I was reading the story from Mahabharata the other day about how a dog followed Yudishtra all the way till the heavenly abode when he wanted to enter the same with his body. I had my gentle grandmother’s voice ring in my ears ” adu awaroda dharmam di” (What followed him was his dharma) As with many things today I wondered if it was right. What really follows you all your life? Is it your Dharma or is it your Karma?
To unravel this question I had to look back into my own life what really came with me all my life? It was my actions (karma) and my founding principles(dharma)… they would not only come with me this life time it may come with me to my next life too. It will never leave you even when every thing alive and inanimate leaves you it would be there guiding and making things happen with you. No one is capable of being with you like your own karma and dharma. (Think of the”hutch” ad puppy).
I have often heard people come and talk about “how to get rid of Karma?” ,”How to burn bad Karma?” I have been guilty of wondering about the same. Which today in hindsight looks very funny. Doing anything heinous with your Karma seems like a foolish attempt, which not only leads to a very shameful failure… it also leads to things coming back more at you. For your own welfare I would prefer to profess that we need to understand our Karma. Our own Karma has a very funny way communicating about itself to us. It communicates using patterns… Like sound waves it keeps sending us the same message until we get it. When we see the biggest patterns and we are able to analyze the root of those patterns which may be caused by our past we may be able to begin taming our Karma. Once we know the root it is easier to tame these patterns and prevent them from happening again and again and replace them with healthier patterns. As an example, I had a very strong pattern of enslaving myself to love and attention indiscriminately. Once I saw the painful associations and negative behaviorsit was bringing in my life. I would be able to channelize this pattern to restrict this with someone whom I can trust not to hurt. Now what will guide my discrimination would be my Dharma. Which would tell me that the healthy relationship I can invest this emotion would be my spouse.
With this clean up of patterns in your life. You will notice amazing things, first of all the life that you lead will become significantly uncomplicated. You will be step away from from your actions and observe them as you engage in them. You will also notice you accumulate far less Karma than when you did while you were a slave of your own patterns… Do not let the dog lead you, u lead the dog. What should lead you should be your dharma. It should carve every single step in your life. The principle advantage of following Dharma and letting that rule your actions is you are effortlessly not hinged to the results. Nor do you feel like taking credit for the fruits that Dharma has yielded to you. You become a karma yogi effortlessly if all you can do is simply follow Dharma.
Now why did Yudishtra go to hell for taking his dog along with him . Because he was proud of his dharmic adherence. Now apply that to your own life imagine you lead life of Dharma but you start collecting brownie points for it. It would eventually lead to your downfall again. So how do we prevent this from happening? Surrender the brownie points to the guru who showed you what your swadharma was. Karma is a dog, don’t run behind it, stand down, stare back and lead it and leash it with your Dharma. You will then never want to burn your Karma, it will be your best friend.