By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Karma is a term that is featured in every English dictionary today. For far too long, the word has been either grotesquely oversimplified or needlessly mystified. So what is karma? The word literally means ‘action’.
Action does not necessarily refer to what you do in the outside world, whether they are acts of charity or villainy. Instead, karma is action on three levels: body, mind and energy. Whatever you do on these three levels leaves a certain residue; they impact you.
Your five senses are collecting data from the outside world, every moment of your life. You are literally being bombarded with stimuli at every instant. Over time, this enormous volume of sense impressions begins to assume a certain distinctive pattern within you. This pattern slowly shapes itself into a behavioural tendency. A cluster of tendencies hardens over time into what you call your ‘personality’ or your ‘true nature’.
This becomes your karma; an orientation to life that you have created for yourself in relative unawareness. What you consider to be ‘myself’ is just an accumulation of habits, predispositions and tendencies that you have acquired over time without being conscious of the process. In other words, karma is like old software that you have written for yourself, unconsciously.
So karma simply means we have created the blueprint for our lives. When we say, “This is my karma,” we are actually saying, “I am responsible for my life.” Karma is not a law that is imposed from above. It is the natural basis of all existence. It makes each one of us squarely responsible for our own destinies.
Karma is an internal cycle generated by you. These patterns are not oppressing you from without, but from within. Externally, it may be a new day. You may have a new job, new home, new life partner, a new baby. You may even be in a new country. But internally, you are experiencing the same cycles – the same internal oscillations, the same behavioural shifts, the same mental reactions, the same psychological tendencies.
The karmic information within your system is encoded in different kinds of cycles. The largest cycle is the solar cycle. This is a period of 4,356 days (nearly 12 years). If your life is in accordance with a solar cycle, it means you lead a very healthy life. As the cycle decreases, life becomes progressively more imbalanced. If your life runs in three or six-month cycles, you are in a serious state of psychological imbalance. If your life is determined by a 28-day cycle – the lunar cycle and also the shortest one – you could well be considered deranged or psychotic.
Now, if we do not break these patterns, nothing new will ever happen in human life. That is why, many times, the more successful you become, the more frustrated you get, because somewhere, unconsciously you sense that you are simply going around in circles.
With yogic practices, the aspiration is to move towards the solar cycle, so that your balance and stability is assured. You may not be able to change what you did in the past, and the mental and emotional karma you accumulated. But you no longer slide into short spin cycles. You no longer wear your karma as a skin-tight garment; you learn to wear it loosely. With this you move towards becoming the master of your destiny.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.