Newton’s third law of physics tells us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Basically what you put out will come back to you. As yogis, we refer to this law as karma. The word ‘Karma’ comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Kri,’ which means ‘to do.’ Karma encompasses all the actions of our body and mind. Behind all our actions are desires and thoughts.
We are all made up of energy, this energy never just magically disappears, it merely is reshaped. We put our thoughts, words, actions out there and eventually that energy of our thoughts, words and actions will come back to us. We think that we only effect ourselves or maybe just one other person, but that one life you touch, either for good or bad, will touch another and that will in turn touch another and so fourth and you cannot even perceive in what far off place your touch will be felt. But rest assured, that touch will eventually make it’s way back to you. If you are a believer in re-incarnation, the reason we are here is because we still have some karma to play out, whether good or bad.
There are three types of karma. The first, sanchitta karma, represents our accumulated unresolved past actions arising from our desires or ambitions from previous lifetimes. This can be partly seen in our character, tendencies, inclinations and aptitudes. Second, prarabdha karma, is the action that you are engaging in during this lifetime. As our past actions return to us we cannot change or avoid them. They are only exhausted by being experienced (i.e. all those times you asked ‘why me?’- maybe this is why…). Lastly is agami karma. Agami is our future action. As we try to resolve our past karma, unavoidably we create new karma. If we do not resolve these actions in this lifetime then this karma becomes our sanchitta karma for the next time around.
All of our unresolved actions, desires and ambitions create grooves in the subtle atmosphere. This is referred to as samskara. Think of samskara as a mental impression of your past that is etched into your soul. It seems like an endless cycle of desires and ambitions that must be fulfilled sooner or later!
What can we do to get out of this cycle? Don’t worry, there is a bright side… Yoga has a solution! That is the practice of karma yoga. Karma yoga is the yoga of action, but not just any action. For your action to be karma yoga the action must be selfless. But not just the action, the thought behind the action must be selfless as well. What is the point of giving to another in someway if we have selfish or negative intentions? What is the point of giving if we are keeping score and expect reciprocation? Do we expect a reward, even if the reward is one of recognition?
We are spiritual warriors! Move with awareness and don’t just act out of habit. Understand that you are free to make a choice. Your destiny is what happens to you, your free-will is how you react to it. Begin to see that you have the strength to regulate your thoughts and desires in a positive way and not be dragged around by your past conditioning. Would you like to be free from the past actions and desires? Don’t mistake the temporary painful nature of things for your true nature as an eternal divine soul. Work selflessly, surrendering your efforts and the fruits of your efforts to divinity and you will not be bound by karma.
Join us this month on our mats as we give selflessly of our love and light.
Living Yoga Staff