Friday, March 23, 2012

What is Karma?

How often have you heard the phrase "good or bad karma?" Just what do you think that really means? I never knew. Here is what I learned today in Vedanta Advaita Philosophy class with Swami Bramananda.

Swami Bramananda teaching TTC the Philosophy of Vedanta Advaita

Karma means "action" in sanskrit. Yogis understand action as occurring at three levels: deed, word and thought. Thought is actually the most powerful expression of karma. The thought, or what is happening in the intention of mind and heart, behind the action or word is what creates the "seed" of new karma. Something to keep in mind!

Simply, the Law of Karma is that for every action there is a reaction. On the subtle level, karma states that even the most minute action (thought word or deed) insures that the same action in thought word or deed will come back to you 10 fold. Yes, ten fold, not in an equal amount. When considering actions like giving away ice cream or money you can see that this is a very good thing. Now think about the effect of wishing ill on someone through angry thoughts, or angry words, or harmful action. Ten fold will come back to you.

It is said that there are no accidents and that every one we meet is there on our path for a reason. With that is mind, it makes sense to wonder about certain people put on your path, not in judgment of them or yourself or even the path, just to notice, look for patterns, analyze, enquire and see what there is to be learned.

From each of the people here, as well as all of the experiences, I am learning about myself and the True Self or what could be called the Highest Good. The task as I see it, is to love each person and myself and what happens, even when it is less than pleasant. And we all know that many things in life are less than pleasant. Well worth the effort though when considering the effects of karma.

Here are some snapshots of some of the good karma I have experienced:

Geshe Michael's smile and laugher

Sita's compassionate countenance

Divine music from Anupama Bhagwat, sitar & Shyam Kane, tabla
Having experienced these moments of joy, I am ever grateful. That thought of gratitude is a karmic seed that has been put in motion and will yield 10 fold more feelings of gratitude. To have experienced the joy of Geshe Michael, the compassion of Sita and the diving music of Anupama and Shyam, I had to have given the same to others at some point in the past--this life or another, as is the Law of Karma.

Here's to happy thoughts creating more happy thoughts, kind words creating more kind works and compassionate deeds bring much more compassion into your world.

Om shanti

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