Question: Sadhguru, I am not happy with the fact that compulsions have been popping up as I am doing my sadhana.

Sadhguru: You must learn to be happy with your compulsions. Anyway you have the compulsion. If you are not happy with it, now you have two problems - compulsion and unhappiness! Already you have one problem, don’t create the next one. At least if you have one problem, it is easier to deal with it.

Unhappiness is unpleasantness. Why we are always talking about joy and love is to keep your mind and emotions pleasant. When these are pleasant, you are flexible and we can do many things with you. When your mind and your emotions are unpleasant, you become rigid;  nothing can be done about you. If you are in a state of pleasantness, you are willing to be molded into a different shape. When you are in a state of unpleasantness, you are not even willing to be touched. 

Look At Your Compulsions Joyfully

Unhappiness is a bigger problem than whatever compulsions you have. It is a far bigger problem because now you cannot be touched, molded or helped. Whatever nonsense you are, the first thing is to learn to be joyful and loving. You have your compulsions - just learn to look at them joyfully. Then it will be easy to work with you, help you, reach out to you - to do things with you beyond your likes and dislikes. Your likes and dislikes are the most basic compulsions; if we have to help you out of these, you have to be in a pleasant state. If you are in an unpleasant state, we cannot make you do something that you do not like; you will do only what you like. The more unhappy people are, the more they will insist, “I will do only this. This is how I am!” Joyful people are flexible - you can make them dance, you can make them cry, you can make them jump, you can make them do funny things, you can ask them to crawl around; they will do everything when they are happy. They are flexible.

Don’t lose your flexibility. That is most important. Flexibility is not possible when you are in any state of unpleasantness, either in the mind or in the emotion. Being joyful, loving and peaceful is important only for this reason - because you have many compulsions.

Karma Potatoes

Karma is like a sack of potatoes. The deeper you bury these compulsions, the more they will grow. Sadhana is to pull them out and dry them in such a way that they cannot grow again. If you put yourself through a period of intense sadhana, you will see that when you go out in the world, so many of your simple compulsions are gone. But still there are a lot of potatoes to pull out. Every day you need to pull them out and dry them to such a point where they cannot sprout again.

If the same potato grows into a million, that is an exaggerated potato. Let us say you have five minutes of intense experience - of pain, fear, some torturous experience or something which was abhorrent to you. In these five minutes of potatoes, they will multiply and multiply and rule your whole life. Wherever you go, that is what you will talk about, what you think about. You buried them and they are multiplying. They will become millions of potatoes of the same abhorrent kind. Now if you dry this potato and keep it there, it is a good experience. Even if you went through a really bad experience, it is a good experience because what you learn through unpleasant moments in your life is invaluable. Only a fool will try to forget. If you are smart, you must always remember every unpleasant experience you have had - without resentment or anger - so that you never ever get into the same situations again. 

We don’t want to get rid of the potatoes; we just want to pull out the potatoes and dry them in such a way that they cannot sprout. We want to preserve the potatoes; otherwise we will again be ignorant fools who do the same things all over again. The value of life’s experience cannot be thrown away. But if you let it grow into you, then it just poisons your whole life. Karma, or the memory of experience, is the only thing which can bring wisdom to you, but it is also the only thing which can bind you - can so heavily poison your life that it can destroy you. So, karma is not the problem; how you carry it is the only problem.

Editor's Note: Isha Kriya is a yogic practice created by Sadhguru. Available as a free guided meditation online and with written instructions as well, it has the potential to transform the life of anyone who is willing to invest just a few minutes a day.


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