Mahabharat Episode 68: Get Out of Cyclical Existence and Karma

Why is existence cyclical? Does the wheel of karma turn relentlessly? What role does one’s individual dharma play in working out one’s karma? Is one’s dharma predetermined and unchangeable? And can the right sadhana actually help find one’s dharma? Sadhguru answers all these questions and more.
Sadhguru Wisdom Article | Mahabharat Episode 69: Get Out of Cyclical Existence and Karma
 

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Questioner: Sadhguru, you were talking about the cycles of existence. Why these cycles? Also, is dharma something we choose, or something that is waiting for us to discover it?

Sadhguru: Nature invented the wheel before human beings could ever think about it. Human beings did not invent the wheel ­– they just had to open their eyes and look. The wheel was always there, all over, in any number of forms. The very nature of the physical is cyclical. The planet is not a triangle ­– it is round. Almost every object in the celestial sphere is round. Generally, circular objects move with least resistance. The most efficient movement is circular, so everything naturally becomes cyclic. There are no better dynamics than that. 

Why the Nature of Physical Existence Is Cyclic 

Wherever there is physical material and movement, it will naturally take a cyclic form because this is how the universe is. This is the Creator’s intelligence. This is the law of physics. Because the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is elliptical, it is moving so smoothly that you can forget that you are actually travelling through space at a tremendous speed right now. It is moving with the least amount of friction, but there is still friction. Because of this small amount of friction, the universe will wear out over time. Everything has a beginning and an end. That is a physical law. You exist only because you have a physical form. For physical beings, there is one kind of law, and for nonphysical beings, there is another kind of law. This is why Urvashi[1] says to Arjuna, “I am not a human being, so your laws do not apply to me. My laws are different because I am not physical. My physicality is etheric, not plain physical.”

The Special Challenge of Being Human 

But a human being is actually a little bit of a hybrid. There is a physical dimension to you, and there is also another dimension to you. This is why you are struggling. If you were only a physical being, then the laws would be very simple. A human being is like an airplane that is going at one speed, the seats are going at another speed, and the passengers are going at yet a different speed. It is happening to you every moment of your life. The planet and your body are traveling at one speed. Your mind is traveling at a different speed. Your being is traveling at a completely different speed. But you have to manage the balance between the three. 

Your fundamental dharma is not something that you choose. The laws of existence are already set ­– you just have to perceive them.

If your being gets properly seated and your mind complements it, then you are a perfect being. If it does not get seated, you are all over the place and never able to figure out what is wrong with you. That is, if you have the humility to see that there is something wrong with you. Most human beings do not even realize that they are obnoxious; they think they are fine. If you are willing to pursue it to its ultimate profoundness, any aspect of life can be a passage to the core of existence, which is the source of creation.

Why Your Individual Dharma Should Be Fluid 

Your fundamental dharma is not something that you choose. The laws of existence are already set ­– you just have to perceive them. But for you to perceive them, you have to be in a certain state of dharma of your own. The reason you need a dharma of your own is because you have karma of your own. Because you have karmic bondages of your own, you have to set up a little bit of dharma of your own. But do not make your own dharma too big. The dharma of the infinite existence is more important than your little dharma. Your little dharma should be constantly calibrated, every moment of your life. What was your dharma yesterday cannot remain the same today. The ultimate law will remain the same, for eternity. But to keep the little dharma that you have set up for yourself in tune with the ultimate dharma, it needs to be constantly monitored. This is what sadhana means. 

How the Right Sadhana Calibrates Your Individual Dharma

If you do your sadhana every day with the necessary devotion, you will see that the practice will be different every day. If you are capable of paying minute attention, you will see that not only the experience but the practice itself will be different. This is not because you are getting better by doing it every day. That may be the case in the initial month or so. This is the beauty of sadhana: When the sadhana is given to you properly, you do not have to worry too much about attuning your dharma to the universal law. It will constantly do its own adjustment.

If you are capable of paying minute attention, you will see that not only the experience but the practice itself will be different.

Yoga means union, and sadhana is a tool. Yogic sadhana is a tool to achieve this union and be in tune with the universe. By its own nature, the sadhana is adjusting itself every day according to your karmic patterns. You do not have to do it. The sadhana has an intelligence of its own. 

To be continued... 

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the April 2021 issue of Isha Forest Flower. Click here to explore the all-new Isha Forest Flower!

The articles of this series are based on talks by Sadhguru during the Mahabharat program at the Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, in February 2012. Guided by Sadhguru, participants went on a mystical exploration into the wisdom of this immortal saga, through music, dance, and spiritual processes.

[1] An apsara or female celestial being in the Mahabharat. 

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