- History of Spirituality
- Religion vs Spirituality
- Spiritual Benefits of Sahaja
- Sahaja Founder
- Character and Personality
- Doubtless Awareness
- Karma and Meditation
- Nirvana and Beyond
How Meditation and Karma are related
You’ve probably heard of the concept of karma. This term often pops up in modern conversations, but it’s actually borrowed from ancient Sanskrit language.
It’s become fashionable, it seems, to toss around this word without really getting to know it. And unfortunately, the popular interpretation and meaning of karma often bears little resemblance to its true meaning and purpose.
Some people sprinkle it into conversations to convey the message that they’re hip, savvy and advanced in their understanding of global cultural beliefs. Others dumb down the meaning or distort the context to suit their convenience or limited understanding — for example, commercializing karma in brand names (such as Credit Karma). Ultimately, all the misrepresentations of karma floating around out there have robbed its true essence.
So, what does karma really mean? And how does it impact your life? With over 40 years of experience with spirituality, yoga, meditation and associated concepts, Sahaja has the answer for you.
Actions, Accounting and Consequences
First, the pronunciation, which may surprise you… Karma is actually pronounced as “cur” (as in current), plus “ma” (as in grandma) — not “car” – “ma,” as you’ll often hear it pronounced.
In simple terms, karma refers to the sum of our actions — what we do in our lifetimes — and the resulting good or bad effects these actions have. For instance, we may contribute generously to charitable causes or pursue other causes outside our own skin for the greater good, and so on. Or, in a simpler, everyday version of karma, we might go out of our way to ensure that our actions have positive impacts on others and their lives. Or, we may strive to avoid any negative impacts on ourselves or on others.
Often, karma is closely equated to the concept of sin, as well; in fact, many believe that sins represent bad karma. Equally well, our good actions represent good karma.
But where it gets interesting is when people try to turn karma into an accounting system for human actions. The idea here is that we are accountable for our actions, that there’s a ledger being kept by Nature, the divine or God. So, “bad” actions result in bad credit — negative blots on our karmic bank account. “Good” actions would result in good or positive “credit” deposits and rewards in our lives and even future lives. (While the concept of reincarnation is beyond the scope of this discussion, our karmic account, under this theory, is supposed to determine our luck, the blessings and gifts we receive from Nature, and ultimately, guide our destiny.)
Such a karma system appears to adhere to general accounting theory in which you maintain a cumulative running balance that, from time to time, veers into negative terrain and you’re warned that you must increase your good deed deposits. But what happens to you when your balance is — and especially, remains — negative for a long period of time is usually not specified. Do a greater number of adverse events mysteriously befall you, seemingly, through no fault of your own?
And then there are the complicated “karmic debt” theories, in which karmic debit is effectively treated as equivalent to financial debt in the material world. Beyond simply banking credits in your karmic bank account, karmic debt theory functions sort of as the balance sheet of your existence and a cumulative accounting of all the energy (or action-reactions) you expend. Your karmic debt is thought to be an energy debt, a measurement of all work, activities and actions you perform in life — both positive or negative.
Some karmic debt believers have suggested that we should think of karma as “particles” that stick to our souls when we, for example, perform a good deed, or conversely, a bad deed. Good credits accrue as assets that bring us happiness and gifts, but bad credits are a liability — loans that we must repay.
As in the financial world, our karmic assets are not necessarily permanent and perpetual — they may come and go, and depreciate over time. Karmic debt theories typically assume that the good credits tend to erode while the bad credits linger on. Thus we must continually add to our “asset base” (e.g., improving your karma by piling up good credits for good actions), or risk losing what matters most to us. Some (especially Buddhists) believe that to balance the accumulation of actions-reactions, one’s individual consciousness must re-incarnate; in other words, the results of our actions cannot be balanced — and our karmic debt settled — in one lifetime. When bad things happen to you that you feel are undeserved, the cause is alleged to be your “hidden karmic debt.”
Another popular American definition of karma includes simpler, more generalized nutshell perspectives, such as: What goes around comes around. Or: You reap what you sow. Everyone can understand that, and in truth, it feels true, right? But we don’t really know how or why this works — or even when it works — because sometimes what goes around doesn’t come around; or at least, not in an obvious way that allows us to confidently connect the dots.
This karmic boomerang effect suggests that there’s an equalizing force in the universe that settles all accounts. If you hurt someone, a mystical force will come along and hurt you or your loved ones in equal measure to counterbalance your bad behavior.
But this view reflects perhaps the biggest misconception about karma, which is that it’s a system of punishment and reward — cosmic justice — constantly monitored and doled out by some mystical external force. It’s easy to understand why this view is so popular, especially for those who grew up learning Biblical stories about divine intervention in which God “smote” various characters who committed sins.
Those who deeply believe in karma tend to believe that their lives are completely defined and controlled by their karma — present and past. But the practice of meditation teaches you that it’s more complicated than that.
If you believe in karma and worry that your karma account balance is negative… that you’re amassing a mountain of karmic debt you can never repay… that some recent “bad” act is about to boomerang and wallop you when it comes back around… there’s great news…
What if it’s actually possible to free yourself from karma, making the concept of karma itself inapplicable to your life?
Welcome “Akarma,” the Jet Age of Spirituality
How can you achieve freedom from karma? Through the process of Self-Realization or the awakening of the subtle energy system (Kundalini energy) such as the process that Sahaja provides. During the process of Self-Realization, the Kundalini energy rises from its dormant state, rising up through our energy centers or chakras and achieving a connection with the all-pervading power of the universe. Now, along its path, when this subtle energy crosses the sixth energy center or Agnya chakra, the balloons of our ego and superego (our accumulated conditionings) are sucked in. This key element of the process is critical to understanding what karma really is.
Karma only exists because human beings accumulate the effects of karma as they believe they do, that they control everything. An individual believes: “I do things, my actions matter…” etc. And this feeling accumulates in the Ego.
We may develop egoism as a result of our sense of our own achievements and capabilities, and in many cases, our pridefulness or acts of deceit. But if we always operate in the mode of “I’m an instrument of the divine, guided by it; I do nothing, all my actions and consequences are surrendered to the divine…” there’s no karma and a minimized ego.
The Ego’s twin, the Superego, as it is referred to in Sahaja teachings, is the result of our accumulated rigidity and conditioning. These are the rules we’ve learned and especially when they become a burden so heavy that we begin to lose our flexibility and a sense of realism in life. To be clear, there are good conditionings and rules we must live by, but too much conditioning leads to rigidity, bias, narrow thinking and a big superego.
What happens during Self-Realization and the regular practice of Sahaja meditation is that our ego and superego are continuously deflated or cleared. As we establish greater emotional maturity and spiritual improvement, we cease to inflate the ego. We realize that we aren’t the actual doers of anything.
More importantly, during Self-Realization, our inner Kundalini energy sucks in the ego and, consequently, all of the negative effects, if any, of karma. Karma no longer exists; rather, we exist in a brand new, better state: “Akarma.” (Akarma is pronounced as “uh” + “Karma,” not as “A” + “Karma.”)
Akarma literally means “non-action.” Karma becomes Akarma after Self-Realization. We can surrender all these convoluted concepts of actions-consequences, accounting systems and karmic debt to a higher, more dynamic force. We no longer accumulate these “consequences.”
Akarma also means we develop the power to take action without virtually spontaneously and in a state of existence where we feel and know that the higher power is working through us. We know that we aren’t the ones doing anything and with this feeling, when we surrender to the power, things begin to work a lot more effectively and easily in our lives.
Hence not only are we doing everything by being guided by the higher power , we never accumulate anything in the Ego and SuperEgo within us in the Akarma state after our Self-Realization.
The consequences of our actions are immediate in this jet age.
The fact that the Akarma state does not accumulate consequences does not mean that we get to live our lives without facing consequences. Rather, it means that consequences, after Self-Realization, are more immediate, and our enhanced self-awareness enables us to see them clearly. If we make mistakes or commit sins, we get punished by our own Kundalini energy, but in her own way. (In case you didn’t know, the Kundalini energy is a feminine, maternal energy inside each one of us). The Kundalini energy functions like a mother. She loves us, but is also always correcting us when necessary — sometimes nicely, sometimes more severely, if we stray too far. We feel the pain mentally or emotionally; typically, we may lose what we are most attached to or seek to obtain the most. Often, this punishment may actually be in our best interests, long-term. Through continued meditation, we become more attuned to our inner energy and can feel the anger or heat of the Kundalini energy in our own chakras, making it much easier to correlate our punishments to our actions. Our subtle energy system confirms our misdeeds and guides us to correct them.
More importantly, for those who believe in reincarnation, we’re also freed from “karmic debt” or any form of karma carryover to future lives. We become the true and pure spiritual being that can develop complete freedom and eternally. In that sense, jumping from life to life, as a concept, becomes meaningless. When we realize the inner Self within the human body, it doesn’t matter much as to how, when or why we may or may not acquire the human shape and form.
Achieving akarma has other more powerful influences over our lives. The sin-punishment loop is more immediate in the times we live. For example, Sahaja instills an intuitive automatic linkage within us, which ensures that we lead virtuous lives because we are able to anticipate immediate consequences. We feel relieved, to say the least. And we feel powerful because we have been freed from this burden of accumulating consequences. We begin to feel, almost always, that we’re “doing nothing.” Everything is surrendered to the force of Nature or the will of God. We operate like an instrument of this powerful all-pervading power. That in turn, causes us to take right action most of the time. We have constant intuitive guidance from this power that puts us back on track when we stray too far from doing the right thing. Ultimately, we feel lighter, happier, more agile and more satisfied.
But the gift of Akarma only comes with hard work. We must continue to keep our subtle energy system clear and energized through regular meditation and introspection. Achieving a true Akarma state is indeed a higher state of spiritual maturity.
But the good news is that we now have a well-defined system and practice like Sahaja meditation to guide us throughout our lives, and hopefully, empower us make the gradual transition from karma to akarma.
This perspective of akarma reflects one of the deeper concepts and actualization that Sahaja meditation has to offer, and in reality, it’s a state that most other forms of meditation cannot provide. You can buy a local stress relief meditation class or download a meditation app on the go, but you cannot buy your way to akarma. Sahaja meditation is priceless, always free, and a journey that should never be relegated to money. After all, your inner Kundalini energy cannot — and should not — be “sold,” “bought” or “paid for.”