The karma of the “I”
matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.
Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary
may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over
to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell
you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny,
term “karma”, now very popular in the West, literally
means “action.” A law of physics shows that every
action causes a reaction. All of our actions produce consequences,
which finally end up catching up with us. Therefore, “karma”
means the reactions produced by our actions, whether they are
positive or negative. The law of karma says that we will receive,
when we do not know, the same as we have given.
your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for
all who draw the sword will die by the sword,” (Matthew
so called karma includes the consequences of our actions, whether
they are positive or negative. Faced with what happens to us, or
with the adverse circumstances that we need to face, we have two
options: thinking that we are an innocent victim or thinking that
we have something to do with what we must now face.
to karma’s law, our aggressors today were our victims in the
past. Your adversary is yourself looking at you from the outside.
So one must try to reach a compromise with his negative karma. In
ancient India they used to use astrology, or the Jyotish, an instrument
which, handled by illuminated minds, prescribed people the actions
that best fitted their dharma (right mission or task) in their present
life, to counteract the negative effects of their past karmas. The
teachers of divine realization or gurus could prescribe, better
than anyone, those actions that the disciple needed to carry out
to pay off their negative account; or even they could absorb that
negative karma for the wellbeing of the disciple. Such is the case
of Jesus, who declared that he had to suffer and die so that his
disciples could receive the Holy Spirit, the descent of the energy
or Shakti, transformer of the Divinity.
very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.
Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go,
I will send him to you, (John 16.7).
that descent, the disciples were transformed to the point that some
of them developed siddhis or powers (like speaking in different
also absorbed the negative karma of other people, apart from that
of their disciples. The reasons that he had to do that we do not
know – such actions from a divine being are unpredictable:
or perhaps they are due to pending karmas from the past that only
the Divinity remembers, or some times they are simply the result
of the Divine grace.
men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw
their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins
are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said
to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing
their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts
in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and
go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home, (Matthew
India they distinguish between several kinds of negative karma:
some are easily overcome; there are others whose negative effects
can only be neutralized if the person makes a big constant effort
(like, for example, a chronic disease that needs constant medication);
and lastly, there is another type of karmas whose effects cannot
be avoided at all, forming a drastic part of the learning curve
that the soul must experience in its present incarnation.
the divine grace is unpredictable, and can overcome all limitations.
A traditional Indian story tells how an advanced yogi found, in
his journey, a married couple that welcomed him and gave him dinner.
The woman asked the yogi if he could pray for her, because they
had not been able to have children yet. The yogi promised that he
would try to help them. That night he prayed to God on their behalf,
but God replied: “this woman's bad karma stops her from having
children in this life, it is not possible." So the yogi, because
he did not want to give ’hem bad news, left early in the morning
without saying good bye. Some years went past and the yogi returned
to that place and, to his surprise, saw that the couple had three
sons. He asked the woman about it and she told him that, after his
visit, a man who was meant to be a saint came and she also asked
him to pray for her before God so she could have children.
night the yogi asked God again about the woman and her bad karma.
“Yes,” said God, “her bad karma was stopping her
from having children.” ”Then,” said the yogi,
“why did she have children when she asked the saint?.”
”Well,” said God, “you never know with saints.”
is why is so important to cultivate the presence of saints or beings
of spiritual realization, so much appreciated in India. Any relationship
with a being of spiritual realization is a source of blessing for
those who approach him with the respect he deserves:
welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will
receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even
a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple,
truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward,
grace, above the inexorable law of karma, can perform miracles.
negative or positive, does not only consist in the things that “happen
to us”. In fact, the more important karma are the tendencies
that exist in our own personality. Some tendencies are positive,
in the way that they favor our personal and spiritual growth and
our happiness, and others are negative, because they stop us from
progressing and finally cause us limitation and suffering. That
is why is better for us if we eradicate the bad tendencies and stimulate
the good ones. Or, some times, establish new ones to help us grow.
Alfassa, collaborator and disciple of Sri Aurobindo, said about
what we call “karma”: “The Divine does not see
things like men do, and has no need to punish or reward. Every action
carries in itself its fruits and its consequences. According to
the action's nature, this gets you closer to God or further from
Him, and that is the supreme consequence."
with the “I”
all have a human personality. As Buddha said, the result of all
of our previous lives is ourselves, our current life. We all have
certain emotional and mental tendencies of our own, ingrained in
our subconscious. These tendencies create thoughts, actions and
habits. There are people with the ability to earn money, people
with the ability to lose it, people who start relationships easily,
people who are friendly, people who are cruel, etc.
have a physical body, a vital body and a mental body, which are
our daily experience and which we must learn to manage. If we do
not dominate them, they will dominate us; someone drives a car and
can go wherever he wants, or the car can take control and the driver
will crash. Our subconscious patterns condition our management of
our physical, vital and mental body, its degree of health. That
is the ego.
what is between us and the experience of the divinity is our ego.
Our mind is the bastion of the ego. We must take control of it.
This is the spiritual practice. The spiritual practice is the attempt
to recover and reveal our divine nature, with the result of experimenting
the endless happiness that we are. So the yogi must be a master
of himself, through dominating his own thoughts and his own emotions,
instead of being dominated by them. Regarding this personal ego,
interjected between our experience of the Divinity, the master Yogananda
said: “I killed Yogananda a long time ago.”
the samskaras is difficult, they are our mental tendencies, ingrained
in our psyche. We need to become aware of them, and then we need
to make the effort to change them.
need external help to see our ego – this was traditionally
the role of the guru. In reality we need others, we need the world,
so they can act as a mirror reflecting our back, our shadow, the
side of us that we cannot see.
demonstrates that the personal transformation, the transformation
of our own tendencies, is a slow and laborious task (when it actually
happens). It could take several lives to eradicate a tendency. First
of all, because we do not know that we have it. This is where the
Satsang, the company of wise or saintly people, shows all its worth;
it is said that the brief company of a saint can transform a life.
A look from them can remove years of negativity or bring forward
what is most precious inside us.
there are in the market a lot spiritual offers available for those
searching for the Truth, but we must be discerning. There will be
no advancement unless we discover and transform our samskaras. Nobody
gives away spiritual advancement, nor through messages, revelations,
lectures, videos or ceremonies. We must do that work of personal
transmutation. We are not going to change our life (and even less,
change our “plane”) without changing and transforming
our mind. To think otherwise is to fool ourselves.
good spiritual method is the one that lets us see our own mind and
our samskaras, and offers us methods to transform them. That is
ending with the karma. Much of the yogi’s work is to liberate
himself from the external layers of his personality, like the layers
of an onion, to end up discovering the pearl of his own Being, the
Divinity, sitting in his heart.
is why Jesus said:
kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man
found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all
he had and bought that field.
the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything
he had and bought it, (Matthew 13.44-46).
Divinity is the hidden treasure in our own consciousness. We must
dig until the treasure of our Divinity is revealed. “To sell
all he had” means to start letting go of all those internal
contents, bad habits, memories, ideologies, addictions and mental
constructions that stop the free flow of the “waters of Truth,”
that hide the pearl of high value. The divine truth is not something
stagnant and static, like a book or an ideology, it is a live experience.
wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross
and follow me, (Matthew 16.24).
contemplation, practiced by saints like St John of the Cross or
St Theresa of Jesus, is a way of realizing this process. In it the
monks become “poor of Spirit,” through the detachment
from their sensations, thoughts and desires, and finding at the
end, in their consciousness, the divine joy. The yogi goes through
a similar process, but accelerating the internalization through
mastering the techniques that dominate the vital energy of the body,
which is what controls the cognitive processes and the thoughts.
Western contemplation (and Western meditation) we renounce to our
different mental contents in favor of the absorption in the Divinity.
This way, the mind is gradually dissolved, as the different samskaras
are discarded, until it reaches its original purity:
you change and become like little children, you will never enter
the kingdom of heaven, (Matthew 18.3).
who practice meditation and apply themselves with determination,
will see how He lives inside them. But those who are not of pure
heart and lack Knowledge, even though they apply themselves, can
never see Him, (Bhagavad Gita XV.11).
become “pure of heart” is simply to develop the pure
consciousness more and more. The knowledge of the Being is the Self-knowledge,
in which one realizes what one really is. This is given by the experience
of more and more unconditional joy, and not by any kind of short
coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,
nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it
is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst, (Luke
John of the Cross says:
Surer than noonday sunlight,
And lead me where awaited
Whom I well knew
In place where no one seemed to be, (Dark night of the