Shut Down Your Karma Factory – Part 1

Sadhguru looks at how the very process of life dissolves karma, provided we don’t build it up through our thoughts and intentions.
Shut Down Your Karma Factory – Part 1

In the first of two parts, Sadhguru looks at how the very process of life dissolves karma, provided we don’t build it up through our thoughts and intentions.

Sadhguru: Every moment of your life, whatever you do or don’t do, your karma is dissolving. The very life process is dissolution of karma. You have a certain amount of allotted karma, which we refer to as prarabdha. The prarabdha is working itself out. But the problem is the production factory is working overtime – new karma is being piled up so rapidly. Dissolution can only happen at a certain pace, but people can be very efficient with production! For example, during a standard day in your life, from the moment of waking till you go to sleep, if you compare how much activity you actually do by simply working, and how much you think up things, what you are thinking up could be fifty times more than what you do. I am being very conservative when I say fifty. You are producing fifty times more karma than you can work out. It is just like calories. You are burning 600 calories but eating 6000 calories – it has to pile up somewhere.

Shut Down Your Karma Factory

Let’s say you don’t do any karmanishkarma – you simply sat. This means karma is still working out now at the same pace but you are not producing anything. This is the reason why spiritual atmospheres are made in such a way that you don’t decide when to eat. There is a bell, and you go and eat. You don’t decide what to eat. You joyfully eat what is served. You don’t choose. We are not against enjoying food, it is just that for the simple act of eating you produce so much karma by desiring, thinking and multiplying all this. After all, you can only eat so much. If the food is good and you like it very much maybe you eat 5% extra. If you go beyond 10% you are in trouble. For this simple act of eating, how much is going on in people’s head! I enjoy food as much as anyone, but you must do the food on your tongue or your stomach. Or if you like to cook you must do it in the pan. I like to cook so I do it in the pan. If I like the food I do it on the tongue or in the stomach. You are doing it in the head – that’s not the place for food. Head and food don’t go together – you are creating karma.

Please look at every aspect like this in your life. You are creating fifty or hundred times more karma than you are working out on a daily basis. When you cook food, or when you joyfully eat, digest it and make it a part of yourself, you are working out karma. The simple process of life itself will work out karma.



A spiritual path means we want to set your karmic process on fast-forward. We want to take a bigger load of karma than the allotted load because we don’t want to come back and do the same thing again and again. We want to finish it off right now. This is a conscious choice one has to make – do you want to slowly work it out or do you want all the nonsense to be over as quick as possible.

If you enter an active spiritual process, suddenly you may find everything is moving at a bewildering pace. You will see, you are in more trouble than ever before. Earlier, troubles used to come to you once in six months. Now, every six hours you are in deep trouble because your karmic process is on fast-forward. Only fools who have sanitized themselves from life believe that spirituality means being peaceful. No. To be spiritual means to be on fire – inside, outside, everywhere. Peace will happen when you rest in peace. This is the time for exuberant life! If you were ecstatic or very blissful and joyful, would you even think of being peaceful? Such a thought wouldn’t even occur to you.

The Karmic Spring

Unfortunately, nowadays, humanity is not looking at how to intensify life, we are always looking to elongate life. Because of this, a number of people lose their memory and mental faculties beyond a certain point, and a karmic factor is very much there in these ailments.

Today, without taking care of the karmic fiber we are just trying to elongate the physical life of a human being because we have a certain amount of mastery over biochemistry.

Karma means a certain kind of software that you unconsciously created. Before you were born, somewhere between 40 to 48 days after conception, this karmic fiber was tightening itself like a spring coil. Depending upon past information, the strength of your body, the nature of your parent, the type of conception and various factors, it chooses a certain amount of information to be tightened into a spring. It is like a coiled spring. If you simply sit, it will slowly unwind itself. The more still you sit, the faster it will unwind itself but because you are in activity and you are also piling up new things, it unwinds itself at a certain pace. If I look at the tension in the karmic fiber when someone is born, I can easily tell you how many years approximately that child will live – if some drunken driver doesn’t smash the child down, or if he doesn’t come in touch with any spiritual master! If he just lives a standard life, we can say how long he will live. We know the coil will work itself out at a certain pace.

This was a common thing when a child was born in India: the first thing the family would do is invite a yogi or sage to the house, or they would take the child to him because they want him to feel the child. It is still there today but generally birthday parties have replaced these things. Otherwise, this was the most significant thing. You want to take your child to a certain person who can see if there is any over-tightening of the spring, and do something to fix that to ensure the child’s wellbeing. But still, a drunken driver can knock him down. Or some master can come and either unwind him fast or load up many lifetimes of karma onto his present load. So, karma works itself out in a certain way unless something happens and it gets all wound up once again or gets released too fast. These things may happen because of certain issues.



Today, without taking care of the karmic fiber we are just trying to elongate the physical life of a human being because we have a certain amount of mastery over biochemistry. We are trying to stretch life using medicine and surgery. This could be one of the major reasons for the number of people losing their memory and mental faculties beyond a certain point because it is a “dumb computer” – do what you want, it just stares at you because though the software is over, the hardware is still kept going with a replaced heart or kidney.

If they had also strived to enhance the other dimension of their life and done a little bit of spiritual work – something beyond the physicality – then even if you live for a thousand years you can generate the necessary software because there is a lot of stuff elsewhere. There is a warehouse of karma which has not been opened up right now which is called sanchita. Or, you could have programmed yourself such that when your software is going away you also have the freedom to shed your hardware.

Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s insights in the book “Of Mystics and Mistakes.” Download the preview chapter or purchase the ebook at Isha Downloads.

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4 years 7 months ago

Statement made by fellow Isha devotee "...animals don't have any desire..."
I tend to disagree with this statement. Have we noticed a dog when he's around things he likes (e.g. food)? the whole body of the dog behaves in a completely different way, the moment you don't feed him the food he likes, he either gets sad or becomes furious). they say, never snatch away any animals' meals) I believe desire is there, it is the basis of survival. All animals have desire to live, desire to copulate, desire to reproduce, desire to eat, etc. The difference that I feel between us humans and other earthly lifeforms is this - humans have a developed intellect and ability to choose from what is morally right or wrong. Animals do not have such an awareness. We have peaked to our evolution that karmic structures come into play, because we have the ability to co-create things from our minds, whereas say a dog, cat or deer cannot, because they cannot create karma. When we are asleep, our minds are constantly in play, be it in the form of dreaming, etc. The other thing about karma is about the concept of Reincarnation. In Eastern traditions, they say, humans only re-incarnate - this is because the body/mind cannot evolve further anymore. If there was any desire developed as an animal, that would be wiped out because it evolves in its next life form whereas we humans cannot. Therefore the need to reincarnate, experience transitory states after death (possibly even talked about states such as heaven and hell).

4 years 9 months ago

Pranam Sadhguru

When life started from water and moved to land, what was the choice made by life as it could have had no sense/ vasana , what was the factor deciding their next birth, someone becomes lion someone becomes a deer, previously both were fish, so what is pushing them to become what they are when they don't have intention, or do they have intentions/vasana, if yes how it is possible??.

If choosing a womb is by Karma, is it not the same reason to attract an accident or give up life or fast forward karma, how can such a precise event can be accident, are they really accidents ??

Sadhguru can Prarabdha be altered, how can sanchita be added up to prarabdha, is it not like rewriting prarabdha then. Where exactly does the added karma manifest and does it not involve the people around the subject, who are not involved in spiritual process, so how it is possible..?

How is it possible for individuals to not create more and more karma when more and more past life karma comes at you, please clarify.

4 years 9 months ago

Hi, I can try to give you some information here, you can take it or leave it. Karma is a bundle of certain tendencies, one can gather money or honey, he can be born as human or honey bee to dissolve that 'gatherer' karma. Nature has simple laws. Some accidents are invited ones, preplanned in order to dissolve karma but one may be at the wrong place, wrong time for accidents, as some other person may be attracting bad karma. Prarabdha can only be dissolved through Meditation and Samadhi. Once you start entering Samadhi state you bring some load from Sanchit Karma and burn that too, no need to manifest it. Then you dont have to be born again to burn what is there in Sanchit warehouse. If you do any action without any intention then you do not create karma, this requires a high level mastery over life and higher level of consciousness.

4 years 9 months ago

There are no Accidents in this existence. Because you are unaware it "seems" accident to you. Otherwise, everything in the existence happens by law of "Prakriti"(with the support of the "Purush"(That which is not.(Prakriti happens with support of Purush.))(Shakti-Shiva). So, there is a perfect order in the existence. Therefore, everybody or everything is at the right place at the right time. There are no accidents. Therefore, there is no need to use the word accident. (If there were accidents, what will happen to your will. Your will itself could be crushed by accidents.)

4 years 9 months ago

Accidents in this existence?!!! What non-sense is this? Are you saying that existence is out of order and there accidents happening here??? How can there be accidents in this existence?

4 years 9 months ago

Just for sake of understanding - Before having a human birth we go thru several let's start from first, several million years ago- single cell, then mutation, then sea life...after 100 life times, one becomes lion but other becomes deer, all the while they were animals only, where they don't create strong desire or vasana, they just live, in such a case all those beings which exactly started as a blank paper for karma, where exactly vasana is added why would a single cell or amoeba choose their next life, if that is not possible how one would become fish and other become frog, and so where the individual Karma account originates otherwise if the progression is known based on what data it is??? Before first life what was it, tendencies come much much much later, single cell doesn't have tendency, it has only life, so there are tons and tons, more to understand that we haven't even started of.

One who leaves body early spends several hundred years without body to burn karma, because there is no desire only vasana, how come one put to this life is just into wrong place, wrong time..?? please understand in this dimension - the depth and intensity of the change over... it is a boon to be in body, then other case is something very serious, not just wrong time.

Sadhguru had clearly mentioned mere life process would burn karma, Meditation and yoga helps to do action selflessly, it helps you not to add or, to burn karma quickly also. As well my humble opinion, the ideas we have about burning of prarabdha, sanchita, manifests or not, samadhi etc., etc., only Sadhguru/Master can truly address, knowing by reading-just and idea and is not to be compared even with the most tiniest speck of realization. Pranam.

4 years 9 months ago

As far as the logic can go..which is nowhere close to little of realization, understanding is like this-

Over and above of what we have discussed, Before Human birth you go thru a series of Plant, Animal births, which has to be as per design as animals don't have vasana, desire- they simply be. Frog, Snake, Lion or deer they dont desire. This design or plan has to be prior to the first lifetime as an earthling. This progression is natural process, its a god's gift that it pushes you thru all the Animal Births to Human Birth. So it is a plan that you take certain birth in Animal wombs and acquire certain vasanas and take your first life as human being with the accumulation of Vasana. Now no two persons undergo same situations in their life time, so the Animals births, progression and first life time has to some preset data, we don't know it yet.

Once in human form there is a human brain with desire and emotions capable of performing theevra karma the intense one. This is life starting a journey by leg (Animal), getting an automobile (Human). Once you have an automobile it is your driving, your karma, you can drive it to the goal faster than natural progression or drive oppositely to thorough regression, may be going back to become Animal and come into whirl of Nature's design of progression again, after spending necessary Karma.

Ideally Natures design is every life finds it path to paramatma, it always pushes in that direction. The Human form comes into Maya the illusion and duality which is again nature's plan for creation of desires intense karma and expend quickly as well acquire quickly, where his accumulated vasana, karma play a part for his life situations and his conscious mind is the only light he has. If he applies the conscious mind and be aware of his doings and choices, his karma is limited. Once he reaches this place of logical realization it is only unwinding of Karma, in that birth alone. When he dies his Karmic imprints carry on but his ideological realization dies in that birth, next birth, he is fresh page again, his Karma might come helping him to find the way, but he can always get lost in the comforts, desires and illusion in duality of the world.

This is a very chaotic game once in human form, getting lost in duality is quite easy and regression is also possible, because the choice is given. Once in human form and not regressing then it is repeated human birth and expending the stock of karma, accumulation of karma in each birth, preparing for next birth. Every new birth you take you go into illusion and have to realize, your prarabdha is your own making of what you have done in last life and each lifetime is according to natures design of allocation of Karma. This could be frustrating and this is when you shouldn't lose the path offered by Sadhguru, that is why Gnanis, Mahapurush always prefer the fast forward of Karma and help you expend it once, when you have understood.

So whatever pain you feel in life is still your doing. My question was what was it before the first birth as a single cell, only. So don't lose hopes, the frustration is the gift, though it is really painfully frustrating :) .

Second important question I had is, other than masters the people who have only intellectual realization and walking the path, if they are stressed by fast forward, wont they accumulate more and more as Sadhguru had mentioned in this article itself. As well technically person in family life is attached to many, so change in ones life has impact on others, now how the manifestation is possible, without touching all of them. Many times I have happened to get this point that Prarabdha once allotted can't be changed, which means sanchita can be burned as a intense sadhana process, once you are out of sadhana you are back to prarabdha, which means all your suffering is still self created and stocked up pile is getting released, only, otherwise if life situation changes then it is supposed to be manifestation of sanchita only, because prarabdha is already on. Now there is a technical difficulty to understand, Sanchita on top of Prarabdha means, prarabdha altered. Your karma accumulation is because of desire and actions, if put thru fast forward how would a usual person cope up without creating new karma which is also fast forward- was the question.

so what is exactly the

"You will see, you are in more trouble than ever before. Earlier, troubles used to come to you once in six months. Now, every six hours you are in deep trouble because your karmic process is on fast-forward. Only fools who have sanitized themselves from life believe that spirituality means being peaceful." told by sadhguru.

How does it work , what is the technical aspect, is the bigger question, now.

4 years 9 months ago

Relax bud... I am just asking questions that she might have not considered. Your way of asking questions may be different from me. It doesn't make me wrong/right because I ask a question in a different way. Your intolerance is your "Strong Belief". I am asking questions, so I am a dumb. May be you know so you are Vivek!

4 years 8 months ago

...if one could just read this blog article, sit with eyes closed and achieve reasonable stillness; If I could not have scrolled down to read the comments section and contributed my share of nonsense, so much karma would have dissolved...

4 years 8 months ago

Its very simple.
There is no one who has forced you to be here. It is our own choice that we are here, that is to experience each and every aspect of creation. Creation is for recreation. This will explain why we progress from one species to other, and that is simply experience each and every aspect of creation. If we still desire form some lower aspect of creation then we go back to it, Jadbaratha's story. But once we are here in human life we gets stuck in samsarara and build all the karmas and suffering. Again no body imposed it on us, we ourselves are responsible for our birth and suffering.

4 years 8 months ago

Wish I extinguish both Prarabdha and Sanchitha in this very birth with Sadhguru's Grace. Sadhguru, see me through...