The Moral Imbalance

By Rudra Shivananda

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I often come across seekers on the spiritual path who are struggling with the situation of their lives. Most of them are not aware that they are engaged in the advanced practices that cause the speeding up of karmic issues. The disruptions in their lives are a side-effect of the yogic techniques. Unfortunately, most of them are not prepared for the eruption of these issues and become depressed or give up their practices.

A few, even turn negative and let their suppressed subconscious programs take charge. This deplorable situation is due to the Western tendency to take short-cuts and to bypass the foundation practices that have been given by the past Eastern Masters.

In ancient times the sages emphasized the development and practice of ethics above all as the preeminent spiritual practice. However, in present times this has become unfashionable and there is much greater emphasize on the Guru’s grace or in the effectiveness of techniques. It is understandable because the effect of grace or the techniques are more apparent while that of morality is difficult to ascertain from our worldly perspective.

However, there is great harm in neglecting the development of moral character as part of one’s spiritual practice. Effective spiritual practices which lead to self-realization have to release the past karmas so that they can be either worked out positively or removed by further practice. However, such a release usually gives rise to emotional or mental reactions that can cause new karmic consequences. For example, memories of past traumas can give rise to emotions such as anger or despair and if one cannot detach from such emotions, they will be expressed outwardly against another person, thereby causing new negative karma. In this example, the spiritual practice, rather than help in progressing towards less karma would increase one’s karmic burden instead – a step backward.

When you are firmly grounded in positive virtues such as truthfulness and harmlessness, then you can easily process all the “stuff” that come out from your practice without being negatively effected. Rather than an emotional catharsis which causes more emotional ripples around, you would be able to release the negativity by detachment or transformation.

Transforming a negative emotion such as anger into a positive emotion such as love takes practice and does not happen automatically. That is the reason why we must form ethical habits and the moral injunctions such as those given by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras are a reminder that they are necessary.

Living life under these ethical rules helps to generate the behavior patterns that will enable us to deal with the unfolding of our karmic burdens successfully. From a subtle perspective, our nadis and chakras are purified through the practice of the ethical rules so that the chakras can be awakened. The training in ethical living leads to a moral character that is pure in thought, word and actions. A seeker who has developed this moral purity should not be confused with the religious bigots who claim such a status.

A person of pure mind has developed her sattvic or lightening character and interacts with others from a perspective of non-judgemental love. Such a person accepts others as they are and helps all who seek help. Such a person has studied their own psyche and accepts their own totality without letting the negativity take control. Such a person develops a consciousness of contentment and accepts all that live can give. Such a person is suitable to practice advanced yogic techniques because they cannot be disrupted from their purity and contentment.

Of course, I’ve sketched an ideal situation but we don’t always have the opportunity to attain such ethical, pure and contented consciousness before embarking on advanced spiritual practice.

I’ve found when talking with those who are currently suffering through their karmic issues, that just knowing that it is happening because of their own practice and that it is ultimately good since it will lessen their karmic burden, has in some ways helped them. There is still time to consider the importance of ethical rules in your spiritual life – it will smooth out a lot of the negative events and help you cope better. We cannot control what is happening around and to us, but we can control how we react to these events.

Related Articles

True Conviction in the Law of Karma

Law of Attraction and Karma

%d bloggers like this: