The Source of Karma
Q: Sadhguru, you have told us many times that if we have bitter experiences in our life, it is because of our past doings. What type of activities should we do today to avoid future bitterness?
Sadhguru: The bitterness of any experience is not in what has happened, but in how you have received it. What is very bitter for one person could be a blessing for another person. Once, a grief-stricken man threw himself on a grave and cried bitterly, hitting his head against it, “My life! Oh! How senseless it is! How worthless this carcass of mine is because you are gone. If only you had lived! If only fate had not been so cruel as to take you from this world! How different everything would have been!” A clergyman nearby overheard him and said, “I assume this person lying beneath this mound of earth was someone of great importance to you.” “Importance? Yes, indeed,” wept the man, wailing even louder, “It was my wife’s first husband!” The bitterness is not in what is happening. It is in how you allow yourself to experience it. Similarly, past activity or karma is also not in terms of action, but in terms of the volition with which it is done.
If you are a little open to me or to the teaching, the volition is taken away, so you just do what is needed. That is what awareness means; there is no volition. Where there is no volition, there is no karma. Acceptance means you are simply doing what is needed. Unbounded responsibility means you do not have any volition about anything. In every given situation, whatever you see as needed as per your awareness, you just do it according to your capability. The strength of your volition is what builds karma; whether it is good or bad, it does not matter.
People ask me the same question again and again, "What’s your mission?" When I tell them, "I have no mission, I am just fooling around," they think I am being frivolous. They do not understand that this is the deepest statement I can make about living in the world, because there is no particular volition – just doing what is needed, that is all. In this, whatever you go through, there is no karma. Whatever you are doing is just happening as it is needed. Karma is only in terms of your need to do something. When you have no need to do anything and you simply do what is needed, there is no karmic attachment to it. It is neither good nor bad.