Karma - The Mechanism ► Sutras ► How To Dissolve Karma

Posted: 11.09.2014

Chapter 9 of Tattvarthasutra

This part of the ancient manuscript introduces the key to far more fascinating dimensions of life than we experience at present. It tells us how to overcome the inner and outer barriers that prevent us from perceiving and exploring these dimensions. It tells us how to dissolve 'karmic' clutter, - i.e. how to get rid of our emotional attachment to narrow, restrictive themes of life. Karmic attachment is the only factor that confines our consciousness to our current limits of existence. Once we remove this 'clutter', new insights and a far greater scope of life open up automatically and with inevitable certainty.

Yet to progress on this path is not as casual and comfortable as most new age gurus and books would like us to believe.

It has become chic nowadays to be 'spiritually' active, to do the 'fun mystic thing'. Without paranormal encounters, channeling, UFO invasions and magic rituals we'd hardly know what thrilling themes to talk about at parties. The 'search for our Self' - a kind of casual development into a higher being - grew into a 'must' of modern society, - into a 'recreational spiritual path' that has become high fashion.

These are the people in esoteric workshops and seminars, talking about 'the flow of cosmic energy' and 'descended masters', going to Sedona, Mount Shasta, Stonehenge or Rishikesh, sitting on vortices and sacred spots - my is the scenery beautiful - and wait for some handsome enlightenment - but please, not too fast and not too unsettling.

They are the ones running from guru to guru, from astrologer to astrologer, always looking for some mystic person to tell them time and again what fantastically advanced spiritual beings they are. And because they are so highly evolved, they needn't work up real sweat about their inner growth. - Why should they? - They're privileged, aren't they? Once their time has come, some higher being - probably with noble face, long, flowing garments - will single them out, touch their forehead - that famous 'third eye' - and the light will flow through them and then enlightenment has come. So they think. So they hope. That's how they picture spiritual progress. Nice, comfortable, easy, safe.

And so they never get going themselves. Whatever they do, wherever they go, they are just passing time, expecting an experience that will never arrive. They wait to be lifted from that big mass of people around them that certainly is not on their level. They smile at you and think: 'Why can't he see, how far advanced I am?'

What these poor people don't realize is that their pride, their lack of commitment, their very idea of that 'recreational spiritual path' bars them from any progress. They don't know that all they expect, all they project is exactly what they are getting: A casual 'spiritual' stroll through nice, natural scenery - maybe accompanied by some similarly attuned souls, basking in all kinds of good vibrations, - but - nothing more.

The Tattvarthasutra offers an entirely different path. It alerts us to highly private, obstructive emotions we usually sweep under the carpet, - it makes us aware of attachments and prejudices that stop us from becoming the magnificent being we feel so deeply within us. And it advises us how to dissolve these obstacles, - how to arrange the familiar components of our life so shrewdly that they will make us expand into a far vaster, exciting, compassionate, blissful and wide-open universe. And - as we progress in this direction and more and more understanding opens up, we'd never even think of using our insights for empty party talk.

The attachment of new karmic matter to our interactive karmic field is the main factor that keeps our consciousness within the narrow limits karma weaves around it. This new attachment often takes place against all our will and intentions. It happens, even if we have an ardent desire for a new orientation of life.

Certainly, sincere desire to end karmic restrictions is essential for reaching this freedom, but we also know that our intention alone will never start this process. Real progress only happens when we also initiate action that distinctly[49] reduces the amount of karmic molecules in our interactive karmic field.

Yet any such action will only produce permanent results if we - intellectually or intuitively - understand the karmic mechanisms we want to get rid of. The formal repetition of mantras, mindlessly performing religious rituals, the handling of magic symbols etc. - i.e. the use of techniques whose mechanisms are not entirely clear to us, - can never effectively reduce our attachment to the themes of life (karma) that limit our consciousness.[50]

The sole accumulation of metal parts, rubber, plastic and gasoline or the combining of all these components without real technical understanding will never produce a functioning engine. Similarly the mere presence of spiritual or religious components without real comprehension how they work and how effective they are, will never bring about real freedom from karmic limitations.

Even the meticulous but perfunctory observance of instructions received from spiritual or religious leaders can never replace the thorough comprehension of karmic mechanisms and their conscious transfer into action - irrespective of the sincerity and devotion with which the leader's teachings may be followed.

The path to freedom from all karmic limitations is an entirely individual process. It is neither possible to 'bear' another person's karma, nor to force anyone to bind karmic matter to his personal interactive karmic field without his inner willingness. The attachment of karmic mechanisms to our consciousness can only be removed on the very level we caused it: in our very own psyche.

Footnotes:
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