(This is in response to this Comment I received in the Contact form: Excellent post on medical astrology! Could you write about placements/nakshatras/planets that incline individuals towards the metaphysical and occult pursuits of life? How does one balance karma doing so and not get into karmic entanglements?)
Karma is the bogeyman! If something goes wrong with you, your neighbour will be like (a tad gleefully),’ it’s your karma, you have to face it!”. Or if your friends feel that you have got something going for you which you don’t deserve, they will be like, “this is your good karma from your past lives!”. Sometimes you will give Rs 5/- to a beggar to create good karma for yourself. Spiritually inclined people on the other hand are wary of creating more karma of any sort. However beautiful it may look, Karma is entanglement with others because of your desires/conditioning.
I have written a post on how to judge spirituality from the horoscope here. Metaphysics, I guess means ‘spirituality’, the things which cannot be perceived by our limited 5 senses. Desire to achieve Moksh is antithetical to living a comfortable life in the physical universe. It is obvious I think, when you have filled your store houses with all the experiences that the manifested Universe has to offer, when you have enjoyed all the relationships to the fullest, you leave . Combinations which may not be seen as favourable for the ‘real-life’ things will be conducive to the spiritual route. The spiritual route is the way out. All planets and houses contribute in some way to this ‘spirituality’. (will write about the astrological combinations related to ‘occult’ in my next post)
If there is a background of reasonably good level of ‘spirituality’ in the horoscope the chances of creating a load of negative karma will lessen. You will be less entangled and/or whatever karma is binding you, will resolve.
How to not create new karma? Shri Krishna is quite clear in his Bhagwat Gita. To condense it in one statement, ‘Do your Dharm’. But as Bhishma says in the same Mahabharat, ‘Dharm is subtle’. After these two statements which say it all, I can just add my very limited thoughts and experiences.
The problem of recognition – There is a rather unfortunate (from the spiritual point of view) expectation that one needs to be recognised for doing their work. Simple example, I am a mother so am expected to take care of my child, pack his tiffin, give him Sanskar, etc. This is my Dharm. When I do all this my conscience is satisfied. I do not expect my son to thank me for this. I have done my Dharm.
And because it is my Dharm, I am supposed to do it, so there should be no sense of ego about doing it. Should I be awarded for doing something that I am supposed to be doing in the first place? If I leave my child unattended and neglect him, my conscience will point it out to me. If I ignore my conscience, it will be registered as a negative Karma. Only my conscience/Antaratma has the power to judge my actions, no one else.
The problem of expectations – It is human nature, one might say, to expect and anticipate. And then later to get disappointed. It is not being pessimistic, e.g. however well my son performs I might think it is less. He works hard in school and gets an A grade, but I might get disappointed as I want him to get a A+ grade! (Several parents think like this and cause deep-seated traumas in their child.)
Karma is caused because of human nature. I might say, “I looked after my child, now as I get old, he is bound to look after me”. This sort of thought process will cause needless pain. I had written a post on forgiveness earlier. I should focus on my own action now, not bother about my son’s possible future actions. If I do my Dharm because I expect my son to follow his Dharm later, this is a negative thought process. I should do my Dharm because I should do it, for no other reason.
The problem of emotions – Dharm/Karma concepts do not mean that I am a robot, without emotions. When my conscience is satisfied with my actions it gives me deeper satisfaction and joy not linked to the ego. ‘I did my job perfectly’ is ego. But ‘circumstances came about perfectly and enabled me to do my job’ is a better thought process. I should give credit to the Universe for bringing the exact resources to me so that I could cook food and make my child’s tiffin. This way I remain grounded. (And remembering a previous life where I was very poor helps in reinforcing this thought process!). I should feel happy, sad, irritated, dejected, guilty, anxious, etc, but with the over-riding awareness that this too shall pass. I try to not get attached to these emotions very deeply because these are quite temporary. And to feel an inner joy in every action that I perform, it takes a bit of work but I try the best I can.
The problem of blaming others – This happens a lot with the clients I see. We all refuse to accept responsibility for our actions, most often in inter-personal relationships with the people closest to us. And the people closest to us are linked with the biggest karmic link.
The narrative is the same, ‘my wife argues so I argue with her’. But then, ‘Focus on what you are doing. You are also arguing and reinforcing the karmic link. So you will be stuck with this same argumentative wife in your next life too! Do you want this? Instead try to talk through and resolve it like mature grown-ups’. Getting a client to understand this idea of karma is utterly difficult. I think they enjoy arguing at their inner levels.
I do this too, get trapped in activity/mental/emotional loops, but recognising this as a loop is the first step.
YOLO? You (certainly do not) live only once! No one goes anywhere, every act/feeling is recorded in the astral self. If I feel/act very with strong attachments it will be recorded strongly. If I behave irresponsibly because I think ‘I live only once’, it can create loads of karma for the future lives. So it is best to think twice about the thought processes and philosophical base of the life/actions.
Being independent – If I know what I am supposed to do/my Dharm, I am free. My actions are not dependant on other people. I know my role and I know that I am doing it to the best of my ability. Later even if my boss says that I haven’t done my part, my conscience knows that I have! I cannot be made to feel bad by the other’s behaviour. So listening to the conscience, not the ego is key.
Follow your conscience. And because we are so used to being deaf to our inner voice, we all need to do some tiny regular spiritual activity or be with nature so that we remain silent and listen to our conscience speak.