By Dev Suroop Kaur Khalsa – originally written for the 2004 Fall Aquarian Times
Of all of the spiritual vernacular in use today, ‘karma’ is the word that we probably hear most often. Karma is explained scientifically by Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “Every action has a reaction, equal and opposite.”
Simply stated, when we create a cause through our actions and thoughts, and we do not complete or resolve what we have created, we must incarnate again to complete it. Everything that we are today—both positive and negative–is a result of what we have created in the past.
Everything that we become tomorrow is the result of what we create today. Our fears, limitations, old patterns, reactions to our environments, habits and feelings inhibit our ability to feel the Infinity of the moment and complete what has been created.
The resulting karmas create the behaviors, patterns and circumstances in our lives that are sometimes unpleasant and can even be outright destructive. Usually we don’t understand these behaviors. Sometimes, we’re aware of them but unable to control them.
Where there is Dharma, there is No karma
Dharma is a way of living whereby we transcend karma and live in alignment with our true purpose in life. This does not mean that we lose our humanness and capacity to feel and experience. Rather, it’s that we gain enough clarity and capacity that, in the face of great challenge, we choose actions that elevate us and bring us toward Infinity.
Instead of a commotional and reactionary approach to life that creates negative consequences, we truly can channel our emotions into devotion and move through life with ease.
By chanting, reciting and vibrating the sound current, we gradually dissolve those burdensome patterns that grip us. In time, the old karmas become loosened up enough and dissolve, setting into motion a whole domino effect where false beliefs and scripting can fall away, resulting in a more elevated life. What a relief.
It’s like paying off a high-interest credit card. You feel awful that you have the debt but have a hard time shaking it. Finally, after facing the music, you discipline yourself and begin pecking away at the debt and eventually pay it off. You feel better – uplifted and released from being beholden to a creditor.
Reciting the 32nd Pauri of Japji Sahib pays your debts and completes your karma. As you can see from this translation, Guru Nanak states that choosing an active path of deep devotion yields Grace—a state of ease, virtue and divine assistance—as a gift of the Creator.
Ik doo jeebhao lakh ho-eh lakh hoveh lakh vees
Lakh lakh gayraa aakhee-a-eh ayk naam jagdees
Ayt raa-eh pat pavaree-aa charee-ai ho-i ikees
Sun galaa aakaash kee keeta aa-ee rees
Nanak nadaree paa-ee-ai kooree koorai thees.
If my one tongue
Were to become two,
And the two to become
And the million
To become 20 million,
Then millions and millions
I would recite and speak
Of the One Spirit
Pervading and guiding
On this path,
The spouse climbs
Step by step
To Union with Thee.
Hearing what is recorded
In the Akashic records,
Even the lowest beings
Have a longing
To return home.
Grace is brought in
As a gift of the Creator.
Those who praise themselves-
False and ever false are they.
~ this translation by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa
Suggestions for Practice
A Shabad should be recited 11 times a day for a minimum of 40 days to experience its power. Recite in English or in Gurmukhi transliteration, both are beneficial. However, reciting in Gurmukhi allows you to better access the power of the mantra, and as the words are recited in proper Naad or sound current, the tongue hits the meridian points on the upper palate, effecting a change in consciousness. Work carefully to pronounce the words properly. The Sikh Dharma International Japji App is a pronunciation resource for this Pauri.