Updated: April 29, 2021 12:33:13 pm
In his new book Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny, Sadhguru seeks to untangle the idea karma and explain its ideas to the readers. The Indian yogi and author believes that for long the concept of karma has been either too simplistic or too inaccessible. He attempts changing it in his new book.
Published by Penguin India, the book came out on April 27. Here’s an extract from it.
It is important to see that whatever seems determined in your life has been determined by you unconsciously. You have written your own software. Depending on the way you have written your software, that is the way you think, that is the way you feel, that is the way you act, and that is what you invite into your life. Depending on the kind of “fragrance” you emit, you attract life situations. Some people seem to constantly attract pleasant situations; others seem to constantly attract unpleasant ones.
Or perhaps you see this in different phases in your life. In some phases, wonderful things seem to keep happening; in others, adverse circumstances keep recurring. Now, this simply depends on what you have in your karmic reservoir. Today you have rotten fish, so you attract some terrible situations; tomorrow you have flowers, so you attract better situations. One thing that we are trying to change through yoga (and hopefully, this book) is the kind of fragrance you throw out into the world.
Many people talk freedom but they secretly fear it. They feel secure in bondage. Other people opt for bondage because identification with an ideology, a religion, a relationship, or even a gadget enhances their identity in some way. Consider something as simple as your cell phone. If it is used to enhance activity, it can be a source of empowerment. But if it is used to enhance identity, it becomes a source of bondage. In this way, people acquire vasanas unconsciously, often believing they are choosing freedom when they are actually choosing enslavement. It happened.
Some years ago, when conducting a yoga program in southern India, I stayed in a village called Velayudhampalayam. My lodging was opposite a hill. I was told that Jain monks had lived and meditated in these hill caves more than nineteen hundred years ago. This antiquity piqued my interest, because it meant these monks had lived only a few centuries after the great Jain teacher and guru Mahavira. One afternoon, I climbed up, with a few volunteers, to a beautiful cave located like a bird’s perch in the rocks. The inside was filthy, strewn with bottles and graffiti. In India, every second rock and
monument has the initials of tourists and visiting lovers scrawled upon it.
These caves were no different; they were liberally scratched with the usual “KPT loves SRM” type of stuff. So we cleaned up the place. Now, there were rough indentations in the rock floor, which clearly served as beds for the monks. I sat down on one of these beds. I suddenly found my body beginning to pulsate powerfully. Intrigued, I decided to spend the night there. It was a night of revelation. I realised that the subtle body of the monk who had been there centuries ago was still incredibly alive. I could tell, for instance, that he had no left leg; it had been amputated just below the knee. Now, these monks led quiet, isolated lives and had done nothing of consequence in the outside world.
But they had left behind such a profound imprint that I could tell everything about their lives and their spiritual practices.
The great rulers of those times are more or less forgotten. The richest folk and the most learned men and women of those times are erased from our memory. But these simple monks are as alive today as they were nineteen hundred years ago! Their stories are available to those who are receptive, and they are capable of inspiring us to this very day. This is the nature of the right kind of inner energy work. It is imperishable. Every individual’s energies carry a certain fragrance. The physical body falls back to the Earth; however, the residue of each one of our thoughts, actions, and, above all, our energies lingers on.
This imprint can last for millennia after our time. The more conscious the energy work, the more enduring it is. It is up to us to decide the nature of our bequest to the planet. This is what the anonymous Jain monks of Velayudhampalayam did. Aware that every action has a consequence, they chose to live consciously. As a result, they achieved a certain kind of immortality that the rich and powerful in the history of the world have seldom managed to attain.
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