Karma - The Mechanism: Tattvarthasutra 9.09

Published: 09.10.2014
Updated: 10.10.2014

(a)labharogatrnasparsha­mala­satkarapuraskaraprajna jnanadarshanani (9)

22 obstacles may arise while we strive for freedom from all karmic limitations:

  1. hunger
  2. thirst
  3. coldness
  4. heat
  5. annoyance by insects
  6. defenselessness
  7. ennui, boredom, discontent, lethargy, laziness, indifference
  8. distraction
  9. 'homelessness' (the craving for - material and emotional - stability)
  10. 'sitting' (on the intention to get going without ever beginning to move)
  11. 'sleeping' (the fading of our intention to grow)
  12. insults, slander, abuse
  13. obstruction (of our progress by external factors)
  14. unwillingness to accept necessary help from others or to ask for support (overcoming our pride)
  15. failure in the attempt to obtain help
  16. illness
  17. pain
  18. lack of sincerity (the spoiling of our intentions)
  19. praise (by someone whose admiration we disprove) or irreverence (by someone whose opinion we value)
  20. vanity (because of our great learning)
  21. lack of knowledge, ignorance, (the feeling that we never have sufficient knowledge to successfully pursue freedom from all karmic limitations)
  22. disappointment in the effectiveness of our knowledge (because we fail to gain supernatural powers). (9)

These obstacles may arise once we direct our life towards controlling and dissolving karmic processes. Yet they do not need to occur; they are listed here only to alert us so they may not divert us from our path.

We can overcome all these obstacles by patience and perseverance. They fall off automatically as soon as the karmas that caused them are dissolved. Since none of the attitudes and activities mentioned in this chapter bind new karma, the end of the listed difficulties is preordained. Patience at the occurrence of obstacles means to wait for their foreseeable dispersal if they can't be dissolved actively (e.g. by a change of attitude etc.).

Overcoming the obstacles by itself does not generate progress on the path to freedom from all karmic limitations. Though this may often be accomplished by commendable efforts, all progress on the path to ultimate freedom is only characterized by the experience of superior levels of consciousness and not by an ability to endure bodily and emotional troubles. It is only important to overcome obstacles once they arise, so that our expansion-process can accelerate further.

Willingly creating these obstacles does not bring about any progress towards the ultimate freedom. It only indicates a flawed understanding of tapas - the conscious confrontation of karma (see sutra 3).


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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Consciousness
  2. Karma
  3. Karmas
  4. Pride
  5. Sutra
  6. Tapas
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