At least once in our life each one of us has been in a situation, which was dissatisfying or unpleasant for us, and caused suffering and pain. Someone did not get the desired job or did not achieve the goal. Someone had a serious illness or could not build a relationship. When something negative happens to us, we start looking for someone or something to blame. We blame our destiny, our life, the Universe, other people and we waste a lot of time, energy and emotions. Is it worth looking for someone to blame, and what can we do with the problems appearing on our way?
Man is a social being. We always pursue to communicate with other human beings.
Usually it’s not so difficult to find an offender, as people spend a lot of time in the company of other people. As a common rule, we tend to shift the responsibility on the shoulders of others. It seems to us that if some person was cruel or unfair to us, this is the reason why we suffer. We think that if our salary is not good enough, it means that our boss does not appreciate our efforts; if our mind is not sharp, it’s because our parents did not give us the right education, if we have bad manners – our environment is to be blamed; if we fail the exam – we blame the examiner for asking the most difficult question.
Any situation happening to us is not as straightforward as it seems to be.
If we look deep inside and analyze the chain of causes and consequences of our own actions, words, thoughts and wishes – we shall discover that in every case the main source of all events in our life are ourselves.
“As a man sows, so shall he reap!”
This proverb is the best way to describe the main principle of Karma Yoga. Karma is a law of cause and consequence. According to karma yoga each one of us is the source and cause of all events in his/her life, no matter positive or negative. Right off the bat it is hard to trace the relation between initial will (wish) and following events in life. For this reason we can interpret some events incorrectly. For example, some actions that a person finds to be well intended can lead to negative results. However, some evil intended activities may give very positive outcome.
If during our life we unconsciously make a lot of contradicting wishes, it does not make our life better and it gets more and more difficult to find the cause of certain consequences.
Confusion is caused by our own unconscious wishes!
In order to solve the tangle of our past wishes, yoga recommends us to follow the principles of karma:
- Work and act honestly,
- Do you best without expecting a result!
By acting without any expectations for a result, no matter positive or negative, we shall be able to get out of the limits of the Law of causes and consequences.
What does it mean “to work honestly”? In yoga it means following two main principles. The first principle is doing no harm to any living being unless it is absolutely necessary. If you can’t avoid harm, you should follow your duty. The second principle is that you should spend your energy and focus your consciousness only on the things which lead you to the goals. We ourselves define our duty and goals.
Acting in such a way and following these principles, we work on positive karma and neutralize negative karma. Ultimately, we get out of the plane of karma. It means we become free from consequences of our previous wishes and our actions.
We are responsible for karma we have, only we. Karma cannot be given to someone else or received from someone!
Everything that happens to us is the result of our previous actions (including thoughts and words). By acting in a definite way we attract people to our life. We invite people who are similar to us to be a part of our life even without understanding that. Our environment, the chain o
f events, which bring us joy or stress, is the result of our own choices. If we accept the concept “We make our own Universe!” – then we are capable to take responsibility for our life and steer it in the right direction.
Our life is in our hands!
When it seems that life is getting out of control, yoga gives us instruments and recommendations, transferring the reins of power for our life into our hands. Then search for someone to blame becomes irrelevant. We become responsible, independent, active, cheerful and capable to improve ourselves and the world around us from the position of power!
Find more information on karma yoga and your possibilities to take life in your own hands by studying the course Karma yoga.
Yours Open Yoga
Author: Marina Mirra
Editors: Kerigona, Maria Saraswati Bhavani
Translated by Tatiana Sugrue
Project curator: Kerigona