Plowing Through Our Karma

Nov 10th, 2017

Actions bring results, good or bad. In the East, it’s called “Karma”. In the West, the golden rule – what you sow, you reap. In the world of science, it’s known as the law of cause and effect. Nothing escapes this law.

Sometimes it is instant, for example, tapping an emu on the back instantly results in a swift kick. Sometimes, it takes time to come our way, such as a person who has bad diet habits may not experience poor health for many years, but surely it will come to pass because that is the “destiny” they have created. In the world of Karma, intention defines, reaction binds. This is because all Karma or action originates in the mind through our thoughts, desires, attitudes and perceptions. As one thinks, so he becomes. Thus, we see the importance of controlling the mind through the practice of Yoga. Every moment of our lives, we are experiencing a past and forging a future of our own creation. By understanding the law of Karma, we can deepen our understanding of the philosophy and practice of Yoga, which, in turn, will enable us to live a more peaceful, balanced, and empowering life.

Everyone passes through good, bad and mixed Karmas. It is impossible to have only good Karmas or favorable circumstances all the time. Even a master Yogi may experience some disease or misfortune due to their past Karma. When negative situations arise, the Yogi does not loose heart. Through self-knowledge, he is able to have equal vision; he does not oppose Nature’s law.

Some people live a double standard. They Bouncy Castle take all the credit when things go well in their lives but blame others, destiny or God when things go sour. This in turn creates a “why me” mentality and enforces feelings of resentment and anger which block our ability to forgive, learn and move forward. Even when it is hard to see why certain things happen, understanding the law of Karma helps us to accept and grow from whatever comes our way thus we never, never have to feel like helpless victims.

Let’s look at one particular asana and see how the concept of Karma plays out in a pose, The Plough. When in Halasana, our hands are behind us flat on the mat, they represent the handles or the driving force of our life just as our past Karmas drive us into the circumstances and situations of our present experience. As the torso folds up and chin locks to chest, the triple energies of solar plexus, heart and head come together. Here, we may reflect on the gathered strength of our present efforts and how these three forces of will, emotion and thought process our past deeds and determine the seeds that will sprout in the future. Finally, just as the plough cuts a furrow in the earth, our feet dig into the ground before us as an extension of focused effort to create a path for our future growth. At the heart of Halasana, we can see how a Yogi is much like a farmer. He uses the plough of practice to destroy weeds of bad habit. He works to upturn the layers of his being, bringing to the surface new life. He avoids drought by dedication and devotion. He works in harmony with Nature and he knows the value of sowing and reaping. So while Halasana has many physical benefits such as relaxing and stretching the vertebrae, resting the heart, supplying the thyroid with a fresh dose of blood and massaging the abdominal viscera, it can also keep us mindful of the great, universal law of Karma.

During a restful few minutes in this pose, we can reflect on how our past, present and future work together thus helping us to live a more conscious and content life.

As the spine surrenders in its bend and stretch, our world becomes quieter and more manageable. A natural inducement for detachment, the Plough Pose helps us cultivate inner focus so we can gather our energies for the journey ahead. Daily remembrance of Karma, such as during asana practice, can help us gauge our behaviour towards others and ourselves. Even when past Karmas steer us into present difficulties, we can be encouraged to know that the determined efforts we put forth today will unfailingly clear a smooth path for a harvest of abundance.

As we each plough through this field called life, let us give salutations to all our good Karmas that have lead us to the present path and practice of Yoga!

Quotes on Karma

“According as a man acts and walks in the path of life, so he becomes. He that does good becomes good; he that does evil becomes evil. By pure actions he becomes pure; by evil actions he becomes evil.” The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 4 verse 4, 5, 6

“Equipped with qualities, a doer of works and creator of their consequences, he reaps the result of his actions; he is the ruler of the life and he moves in his journey according to his own acts: he has idea and ego and is to be known by the qualities of his intelligence and his quality of self.” Swetaswatara Upanishad V. 7-8

“One should understand action, understand wrong action, and understand inaction too; for mysterious are the ways of action.” The Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 4 Verse 17

“The person whose mind is always free from attachment, who has subdued the mind and senses, and who is free from desires, attains the supreme perfection of freedom from Karma through renunciation.” The Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 18 Verse 49

“God neither punishes the wicked nor rewards the virtuous. It is their own Karmas that bring reward and punishment. It is the law of action and reaction that brings the fruits. No one is to be blamed. The law operates everywhere with unceasing precision and scientific accuracy.” Swami Sivananda “Karma: It’s everywhere you’re going to be!” Anonymous

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, Karma, whatever. This approach
has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Steve Jobs

“How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours.”
Wayne Dyer

“The world is circular … everything comes back around to you.”

About the Author
Karuna Devi practices and teaches Yoga in the heart of New York City. She is a disciple of Swami Kailashananda of Rishikesh and as such has been trained in various aspects of Yoga life including Raja, Hatha, Jnana, Karma, Kundalini and Bhakti Yoga, Natural Diet, Nature Cure, Divine Healing and Psychic Development. She is author of a book of spiritual inspirations entitled, “Surfacing: A Poetic Journey of The Self” and has written many articles on the subject of Yoga and health for magazines world-wide.

Asana Journal

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