Your Karma Ate My Dogma…Part 3

Mira Prabhu, residing at Arunachala in South India, explains the nature of karma in her characteristic straightforward way that everyone can understand.

mira prabhu

dalai-lama-addressSometime during the mid-90s, at a workshop at Omega, situated in Rhinebeck, upstate New York, I asked Bob Thurman, ex-Buddhist monk and father of the lovely Hollywood star, Uma Thurman, to explain the laws of karma. Bob shrugged and said he didn’t know of any. Much later, when I moved to Dharamsala from Manhattan, I realized how many versions of karmic theory there are—and not just in the Hindu world, but reflected in the four different schools of Tibetan Buddhism.Just for the record, the laws of karma according to my Gelupa Buddhist guru are as follows:
  • that karma is definite–meaning that acts that cause pleasure result in pleasure, that acts causing pain bring pain back, while neutral acts have no apparent effect;
  • that karmic energy increases exponentially–which means that if you steal one measly rupee, at least four rupees will be stolen from you;
  • that one cannot become…

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Give Up The Sense Of Doership ~ Sri Ramana

Give up the sense of doership

Bhagavan Ramana says in Talk 41 (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi) that one should give up the sense of doership in order to be free from the bondage of birth and death. Bhagavan is saying that karma pertains to the body/mind. If we give up the sense of doership, the karma will go on or drop away. Either way, it is not our concern.

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All Life Is Sacred

All life is sacred

Ahimsa (Nonviolence) is listed as the highest principle among all others in the ancient Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanajali.

Indeed, it is the universal declaration of sages in all spiritual traditions that one should not harm other living beings as the same life energy permeates everyone.

All beings love life, want to be happy, and thrive. According to the law of karma, what one gives to others, one gets as well. Therefore, the secret to happiness is simply to support others in finding their joy.

Namaste.

Favorite Ramana Maharshi Quotes – 2

“You are not helping anybody else, but only yourself.” Sri Ramana

Sri Ramana says, “Till you reach the state of jnana and thus wake out of this maya, you must do social service by relieving suffering whenever you see it. But even then you must do it, as we are told, without ahamkara, i.e., without the sense “I am the doer,” but feeling, “I am the Lord’s tool.” Continue reading

Bhagavan Ramana Explains the Four Paths

Given Below Bhagavan Ramana explains the paths for spiritual growth. These include the paths of Jnana (Self-Inquiry), Yoga (breath control) , Bhakti (devotion), and Karma (selfless actions). Note that Bhagavan starts with Inquiry first and then suggests the other paths for those who find inquiry difficult. Continue reading

Karma, Reincarnation, and Suffering: By Alan Jacobs

There is a great deal of misery and anxiety occupying peoples’ minds these days about the suffering currently undergone on the Planet through terrorism, local armed conflicts, starvation, disease and economic depression. Many atheists and agnostics base their skepticism about the existence of God on the observation that a benign and benevolent God of Love could not possibly exist, or else he would not permit so much world suffering.

According to sages, the highest teachings of the world religions are contained in the idea that we are all “One” and that we come from the same divine source to which many names can be given. Sri Ramana used to say that, “God is the actual form of love”. So why then so much suffering in the world?  From the standpoint of our own teaching, that of the great Sage, Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, we must first understand that this plane of existence must be seen as a field of Karma in which the plan for human evolution is embedded.

As the Bhagavad Gita, and Ramana Maharshi point out, men and women are born into this planet with Karma or Destiny preordained by Iswara or Almighty God, for their own spiritual development. This was stated to Paul Brunton in his dialogue with Ramana and is fully recorded in the Book ‘Conscious Immortality’.

Nobody actually dies in Reality. Lord Krishna told Arjuna “Do not grieve!” After an interval of rest, the soul or jiva is reborn into a new life, again chosen from its latent tendencies, accumulated in previous lives, for his or her spiritual growth. This cycle continues until as a result of meritorious deeds they are, then through Grace, eventually brought to this teaching which in due course will lead them to Self Realisation. Then the whole Karmic scheme collapses and nature of God as Love is realized.

Sri Ramana’s point of view is well and fully expressed in a long answer given in Talks No. 272 on October 23rd. 1936. Also David Godman’s excellent anthology ‘Be As You Are’ has a long Chapter , N0.20., entitled Suffering and Mortality, and a further Chapter called Karma, Destiny and Free Will, with all the appropriate answers to this unnecessarily vexatious question. For those who are troubled by the problem of world suffering they would do well to read this material. Briefly Bhagavan states that from a higher perspective the question concerning the triad of world, God and individual should be seen as inventions of the mind. From a lower perspective, instead of worrying about the world, we should allow ‘He who created it to look after it’.

If this is accepted then the sufferings which people endure are benign in the sense that this is their preordained karma for the soul’s spiritual development. Bhagavan once said that all suffering leads to God Realisation. Nobility of soul and very many virtues are only born out of suffering. This samsara which is a time of purgation and purification uses suffering to bring its children back to true values rather than linger in  the hedonism of a decadent and corrupt culture. As Hafiz wrote

“Never the greatest man that yet was born

Has plucked a rose so soft it has no thorn.”

We live in a world based on the law of polar opposites, which we have to surmount.

There has always been suffering on the planet. The suffering endured in the two great world wars makes contemporary suffering almost infinitesimal in comparison. At the same time we must never be hard hearted and indifferent to any suffering, and always act with compassion. As Bhagavan taught, if suffering comes our way, and in our path, we must do our utmost to relieve it. The Jnani is all compassionate, not only to human beings but to animals and plants as well. The greatest help we can bring to Humanity is our own Self Realisation which mitigates world suffering both amongst believers and the faithless.

The question is often asked “how do I deal with suffering when it happens?” Primarily one must ‘accept’ that whatever it is , ultimately it is all for the best. The human mind cannot understand the Higher Wisdom. With this form of surrender, one gradually perceives the lesson that we were meant to learn from our suffering. Every day living is full of stress, anxiety, loss and disappointment. After the acceptance to which I have referred we must hand over the whole burden of our life to God or the Sat Guru in our Heart as an act of surrender. Then he carries our burden, and all our cares are his.

Ultimately we must accept that everything which happens from galaxy to atom does not move without the permission of the Divine Will. Who are we with our petty egotistic humanoid perception, based on personal pleasurable satisfaction, to question the actions of the Master of the Universe, which are beyond our intelligence to  even remotely fathom?

Alan Jacobs

Note from the Editor: Alan Jacobs is prominent devotee of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi and has written a number of articles on this site. Alan’s article on self enquiry is given below. It also contains more information about  Alan. Alan is also the moderator for the largest Sri Ramana group on yahoo groups called HarshaSatsangh.

https://luthar.com/aids-to-self-enquiry

Moksha in Hinduism: By Dr. Shyam Subramanian

A seeker asks: In Hinduism, there is a belief in reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation is that when the body dies, I will be born again. However, we are taught to pursue Moksha (salvation) which puts an end to the cycle of birth and death. As a Hindu, why should I pursue Moksha? Is that not a permanent death forever? At least with reincarnation, I have a chance to be reborn. Perhaps I will get to meet old girl friends in my next birth and go to Las Vegas and Bombay again. But if I get Moksha, according to Hindu teachings, I will never be reborn. That is scary, is it not? Why should I then seek Moksha as stated in our scriptures? How does this idea of Moksha as salvation or liberation make any sense?

Editor’s note: Moksha in Hinduism is not viewed as permanent death but an awakening into eternal life. Moksha is essentially the recognition that one’s very nature is that of freedom and wholeness. The questioner’s presumption that his next life would be according to present desires or expectations (going to Las Vegas or Bombay with his old girlfriends) is not consistent with the doctrine of Karma. According to the doctrine of karma, the next birth is determined by a combination of actions taken in previous lives and the present life. The merits and demerits generated thus will determine future experiences of pleasures and pains. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the expectations to be with specific individuals and repeat pleasurable experiences would come to fruition in the next life. Although the seeker premises the question on a faulty understanding of the ancient teachings on karma and reincarnation, Dr. Subramanian clarifies logically the nature of Moksha and why it is considered the most worthy goal in Hinduism.

shyam

As a way of introduction, Dr. Shyam Subramanian is a professor of medicine and also well trained in the classical traditions of Vedanta. Shyam-Ji’s knowledge of Sanskrit and understanding of subtle truths of the Upanishads makes him a brilliant exponent of various Eastern philosophies and religions from a Vedantic perspective. His writing is clear and easy to follow and very helpful for the novice and the advanced students of Hindu philosophy. If any errors have crept in Shyam-Ji’s presentation due to my minor editing, these will be corrected as soon as pointed out.

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