Karma Sutra: Dealing with the highs and lows of life with gracehttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/karma-sutra-dealing-with-the-highs-and-lows-of-life-with-grace/

Karma Sutra: Dealing with the highs and lows of life with grace

When we go through life’s experiences, it naturally leaves an imprint on our unconscious mind.

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As the wheel of life spins, we go through the high and the lows, the good and the not-so-good phases. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

As the wheel of life spins, we go through the high and the lows, the good and the not-so-good phases. Favourable or unfavourable, dealing with life demands constant response. And it is our nature (svabhava) which decides our response. When we go through life’s experiences, it naturally leaves an imprint on our unconscious mind.

But what turns the imprint into an entity is our response to it. When we deeply identify with an act or a situation, that is, if we take things personally, be it a loss, a disease or success, it leaves a lasting impact on us. Positive impact mostly leads to arrogance and conceit and negative impacts lead to fears and phobias.

The thing to understand is that there is nothing personal about these occurrences in our lives. Positive or negative, it’s just the outcome of our actions. The ‘effect’ of ‘cause’ is revealed through life’s events. The cause lay in the choices we made in the past, not in the effect we experience in the present.

To take the effect personally is a folly. It is our choices that we need to take personally. The choice of either accepting what life is bringing to us with grace and humility or reacting with pride and arrogance.

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There’s only so much to be done- once the cause has rolled into its effect, there’s no stopping it- for better or for worse. To save ourselves from further entanglements, we need to work on our nature (svabhava). We need to detach ourselves from the outcome of our actions and follow the middle path, that of maintaining our equipoise.

When we taste success we need to be humble and when we fail in our endeavours we should not cave in to despair.

‘What ifs…’ imply our self-identification with the act. This has never solved anything because it implies that we are taking the responsibility of the outcome of our actions. It is a futile exercise. If anything, when we take the decisions of existence personally it gets embedded in our karmic warehouse and leaves a residue which may surface as a phobia or a contamination.

By way of acceptance and surrender we wipe out the residues of the impact;
then, there is neither remorse nor conceit, only serenity.