Topic:   Yoga
Author: Swami Sitaramananda   DATE: Oct 15, 2016   Comments: 0

Articles by Swami Sitaramananda

Liberation from Suffering

Very often people ask the questions, “What is my mission?” or “What is my goal in life?” They feel they do not know their purpose and embark on a soul search mission to find it. However, you will never find the purpose of your life by asking questions from the ego. You are trying to find the answer in the wrong place.

If you suffer, it is due to the karma of the past. Experiences or pressure to complete unwanted tasks bring suffering. If you continue to react in the same way you always have your suffering perpetuates. Following what you like and avoiding dislikes is operating out of karma. So is reacting to experiences according to the habits of your mind. The ego's point of view is always based on karma. Karma can never fulfill your soul and free you from the wheel of samsara, the birth and death and suffering. 

We need to switch from operating out of karma to operating through dharma. When actions are done selflessly, then karma becomes dharma. Dharma is the universal law that seeks to bring all to a state of perfection. When we follow the flow of the Divine Will rather than the ego, we realize the purpose of the soul and fulfill our spiritual needs.

How can we move from karma to a way of living according to dharma, and from there to moksha, to liberation? Through selflessness.

Selflessness means you offer everything up to God, a higher power or humanity. You offer your skills, talents, personality and time. Now, if I offer myself but hold on to one half, will that transform karma to dharma? No. I have to offer it all and then let go. That is called selflessness. You give and let go of the results. Then karma will be transformed to dharma. Karma will still happen but you don’t identify with it anymore. Karmic action is transformed into dharma, or into right action which will free you and fulfill your soul.

This is what you have been looking for. This will bring meaning to your life. Selflessness allows you to experience joy.

If you have a skill how can you turn it into dharma? Let us take the example of poverty. You think, “ I am very poor and I am suffering through this karma.” Offer this poverty up to a higher power and work with the poor – with people who don’t have money, enough to eat or live in a slum. By doing so you become rich. You find richness of the spirit because you work with suffering people. You understand poverty because you experienced and suffered firsthand. As you serve people your mind will change and your soul will become enriched. Simultaneously, you see your personal poverty very differently because its transcended. You become so rich and so happy.

Another example: Our karma may be an enthusiasm for life. Then we can serve those who are enthusiastic about life, for example children. Your enthusiasm for life can turn into spiritual joy. 

Whatever is in your mind, serve so you can let go of the ego identification through selflessness. Then connect to your true self and free yourself from karma. This is the formula. 

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