[Advaita-l] Doubts on Karma, future births etc.

Ajit Krishnan ajit.krishnan at gmail.com
Tue Jan 7 12:31:27 CST 2014


> many people who do sadhana for years but they remain the same

The point of sadhana is to effect inner transformation, which may or may
not be visible externally. Even when we perform the same action repeatedly,
our underlying mental state is certainly different. No one remains the same
over the course of 20 years ... with or without sadhana.

> Does this mean their karmas are not being eliminated

Dealing with the weight of karma is somewhat analogous to dealing with
physical weight. Most of us are spiritually obese, laden with heavy karmas.
And, we work diligently to shed this karmic weight. Our sadhana is like
physical exercise .... important, but not sufficient. If we gorge ourselves
for the remaining 20+ hours of the day, it is very unlikely that our
sadhana can compensate. Even if people are doing the same amount of
sadhana, some may be shedding karmic baggage, others might be doing just
enough to burn off what they accumulate in a day, and yet others might not
be doing enough to compensate for their lifestyle and environment.

> Is there any tangible hint, or must we simply assume this?

Examine yourself. The goal, and how far you have to go ... they really
don't matter. Try to control your thoughts, and slowly reduce the effect of
the shadripus. You will succeed and fail repeatedly. Keep working towards
sustained forward progress.

If you look for tangible hints, you will almost certainly be able to see
the signs of progress in yourself ... even though you may have made no
progress. Someone who is looking for "kundalini awakening" may mistake
minor movements of prana for the movement of the kundalini. Someone who is
looking for calmness of the mind may mistake calmness of the outer mind for
calmness in the internal mental vasanas. Someone who is looking for
detachment may mistake aversion and indifference for detachment. Someone
who is looking for a 'spiritual experience' may mistake a day-dream for a
genuine experience.

As far as practical spiritual life is concerned, one interesting book that
you might consider reading is "Meditation and Spiritual Life" by Swami



On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 6:57 AM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste,
> I am aware of the basics - that we all come into this world with some
> karma to work through. We may also accumulate more karma, so we must
> perform our duties in such a way that we dont - nishkama karma. Point is,
> Karma should be eliminated completely for us to realize our true nature and
> NOT take birth again.
> My doubt is, How do we know that our karmas are being exhausted? Is there
> any tangible hint, or must we simply assume this? If a person still has
> greed or anger issues, lust etc., is it safe to assume that he has a long
> way to go, many more births? So we observe our own behavior and then
> conclude as to how much karma we have left?
> I am confused about this because there are many people who do sadhana for
> years but they remain the same (insofar as character or behavior is
> concerned) even after, say, 20 years. Does this mean their karmas are not
> being eliminated by their sadhana - meaning their sadhana is faulty - or
> does it mean these things cannot be empirically observed (and therefore no
> solid conclusion can be drawn)?
> Any insights?
> Suresh
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