Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Karma and Reincarnation; A Talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Karma and Reincarnation; a talk given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living organization on January 1997 at California. Sri Sri Says: Every object in this universe is endowed with four characteristics. They are Dharma, Karma, Prema, and Gyana. Dharma means nature. Everything has a definite nature; animate or inanimate objects. They’ve a nature. Monkeys have their nature; human beings have their nature. In the same way, metals have their nature; aluminum has its nature, copper has its nature. Nature is called Dharma.

There is certain activity, definite activity, that is attributed; or that comes out of each object. It’s easy to say object, it can include also living beings. It is Karma.

Then, the third is Prema, means love. There is love in every particle of this creation. Love is attraction, love means absorbing, the viscosity bring together. So many atoms come together, so molecule is made up to an
object. A type of molecules and atoms get in to a shape, so we called this metal, this is copper etc. there is something that holds things together and disfrock of bringing together. Holding things together is called love or Prema. Love is present in the entire creation, in every particle of this creation. There is love and that is how there is reproduction happening. There is love, that’s how the planets are moving around orbits. There is love, so sun is shining, stars are shining. There is love in every atom, that’s why the electron is moving around the charged particle. The charge of attraction or in the entire creation is power or love. 

And Gyana. A body, which is listening and knows what is happening in the surrounding, is the consciousness. The knowingness present in our body also present in every particle of creation. How do we know? Only through the head? Only through the senses? No, our entire body has ability to know. The mind is not just in the head, it is all over the body. Suppose, when your name was called in a dormitory, you wake up, not the other person. But even in sleep, we have an ability to know. And this ability to know is permitting in our entire consciousness. And consciousness is present in all over the body and beyond the body; this is called Gyana. The knowingness of intelligence or the intelligence in the existence. You might have seen the touch-me-not plant; when you go near it, even if you’ve not touched it, it gets closed. The plants can feel as they know; similarly animals have their own degree of knowingness. The dog can sense, birds can sense something that is going to happen. If there is an earthquake, you can hear the birds behave few hours’ earlier making noises. Dogs can feel much earlier than you could feel it. So, there is a degree of knowingness present in the entire creation. It varies, like the level of love also varies. Say, how much love a dog expresses? Suppose you’re out even for few hours and comes back home and the dogs get crazy; jumps all over the place, jumps on sofa and jumps on you; it doesn’t know what to do. It wants to pour out all its love on you. It tries to express; it doesn’t say – I love you very much. It doesn’t say – I can’t live without you; but that moment it just flirts you with their moments. In the same way, the plants and trees in your garden do imit love, they express loves to you. 

What is Karma? Most used and often misunderstood word is karma. Karma is action. The action could be letting, could be in the form of tendency, and could be a future happening. So, there are three types of karma. Prarabdha, means the action which is manifest now; Sanchita Karma, means the future action which was proposed to do later; the collected karma, the present karma which is running in action and then the future karma that would happen. After listening to whatever we are discussion here now, and you’ll go back home and you might remember or you may totally forget it, this is Agami Karma; the future karma. So the impression in the mind is latent action; it is still action, but it is latent. Just like the memory; a memory functional now, other memories are latent within us. You know the mathematical table; but right now you’re not memorizing it. You no need to memorize every time; when you need it just pops up. So certain impressions, strong impressions in the mind remain and they form the future karma. Every habit is a sort of karma. Suppose you’ve been drinking coffee every morning; and one day you don’t drink, you get head ache. This is coffee karma. So, how to eliminate coffee karma? Either by drinking it or observing it. Being aware of a tendency in us will help us to overcome the tendency or experiencing the tendency will overcome the tendency. Here is the clay of Gyana, knowledge, awareness. Knowledge means the informative knowledge; here knowledge means awareness, the sense of knowingness. When you increase the sense of knowingness, your karma gets reduced. All the animals have got only the Prarabdha Karma; means the karma on which they do not have any controls. The nature runs them so they don’t accumulate a future karma. If you’re like an animal totally you don’t get any karma. But as a human being this is impossible; because our mind gets in to that impression.

Now, Reincarnation – that’s another topic. Reincarnation means coming again in to a body. Our mind is energy and by the third law of thermodynamics – energy can’t be destroyed. If mind is energy, what happens to this energy when someone dies? Now when someone dies, what is happening? Death is almost like a sleep. What happens to you, when you sleep? Every night you go on to your bed and sleep and you never met you a sleep. If you meet your sleep; if you happen to understand your sleep, you can understand your death also. While sleeping, all consciousness, attempts of your mind shrinks and shrinks and then one by one you’re shut off from the outer experiences and moving inward, into a wide space. And then how you wake up in the morning; that’s the same energy, same consciousness which was shrunk now starts expanding and opens up and you wake up. When you carefully observe the mechanism the last thought that you get just before falling asleep, becomes the first thought when you wake up. This gives you a clue of your reincarnation. The mind which is full of different impressions leaves this body but the impressions remains with the mind like a balloon; and waits for a proper situation for the same mind to come down. And when there is copulation, when there is a proper room formation, then it just draws, pulls that mind into that room. And then a child is born. A body is gain. So, it is a last thought is more important. Whatever you do throughout in your life, at least in your last moment your mind should be free and happy. If you’re happy with the last moment before your leave the body, then you get a better body next time. It is almost impossible to get animal body after a human birth. It’s very rare; but still it is possible. Someone in the last moment keeps thinking about the chicken, and then he’ll born in the poultry firm. Because the last impression will be the strongest impression and that impression in that mind will produce such a circumstance, situation for the mind to come to the body.

Karma is that which propels reincarnation. Stronger the impression, the nature of next life could be like that. The one thing that can erase the karma is awareness, self awareness. If you’re in total love then you’re free from karma. When you’re in total knowledge, total awareness that is what coming out of the circle of birth and death. You’re not bound by any impression; you’re free. What gives you the freedom is your awareness. Addictions are nothing but very very strong impressions in the consciousness. Whether it is alcohol, sex or drugs or anything; any addiction is like a compulsion or compulsive behavior is all is a part of karma. The karma is infinite. Creation is a not a linear function, it multi-dimensional. Truth is not linear, it is multi-dimensional. It’s like a spherical; in sphere every point is connected with so many other points; if it just a straight line one point is connected with only two points, one back and one front. But in a sphere, point is connected 3600 sides.

There are many types of Karma; individual Karma, immediate family Karma, the societal Karma and time has Karma of its own too. When a plane accident happens, people of same karmas will be there. And different people of different karmas will escape from the plane as their life has not finished yet. It is almost impossible to pin down which karma brings effect what effect at deep level. Of the three different karmas, Sanchita, the karma which we’ve brought with us; Prarabdha, the karma which is yielding fruits right now; and Agami, the karma which we may incur in the future. Our Sanchita Karma, the karma which we have stored tendency can be burnt out; we can remove that, eliminate that with all this spiritual practices, prayers, service, loving people around us in the nature, meditation; all this erasing the karma which we’ve acquired. The Prarabdha karma, which is already yielding results, will have to be experienced. The third karma is Agami karma which we might meet in the future. Suppose you violate some loss of nature today and in future you’ve to experience. That is consequence. 

Every karma has a limited span of its results. Mainly five things come to us in our life from the Sanchita Karma. Five aspects in life came; birth and the place of birth, the parents from the past karma; your education and line of education, degree of education, how much you acquire knowledge; the wealth, the source wealth; your longevity and mode of death, how you’ll die. These five things come from Sanchita Karma, the karma we’ve acquired. 

Now, how rich we became, how much we can grow in awareness; our marriage, children, and our social work, all these is Agami Karma, the future karmas. And the future karma you can associate now; what you gain now becomes your future karma. So you’ve certain degrees of freedom to act now and acquire more karma. And you’ve certain fate or we call it certain destiny that you’re provided with, that you cannot change. 

Love is the common factor of entire creation. If you see birds, there is love in the birds. Your connectedness with that love takes beyond birth and beyond death.

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