Karma Management Day 4, Part 3

2002 Kauai Innersearch Day 4, Part 3 Bodhinatha explains the last three principles of Karma Management. Number 8 is "accelerate karma," which is done through performing daily sadhana (religious practices). Number 9 is "resolve dream karma," with the idea that things we do in our dreams and on the astral plane also create karma. Number 10 is "incinerate karma," to burn it up by the fiery power of the kundalini through the practice of yoga.

Unedited Transcript:

Moving on, we have three final principles here for Effective Karma Management. The first one is called, 'Accelerate Karma'. Why wait twenty more births to achieve spiritual maturity when you can achieve it in two births? Accelerate. The idea is if we are here and moksha is over here, maybe that is ten more births. We can accelerate our karma, make it eight. Accelerate our karma more, make it five. That is what accelerate karma means. It goes by at a faster speed.

So how do we make our karma go by at a faster speed? Well, Gurudeva explains - through daily sadhana, regular daily practices. The key in daily sadhana is choosing the right amount, the amount that you can sustain, because everyone is very busy. Very busy with life occupation, family, education. It takes up a lot of our time. We don't have a lot of free time for sadhanas. So we want to choose the right amount. If we choose too much, we will do it for a while, then we will give up. We will say, " We can't sustain it," and we will stop all together. If we choose to little, we are not challenging ourselves, it is too easy. We are not making as much progress as we could. So we want to choose an amount that our situation in life enables us to sustain.

Gurudeva also points out, do it at the same time everyday is very helpful, morning is the best time for a number of reasons. It is the best time to do sadhana for most people. Sometimes schedules don't allow it. But if morning isn't possible then at least at the same time everyday, that is the key. We want to do it on a daily basis and at the same time everyday. Then, what happens? We are accelerating our karma. Different times in life are more conducive to this. For those following the family path, it is traditional after retirement or after age 72, called the sannyasa ashrama. It doesn't mean one becomes a renunciate, it just means one does more sadhana. It becomes a primary focus. It is a time that lots of people go on pilgrimage all the time because they don't have worldly responsibilities. They have gone through that. Their children are raised, their grandchildren are living and so forth. So they have more time for sadhana. Retirement is opportunity to do more than play golf. It is a time to do more sadhana and the benefits are, we are accelerating our karma.

Living in a monastery is also a good way to accelerate karmas. We have thought of a marketing slogan for that. You know the one - 'Join the army and see the world.' So, this is 'Join the monastery and accelerate your karma'. Join the monastery and accelerate your karma - good marketing slogan, right? Put a little ad, join the monastery and accelerate your karma. I think it has potential. Turn it in for some graphics.

Gurudeva's comment on accelerating karma, "By this conscious process of purification of inner striving, of refining and maturing, the karmas come more swiftly. Evolution speeds up and things can and usually do get more intense. Don't worry though, that is natural and necessary. That intensity is the way the mind experiences the added cosmic energies that begin to flow through the nervous system."

Just one comment on that. Sometimes, this process is looked at in a negative sense. "Gee! I just want to get this thing over with. Life is suffering and I am not really enjoying things. Let us get it over with. Let us get to moksha quickly. Get this process over with. I am tired of being unhappy and suffering," and so forth. That is not the way Gurudeva looks at it. Gurudeva's motto, of course, is "Life is meant to be lived joyously," and that means at all stages, we try and be as happy and cheerful as we can.

The perspective that Gurudeva had on it is that, as we get further along in our spiritual evolution, there is more going on on the inside. We have more energies going through the higher chakras. So we are a more blissful, uplifted, wiser person because of that. That is the advantage of accelerating it, not to get the whole thing over with because it is painful but to move forward into the part that is more blissful and more wise and more enjoyable. Get there sooner.

Moving on to our ninth principle. Our ninth principle is a little subtle, 'Resolve Dream Karma'. What in the world does that mean? A very interesting point. Gurudeva distinguishes between two kinds of experiences we have when we are asleep. One is what he calls a dream, meaning it is just something going on in our own mind. It is just a replay of impressions we put in there in the past coming back in a creative way, the mind is very creative. It can put different things together in an infinite number of ways, come up with all kinds of dreams based on the same subconscious impressions. But the other kind of experience we have when we are asleep is what Gurudeva calls an astral plane experience. Meaning, we are actually meeting other people but we are in our astral body.

To be able to distinguish between one and the other takes some explanation beyond what we have time for this morning. But Gurudeva gives a few guidelines. You know if you reach out and touch someone and they feel real. You wake up and you feel like you have met somebody you didn't know. Things like that, you have probably had an astral experience. You actually encountered other people. You are all in your astral body.

The idea is, how we interacted with those other people counts. It is not like a dream where we are only in our own mind. We are actually interacting with other people. So we have to ask ourselves, did we act virtuously? Did we do something we should not have, just because it was a dream? We might have, if we don't have as good a control over our instinctive nature in a dream as we do when we are awake and nobody is watching. So we may have done something in an astral experience that we regret. We don't want to ignore it because it has a karma, it has a consequence, it is real. It is just as real as something we do in the physical world.

If we have done something we should not, we need to compensate. We don't want to ignore it. It is possible to compensate in a further dream, you could go back and apologize to the person. But that is hard to do. You can try but unless you are really tied to that person, it is hard to end up with the same person. It is easier to do a penance in the First World. You know, something simple if you did something inappropriate. But to consider it a karma, consider it real and not just forget about it.

Gurudeva's summary of that is, "Tthese kinds of dreams when a person is in his astral body and can feel what he touches, emote to his experiences, think and talk are not what is known as the dream state. This is an astral experience similar to the death experience but the astral body is still connected to the physical body."

Our last principle, the tenth principle is called, 'Incinerate Karma'. Meaning, we want to burn it up. Something we don't want, let us just burn it up. Let us get rid of it. Just like throwing something in the trash. We are burning it up.

Again, a simple way of thinking about it is to compare it to seeds. We take our alfalfa seeds. If we want to sprout them, we put them in a certain environment. A moist environment and so forth, sunlight and they will sprout very quickly. So, if we want to cause those seeds not to be able to sprout, what do we do? We heat them up, put them in a frying pan first. Then, put them in that environment and they won't sprout. If you heat them past a certain temperature, their ability to sprout is destroyed. We are all aware of that.

Karma is the same way, that is what Gurudeva is saying. Karma is the same way. If we focus on a certain karmic seed, if we can find it then we can be in an intensive inner state, the fire of the kundalini burns the karmas, the karmic seed, so it won't germinate. Sounds pretty good, right? But that is why it is last, it is hard to do. Last, but not least. But not necessarily the most important, unless you are a monastic on tapas. Tapas means to burn, the root of tapas is to burn. One of the meanings of the word tapas is to try and generate enough inner fire to burn up a seed karma and therefore destroy it before it even manifests in any way whatsoever.

How in the world do you do that? Well, Gurudeva explains. I will just read it, so we can all have some understanding. "The meditation adept having pinpointed the unmanifested karmic seed can either dissolve it in intense light or inwardly live through the reaction of his past action. If his meditation is successful, he will be able to throw out the vibrating experiences or desires which are consuming the mind. In doing this, in traveling past the world of desire, he breaks the wheel of karma which binds him to the specific reaction which must follow every action. That experience will never have to happen on the physical plane for its vibrating power has already been absorbed in his nerve system. This same type of incineration can also happen during sleep."

Gurudeva summarizes it in this way. He says, "It is the held back force of sanchita karma that the yogi seeks to burn out with his kundalini flame to disempower it within the karmic reservoir of anandamaya kosa, the soul body."

Photo of  Gurudeva
Giving a gift begrudgingly in return for another gift is, of course, mere barter. Many families barter their way through life in this way, thinking they are giving. But such gifts are cold, the fulfillment is empty, and the law of karma pays discounted returns.