Karma is your desires that you try to fulfill now in this life.
Dharma is the result of your karma that is playing out now. You have to do it until it exhausts itself.
Sadhana is one step further – it is creating space. You have to squeeze it in; it is what allows you to recognize your past mistakes that created your present situation so you can learn your Karmic lessons and not create new Karma in the future.
Most people live their lives only with the first two, Karma and Dharma; desire and duty. They create a life for themselves based on their desires and past impressions, and then spend the rest of their lives working it out, or performing Dharma, taking care of the result of their desires.
Karma is when you want something.
Dharma is when you no longer want that thing, but you still have to do it.
Sadhana is squeezing your way out.
It is something very rare, that people do Sadhana. Most people do only Karma and Dharma – for example, they get married and create children, and spend the rest of their life working out that Karma, by doing their Dharma – taking care of the kids, relationship, etc., even though at that point they no longer want it.
Sadhana is recognizing the tendencies that created your situation in the first place, and slowly, slowly trying to change, so that you don’t create new Karma. In order to do Sadhana, you have to squeeze it in – it never comes easily. That’s why it’s better not to get there in the first place – try to live your life lightly, fulfilling your Dharma and working with Sadhana so that you do not create new Karma. Then you can be free.
You have to do Dharma; Dharma is duty. By doing your duty, you can understand the lesson about what created that situation in the first place and prevent yourself from creating new Karma. Dharma is a way to liberation, but it is very, very slow. The progress is very slow. That’s why the Sadhana is so important – you can increase the speed of your evolution. Otherwise, you will live just like most people, create some karma, do your duty and die, and repeat. It is endless, can go on for a long time . . . if you do your duty, you will progress, but it is very, very slow, learning one or two lessons in a lifetime. That’s why you have to struggle, hard – do your duty, but struggle to create the space to get your Sadhana in; that is very difficult, if you are living a householder’s life.
Karma is enjoyment; fulfilling of desire. It comes from the subconscious.
You have a desire, you imagine about it, you want it, and then it comes to pass – after that, the result will be your Dharma; you have to fulfill it, even though you no longer want it.
That’s why the Yogis try as much as possible to eliminate the Karma by increasing the Dharma and really focusing on the Sadhana – then you have a chance to get out. Otherwise it is very slow.
If you are able to make Sadhana the main focus, while still fulfilling your Dharma and not creating new Karma, then you can become a powerful person, because you are more free. You are not so bound up by your past.
People that live as staff or renunciate are enjoying freedom. That is why, for example in the organization, only a handful of staff , can do so much and these people become very powerful because they are free as their life is exclusively based on Sadhana, Dharma secondly and Karma at the end and not the other way around. Therefore, do Sadhana.
~ Hari Om Tat Sat ~
© Swami Sitaramananda 2014 No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.