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Karma and Dharma 1

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Hare Krishna I am very happy that I have this opportunity to address all of you My name is Bhakti Vijnana Goswami. I have never been to Greece. Maybe in the future if I have good luck. But, somehow or other, I was asked to give this Sunday lecture and different topics were suggested and I combined a few topics that were suggested. In particular, I will speak about the law of "karma", its relationship with "dharma" how the consequences of karma work, what kind of diseases we can get because of karma and what to do with this karma. This is a very relevant topic because we are all dealing with this karma. Something which is inevitable, which is following us, pursuing us as fate. Incidentally, it is a topic of great Greek tragedies, ancient Greek tragedies. The main theme of these tragedies is how we are all dependent on some unseen cruel and inescapable force which is pursuing us, which is, more or less, pushing us to do the destiny or providence. There are many many words in English and in any other language describing this phenomenon. And we all know that sometimes something happened to us and we know that it was destined to happen. Sometimes, we get some prediction, an astrologer will tell us this or some mystic or sometimes we can get a dream, maybe a pleasant dream, maybe not so pleasant dream and something happens to us. So, this notion of karma, this understanding of karma, the understanding that there is some sort of predestined in our life is prominent in every culture and people give different explanations, but definitely the most comprehensive and most detailed explanation of this phenomenon is given in Vedic literature. And in Vedic literature, this phenomenon is called "karma", "the law of karma", the consequences of our actions, not necessarily performed in this lifetime, it can have been performed in some previous lifetimes, but, the main rational behind this understanding of this law of karma is that nothing happens without a reason. Sometimes people say it is coincidence, it has just happened, but basically when they say this, that something happened with us, without a reason or just happened to happen with us, it just betrays our ignorance. Everything which we know happening in this world has some reason behind it. and even if it looks coincidence in the surface, there is a deeper reason and any intelligent person can understand this. And in fact, when something bad happens with us, we always have this question: "why"? "Why did it happen to me? why did it happen to me?". Because that is the nature of intelligence. Intelligence is given to us to find out the reason behind everything. And ultimately, the reason behind our existence which is God. Ultimately intelligence is given to us to find God, when we ask this question: "why? why? why? why?" But when something bad is happening to us is actually a beginning of our search for God. Our search for God can start from some other point, but usually people start really looking for God when something bad happens to them and they ask this question "why" and ultimately whether there is some intelligent design in this life. Intelligent design in what is happening to me and who is behind this and this way we are gradually coming closer to God. So, ultimately the law of karma is meant for us to become more thoughtful and ultimately to sharpen our intelligence and to come to God, because the human beings are designed in such a way that they will be able to understand themselves and to understand God. This is the privilege of human beings. Animals, they do not have this privilege, they can not understand themselves and they never ask this question: "why"? So, when we ask this question it means that our intelligence is working properly and it means that we are lucky that we are doing what we are supposed to do. So, as I said, in Vedic literature there is a very detailed explanation of the law of karma and the foremost point which we have to understand very clearly is that the law of karma, our karma which we experience has no beginning, this anadi karma. This is a very standard phrase which occurs in many places in Vedic literature. "Anadi karma" or "anadi karma phal": the fruit of beginningless karma, karma without any beginning. It is very difficult for us to deal with the categories which are beginningless. Because beginningless means causeless. So, when we say that our karma is without beginning, it means that there was no initial cause of our karma. We definitely understand that there are certain things which do not have beginning. God is one of them. God does not have beginning. Because if He has beginning it means that He has a cause, it would mean that this cause or this beginning would be higher than Him. It would imply that there is something higher, which is not possible by definition. God, by definition, is the highest. Another thing that is beginning-less is time. There is no beginning of time, because there is no cause behind time. So, in the same way, our karma is beginning-less and sometimes people try to track down our karma to a particular event in the past, but that's quite useless. But, another thing which we have to know about karma is that even though it does not have any beginning it can have an end. And that is what we are all looking for. Our karma does not have beginning, there is no point to try to track down our karma, but the good news is that it may have an end. By our conscious endeavors we may choose the path or we may traverse the path by which our karma will come to a complete stop and our different existence will start. The existence which is not karmikly determined. So, these first two points which we have to know about karma and its consequences, it does not have beginning and we can stop it, if we are intelligent enough and actually the human form of life is meant for us to stop the law of karma, to stop not the law of karma we can not stop the law of karma, but to stop our individual karma, the flow of karma. So, another thing we have to understand about karma is that karma is the universal law of justice. As I said, nothing is happening to us without any reason and we have to be very clear about this we have to understand very clearly that it's not without a cause, that something is happening to us and if something bad is happening to us this basically means that we did something bad. The law of karma is meant to maintain the balance in this universe. And usually living beings which have less intelligence, which do not have developed intelligence, they do not violate the law of karma and they do not create mess in this world. They do not create some things which will throw out of balance this material nature and therefore they are more or less meant to work out certain karma which they accumulated in the past. But the human form of life is special because we have developed intelligence and this intelligence implies that we can misuse it and misuse of our intelligence is when we act against our nature and against the nature of this world, against the laws of this world. When we try to encroach to another's share, when we try to steal, when we try to get some extra enjoyment which we are not meant to have and so on and so forth. By creating some actions which are disturbing the balance existing in this nature, we create consequences for ourselves which will disturb our balance. When we are healthy, when we are happy, and when everything is more or less nice around us, it's a balance. And actually the human body, the human mind always strives for a balance. But then, something happens to us, for example disease. Disease is definitely an imbalanced state of our consciousness and an imbalanced state of our body, of our physical self. And this imbalance is a source of pain and sufferings. And again, this imbalance takes place in our life only because we act to disturb the balance outside of us, the balance of other people's life, when we encroach to some of their possessions or when we try to exploit this material nature. Human beings are very expert in this exploitation. Exploitation basically means to get something we do not deserve to get. When we live in harmony with the environment, in harmony with our own nature and we respect the nature and the needs of all living beings which are around us particularly human beings but also animals when we do not kill unnecessarily these animals then we are respecting this balance and that is a good investment in our own life, in our own happiness, because we will more or less ensure that we will also have a balanced life, we will not have diseases and so on and so forth. At least very strong severe diseases. But even a little disease is a manifestation of some sort of imbalance. which we created. In Ayurveda it is very clearly said that the main cause of all diseases is prajna aparadha. Prajna aparadha. Prajna means intelligence, prajna aparadha means the crime against intelligence. the offense against intelligence. action which is opposed to our intelligence. So, according to this, I am talking now about different consequences of karma and disease is a very beautiful example of karmic consequences because first of all, all of us know what disease is and we experience it in one form or another form in our life, but we are using it as an exampe because any other consequences of our karma, has exactly the same nature as this particular consequence which is called disease. The very english word dis-ease means that you are in a difficult condition, you are not at ease you are not comfortable, your body is uncomfortable, your mind becomes uncomfortable and you cannot be at ease. The balanced state of our physical body and physical mind is called "ease". It is something which is very comfortable and easy. But disease is when we are deprived of this comfort or easiness. So according to Ayurveda again, there are four kinds of diseases as far as degradation of severity of disease is concerned. Some diseases are very simple and they are easily curable. It means that there is a slight imbalance in our body and the slight imbalance can be brought back to balance by some sort of balancing action. We can take some particular drugs, some herb or whatever and this herb will bring the imbalanced state back to the balanced state and we will not experience the symptoms of our disease. So this is the first sort of consequence when our action is slightly disturbing the external balance around us, the external environment and the consequences of this will also slightly disturb the balance in our body and in our mind and it can easily be counteracted by some other action which will counteract this particular stupid action done by us. So the second type of consequences is or second type of disease is disease that is curable but curable only with great effort. It is a heavy disease and it is a much more serious disease than the first one and you can cure it but you really have to take a lot of time and a lot of effort, you have to fast for a long time to purify your body from certain toxins or you have to undergo very severe sort of treatment also quite austere or you have to spend a lot of time in the hospital taking different procedures or taking very heavy drugs or very strong herbs. In Ayurveda there is some class of medicines which are based on metals in particular on mercury which are very heavy and poisonous themselves but these poisons are meant to neutralize some poisons which are accumulated in our body and in this way they get us free from the discomfort condition of disease. So in the same way there are some karmic consequences which we experience which are very difficult to counteract and basically we can only counteract them by voluntarily accepting some austerity. In Christianity it is a very common thing that people have to atone for different sins which they perform and atonement means that they have to perform some austerity, they have to voluntarily deprive themselves of certain comforts in life and most common of course austerity is fasting because our dependance on food is very very strong and therefore the suffering which we undergo or experience by fasting is very severe but by this voluntarily accepted or imposed upon us sufferings we can counteract this karma in the form of disease or in the form of any other sufferings. Or sometimes people have to do some severe, not severe but some work for others and in this way they counteract the consequences of their karma and so on and so forth. And the point is that you really have to endeavour hard for this. It is not an easy process because the consequence of your particular karma is of severe nature. It basically means that you severely disturbed somebody or nature and therefore you experience this. To give an example of this sort of consequences is when you inflict pain, inflict pain to some living entities. When people kill other living entities and enjoy their flesh then they may develop very severe diseases. And the severe diseases is the result. Ultimately what happens when we eat the flesh of murdered living entities or killed living entities, slaughtered living entities we are taking their death inside ourselves and there are a lot of toxins and therefore in different religions there are different prescriptions how to minimize these consquences And also in the Vedas it is said that you can eat the flesh of certain

Video Details

Duration: 22 minutes and 41 seconds
Year: 2018
Country: Greece
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Views: 7
Posted by: namasankirtan on Dec 21, 2018

Explanation of the law of karma and its relation with disease. Definition and explanation of dharma. Lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Vijnana Goswami.

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