Monday, September 21, 2009

Freedom from “Karma”

Is it possible to be free from the Karma, which is the result of knowledge accumulated by billions of years of existence? – The knowledge handed over by means of hereditary evolution! Is it possible to be free from the karma accumulated during our life until now? And, is it possible to stop being bonded with new Karmas being collected?

Upon encountering the enormous challenge in front of us, when we start looking inwardly, and if we get frightened due to this challenge, then instead of finding a solution for this problem we may start looking for some escape or some solacing answer which may make us turn away from this challenge and hence get relieved from the problem for the time being, but entangled with something else. One such, diverting and solacing belief may be the concept of rebirth. As on now, we ourselves do not know the validity of this concept. Whether we accept this concept or reject, it is just a belief and hence it shall condition our mind further. Conditioning of mind is further Karma and hence bondage. Hence, for facing this challenge, we must be careful about such entangling solaces. We must face the problem with the willingness to solve it within our life time and hence with great intensity. If we lack the willingness, we cannot have the intensive life and hence cannot face the challenges, even if we have any number of rebirths and lives.

Let us not get worried about the intensity of this problem, but approach it with the willingness to solve it now. With that willingness, if we approach this problem of karma, the solution may be very much reachable to every one of us. As we are able to understand the concept of Karma, it must be possible to gain freedom from it also.

Each individual in a group of people, observing an event understand it in different ways. No two will understand it in the same way. The understanding of each individual depends on their earlier knowledge about that event, their idea about the cause and stimulant of that event, their idea about the environment in which the event occurred and many such factors. Now their understanding of that event is getting registered into their memory. As each of them understood it in different ways, the information registered in their memory is also different. This memory of that particular event is the source of thoughts arising in their mind, and hence the thoughts about that event are different in each of those individuals. The amount of thought about that event also differ between those individuals depend on the conditioning of their mind with relevant information/idea. All these facts are well known for us, but we never give any attention to such things as we turn inwardly seldom in our life and busy with the outward life.

The very first step in gaining freedom from Karma is to understand that our thoughts are result of our previous knowledge or conditioning about the object of thinking. To be precious, the thoughts depend on our ‘image’ of the object of thinking in our mind, whatever be that object. The object of thinking may be our work, another person, our survival, etc. And our knowledge about anything, even about our spouse, children or for that matter anything we know is limited. This is because the knowledge about the object of thinking is based on our image about that object and the angle of view in which we are seeing or had been seen while registering the image of that object in our mind. Even the knowledge in the field of expertise is also limited. If we really, really gain a deep understanding of this reality, instantly we can perceive a drastic change in our response to what is happening around us. It is like, when we have some doubt about understanding of something, we look much deeper into that something before responding to that. When we realise all our understandings are due to the conditioning of our mind and we are not sure about the reality, we start giving extreme care to all our responses. At this level, we never (can) say ‘I know that is it”. We can only say ‘it may be like that’. At this level of understanding, so many things may happen within us, which may not be explainable. The humbleness arises within us due to this deep understanding of the nature of our knowledge, completely changes the way our relationships are existing currently.

The very same understanding, make ourselves gain freedom from thoughts. This does not mean, there will not be any thoughts in our mind – but we are not affected by the thoughts aroused in our mind as we are aware that the thoughts are due to our conditioned knowledge and not due to reality. Hence we respond to any situation by really seeing that situation, but not rely entirely on our thoughts and hence sufficiently free from our thoughts. The freedom from thoughts reduces the amount of unwanted information registered in the brain and as a cyclic effect we will be free from unnecessary thoughts. On the other hand, we are gaining freedom from our Karma.

When we are free from thoughts on the psychological domain, the brain must be extremely energetic and respond immediately to any situations we face. Hence thought has no space in our actions and there is no accumulation of Karmas. But as we have already noted, we need to have knowledge on functional domain to carry on our day-to-day life and technological evolution. We have no bondage with the knowledge on functional domain and hence we have no psychological problems due to this knowledge.


Deepak said...

Two questions:

1) When we say "karma", thought is just one component of it correct? It also comprises of emotions and has roots in body also.

2) What causes karma? Or, in other words, how should we live so that there is no karma created?

Change said...

Before put forward my views, I would like to stress the point that it is just my views only. This is my understanding about this issue to the extent I can rationally go into this issue.

//When we say "karma", thought is just one component of it correct? It also comprises of emotions and has roots in body also.//

As indicated in this posting, here it is discussed only the Karma having root in psychology, which includes emotion also. The karma has roots in body also. This Karma, we received by means of hereditary transmittal. For example some of the diseases we have are termed as due to our Karma. This is by means of hereditary transmittal. It is transmitted from our parents. According to Ayurveda medicine, we can receive hereditary diseases from any one of the previous 7 generations. Meaning, our parents need not have that disease expressed within themselves, but we still have the possibility of expressing it with in ourselves if any one in the hereditary tree of previous seven generations had it. That is if we have a hereditary diseases, the possibility is that 1 out of 2**7 (our parents, grant parents on both sides, great grant parents…….) of any one in the hereditary tree must have had it.

Emotions are also the result of our thoughts. Probably the emotions like Love, Compassion…. Which arises due to intelligence and not due to desire or our silly feelings may be the exceptions. Hence whatever Karma we call as having emotional root also have their deep root in thoughts.
//What causes karma? Or, in other words, how should we live so that there is no karma created?//

I think, we are born with Karma – meaning we have all the animal instincts with in us when we born. It is part of evolution. I have started thinking that we have the power of thought just to understand this fact and gain freedom from these animal instincts so that we can live the life intended for human beings.

On the other side, the thought must be the only factor which is adding Karma. To make it clear, when a thought is registered in our memory a new Karma is added. Any thing will get registered in our memory, when we give importance to it. Thoughts are generated by brain due to its content. Hence become thoughtless and then become free from Karma may be an impossible proposition. Hence it may be like, thoughts are there within us, but gain sufficient understanding of it and gain freedom from the thoughts – Meaning thoughts are there in our mind, but we gained freedom from it and hence not giving any undue importance to the thoughts. The thoughts may come and go, but will not get register as new information within our brain. If we little bit aware of our mind, we might have noticed this happening with in us. Once the unwanted data is stopped getting registered in our memory, we are stopping to create new Karmas.

This is my understanding as on now. I am open to know more about it, if it can reach my rational part of mind.


Deepak said...

I think bodily Karma can be more than hereditary. Let us for example assume we trained our body to oversleep. Tomorrow, if we want to wake at 5AM (mind wise we wish to transcend), but the body still pulls back because it has its own momentum going. Another example might be the tendency to over eat even when there is no hunger or need.

Again, emotions are similar. In "The Power of Now", Eckhart Tolle talks about "pain body" which I think is the karmic aspect concerning emotions.

Energy - not qualified to talk about that aspect :)

Change said...

I understand the point which you are trying to put forward. Before addressing that, let me clear about the stand I am taking on such issues.

If you are regularly reading this blog, you might have noticed one thing. Only those things which can be explainable in terms complete logic and rationality alone discussed here. By the word logic, I mean the (actual, without any belief/theory) understanding I have. Of course, there are some scientific facts for which I might not have had any actual experience. Even there are some thing relevant to the point of discussion which cannot explainable by logic, those items were intentionally left out or very mildly touched in this blog. The reason is not just disbelief, but reluctance to enter in to the realm of blind beliefs. (What is belief for me today may become understanding tomorrow, when the probing goes in the right direction) If we enter into some belief to get answer for some unresolved question, then we will be entering into a different domain.

Is it any harm in accepting already explained concepts by realized masters? As per me, neither blindly accepts it nor blindly rejects it. Keep it open, so that we may get complete understanding at one day, if it is reality.

In this issue of Karma, I think, you are trying to bring in the concept of rebirth, where Karma is carried over from one life to next life. It could be possible, but not on my understanding. Until now, I am not able to rationalize the concept of rebirth with respect to my actual understanding. I have gone thru’ some theories, which are, of course convincing but the problem here is that there are some theories, we have to believe. Once we enter into the realm of belief, deception and hallucination are very close to us.

As on now, I am able to completely explain the concept of Karma with respect to psychological and evolutional factors. Possibly I may be missing some threads of the concept of Karma. If I get those threads, probably I may not be able to explain it with these two factors and the probing on those threads may lead me to better realization.

It is not that I will never look into the concept of rebirth. I will do, if I get some rational realization of that concept. Until then, I will not enter that belief system! I think, this is what even advocated by many of the realized masters, who give some importance to rationality.

Hope I made my point clear here!


Deepak said...

I am curious to know why you thought I was referring to rebirth. No, I was only talking about karma accumulated from the time we're conscious about our place here on earth. For example, bodily karma, I feel routine laziness is karma. We train our body for that. Over eating is karma. Needless to say, there are also aspects beyond our understanding itself.

As for emotions, let us say we are pained by something. We react in a way that expresses that pain. I think it clearly accumulates and reinforces this pattern within - that as time progresses with this behaviour, any simple event can trigger this behavior. This might also explain why some people "snap" at simple things. Often, the receiver wonders whether the amount of anger and the event that triggered it have any correlation.

I will be happy to discuss more with you if you're interested.

Regarding rebirth itself: I agree with you. There are people I trust have the authority who have spoken regarding them, and I feel they are true. But they are stories as long as they are not in our understanding.

Change said...

I am surely interested in discussing more – It may give me an opportunity to look from another direction!

I feel the laziness is due to the game of our mind – meaning, it is the game of our thoughts. Laziness is that we need to do certain action, but we postpone it by attributing some reason justifying the postponement. It is an outcome of our insensitivity. Insensitivity is again not related to our body or senses; it is the attribute of our brain. Or our brain is overburdened or made dull by our actions so that it is not responding to the signals of our senses.

Let us try to analyse how we enter into the field of laziness. If we closely observe our mind, we can understand that our mind works as islands for most of us. It means the mind sees each problem it faces with an isolated view. It very rarely sees all the problems as a whole common problem. As a result, it provides solution to each problem as islands, which very rarely consider the impact of other problems on the first one. As a result of this, we are always living in conflicts and hence we are not solving the problem at all, but just escaping the problem from the time being. The same problem may surface again in another form due to this constant conflict.

Another thing is due to the existence of ego, the mind constantly seeks what the ego will get out of our actions. This seeking introduces thoughts of different kinds – the past experience, past results, projection of future and so on. We decide to perform some action. Due to all our conditionings, mind introduces the thoughts. Now a space is created between the need of action and action with in our mind. Now this space is controlled by what is in our memory – or the Karmas. The result may be laziness.

I feel the body is completely controlled by our brain – the origin of mind. Hence, the Karma associated with body also must have its root in the brain or mind, which is again memory of our thoughts/actions.

Emotions are also exactly working on the same way- Emotions, if we call fear anxiety anger etc as emotions; they are also result of our thoughts and memory. Due to some event we get pain. This memory of pain and the cause of that pain, due to the thoughts and other factors like fear, always surfaces in our mind. Now when we see any thing similar to the cause of original pain, and if we are not having any understanding of these emotions, we react for the causes even before it acts on us – which causes the emotional outburst.

According to my understanding, may be the Karmas are associated with body or emotion, but it has its root on our brain/memory/mind. If we need to wipe out these Karmas, we have to work it out from the mind only! Action, devotion, and energy may help us to wipe out it from mind at different degrees based on individual’s composition.