Lesson 7 - How to get rid of emo

Lesson 7 - The store house of Karma

In the Lesson 6 you learnt that the five emotional disturbances namely Avidya, Asmita, Raga, Dwesha and Abhinivesha finally give pain. You also learnt that they must be destroyed when they are in subtle form. These pains can be avoided by meditation and burning out of Karmas.

You might be wondering as to how meditation will help destroying these disturbances. If you observe the nature of these disturbances you will realize that they are born in subtle form. Gradually they grow to such a level that they provoke your mind-body equipment to engage with them. Suppose that you are having a quarrel with your colleague. He has done something that you didn't like. Initially anger will arise in your mind in subtle form. Slowly it will "build" up. You will start remembering similar incidences from the past. They further fuel your anger. Finally a moment will come when the anger becomes powerful enough to trigger a harsh dialog.

When you meditate you are essentially calming down your mind. You observe the feeling of anger as a "third party". You take your mind away from emotional fluctuations. The anger then can not rule you. In meditation the mind is made introvert and can not engage with emotions such as anger.

Whenever we come across a difficult situation in our life, we often complain - "God, why this is happening only to me? Why I am alone suffering from this pain?" See the funny part. We never ask such questions when we are happy! We never say - "God, why I am happy? or why I am alone getting this happiness?".

What we are today is the result of our past Karma and what we are going to be tomorrow is also decided by our Karma today. The Law of Karma is ever at work. If you do some Karma you are going to get its fruit. Our Karma creates cycle of birth and death. Karma can be burnt only by experiencing their results. They can not be skipped. Some people say that we are bound by our "fate" or "luck". However, in reality there is nothing called fate or luck. Everything is the outcome of our past and present Karmas.

Some people do not believe in reincarnation. They say that the current life is what to be enjoyed. Who knows about past lives and future lives? However this argument can not explain the contrast in our lives. We often see people who do good to others but themselves suffer from great pains. Why are two children of the same mother are so different? One brilliant and the other dull? Why is that one is stronger than other? Why there is so much inequalities in the society? One can not answer these questions without Law of Karma and theory of reincarnation.

The fact that our life is governed by our Karma is a great relief to all of us. This is so because we can control our Karma which in turn will control our life. If you do good today you will get pleasurable fruits whereas your wrong deeds give you sorrow.

Though the fruits of Karma are pleasurable or full of sorrow, a Yogi renounces from both. You may wonder as to why a Yogi rejects pleasurable results of his Karma. He does so because he knows for sure that when you enjoy happiness you get a free gift of sorrow. It is impossible that one enjoys only happiness and no sorrow at all. Similarly it is not possible that one gets only sufferings and no happiness at all. For example, if you study hard for your examination you are bound to get good marks. The preparation might be tough. You possibly need to give up watching your favorite television serial. You may need to study till late nights. But all this "pain" gives you "happiness" in terms of good marks. Let's take another example. You like sweets and can not control yourself when somebody offers them. However you are a diabetes patient. After eating sweets your blood sugar increases and you start feeling uncomfortable. That means "pleasure" of eating sweets gave you "sorrow" in terms of increased blood sugar. You will find the same thing happening in every sphere of life. Where there is happiness there must be sorrow and vice versa.  

If happiness and sorrow go hand in hand then how to deal with life? Yogis advice that sorrow that has not yet come should be avoided. For example, if you know that eating spicy food is going to give you gases you must avoid eating such food. This requires control on your mind and that is what Yoga teaches you. When you learn to see "future" sorrow then you automatically avoid the root cause. When you avoid buying a costly necklace you instantly become from the sorrow arising out of its theft. Thus the only way to avoid sorrow is to avoid happiness also. The thought of avoiding happiness may sound strange to you. For most of the people lack of happiness is equal to presence of sorrow. But that is not true. A mind controlled by Yogic techniques remains in equilibrium at all times and Meditation is the key to achieve such equilibrium.

Just to summarize this lesson:

  • Karma is the cause of our present situation
  • Your Karma returns pleasure or sorrow
  • Pleasure and sorrow are two sides of the same coin
  • Sorrow can be avoided only by avoiding pleasure

You might have guessed by now that Karma is the root cause of our sufferings. But what is the cause of Karma itself? I leave this topic to the session to come.

May the Peace be with you.




Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant and trainer by profession specializing in Microsoft web development technologies. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he is also a yoga mentor, meditation teacher, and spiritual guide to his students. He is a prolific author and writes regularly about software development and yoga on his websites. He is programming, meditating, writing, and teaching for over 27 years. To read more about him go here. More details about his Kriya and Meditation online course are available here.

Posted On : 31 October 2006

Tags : Yoga Patanjali Raja Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Meditation Courses