Saturday, 30 June 2012

Grip of Habits: Theory of Karma

The way we live our life is not a conscious way of living. We live a mechanical life propelled by our habits. It is the easiest way to live, but it makes our life dull. 

We do feel cozy and comfortable but our level of consciousness starts going lower. The sharpness in our life comes when we bring more and more awareness to each moment. Then we can get out of the vicious circle of habits and liberate ourselves from karmic bondage. 

The theory of karma exists, but only for those who live life without full awareness. For a man of awareness, a Buddha, this theory has no relevance. 

Osho often told the story of a Hindu mystic, Eknath, who was going on a year-long pilgrimage, visiting all the sacred places of the country. A thousand people were travelling with him. 

The thief of the town also came and said, "I know that I am a thief and not worthy enough to be a member of your group, but do give me a chance. I would like to come for the pilgrimage". 

Eknath said, "It will be difficult, because one year is a long time and you may start stealing people's things. You may cause trouble. Please drop this idea". But the thief was insistent. He said, "For one year I will stop stealing, but I have to come. And I promise you that for one year I will not steal a single thing from anybody". Eknath agreed. 

But within a week trouble started, things started disappearing from people's luggage, and even more puzzling was that things would disappear from somebody's bag only to be found in somebody else's. 

The man in whose bag they would be found would say, "I really don't know how these things have come to be in my bag". 

One night Eknath, pretending to be asleep, lay awake, and he watched. In the middle of the night, the thief started changing things from one person's luggage to another person's. Eknath caught him red- handed and said, "What happened to your promise?" The thief said, "I have not stolen a single thing. But this is my old habit. In the middle of the night if I don't do some mischief, it is impossible for me to sleep. And for one year, not to sleep? Be compassionate I am not stealing, things are just exchanged from one person to another. And moreover, after one year I have to start my stealing again, so it will be good practice also". 

So we are victims of our habits. Hindus call it the theory of karma: Each action that we repeat, or each thought — because thought is also a subtle action in the mind — it becomes more and more powerful. Then we are in the grip of it. 

We are imprisoned in the habit. When we get angry, we rationalise and say that the situation demanded it. That's how our ego goes on thinking that we are still the boss, but we are not. Anger comes out of old patterns, out of the past. And when anger comes we try to find an excuse for it. 

Osho points out: Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy. You become happy on your own, you become angry on your own, and you become sad on your own. Unless you realise this, you will always remain a slave. 

Our relationships are creating miseries for us for the simple reason that we lack awareness, our behaviour is coming out of unconsciousness. Become more and more conscious to make life blissful.

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