The Pull of Karma

by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa

In my meditation this morning, I had a chance to see something about karma. One could say that after experimenting with a lot of different types of spiritual practices over the years, I never really understood karma until this morning. Though God knows, in theory, all of the different practices, with different teachers and different perspectives that I used to explore were aimed at one thing: to clear my karma.

But what does that mean, exactly? To clear one’s karma?

When I was younger, karma was the Eastern equivalent to the good/bad sin/redemption polarity I had grown up with. Only karma gave you a lot of lifetimes to work it out. There was a sense of something being “right” and something being “wrong.” And the consequences of doing the wrong thing or the benefits of doing the right thing – that was karma. In my mind’s eye, those definitions of “right” and “wrong” were written on a wall somewhere in heaven. If I could just memorize the list and put as many stars in the “right” column as possible, then God would love me and I would be protected and taken care of somehow. 

What I saw in my meditation this morning was very different but deeply moving. Yogi Bhajan talks about the “you within you.” And the more I meditate on Gurbani and try my inadequate best to translate into English, I’ve found that “Naam” is really the experience of the You within you. The Divine Identity that lives within the heart. The Soul-Being that has come and gone through so many cycles of birth and death. And that the Naam and the mind are very different experiences within oneself. The mind has a pull. It pulls the being this way and that way – with its thoughts and desires, dreams and hopes, fears and fantasies. But the mind is not who we are. It’s a temporary identity gives to us in time and space. For this lifetime, for whatever brief purpose the Inner Being has come to the earth for.

But that Inner Being, that Divine Identity, that Naam, that You within you – has its own purpose. Its own reality and destination. And karma isn’t when you break a rule of what’s right and wrong written in some seventh heaven somewhere. Karma is inside of us, in the here and now. It’s a simple issue. The breath of life has been given to each of us as a gift. With this breath – are we delivering what the Inner Being has comes here to experience? Or not?

Gurbani talks about how the hand of the One guides everything. So how can we call anyone good or bad? When we get caught up in the judgements we might have with each other, we loose sight of our own inner judgment. It doesn’t matter what another person does. We have no control over each other, really. We can attempt to manipulate and influence. Cajole or threaten. But there’s no guarantee it’s going to work. Every human being is absolutely sovereign ultimately. And it’s a waste of breath to judge or control – though God knows it’s a very powerful habit that we can sometimes get into with each other.

But with every breath, through a meditative mind cultivated by the Guru’s words, we can judge ourselves. Am I living this moment in alignment with my spiritual Identity? Am I acting in this moment in a way that reflects the reality of my own dignity and Divinity? Am I applying the gifts of my body and the talents of my mind to deliver the journey that my soul took birth to take? Am I remembering that Deathless Light within myself? Or am I forgetting?

This is karma from what I have seen and experienced today. Those breaths, those moments, when we forget our Inner Divinity, our Inner Being and Light. And we let the pull of desire take us away from doing those things that the Spirit came here for. It’s hard because as a child, I never learned that God lives in me. Much less that the purpose of human life was to experience that. I was taught a lot of other nonsense that has never served me. It just created a lot of confusion. But when through the Guru’s teachings, we can find and touch the Naam within us – and we can know – hey – this is who I really am – then karma is simply the account we keep inside of us of when we have lived according to our Inner Divinity, or when we have betrayed ourselves -when we have betrayed our own Inner Truth. And in the name of balancing that account, we come back again and again.

I don’t have any conclusions to offer here. But what I am grateful for is to see today that this whole karma business – this whole business of coming and going – it’s between Me and me. Its between the Divine Identity that has existed since beginingless time and will continue unto Infinity – and the temporary “me” – this body, this mind that definitely had a beginning and will definitely have an end. The karma is whether or not I am capable of keeping my agreements with my Innermost Self – or whether I turn my back on that and get lost in the games of Maya. Its OK – karma happens. But I am grateful to see that its contained within me, and to know that the Guru promises that by meditating on Gurbani the balance between the mind and the Naam can happen. Everything can be put back into proper balance. And in that way, the karmas of lifetimes can fall away and the cycle of betraying my own Self can end.

May you be blessed to find the Light of the Divine within you, and to share that Light wherever you go.

Happy Valentines’ Day

All Love in the Divine,

Ek Ong Kaar Kaur

21 Responses to “The Pull of Karma”

  1. Hagrurmit SIngh says:

    Extremely well said. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes

  2. bryan says:

    I agree with Hagrurmit. And once again, thank you.

  3. Gagandeep Kaur says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Moorakh Singh says:

    I am such an ament sinner…, I can never experience the Vaheguru like you… You are an inspiration (as well as the holy Gurus) for me … I only wish there was some type of spirtual encounter that will lead me away from this casuitic world of maya..

  5. Inni Kaur says:

    Moorakh Singh: You are a ‘spark of Divine Light,’ recognize it, believe it, the rest will flow.

  6. Moorakh Singh says:

    Bibi Inni Kaur you must have experiencing the divine feeling, but how can I recongize my soul? I am struggling to to wake up in amrit vela, since High school has been hard for me… Does anyone have the experience for me to firstly recongmize my soul, whlist of the false world?
    Thanks in regards
    Bhull chuk maaf

  7. Ek Ong Kaar K Khalsa says:

    Moorakh Singh ji: Read Japji Sahib once a day – doesn’t matter what time you do it. Before you read it, spend a few minutes breathing long, slow and deep to quiet your mind. Japji Sahib has a power to help you and heal you. Try it for 40 days and let us know how it goes.

  8. Rajwant Singh Kalsi says:

    Karma as my late father used to tell me is the resultant of the deeds done in the past life and if during this life period one continue not paying serious attention to the Guru Ji´s teachings then the supreme will send back again to this earth. To attain salvation which is every ones goal one has to shun and detatch from Kam Krodh Lobh Moh and Hankar. The question which some times hits my mind is to know when the enough possessions are enough.

  9. Moorakh Singh says:

    Dear Bibi Ek Ong Kaar K Khalsa,

    Thanks for the info, in fact im going to read Japji Sahib right now!!!!!!!!! Thanks dear sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bhull chukk maaf

  10. b says:

    Gurmustuk Singh, the wallpapers in your last post were great. I was wondering if you could edit this one for me, if you have time : )

    I’d really like to have this picture but without the Ikonkaar sign in the middle?

    If that’s possible for you to do please could you upload it either on flickr or email me?

    Thanks very much.

  11. amardeep says:

    God bless you

  12. Inderpal Kaur says:

    Your article on karma was very helpful for me. It has provided a real insight for me personally.

    Thank you.

  13. Siri Simran says:

    Sat nam,

    Thank you for expressing this. It’s something I’ve been trying to put words to for a long time. Our actions, our responses, are the only things that matter in the end.

  14. karam singh says:

    thank you for these thoughts on karma..

  15. Jaspreet says:

    Very inspired writing. Thank you.

    Our minds are very tricky. Even after experiencing the gifts of Gurbani and meditation, they continue to pull you away from that peace.

  16. Ardith Kaur S. says:

    Thank you for this insight. It really is possible to live each moment to the fullest. We all just have to realize we are able to do it!

  17. Sangita Kaur says:

    I love this exposition on Karma and it was really good to see Ek Ong Kaar on the blog….hopefully I will see you at the womens weekend in Texas….?

  18. ujjalbir says:

    Iam a regular visitor to this divine site and it gets timed with the evening prayers . for many days I skipped this thought process about Karma but again came to because Karma is the essence of life you pay for your deeds here on the earth both heaven and hell are here only . As Ek Ong kar has said that the JAPJI GIVES PEACE ANOTHER THAT AMRIT WELA IS DIVINE PEACE well all these are facts of life . Destiny has no sympathy it can be very cruel . All these are facts of life some accept some mock it depends upon the the state of the mind. However if get up at amrit wela and pray than GOD has simply been kind to you .

  19. Arvinder Singh says:

    God bless you. You have explained it so wonderfully in such a simple language. It reminded me of the Shabad "Aye sareera mereya, is jag meh aaye kae, kya tudh Karam kamaya". This is exactly what is explained in what you have written as what Karam are we earning by our deeds with the help of this body of ours.Thank you so much again for posting this beautiful post.God Bless.

  20. Baldore says:

    You are right ^^ Sometimes I heard people say something like: "That person is my karma", like karma is something horrible… ^^

  21. Harmandeep Jaura says:

    Thanks so much for this insight.