prevent us from having new ones.
10. THE LAW OF CHANGE
– History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
11. THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD
– All Rewards require initial toil.
– Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
– True joy follows doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and waiting for the reward to come in on its own time.
12. THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
– You get back from something whatever YOU have put into it.
– The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
– Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
– Lack luster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
– Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire, the Whole.
‘Coda’ is a fitting title for a video about how we meet our end.
This article first appeared on higherperspectives.com/
Surya Namaskar: Making the body a stepping-stone
Surya Namaskar means to bow down to the sun in the morning. The sun is the life source for this planet. In everything that you eat, drink and breathe, there is an element of the sun. Only if you learn how to better “digest” the sun, internalize it, and make it a part of your system, do you truly benefit from this process.
The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities, but for most people it functions like a road block. The compulsions of the body do not allow them to go forward. Being in sync with the solar cycle is an important part of balance and receptivity, a means of taking the body to the point where it is no longer a hurdle.
Surya Namaskar: Syncing with the solar cycle
It is quite a complete workout for the physical system – a comprehensive exercise form without any need for equipment
Surya Namaskar, which is known as “Sun Salutation” in English, is essentially about building a dimension within you where your physical cycles are in sync with the sun’s cycles, which run at about twelve-and-a-quarter years. It is not by accident but by intent that it has been structured with twelve postures or twelve asanas in it. If your system is in a certain level of vibrancy and readiness, and in a good state of receptivity, then naturally your cycle will be in sync with the solar cycle.
Young women have an advantage in that they are also in sync with the lunar cycles. It is a fantastic possibility that your body is both connected to the solar cycle and to the lunar cycle. Nature has granted this advantage to a woman because she has been entrusted with the extra responsibility of propagating the human race. So she has been given some extra privileges. But many people don’t know how to handle the extra energy that is generated by that relationship and so they treat it as a curse and even a kind of madness, as evidenced by the word “lunar” turning into “loony.”
Using cycles to go beyond the cyclical
Between the lunar cycle, which is the shortest cycle (a 28-day cycle) and the cycle of the sun, which is over twelve years, there are many other kinds of cycles. The word “cyclical” denotes repetition. Repetition means that in some way it is compulsive. Compulsiveness means it is not conducive for consciousness. If you are very compulsive, you will see that situations, experiences, thoughts and emotions will be cyclical. They keep coming back to you once in six months or eighteen months, three years or six years. If you just look back and see, you will notice this. If they come once in over twelve years, that means your system is in a good state of receptivity and balance. Surya Namaskar is an important process to enable that to happen. The sadhana is always to break the cycle so that there is no more compulsiveness, and you have the right kind of foundation for consciousness.
The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities, but for most people it functions like a road block.
The repetitive nature of cyclical movements or systems, which we traditionally refer to as samsara, is the necessary stability for the making of life. If it was all at random, it would not be possible to house a steady life-making machine. So, for the solar system and for the individual person, being rooted in cyclic nature is the firmness and steadiness of life. But once life has reached the level of evolution that human beings have reached, it is natural to aspire not just for stability, but for transcendence. Now, it is left to individual human beings either to remain trapped in the cyclical, which is the basis of stable physical existence, or to use these cycles for physical well being and ride them and go beyond the cyclical.
Maximizing the Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Hatha yoga is about creating a body that will not be a hurdle in your life but a stepping stone towards blossoming into your ultimate possibility. There are a few simple things you can do to prepare your body and get the most out of your practice.
Bathe in cool water to charge the cellular structure
Before starting your practice, take a shower or a bath using water that is a little cooler than room temperature. If a certain volume of water flows over your body, or your body is immersed in water that is cooler than room temperature, the epithelial cells will contract and the intercellular spaces will expand. If you use warm or hot water, the pores of the cells will open up and absorb water – that is not what we want. For the practice of yoga, it is important that the cells contract and the intercellular spaces open up, because we want the cellular structure of the body to be charged with a different dimension of energy. If the cells contract and allow space in between, practicing yoga will charge the cellular structure.
Why some people seem to be far more alive than others is essentially because their cellular structure is more charged. When it is charged with energy, it will remain youthful for a very long time. Hatha yoga is a way to do that. In South India, tap water is generally just a little cooler than room temperature. If you are in a temperate climate, the regular tap water may be too cold. Three to five degrees centigrade below room temperature would be ideal. A maximum of ten degrees centigrade below room temperature would be acceptable – the water should not be colder than that.
Rub sweat into the skin to retain energy
Whether you practice asanas, Surya Namaskar or Surya Kriya – if you start sweating, do not wipe off the sweat with a towel – always rub it back, at least into the exposed parts of your skin. If you wipe off the sweat, you drain the energy that you have generated with the practice. Water has the capability to carry memory and energy. That is why you should not wipe off sweat with a towel, drink water, or go to the bathroom during practice time, unless there is a special situation that makes it absolutely necessary.
And, after practicing yoga, wait a minimum of 1.5 hours before taking a shower – three hours would be even better. Sweating and not showering for two to three hours could be a bit of an olfactory challenge – so just stay away from others!
Learn to consume the right amount of water
After practicing yoga, wait a minimum of 1.5 hours before taking a shower
Learn to just drink as much as the body needs. Unless you are in a desert or you have habits that dehydrate you – such as excessive consumption of caffeine and nicotine – there is no need to constantly sip water. About 70% of the body is water. The body knows how to manage itself. If you drink according to your thirst plus an additional 10%, it will be enough. To give an example – if your thirst is gone after two sips of water, drink 10% more. That will take care of your body’s need for water. Only if you are out in the sun or trekking in the mountains, sweating heavily and losing water rapidly, you need to drink more – not when you are doing yoga under a roof.
As I already said, rub back the sweat as much as possible, but you need not do that all the time. It can drip a bit – just don’t use a towel. Push it back because we don’t want to drain energy – we want to build it up.
From Surya Namaskar to Surya Kriya
Through the practice of Surya Namaskar, if one attains a certain level of stability and mastery over the system, one could then be introduced to a more powerful and spiritually significant process called Surya Kriya. Surya Kriya is the fundamental process. Surya Namaskar is a “country cousin” of Surya Kriya, and there is another process called Surya Shakti, which is a far-off relative. If you want to just use the process as a physical culture to build muscle and become physically strong, you do Surya Shakti. If you want to be physically fit but also want some spiritual element in it, you do Surya Namaskar. But if you want a strong spiritual process, you do Surya Kriya.
In our hectic life, it is not always possible to schedule time for working out, let alone practice yoga.
Though there can be no replacement for the complete session, you can easily include some of the following postures in your daily life. Read on!
1. Yoga at Office
Who says that you cannot squeeze in some time for yoga, in the midst of a busy workday? The following exercise can be easily done at one’s desk.
The Warrior Pose
This exercise corrects the spinal posture and helps relax the upper body. Here are the steps for the same:
i. Step One
Stretch out your arms, with the fingers pointing outward.
ii. Step Two
With your right foot forward, take a step in the outward direction bending your knee and keeping your left foot straight.
iii. Step Three
Hold this position for 10 seconds while you breathe in a slow rhythmic manner, keeping your upper body at rest.
iv. Step Four
Switch sides and repeat this posture with the other foot.
2. Yoga while Cooking
While you saute your tomatoes and wait for the eggs to boil, you can perform this exercise with ease.
This exercise propounds the ancient way of breathing appropriately, through the diaphragm instead of the stomach. It improves circulation and concentration. Some yoga experts believe that, regular practicing can help one lose weight and cure heart ailments as well.
i. Step One
Put your thumb on your left nostril.
ii. Step Two
Inhale as deeply as you can and hold the air in for some time. When you inhale, your belly should feel tension.
iii. Step Three
When you have to exhale, switch your thumb to block the left nostril and breathe out through the right. When exhaling, your belly should feel relaxed.
iv. Step Four
Repeat this process for half an hour.
3. Yoga while Bathing
You can perform the following exercise while taking a shower. The calming influence of water will enhance the healing effects of this posture.
This exercise brings about an agile flexibility in the neck and facilitates proper spinal health. Performing this regularly will keep chances of incurring spondylitis away.
i. Step One
Keep your body upright and chin relaxed to perform this exercise.
ii. Step Two
Inhale while lowering your neck, as far as possible, gradually lifting it to its starting position.
iii. Step Three
Exhale having reached the neutral position.
iv. Step Four
While inhaling slowly, tilt your head to the right. Exhale and return to the neutral position.
v. Step Five
Try this posture for the back and left in the similar way. Having completed all four rounds, rotate your head slowly in the clockwise direction once.
vi. Step Six
While you bring your head to the neutral position, breathe slowly.
vii. Step Seven
Rotate your head in the counter-clockwise direction, while breathing in the manner explained above.
By following the suggested exercises, you will be able to partake of the benefits of yoga, without actually having to perform lengthy workout routines.
“Know thyself.” – Ancient Greek aphorism inscribed in the Temple of Delphi
Only with self-knowledge can you be the best version of you. The more consistent you are in your meditation practice, the more you come to understand about yourself, which is the source of freedom and fulfillment in life.
When you challenge yourself in a safe space, you’re more equipped to face the difficulties in your life. In self-reflection you learn the skills necessary for ultimate strength, happiness, and well-being.
When you meditate, you become aware of the quantitative diversity of your thoughts. With the use of a mantra, you learn to release those thoughts and continually return to your tranquil mind. This process allows you to be more aware of your thoughts both in and out of meditation. This awareness is the base of your happiness because it’s where you live in the present moment. When your thoughts take you away from the synchronized beauty of the present moment, the practice of this awareness helps to bring you back to the here and now.
By consistently returning to your mantra in meditation, you’re practicing the act of letting go. You let go of judgment and analysis, which helps you to remain calm, alert, and in the now. When you face unexpected thoughts that come up in meditation and let them go, you become more skilled at dealing with unexpected situations that come up in your life. This meditation technique helps to limit your quick reactions to everyday circumstances. You learn to observe the flow of your thoughts, pleasant or painful, without getting caught up in them.
In your practice you need to be gentle with yourself. If you’re harsh and judgmental every time you have a thought, you’ll lose yourself in criticism and aggravation. By scheduling consistent “me time,” you mark yourself as important without needing the approval of others. During this time you can let go of the mind chatter from your roles and responsibilities and just be with yourself. By taking the time to sit and be with yourself in silence, you practice kindness, compassion, love, patience, flexibility, and acceptance.
During meditation, you surrender your thoughts with faith and let go of the need to make sense of what goes on in your mind. This faith develops in your life as well. You become more comfortable with not understanding certain things or not having all the answers. You allow yourself to be a little more vulnerable to the natural unfolding of life, which makes way for healing. This creates resilience to help you bounce back when challenges in life become overwhelming, and this ultimately helps you to evolve into your best self.
When you let go of your thoughts in meditation, you’re not suppressing them; you’re witnessing them and then letting them go so that you may choose what is most nourishing for your practice. You remove obstacles in your meditation, which also helps you to recognize and remove them from your life. You’re not running from your thoughts, you’re simple choosing which direction is most wholesome.
In meditation, each time you return to your mantra, you practice single pointedness. You focus your awareness where you want it to go, developing your inner experience of being centered. Outside your practice, you become more skilled at focusing your energy on those thoughts and actions that honor your true nature. Your inner guidance strengthens and evolves as you face opposition but peace comes from knowing yourself and returning to the present where gratitude lives.
Your Perception will take a new shape by the end of this article. Enjoy reading.
What is Ego?
90% of those reading this have a set perception about this as having Ego is like “Being an Arrogant”. Having an “ego” is usually associated with arrogance and is commonly used to describe someone who thinks they are better than others. By the end of this article you will be able to believe that ego Together, the negative and positive esteem forms our ego.
Psychoanalysis defines ego as the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Ego is an intelligent part of our conscious and unconscious mind that connects us to all self-learning functions, be they physical or mental, both simple and complex.
There are endless interpretations regarding what ego is, so I am going to tell you what ego is as per me which is quite easy to understand and useful.
“Ego actually symbolises the origin of consciousness and develops out of the “Id” in fancy, i.e. the early stage in the development of “Id”. But the good thing about “Ego” is that it understands reality and logic. Ego is when you do something consciously with an aim of self realization. Remember, your perception about ego may be different depending on your experiences or people feedback, or some sources.”
Ego is also responsible for the automation of many complex thought functions, for example, when we get into a one to one conversation with another person it’s our ego that take over our responses whenever a quick response is demanded in that ongoing conversation, based on past responses in similar situation. This is how we are able to respond quickly during a conversation otherwise if we ourselves had to think it would have been a slow conversation.
In some situations you can notice your ego taking over control of your mind and the body as well. Remember you rehearsing well before an important meeting on what you would talk or what might be said, this is the reason. You consciously train or programme your ego for that particular important conversation.
The first thing to understand is that ego is quite complex and therefore there is a lot to learn. You will always learn with time. Although I will tell you here the basics there are more advanced aspects of ego that might lead you to think that the training is not working. There are some aspects of ego that are easier to train or programme. We will definitely move on to the next level, i.e programming your ego in our upcoming articles.
Feel free to Share your views on this, and share it with your social networks to get more insights on this matter.
Question : Are there divine preferences, divine injustices and divine irregularities?
Mahatria: It may appear so, but Existential Order is always zero defect. Everything is as it should be. There are no irregularities in Existence. If I may use a metaphor, it doesn’t matter how noble hearted one is, but if he doesn’t know how to drive and yet attempts to drive a vehicle, he is sure to meet with an accident. The suffering of most people is that though they may be good, though they may believe in god, they have failed to develop the competence to live life.
We just believe that worshiping god or the messengers of god or the incarnations of god is sufficient to earn His blessing. We are lost in the ignorance that god will come and save us just as an answer to all our pujas, rituals and offerings. We choose to make various kinds of offerings as kickbacks to please the Lord and expedite matters for us, tilt opportunities in our favour, prolong the life of our loved ones, etc… but we have conveniently chosen to ignore principles like Honesty, Integrity, Karma and so many other virtues, which find common mention across all scriptures.
Think about it. If worshipping the Lord is sufficient, then why the Bible? Why the Koran? Why the Bhagawad Gita? Why any scripture for that matter? In fact, the very basis of every scripture is to teach you and me the components of Existential Order, so that you and I can live our lives in alignment with the Existential Order. Even if you are a maths teacher’s son, if two plus two is written as three, you are wrong. Even if you know nothing about the examiner, if two plus two is written as four, you are right.
Even those who do not know ‘Who is god?’, even those who do not believe in the existence of god, as long as they live in alignment to the Existential Order, which is what every scripture is all about, they will always be blessed by His grace. The more you are aligned to the Existential Order, the more you’ll experience His Grace. Grace is the spiritual reward for aligning yourself to the Existential Order.
Suffering is a spiritual feedback that somewhere you have lost your alignment to the Existential Order. God is not a matter of belief, but a matter of alignment.Why did the incarnate Krishna waste his time preaching eighteen chapters, answering and clarifying every question of Arjuna? Krishna could have simply told Arjuna – go around me thrice, pour some milk and ghee over me, smear sandalwood paste all over your body, fall at my feet four times and just shoot your arrows. Then, why at all the Bhagawad Gita?
If going to church on Sunday mornings and faith in Christ are enough, then why did Christ waste three years of his life sermonising ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ which became the Bible? If doing Namaz five times a day is enough, then why all those ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ in the Koran?
The Mahabharata shows that Duryodana took all the resources of Krishna, and that was not enough. Arjuna had Krishna himself, and that too was not enough. Only when Arjuna understood the Dharma (Existential Order) and acted in alignment with it was he able to emerge victorious. The message is clear and simple – god does not work for you; He works with you. His design is such that the only way He can work with you is when you live in alignment with the Existential Order.
If god is the Messenger, the scriptures are his Message. The only way to have the grace of the Messenger is to live by the Message. It is just not enough to value the Master… you must Master the values. Be devoted to the Messenger, but be disciplined by the Message.
Extracts from “Clarity is Power”.