sarva bhUteSu vRttirUpeNa saMsthitA
namastassai namastassai namastassai namo namaH
Again and again I bow to the devi who abides in all beings as activity (i.e., change or transformation).
Workings of karma in
dharma kshetra or field of Law can be expressed, as
we saw earlier, by a simple equation:
(Impressions, Intentions, Karma)1
+ Actions + Experiences ===> (Impressions, Intentions, Karma)2
I also described karma as our interaction
with the field. When we perform any activity we are exerting our will on the field. Field has a way of responding to our to
our activity. What it feeds back to us is our experience. Above equation shows that activity as well as experience change
our karmic state. Both activity and experience are important and neither should be ignored.
Importance of activity
is appreciated by most people today, but many tend to ignore experience. We learn from our experience more so than from activity.
It is easy to overlook experience because when we act, we are most often concerned solely with the consequences our actions
produce in the material plane. Each experience ignored is a missed opportunity to learn.
We can think of the contents
of our profile as our capital. The larger the profile, greater our capital. Our personality profiles represents our potential to make our mark in dharma
kshetra. More often than not, when we are performing activity, we are using up some of that capital. We can make
up for the used up capital by learning from experience. Experience actually broadens our personality profile when we learn
Since karma is
about our interaction with the field, we must always be mindful of how we perform our actions in the field.
This is not easy as it is hard to fathom karma. What makes karma complicated? Karma is all-encompassing!
I think karma is hard to understand precisely because it is all-encampassing. It applies to everything in the universe. Our
intellect has limited reach if we are an average human being. Not that it has to be this way. The way to understand karma
is then to expand our intellect.This is the innermost sheath of the subtle body. But from where ever we stand, it always pays
to make every effort to understand karma.
is thought of as something arising out of our interactions with others. This is therefore a good place to start. We all know
or learn soon enough what happens when we deal with others. But what we know and learn is usually and mostly limited to what
happens in the material or physical plane. And for most people, all our actions are motivated by desire to gain the most advantage
on the material plane.
Most people do
not seem to be aware that our actions also have consequences in the inner world - the world of dharma
kSetra or for an individual, his subtle and causal bodies. But this is really where ancient writers on karma have
concentrated. Thus when bRhadAraNyaka upaniSad says: "according as one acts, according
as one conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous
by virtuous action, bad by bad action.", it is referring to the effect of our actions, not others, but on ourselves.
Thus in a way,
karma is concerned not so much with what we do, for its own sake, but with what we become as a result of what we do.
Everybody, with worldy knowledge can figure out the effects of our actions in the material plane or the physical world,
but very few seem even inclined to investigate how our actions change us. Yet this is what really matters and this is what real
growth is essentially all about.