What is the meaning of karma? Karma is not existence’s reward or punishment system as people seem to think. Sadhguru dispels this notion and explains that whatever kind of karma you have, it restricts and binds you – unless, you know how to loosen its grip!
Karma literally means action. We are referring to past action. From the moment you were born till this moment, the kind of family, the kind of home, the kind of friends, the things that you did and did not do, all these things are influencing you. Every thought, emotion and action comes only from past impressions that you have had within you. They decide who you are right now. The very way you think, feel and understand life is just the way you have assimilated inputs. We call this karma.
The Karmic Software
In modern terms, I would say it is the current software on which you are working. Your whole system – your body, mind, energy and emotions – is programmed because of the impressions that you have taken in. A complex amalgamation of all these impressions is your karma. Whichever way your software is, that is the way your mind, emotion and body function. Even your energy moves that way.
Whatever kind of karma you have, it is a limited possibility and that is what makes you into a limited person. Depending on what kind of impressions you took in, whether it was hatred and anger, or love and joy, you accordingly have a certain kind of personality – usually every human being is a complex mixture of these things. Once you allow this karmic structure to build beyond a certain point, there is really no such thing as freedom. Everything that you do is conditioned by the past. So if you want to move in the direction of liberation, one of the first things that you need to do is to loosen the grip and shackle of karma. Otherwise, no movement will happen.
How do you do that? One simple way is to break the karma physically. In the morning if your karma is to wake up at 8 o’clock, you set your alarm for 5 o’clock. Your body’s karma is that it will not want to get up. But you say “No, I am going to get up.” Even if it gets up, your body will want to sip coffee. But you give it a cold shower. Now, you are just breaking the old karmic process by consciously doing something. This is not the only way, there are other subtler and more effective ways, I am just telling you the crudest possible way. What you dislike, you have to do it consciously. What you like you can do it unconsciously, isn’t it?”