Guruji on Jivatma and Karma
You have come to this earth, with a purpose. What are you? – A tiny speck of life – a dot on this earth. In Upanishad, we call this a Jivatma. Jivatma does not mean Atman alone. This tiny speck consists of Jiva – life, Manas – mind and Atman. Atman does not travel alone. It is like an emperor. An emperor is always surrounded by a number of bodyguards. So also, the Atman cannot enter alone. It is surrounded by Manas and Jiva which together form the Jivatma. It is one millionth of a cell – a very tiny speck when it enters the mother’s womb. The moment it enters the womb, it is indebted to the mother. What role has the mother played? She has only lent her womb to the Jivatma. Since the mother has given a place in her body and the father has given his energy, the Jivatma is indebted to both the father and the mother. The first karmic debt has emerged. The first prarbadha begins from this point. The thought that “mother has brought me here and I am indebted to my mother” takes appearance in the mind of the Jivatma. For a further nine months the mother takes care of the embryo in her womb.
Why does the embryo start moving in the womb? This is because it has received karmas that have come from the outside. In nine months of stay in the womb, much karma is collected. During these nine months you may have troubled your mother in many ways; yet she has put up with you, tolerated you. Perhaps every act of tolerance has increased her pain and difficulties; for eg: when she was required to take injections, medicines, treatments, etc. All this is passed down to the child as Karmic Debt. This impression is created in the mind and brain and then when the child is born into this world, it carries only the knowledge that “Oh! I have taken so much of karma”. You have come to this earth for self-realization, but the moment you take birth you forget everything, you mix with people and do all unwanted and unnecessary acts. That is the reason why a child starts crying the moment it is born.
If we are happy at the birth of a child, that happiness is passed on to the child, so also if reverse is the case. Both good and bad karma is passed onto the child. After birth, the mother’s breasts are filled with milk. This milk does not come by easily. So many cells have to work in order to produce this milk. In doing so, some cells suffer while other cells do not. The mother has to consume larger quantities of nourishing food so as to produce more milk for the child. The type of suffering undergone by the food taken, for e.g. the carrot, beet root, etc. is also passed onto the child. Should the vegetables be grown in a dirty place then it would bring with it some negative karma. Thus karma enters a child in so many ways.
Whether it is a one-day old or one-month old or six-month old child, the mother is continuously feeding prarabdha into the child. These are stored as thoughts in the brain. Thoughts begin the moment you enter the womb and by every moment, every day, these thoughts multiply. Suppose you have ten trillion cells in your body, a million times more are the thoughts that you carry.
To create each cell, the karma in you becomes a thought. Your thoughts are so very numerous, yet, even a space equivalent to the size of a mustard seed is sufficient to store the thoughts of your entire life. Your brain is a computer. Your mind is like a computer that cannot be seen. In today’s world, by the time a child grows up, it is filled with so many thoughts. At birth, the thoughts of the nurse who helped deliver the baby passes on to the newly born baby and thus karmic debt is created. Also, when the doctor attends to the newly born baby, he or she may touch the child, give it medication, etc. and thus again a karmic debt is created. As the child continues to grow, many more karmic debts ensue.
In reality, who helps to deliver the child at birth? When the child is due to be born, everything is kept ready for the convenience of the mother and child. Many persons are involved in the preparations for this event. The child’s relatives prepare themselves to welcome the child. Every person in attendance gives some karma to the child, good or bad. Here helping is considered the same as borrowing. The child receives help but is unable to reciprocate at that moment. All who have gathered there have given happiness to the child though the child has not given them anything in return. So in effect the child owes everybody there; karmic debts have been created. As the child grows up, goes to school, the karmic debts gets accumulated. The child learns many things at school. Each moment, teachers, friends or any of the others, help the child in many ways. Every person who helps passes on some kind of prarabdha to the child. In this way, the child goes on adding on to the karma, here on this earth. There are innumerable types of karma. Some are very simple and can be passed on or dropped as soon as you receive them; especially when you do not take them seriously. The karmas that are taken seriously are recorded. When and where are they recorded? They are recorded immediately, in the upper brain, and not in the subconscious mind.
We enter into deep sleep every day. Sleep is most essential for a human being. If a man is unable to sleep, he is adversely affected, psychologically. Why? This is because in deep sleep we meet the Atman. The moment we sleep, our brain activity starts slowing down and continues till it comes down to zero level. When it goes to 0 level the brain waves becomes 1 or 0. It is known as the delta state of mind. When in delta state, you are one with the Atman. Medical science cannot explain this fact. Deep sleep is as good as being dead. Only the breath remains. Even in this state, some people snore, or make sound, but yet they are as good as dead. At that moment, our consciousness or chitta, i.e. our mind and intellect together meet the Atman. When the consciousness is with Atman, total energy of the body is with the Atman. It is like taking bath in the Ganges, which means it is totally purified. It takes another one and a half hour to come out of such a state to the normal position.
When we arise from deep sleep slowly, we become awakened. Then, even though we wake up at 4 o’clock- brahmi muhurta, or earlier, we feel completely fresh. This is because we have met the Atman.
Suppose on a particular day, you are unable to sleep, and your consciousness has not travelled to meet the Atman, then you become restless, have headache, feel uneasy, lack mood, feel sleepy, do not feel like talking to anyone, etc. The day your consciousness joins the atman, you feel very relaxed. This kind of relaxation may also be got by meditation. The state of relaxation that you get when in deep sleep would be the same as that you get when in a meditative or in a samadhi state as well. Though in both the states you meet the Jivatma, there is a difference. For while in the Samadhi state you are in a state of slight awareness while when you are in deep sleep you are totally without awareness.
The question is while in Samadhi, how does one know that one is in a state of slight awareness when one meets the Atman. In this state one can enjoy ecstasy, the highest happiness that one can get in Samadhi which means that you are with Atman. This cannot be experienced through the happiness from outside world. I cannot explain this to you and you cannot understand this happiness until you experience it all by yourself. It is called ecstasy. So, every day you meet with the Atman, without awareness, in deep sleep but in meditation the same thing happens with some awareness. Hence meditation is far superior to deep sleep.
What is this that we call awareness, when we are totally with the Atman?
It is not atman awareness; in the beginning and the end it is sounded by the mind.
Let us say that there is a circle whose circumference is the Mind and Jivatma is the center of the circle. The circumference of a circle can never touch the center of the circle. Outside the circle is the Mind and in the center of the circle is the Atman. Now, when you go towards the Atman, at the center, the Mind or the circumference will not understand and you will be unaware. Once you come out of this state and touch the mind, you will feel the happiness. When you are awakened at the last point of your sleep you will feel that your sleep was very good but by that time you would have reached the end of your sleep.
We collect karmic debts, good or bad, at every step. There is a mind outside the circle of Atman and this mind is full of karmic prarabdha. Thoughts of the mind stop us from getting into the center of the circle where the Atman lies. They tell us that we must give back to the people who have helped us, yet we find that we are unable to give back or reciprocate. On earth, we cannot live without taking help or loan from others.
Every creature produces something to help nature. Banana plants give bananas until they wither away and die. Fruit trees give fruits until they wither away and die. Flowering plants also give flowers until they wither away and die. Cows give milk until they can no more. In some way or the other, all animals help human beings.
Man does not produce anything. Whatever man produces is only a waste. Whatever industrial products that we say we have produced are not produced by us. We have only utilised some material available in nature to turn it into an industrial product.
Human beings do not contribute to nature and yet make the nature suffer. They have prarabhda in every action. They cannot live without giving pain to others. That is why this earth is known as Karma Bhoomi. Here one can get rid of prarabdha by the karma of helping others. Serving at old age homes, orphanages, Gaushalas, etc. can help one to get rid of prarabhda. We are unaware that we accumulate wealth by earning prarabdha. Sanyasis usually distance themselves from money. We think we have earned so many things and are so happy, but instead we have collected lots of karma. Sharing our wealth with others and helping others are ways to get rid of these karmas.
When you meditate, you get thoughts; these thoughts pertain to the karma of your past or previous lives. From the instant of entering the womb of your mother until today whatever karmas are accumulated are the size of a universe. Almost everyone has accumulated so much karma, yet in meditation it can be cleaned very quickly. That quickness of cleaning happens through your thoughts. Thoughts are nothing but the act of releasing the karma. So when thought comes, be happy. These thoughts are only about you and not of others. We only get thoughts that are related to us, our relatives or close ones – all related to me and mine. This is ego of the mind. These thoughts are the accumulated loan or karma that you have accumulated since ages. It is now finding a way out through your thoughts, so it is good. It is just like the waves in the sea.
Why are there waves in the sea? What is the purpose of these waves? The waves clean sea water. It is like churning the curd through which we obtain butter. Similarly, sea is churned every moment. Due to waves in the sea, the sea gets cleaned and the dirt is thrown out in the form or foam. Sea is the mind of earth and these waves are thoughts. Waves of the brain are thoughts. Thoughts are good. When thoughts arise it means that one day you will go into meditation. So give scope for thoughts to arise. Do not say I cannot meditate because thoughts keep arising. Thoughts are the first waves in the mind. When thoughts are going out, when thoughts are gone completely, you will find some gap. This is the gap of silence. This is known as the thoughtless state. In that thoughtless state you will enjoy and again after sometime a thought will rise and disappear. No thought will remain in you permanently for it has to vanish at one point. Just as no wave in the sea remains permanently, for it has to vanish at some point.
Let thoughts arise. Enjoy and encourage the thought. A day will come when you will be in a thoughtless state. With time, the thoughtless state will increase and you will enjoy further. You will feel that you do not have a body and you will find a better state and finally you will get into samadhi. You will experience happiness continuously. That is the time when you come to the center of the circle. After about five to eight years, you will be able to mediate in this state for about forty minutes. So friends, I tell you, more the thoughts that come, better it is for cleaning your mind quickly. You will then be able to get into meditation as soon as possible. This is the secret of thoughts in the meditation, so do not run away from the thoughts. Always welcome the thoughts but do not involve yourself with them.