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YOGA OF MIND – 8. Mind and Karma

To attain wealth without any effort, one being born rich or poor, one being healthy or sick, good friends becoming sworn enemies are merely the act of “Karma”. This was the view held by our forefathers. The rationalists did not endorse the karma theory. Later on however, after a deep study and research pertaining to the mind, sub-conscious mind etc., they will accept it. By overcoming the karmic effects they have encountered many obstacles and they were removed and have encountered many obstacles and they were removed and have altered the course of their lives towards a better goal. 

What is karma? How it follows the man? How it functions? Let us takeup the study of karma in stages. The word “karma” connotes “doing or acting”. Man performs karma in his mind, his body and by his words. These can be of two categories viz., good and bad acts. Those acts that are done to do good and bad acts. Those acts that are done to do good to oneself and others are called good acts; Those acts done to cause ill-effects to oneself and others are called bad acts. Once the act of good or bad is done it over; but its “Samskaras” (influences) will always remain. It gets implanted in one’s deep subconscious mind. Such influence often some to the fore-mind and brings out those acts from the memory lane. 

We climb a big tree and bring down a big honey comb. When we finish the act of bringing the honey comb, the karma or the act is complete. But when we describe at a later date to a friend, how the tree was climbed and the honey comb was brought down, the influences of climbing the tree and bringing down the honey comb comes from the subconscious mind and the mind transforms itself into these acts. We call it “Chitha” in Sanskrit or sub-conscious mind in English. These influences remaining embedded in the sub-conscious mind can be rightly compared to a video tape. Like playing a particular item from the video tape we recall the particular instance from our sub-conscious mind. 

In reality, mind is “sub- conscious mind.”  The fore minds is a mere projection of it. It is like the legs of a tortoise. The fore-mind acts according to the impulses of sensory organs as explained before. The tortoise withdraws its legs whenever it wants; similarly fore-mind is indrawn by the sub-conscious mind when it desires to do so. This is a state when the force-mind is with the sub-conscious mind. Pathanchali Yoga – Sutra says through the various aphorisms, how to control “chitha” – or sub-conscious mind. 

When a man leaves the physical world the sub-conscious mind like the video tape which records all his influence good and bad done during his life time and remains with him in his sub-conscious mind till he takes a suitable rebirth. This happens to be the cause for taking a birth in a good or bad place. We call it as “karma”. Thus “Chitha” or sub –conscious mind does not directly act but though the fore-mind.

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