Moksha - Resolving Karma, Fulfilling Dharma
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2011-03-05
The most important aspect of resolving karma is to accept it. Find a way of depersonalizing mistreatment. Everything that happens to us is a pattern we set in motion. Dharma well performed: exceed your best. Put energy into fulfilling svadharma. "...at the end of each soul's evolution comes vishvagrasa, total absorption in God."
Good morning. First topic is on moksha. Leads to a quote we'll read in a minute from Gurudeva, very useful quote on moksha.
Normally, when you think about moksha, I'm sure if I were to ask: What's required for moksha? Usually just one thought comes to mind: Oh, we have to realize God; we have to have some profound experience of God, God realization and then we'll achieve moksha. Well, that's certainly required for moksha but it's not all that's required for moksha. So, that's the beauty of Gurudeva's definition; he adds other items as well. And one of them is: Karma has been resolved. Karma has been resolved.
Normally, when moksha is talked about resolution of karma is left out. It's not encompassed in the same idea. But even if you realize God and you still have karma that needs to be fulfilled here on earth, guess what? See you soon again. Because, we haven't resolved the karma. So, it points out the importance of resolving karma. And as we know the most important aspect of resolving karma is when karma comes back to us we accept it.
Karma usually comes back to us, as Gurudeva points out, through other people. And, being human, we tend to get mad at the person. We get upset with the person who delivered our karma back to us. We look at them in a very personal sense. This person, so and so, da, you know, da da da da da da da. We don't look at it impersonally in that if that person didn't treat us that way another person would have to. Well, cause that karma's going to come back to us unless we somehow through intense tapas burn it up which is easier said than done. Usually it has to come back to us.
So we get mad at the person who delivered it to us and then we hold a grudge or worse yet we retaliate. So how is that resolving karma? Well it's not. So, we have to somehow take it more impersonally in terms of how we look at the person who mistreats us. Kind of laugh at it somehow and say: What in the world did I do to deserve that treatment as a reaction? Find a way of depersonalizing it instead of getting so upset with the individual who treated us a certain way.
But, everything that happens to us, as Gurudeva says, is supposed to happen. It's part of the pattern we set in motion. So, if we want to blame someone we can only blame ourselves, right? Really ridiculous to blame another person for how they treat us when we're causing them to treat us that way because of what we did in the past, usually in another life.
So, that's why Gurudeva stresses resolving karma so much because it's related to moksha.
But there's a third item in this explanation of moksha. It's called dharma well performed. This one is always left out. What does dharma well performed mean? Well, it means we have to go through the various experiences that life has to offer in order to fully mature spiritually. We can't just experience a couple of lives, do this, do that and move on. We need to experience all kinds of different lives, doing different things, fulfilling different karmas in different lives. That's part of the pattern of experience.
That's why it's said: Not everyone can just jump in and be a renunciate successfully.
To be a renunciate successfully you have to have gone through lots of different experiences so that those experiences, the desire for those experiences doesn't pull you out of the monastery. It's not that you never did it and therefore don't desire it; it's that you did it and therefore don't desire it. I already did that. Must have had fun at it because I don't want to do it anymore.
Therefore, we have to be patient in terms of life and put our energy into fulfilling our svadharma. Meaning: The position we've naturally found ourselves in life we should try to do it to the best of our ability and even a little better, as Gurudeva would say. He never wanted us to do just our best he wanted us to exceed our best.
So, whatever position we find in life is not taking us away from spiritual practice. That's the other point. You know we get into this concept that what I do in the shrine room, in the temple as my spiritual practice and my profession and handling all my family members and all has nothing to do with it. But, it's totally narrow viewpoint. Because we have to fulfill our dharma to the best of our ability.
So we have to do, we have to be a good husband, be a good wife, be a good professional and do it well. Then we've done it. Dharma well performed.
So, let's see what Gurudeva says. See if we managed to cover most of the points here.
"Each soul must have performed well through through life's varied experiences in order to not be pulled back to physical birth by a deed left undone. Though all souls are destined to achieve moksha, the breaking of samsara's chains will not necessarily happen after this one life. While seeking and attaining profound realizations, Hindus know there is much to be done in fulfilling life's other purusharthas, or goals: dharma, artha and kama. Moksha is the last goal to be desired and the last one to be attained.
Both old and young souls are on a journey to realize God, whether they understand this or not. (Period!) Old souls renounce worldly ambitions and take up sannyasa at a young age, striving on the quest to let go of the world. But all Hindus use the later years of life to move closer to moksha by intensifying spiritual practices, tying loose ends and letting go of attachments.
After moksha, subtle karmas are made in inner realms and swiftly resolved, like writing on water. Eventually, at the end of each soul's evolution comes vishvagrasa, total absorption in God."
Very nice. Have a wonderful week.
Aum Namah Sivaya
[End of transcript.]