The accrual of karma can be likened to the accrual of profit and loss in the accounting f our lives.
Sanchita Karma is the sum total of the unresolved karma accumulated in past lives. This is the karma that we bring from our past existences into our present existence. It determines things like the qualities with which we are born and the families into which we are born as well as the time and place of our birth which establish astrological influences in our lives. Sanchita Karma continues to accrue in our current life since, once we have acted, our present actions become part of our past.
Sanchita Karma, or accumulated karma, is karma that we have not yet burned. Until it is exhausted, it continues to generate more karma and to cause ongoing birth and rebirth. Hindu teachers tell us that we can reduce the effect Sanchita Karma through various methods of self-purification.
We can follow one of the three paths to enlightening: performing good action (which means selfless action), seeking good knowledge (which means true knowledge), or worshipping God faithfully (which means sincere, consistent worship). Or we can attain a higher level of consciousness by practicing yoga and meditation or by faithfully performing sacrificial acts.
Read more from On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar at http://irinaspage.com/philosophy/on-hinduism/
The Karmayogi does everything for God.
His mind is on God while he acts.
He wakes, sleeps, hears, touches,
smells, speaks, and breathes thinking of God.
He understands that he himself does nothing
But that God does everything through him.
God uses him to get things done.
The person who offers all he does to God
Is as untouched by sin as a lotus leaf by water.
The Karmayogi is pure.
(Gita 5:6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Yoga is the path which people can follow to become one with God. It is the path of attaining perfection so that we can know God and then merge into Him. A variety of paths can take us perfection, but they all come together at the end. However, the twists and turns along the way have created many views within Hinduism.
Hindu schools of thought are organized into different systems that go back to Vedic times and continue to evolve and flourish today. The distinctions between them turn on slightly different perspectives of God’s nature and of what the best paths to the goal of self-realization may be. Self-realization means finding God within ourselves. It is enlightening or seeing God’s light and becoming freed from the cycle of birth and death. Enlightenment leads to becoming one with the absolute eternal spirit that transcends the universe.
Read more from On Hinduism, by Irina Gajjar at http://irinaspage.com/philosophy/on-hinduism/
Yoga is an ancient discipline. It is far more than mind and body exercise. It is a way to perfect yourself. Yoga teaches us to achieve release from all unhappiness and thereby to obtain ultimate joy. The beauty of Yoga is that its practice helps us become calmer, happier and more balanced.
Yogis are persons who progress on one of the three main pathways to liberation. Hinduism calls them Bhakti Yoga, the path of actively loving worship, Jnana Yoga, the path of learning and Karma Yoga, the path of good action.
The following yoga poses should be done in a warm room, and it helps to have a place where you know you won’t be interrupted. Focus on your breathing throughout each pose. It often helps to visualize breathing in the blue sky and breathing out the gray, helping rid your body of stress.
Points to remember:
- Move slowly in and out of the yoga poses
- Keep your breath smooth and even throughout the practice.
- Never strain or force yourself beyond your current abilities.
This simple breathing exercise brings your attention to the present moment, as well as calms your mind.
- Sit down in a comfortable position on the floor, in a chair, or on a bed, placing one hand on your belly and one hand on your rib cage.
- Close your eyes as you take deep breaths and focus on the movements of your body as you breath in and out. Feel the lift of your belly and the expansion of your ribs on your inhalations. Notice the slight compression of your ribs and the drop of your belly as you exhale.
- Release your arms and focus your mind on your breath for 5-10 minutes, inhaling and exhaling fully.
Corpse Pose, also called, Savasana, is one of the most relaxing poses in yoga.
- Lie flat on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your arms slightly away from your sides, so air can circulate around your body.
- Roll your shoulders down and back as you lengthen your neck.
- Take a mental note of areas in your body that are holding tension as you take deep breaths and focus on relaxing your muscles.
Child’s pose is a kneeling pose that is done in many different types of classes to cool down and relax.
- Kneel on your mat with the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
- Sit back on your heels, and slowly lean forward resting your chest on your legs and your forehead on the floor.
- You can place your arms on the floor by your sides so your palms are facing up., or extend the arms overhead for an added upper back stretch. If Child’s Pose is difficult for you, place a pillow on your thighs to support your upper body.
Standing Forward Bend
The standing forward bend uses the force of gravity to gently stretch your back, legs and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides.
- Bend your knees slightly and distribute your weight evenly between your feet.
- Pull your abdominal muscles in as you bend forward at your hips and waist. Allow gravity to pull your upper body and arms toward the floor.
- Taking deep breaths, hold this position for 30 seconds to two minutes.
- Return to standing by bending your knees, and placing your hands above your knees to support your lower back as you stand up.