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Karma - The Mechanism: Tattvarthasutra 8.13

Published: 29.08.2014

Danalabhabhogopabhogaviryanam (13)

Karma that causes obstruction in life (antaraya), interferes with our ability

  • to give or receive recognition and gifts (dana)
  • to acquire earnings, gains and profit (labh)
  • to enjoy consumable things (bhoga)
  • to enjoy things that are not consumed (upabhoga)
  • to unfold and realize our capacities, power and vitality. (13)

This type of karma hinders us to reach our goals and to realize our wishes. It further prevents us from feeling fulfilled after we achieved an objective. It makes us feel dissatisfied even though we were highly motivated and attained the material success we desired.

The cause for this deficiency is not our lack of intention or effort. The root cause is the manifestation of karma that we acquired because we do (or did) not allow others to reach the satisfaction they desired, or obstruct their endeavors for their goals.

It is our very own - however subtle - attitude of obstruction towards others that attaches this type of karma to our interactive karmic field. Once this type of karma manifests in our life, it is futile to increase our efforts or to try to influence events, desires and intentions. Only by giving up our own obstructive attitudes and by allowing others to unfold their vitality and capabilities in their very own fashion will we cease to bind this type of karma.

After we changed this basic attitude of ours, it takes time to dissolve the existing karma of this type. This explains why we might not feel an immediate effect. We experience this as reluctance to let go our control of others' lives. Yet we will know that the dissolution is complete when our actions start to bring us the desired satisfaction.

*   *   *

Our present life happens within the parameters the manifestation of karma (our very desires) puts into place. Yet many of these parameters are far more flexible than we assume. With all our action, thinking, speech and emotions we continuously influence and change these limits. And many alterations manifest right in this very life. When we e.g. give up a basic (negative) attitude, we often feel the effect only a short time later. When we e.g. cease to obstruct others in their process of gaining knowledge, our own horizon will soon open up to far more comprehensive insights.

The immediacy of this mechanism gives us sufficient vital feedback to restructure the parameters of our life. Once we experience how fast this process works, we are free to shape our life to our very own ideas. Though some changes take time until effects are felt, we do have the power to alter all our karmic parameters now. We always have the ability to remove any undesired component from our life or to transform it into its positive counterpart. We only need to examine and reshape our inner attitudes and express this new orientation in our action, speech and thinking.

*   *   *

Here ends the description of the eight areas of life in which karma will manifest (the types of karma). The next seven sutras define the time-spans during which karma will show effects, i.e. how long the various types of karma will stay attached to our consciousness.


Title: Karma - The Mechanism

Publisher: Crosswind Publishing

Edition: 2000

HN4U Edition: 2014

'The purpose of souls is to assist each other.'
TATTVARTHASUTRA - Chapter 5, Sutra 21

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Antaraya
  2. Consciousness
  3. Dana
  4. Karma
  5. Upabhoga
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