Lesson 8 - Cause of Karma
In Lesson 7
you learnt that unless the store house of Karma is burnt there is no escape from
the cycle of birth and death. It was also mentioned that the sorrow that is yet
to come should be avoided. Now it is time to understand the root cause of all
Karma is born whenever there is union of seer and the
seen. Seer refers to the "observer" or "Atman" that has trapped into this body.
Seen refers to the external world. Seen doesn't mean only visible objects but
everything that can be "experienced" by sense organs. We experience the world
not just when we are awake but also when we are dreaming. When we experience
this world the seer identifies itself with the objects being experienced. Thus
there is union between the subject(seer) and the object (seen). This union is
the root cause of all Karmas.
Every objects in this world consists of five great
elements viz. earth, water, fire, air and space. It also bears threefold
qualities or gunas viz. Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. Tamasic qualities are
represented by inertia, laziness and inaction. Rajasic qualities are represented
by constant action whereas Sattwic qualities are represented by knowledge. Thus
our Karmas are also tamasic, rajasic or sattwic in nature.
The seer or Atman is nothing but pure consciousness.
However, it experiences this world through mind. Note that mere body can not
give you any experience. Let's take a simple example. Suppose that you are
standing near a window and looking towards a lake. How you see the lake? First
your sense organs (eyes in this case) gather the information about the lake and
convey it to sensory nervous system. The sensory nervous system and
mind then sends them to brain. The brain then creates the image of the
lake. This image is then "seen" by the eyes. Thus mere body can not experience
anything. It is the mind that is responsible for experiencing anything. Now you
can understand why Yoga gives so much emphasis on controlling mind.
To summarize we can say that union of subject and object
is the root cause of Karma. Subject experiences the object through mind-body
equipment. But what is the cause of this union? Maya or ignorance. When
Maya is destroyed naturally there will be no union and hence no Karma. When
atman is no longer under the influence of Maya it attains liberation or
If we want to avoid union of Atman and Maya we must stop
the Atman from experiencing this world. In other words we must dissolve our
mind. Now the entire philosophy of Yoga will be clear to you. Here is
a logical explanation:
Atman is pure consciousness
Atman unites with the objects in this world and
To experience them Atman uses a vehicle called
These experiences give rise to Karma
Maya is the cause of union between Atman and the
To liberate the Atman one must overcome the influence
Since Atman experiences this world via mind, if mind
is restrained from taking any experiences then automatically Atman will remain
in un-united state
Thus controlling the mind gives you freedom from
One can not directly destroy Maya. So Yogis take another
route. They dissolve the mind which is must for Maya to play her tricks. How
to dissolve the mind? Through eight fold path of Yoga. The eight fold path
of Yoga is the subject of future lessons.
May the Peace be with you.