Gems from Sirshree
The choices that you make in life pave the way to the creation of your future. Your choices shape your future. Every person should ask himself, ‘What is the shape of my future? What choices am I making that will create my future?’
A person who does not get what he seeks, chooses to feel pain and be unhappy. He does not realize the quality of the choice that he has made at that time. He chooses to remain unhappy in his situation, which of course is a lower choice, thus creating a future on those lines. On the other hand, another person chooses to remain happy under the same circumstances. The choices that they make create their respective future courses. Hence it is necessary that you remain conscious and alert at all times while making choices and be aware towards the future that is being shaped by your choices.
It is you who decides what you want to create for your future and for the rest of your life. Hence, after every task, ask yourself whether you have made the highest choice for the given moment. This question will keep you alert at all times. As a result, you will be able to function from an elevated level of consciousness. This way, instead of creating hell by your lower choices, you will create heaven by choosing responses from a higher level of consciousness.
Whenever you are able to convince yourself that whatever you are going to do is not going to be difficult but easily achievable, you automatically feel motivated to do it.
Also read these articles:
To Live and Lead an Impersonal Life
Whatever work is going on upon earth is all impersonal work! No work is personal. It is just like a machine that has many parts. All the parts work for the same machine. No part works individually. In this world too, all the people present are a part of that ‘Creator’. They are all here to do the Creator’s work, i.e. impersonal work. When God introduced a contrast mind inside man, all his work become personal. Due to this mind, the feeling of ‘I’ (ego) was born in man and all work took on a personal outlook. All this has happened due to this very mind.
But when man attains understanding, he realizes that every work in the world is impersonal. Now, naturally a question arises, then why was the mind created? This is because even the mind is a part of that grand impersonal scheme. The mind has to come. It is due to the mind alone that man attains true knowledge and realizes the Truth. If there is no mind in man, then all the work that is going on upon earth will not take place. It is due to mind that man can understand the difference between the Truth and the untruth.
A magician had some goats. Each day he would slay one goat. He had hypnotized all the goats and filled the thought in their minds through their ears that: You are a lion. Now that magician began to slay the goats one by one in the presence of all the other goats. Because they are hypnotized, none of them ever realized that their turn too would come one day. Every goat had only one thought in their mind: ‘I am a lion. The others are all goats and hence are being slain.’
The mind too is involved in such a game. It has assumed a separate existence for itself and hence is under some wrong impressions. These wrong impressions get fortified with time, ignorance and upbringing. Whatever is happening all around is only strengthening its assumptions. If you look at the manner in which every individual speaks, you will realize that every individual is leading a personal life, thinking himself to be the doer. In this manner every person is living with a burden on himself. I am the doer – with this feeling of doership, every work of the person begins to become personal. Man has forgotten that he has come to earth as a non-doer: for an impersonal cause. But once he realizes this, his mind will immerse itself in selfless service.
You can also read these related topics:
Q&A with Sirshree
Q: Is all suffering in my life because of my bad Karma of this birth and past births? Will I ever be able to get liberated from the bondage of Karma in this birth itself?
SirShree: Any action performed without the ‘Karmatma’ results in bondage. The three elements of Love, Right intension and Wisdom form the ‘Karmatma’. Actions that are performed unconsciously, further result in tendencies or habits that make us act in the same way again and again. In reality the patterns or tendencies are the fruits of our own actions; they are exactly the elements of bondage which all great saints have warned us about. Because of these habits, no new response to situations and events emerge from us. Thus one always attracts similar situations and events in his life, experiencing and creating same resultant pain and suffering repeatedly for one-self.
The fruits of your karma manifest in this lifetime itself. If the fruits of your actions were to manifest only in the next birth, no man could ever attain liberation. This is because while experiencing the results of his earlier actions, he would again react to them thus creating new karma. Further now he would be liable for these new actions and as a result again would react, create newer actions and attract newer results. This cycle of reacting, creating new karma and experiencing their result would thus continue everlastingly and man would never get liberated.
One must understand Karmatma deeply and fully to free oneself form the bondage of karma. The Karmatma should be such that your actions do not create any bondage. If the intention of your action i.e Karmatma has – love and devotion emanating from complete surrender to God, the intention of non-doership and Wisdom of your true self, then this action will not result in any bondage or karma. Actions performed without this understanding are mere reactions based on the accumulated, thoughtless patterns of your mind – body mechanism. Reactions are devoid of any understanding. The circumstances around you help you to decide and further act on it. Only actions performed in consciousness and through understanding liberate you from reactions; otherwise a man’s life is like a person who keeps rowing a boat all night in darkness without untying it from the shore.
To get free from the bondage of Karma you can do the following –
a) Increase your awareness and break unconscious reactions and tendencies.
b) Pray whenever the old tendencies tend to emerge. Praying will make you alert to them and will protect you from succumbing to their influence.
c) Surrender the fruit of every action to God i.e. performing every action with a feeling of detachment and non-doership.
d) Make your life an impersonal one.
e) Work on attaining the Bright understanding.
Since man considers himself to be the body, he lives his whole life under the impression that only when he reaps the fruits of all his actions, will he get liberated. In reality what YOU are is free and liberated right from the very beginning.
Q/A with Sirshree
Seeker: Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavir were very kind-hearted. But, as a matter of fact, we have never heard that they built hospitals, schools, colleges, etc. for the poor like Mother Teresa, Maa Amritanandmayi or Shankaracharya have done.
Sirshree: First of all, understand the meaning of ‘kind-hearted’ and ‘poor’. You will work for those whom you regard as poor. Who were poor according to the Buddha? The Buddha did not consider those who do not have money as poor. For the Buddha, those who have forgotten their original nature, their true inner identity, were poor. He worked for such people. When you understand the real meaning of ‘poor’, then you will do something for the truly poor. What is the point if one becomes wealthy but internally the state of the mind is still the same – filled with ego. What is the person having political power thinking? There is hatred and jealousy inside him. What will you call such a person? Is he rich or poor? Such people are very poor in the eyes of the Buddha. He felt something should be done for them.
Thus Lord Mahavir and Lord Buddha also worked for the poor – whom they considered to be poor. People of today are working for those whom they consider to be poor. When you understand the truth, you will understand the definition of ‘poor’.
A discussion between seekers and Sirshree, the founder of Tej Gyan foundation is reproduced below. The discussion throws light on a number of beliefs one may have about Karma
Seeker 1: Sirshree, what exactly is the law of Karma?
Sirshree: Let us examine everyone’s beliefs here about Karma before we exactly come to the law of Karma. Let us suppose young Sam stole from his father. He stole 100 dollars worth of money from his father’s wallet. What according to you will happen as per law of Karma? What do each one of you think? Let us start with you – since you asked the question…
Seeker 1: Well, I think if Sam stole from his father, when Sam grows up – his son will steal about the same amount of money from him.
Sirshree: What about interest? (smiles). What if he does not get married at all? What do others think?
Seeker 2: Well, I believe that someone will steal back from him. It may be money, it may be ideas. It will be sometime or the other. But nature will pay back. And it may not be from a similar relationship. Nature will repay back through anybody.
Seeker 3: I believe that something wrong will happen to him and God will square off. It is not necessary that someone will steal. But for every ‘debit’, there will be a ‘credit’ in some form or the other. Something bad will definitely happen to him.
Sirshree: So, do you think there is ‘someone’ to square off? Is there a divine accountant who keeps track of every karma?
Seeker 3: Yes, I believe so.
Seeker 2: Maybe nature keeps track. That is the law. Like the law of attraction, the law of karma comes into operation and someone, somewhere keeps track.
Seeker 4: I believe this is all humbug. Nobody keeps track. There is no impact of any karma. You steal and you enjoy the money. That’s it. Maybe you will get caught. Then you suffer. It is all practical. This whole thing about Karma is unscientific. So, I do not believe in Karma at all.
Sirshree: Every answer here clarifies what beliefs you carry. Let us change the question. What if in the story – young Sam apologizes to his father the next day? He confesses and gives the money back. What do you think will then happen as per the law of Karma?
Seeker 1: Someone will steal something from Sam when he grows up and that person will also confess to Sam.
Seeker 2: I agree with this answer. Only thing is that it will not necessarily be when he grows up. It can be any time.
Sirshree: So, now for something Sam has done -someone will be made to not only ‘steal’, but also confess. All to square one person’s karma off?
Seeker 4: Exactly – that is why I believe this is all humbug. Sam steals – he feels unhappy. He has gotten the result. Sam confesses – he feels happy. That’s the result. No more, no less.
Seeker 3: Well, if he confesses, then it is an altogether different thing. Then there is no impact of Karma. Also, I have a new idea. How ‘young’ Sam is also makes a difference. If Sam is a child, then it does not matter at all. There is no impact of Karma. But, If Sam does it knowingly – there is an impact. I have a Jewish friend. He was telling me that Jewism believes that when children reach their teens – then they become responsible for their Karma. Till then, all actions are their parents’ responsibility.
Sirshree: Yes – the Jews celebrate the Bar Mitzvah for every child to signify this coming of age. Let us go back to the question and change the question further. What if Sam did not steal in the first place? What if he only thought about stealing? Is that Karma?
Seeker 1: No, thinking is not Karma. “Doing” is Karma.
Seeker 2: True. Karma means action. Thinking is not “action” in the truest sense.
Seeker 3: I believe even a thought is Karma. But, the impact of the Karma will be lower. Like someone will think of stealing from Sam. That’s all the impact will be.
Seeker 4: When there is no big ‘consequence’ of doing- there is nothing at all for thinking. Maybe, he thinks of stealing and the only consequence is that he feels guilty. Or then maybe he is a sadist and enjoys thinking about stealing. All this does not matter because there is nothing like the law of karma. Let us look at this scientifically. A thought is an electro magnetic impulse. It is too much to think that every electro magnetic impulse will have any consequence besides the impulse itself.
Sirshree: (smiles): All very good answers. Now, consider with an open mind what the Law of Karma is all about from a different perspective. Consider that the only consequence of an action is that a ‘tendency’ is formed. If Sam steals from his father – a tendency is formed in Sam to take shortcuts. The consequence or fruit of the Karma is that a pattern of taking shortcuts is formed in his subconscious mind. Or if this pattern is already there, the action reinforces the pattern. This is the only consequence. Automatically, from that pattern – Sam will attract things to his life where he will constantly seek easy shortcuts that may prove to be costly one day or the other. People will call this Karma.
Seeker 4: So scientifically, the only thing that happens is that a pattern is formed in his subconscious mind.
Sirshree: Yes. Let us understand this with an analogy. Imagine two pages are kept, one over the other, and you are given a pen in your hand. When you write something on the first page, the impressions of what is written on the first page get etched on to the second page too. A closer inspection of the second page will reveal such marks. This means that the deed was done on the first page, while subtle impressions got etched on the second page. If you run a brush dipped in colour on the second page, you will be able to see the subtle lines of impression.
These impressions cause the same kind of writing next time which follows the previous impressions. In the beginning, when the man starts to write…such impressions are not there. But later these impressions become deeper. Now due to these impressions or habits, a tendency gets formed. Due to this tendency, anger manifests. In fact, man does not desire to get angry, but now this becomes a habit. Once a habit gets formed, man gets easily drawn towards that habit.
Seeker 1: Yes. This makes sense. So, if I shout at someone today, the consequence of that Karma is that my anger pattern is becoming stronger.
Sirshree: Yes. And your anger pattern was formed in the first place through accumulation of such tendencies caused by actions of anger. People unnecessarily imagine this to be some accountant keeping a count of such accumulation of Karma.
Seeker 2: What you say resonates with me. So, if young Sam confesses to his father that he stole the money, another good tendency is forming in him which is to courageously own up for his actions.
Seeker 3: Maybe, the pattern he is forming is that to first do the wrong thing and easily get off the hook by saying sorry.
Sirshree: Patterns are formed based on what intention you do the action with. Let us understand the law of Karma with one more analogy. There is a boy who thinks of cheating in his exams. He intends to copy from his notes. What do you think will the impact of this Karma?
Seeker 1: Has he made up his mind to definitely cheat in the exams?
Sirshree: Let us assume he is still contemplating. He thinks about it and then puts off the idea sometimes owing to fear and sometimes owing to guilt that he is thinking of something wrong.
Seeker 2: So, based on what I have understood from you so far, the consequence of this karma is that his pattern of cheating and lying will get reinforced by this thought.
Sirshree: Yes. Even ‘thought’ is karma. And then one day, he ‘actually’ cheats. He actually ends up copying from his notes in the examination hall because he has been thinking of doing it in the past. So one consequence of his karma of ‘thinking of cheating’ is that his tendency gets reinforced and another consequence is that he may end up committing what he is thinking all about. So, now tell me what is the consequence of his ‘action’ of cheating in the examinations?
Seeker 4: His subconscious mind announces inside, “I am a cheat. I cannot do things in a straight forward manner”.
Sirshree: So, the tendency is reinforced more strongly. The thought of cheating the first time which be brushes off thinking that it is not the right thing to do is like drawing a line in the sky. No significant consequence. Just a fleeting thought. If he again and again thinks about it, it is akin to drawing a line on water. There are some ripples. If he actually ends up cheating the first time, it is akin to drawing a line on sand. The impression is deeper and the tendency is reinforced stronger. Some actions are so strong that they are akin to drawing a line on a rock with a hammer and chisel. The tendencies become extremely strong.
Seeker 3: …And depending on how deep this tendency has become, as a consequence of this pattern, he may attract more incidents of cheating in his life. It is not that someone will cheat back from him.
Sirshree: Correct. The possibility that someone will cheat him back increases. This is so because someone who ‘cheats’ ends up attracting the company of others who cheat. So, the chances are that he will be cheated himself. He increases ‘cheating’ consciousness in his life. He attracts things from lower level of consciousness. If someone is corrupt, he starts seeing corruption more than the normal person. He not only may end up doing more corruption, but may end up attracting corruption in his own life.
Seeker 4: This is wonderful. This is scientific too. Thank you for this understanding.
Seeker 2: Sirshree, this is great. This intuitively makes sense. But, it brings me to another question. I believe in the law of Karma because it helps me make sense of all the injustice in the world. I think that somebody is born poor or somebody is born with a deformity because of his karma in his past lives. What do you make of that? Isn’t the law of karma closely related to reincarnation?
Sirshree: Maybe reincarnation does not exist in the way you exactly believe. Maybe, just memories are used. You shall understand more of this in the ‘Life after Death?’ retreat or you can read the book, ‘The Soul Purpose’. Today, all of you understood a new way of looking with Karma. Consider that there is a completely new dimension about ‘life after death’ and reincarnation that one has never considered…..
That’s all for today. Thank you for the opportunity for serving you. Let all your actions become spontaneous, fresh and free from the past. Happy Thoughts.
To demistify myths about karma and other areas in spirituality, please read “The Soul Purpose – A Royal Parable on Spirituality“
Sirshree: To know the answers for your questions you must understand the science of Karma. The moment one performs an action (at the level of thought, feeling, or body) he reaps its fruit. One may experience the end result either immediately or at a later time. It takes time for the fruit to manifest; hence the end result of some actions comes to us immediately while of others, later on. Human eyes cannot see this because of the limited vision.
You drink water on feeling thirsty. As soon as you perform the action of drinking water, you gain a feeling of satisfaction. When you serve an ailing person, an act of service is carried out by you, and you instantly get the feeling of fulfilment and joy. You don’t have to wait for it until your next birth. The result is the feeling that you derive at that very same moment; all you need is the understanding to grasp this form of subtle results. Nature gives man a sample of the end result of his actions in the disguise of feelings. For example, when you wish to buy some candies, the shopkeeper first gives you a sample to taste. Likewise, when you think negative about someone, nature gives you a sample of its result in the form of a feeling that you experience within you. The feeling could either be of anger, sorrow or just ‘not feeling good’. It can also be a feeling of happiness, joy or love that evolves immediately once you act or think. Based on the experience of feeling you can then imagine how bitter or sweet the actual fruit to come will be!
On 27 Sep 2009, Hindustan Times Delhi featured an extract from The Magic of Awakening. You can read the text version below:
Botox for the brain : Bottling Karma Cola
What makes a complete deed? The deed (karma) in which the soul (atma) in which the soul is infused is a complete deed — it’s a deed done with karmatma. Karmatma means the soul of the deed. Without the soul, a deed is a dead deed. If the deeds that are happening through us carry such a soul, then the gates of moksh or salvation, can open for us.
Those who awaken the soul of a deed are called karmayogis. A karmayogi is able to understand signals given by nature for performing a particular deed. Acting in accordance with those signals, the deeds that he performs open the doors of liberation.
There are three constituents of karmatma: love, right intention, and wisdom. The first important constituent of karmatma is wisdom. The time invested for understanding leading to wisdom is very important. We should not perform soulless deeds because they result in nothing but misery.
If a deed is done with love and devotion, only then does it become impersonal. If love and devotion are lacking then the soul of the deed is weak. If love, right intention and wisdom are proportionate, then karmatma is strong. People are performing deeds, but without karmatma being the driving force. When these three elements, love, right intention and wisdom are present in our deeds, there is no attachment, and no bondage results from these deeds. When the fruit of karma (the result of a deed) is surrendered to God, then there is no attachment to the fruit. If there is the feeling of being a non-doer in karmatma, then karmic bondage is not formed. The feeling of love, non-doership and understanding are the life of karmatma. Hence, it is very important to know the intention behind every deed.
Evaluate the actions that you carry out from morning to night and analyse with reference to karmatma. Is it that our deeds are handicapped? Even small talks should be done keeping karmatma in mind.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book the Magic of Awakening by Sirshree;Penguin 2009