Questions About Karma

“So much of our karma can be dissolved simply by meditating. We get rid of the stresses that cause us to behave in all kinds of irrelevant ways.”

Thom Knoles

The notion of karma raises a lot of questions, often because the concept is totally misunderstood. It’s most commonly seen as a cosmic form of reward and punishment, but nothing could be further from the truth.

It is certainly a tool for course correction, but it doesn’t come with any of the judgment that is attributed to it. 

In this episode, Thom addresses listener questions, tackling issues such as instant karma vs delayed karma, why we still seem to experience karmic effects even when we’re doing all that we can to advance our evolutionary progress, and why we might choose a life of suffering rather than comfort.

These are common questions, but the answers Thom gives are by no means common. This is an episode you might want to put on repeat for a while so the learning can really sink in.

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Episode Highlights


Q- Why does karma have varying timeframes for resolution?



A – The Cause of Karma



Relationship Between Karma and Kriyā



Instant Karma



Moving Between Karma and Kriyā Zones



The Relationship Between Meditation and Karma



The Role of Meditation in Preventing and Resolving Karma



How to Undo Karma



Instant Detection of Karma



Q – Can current difficulties be a result of karmic habits?



Karmic Debt



Mastering Rounding for a Deeper Meditation Practice



The Power of Rounding in Dissolving Karma



Don’t be a Bull in a China Shop



Q – Why does consciousness choose life in an abusive environment?



The Story of Ashtavakra: Spiritual Guru with Deformity



Ashtavakra’s Calloused Chin



The Role of Karma in Ashtavakra’s Life Story



Ashtavakra’s Choice



Buddha: The Abusive Life of a Child in a Palace



Enlightenment of Buddha



Karma and Unfinished Business



Ideal Families Don’t Guarantee Enlightenment



The Science of Jyotish



We Make the Choice of Birth Timing and Parents


Jai Guru Deva


[00:45] Q- Why does karma have varying timeframes for resolution?

Why does karma sometimes appear to be instant and in other cases takes years or even lifetimes to resolve?

[00:54] A – The Cause of Karma

There’s a couple of ways we can look at the answer to this.

The fact is karma always is instant, in terms of there being cause and effect.

What is the cause of karma? When we step outside the arena of kriyā, kriyā, K-R-I-Y-A, kriyā, it comes from the same root word from which karma comes. And the root word is kṛ, K and then an R with a dot under it, which is that rolled R sound. Kṛ means either activity of a natural type, or potentially activity of a binding type.

And then, to flesh these out more, kriyā means activity of an evolutionary nature. Life-supporting activity. Activity, which is the natural sequential elaboration of the laws of Nature, bringing about the process of evolution, bringing about the process of ever-increasing sophistication, kriyā.

When kriyā emerges out of the one indivisible consciousness field, when kriyā emerges out of the unmanifest into the world of the manifest, then it can be cognized. That is to say, one finds within oneself charm to allow one’s individuality to be used as a means whereby that universality finds expression.

My individuality discovers that a particular proposition to action is charming, and I act without hesitation, bringing that charming activity into fruition, allowing my individuality to be an agent of progressive change. I spontaneously act. This is kriyā.

[03:21] Relationship Between Karma and Kriyā

When I hesitate, or if I think to myself, I’ll do things my own way, or I know what’s charming, and I know what possibly is not charming, not helpful to things, and I’m going to do things my way, and my way, as it turns out, is not the deep inner My, it is this very small, lowercase, my way, the sense of identity that we have where, “I’m an individual bound up in a body. There’s time elapsing. There’s only a certain amount of time. Nature doesn’t really know what it’s doing.

 “Only I know what I’m doing. And without my constant interference, which I refer to as helping it along, that Nature is going to end up not actually producing fulfilling experiences for me.”

And so I jump the gun and dive into action which is irrelevant to the process of evolution and indeed may even slow down the process of evolution, then, kriyā has now turned into karma.

Kr ma. Ma is the negating sound in Sanskrit. It’s a sound which is associated with, in this particular example, being bound by something. Action that binds you. It binds you. And so then kriyā turning into karma. And karma can, in fact, if you’re in a subtle enough consciousness state, can be experienced by you as occurring instantaneously.

You begin to move away from the kriyā, this the frictionless flow of the cascades of the laws of Nature, the sequential elaboration that’s evolutionary. You start to move away from that and you can feel instant karma.

[05:36] Instant Karma

Instant karma being the experience of, “I’m moving away from that which is natural. And I can feel myself moving away from it. I can feel it. And I can feel the effect of it right away. The repercussions of it. I can feel the binding effect of it.” And so there is what we call instant karma.

Instantaneously, even if I have thoughts about to say nothing of action, if I have thoughts about bringing about activity, action, which is going to have a binding effect, a complicating effect on the way the laws of Nature are flowing here. I can feel it inside of me.

This is one of the great advantages of being a meditator, is that through the regular practice of Vedic Meditation, because of the mind regularly settling down to that least-excited state, you develop that perceptual acuity to sense when you are on track with evolution when you are the embodiment of life-supporting action versus “I’m beginning to get off track. I’m beginning to move away from the natural sequential elaboration, and I’m setting into motion things that are going to have to be undone. I can feel karma starting.” And then because I can feel it so keenly, so acutely, so instantaneously, I can immediately adjust. I can adjust my course and get back on course again. On the level of feeling, I can do that.

[07:28] Moving Between Karma and Kriyā Zones

And so then, what’s happened is by virtue of being able to instantaneously feel it, you can cause karma to move back to kriyā again very, very quickly. Very quickly. And now you’re back in the kriyā zone again.

The kriyā zone means that zone where there’s frictionless flow, and you’re letting Nature take care of everything. Nature is taking, taking care of everything, and it is giving you cues, cues into activity. Those are the charm cues. And once again, you’re back in the kriyā zone.

The karma zone is friction. I feel friction. It’s hard to get things started. It’s hard to get things done. And once I get them done, they don’t last. And there are difficulties. And then I end up having to undo things that I’ve done already.

I end up having to go back and try to change things, try to apologize, to reconstruct, to reconfirm relationships, to reconfirm boundaries, because I missed my cues, and somehow, I ended up making things very entangled, karma.

Now, what happens when we experience karma that is long-lasting? It is due to a lack of super acute sensory perception. When we don’t meditate regularly, which none of us did prior to learning Vedic Meditation, we didn’t meditate at all.

Then things that were messed up, where we caused the laws of Nature to go into complicated mode, out of the simple, natural life-supporting sequential elaboration of the cascades of one state into a more sophisticated state, from that state to another, next more sophisticated state, we ended up actually making things complicated.

[09:52] The Relationship Between Meditation and Karma

And because we didn’t meditate, there was a buildup, a banking up of these things that needed to get undone. Knots that were tied that needed to be untied. Complications of a simple thing like a rope in which you tie a knot, and now the rope can’t function. It can’t move through a pulley with great frictionlessness, ease, and smoothness. It’s lost its capacity to do so because it’s been twisted around into an undesirable configuration, which we refer to as a knot.

And now the knot needs to have some work done on it. The knot is actually nothing but rope, useful stuff, rope, but has been twisted into an elaborate, useless configuration that now needs to have some attention on it to get it all undone, to undo the knot.

This is karma being resolved. Karma being resolved means some time and some dedicated attention on the details of where things went wrong, and then having to untie and undo the complications that were created by virtue of having taken a long time after the departure from kriyā.

We departed from kriyā, and some unnecessary knots were created in the kriyā field, which now we refer to as karma, and those knots have to be undone.

So, when there is a long passage of time, then there may be a period of time where we have to spend time experiencing a slowing down, a stopping.

[11:52] The Role of Meditation in Preventing and Resolving Karma

What is it you do when you untie a knot? Well, it requires dedicated attention. You can’t untie the knot and sail the ship at the same time. You have to untie the knots and the ropes before the ship can sail and progress.

And so you bring the ship’s progress to an end, you down all the sails, and then you start untying all the knots. Once you have the knots untied, then once again, they can go back into their pulleys, which we call blocks on a ship, and the rope can now move through the pulley just fine, and it can hoist up the sails, and the ship can get progressing again. But some knots may need to be untied.

So why does some karma seem to be something that lasts for a long time? Well, it’s due to our amazing ability, as humans, to continue functioning, even with knots tied in our capacity to deliver life-supporting action.

Even with, even with the retarding effect, even with the effect of our natural flow from our deep inner Self, of desirable action, somewhat complicated by having not dealt yet with those inadvertent violations of the laws of Nature, we still manage to limp ahead and move forward.

Evolution can still go on just very, very slowly under the influence of karma. But there’s going to come a certain point where karma needs to be undone.

[13:39] How to Undo Karma

So how do we undo karma in the Vedic worldview as espoused by me and my master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his master, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, we call Guru Deva? What is the suggestion of our tradition to undo the karma?

Well, first of all, we have to give over our individuality to Universality, and we do this through our regular practice of Vedic Meditation. Every time we meditate effortlessly, correctly, our individuality more and more identifies with Universality, and many of these karmic knots can be undone, in the form of stresses unwinding during meditation.

You see, the thing is that when we depart from kriyā, and we create karma, then stress appears in the human physiology, and stress is just inappropriate reactivity to forms and phenomena that are no longer here. Irrelevant behavior in the physiology is a form of karma.

And so much of our karma can be dissolved simply by meditating. We get rid of the stresses that cause us to behave in all kinds of irrelevant ways.

And then there’s other karma, which may be the karma that we have regarding our connectivity and our relatedness with other people. And that kind of karma may actually require some more kriyā.

You meditate, and spontaneously you find that you’re able to, and desires of carrying out some repair work where you’re repairing your alliance with others. And that spontaneous capability may be one of the products that emerges from our regular practice of Vedic Meditation.

So then, as we continue to develop the sensory acuity, the acuteness of perception to be able to detect what it is that Nature actually is wanting me to do? What is Nature actually wanting me to do? And then allowing that, unhesitatingly, to flow into action, so much of this old karma is neutralized, dissolved, untied, or undone as a result of reverting on a daily basis to kriyā.

[16:22] Instant Detection of Karma

So regular practice of Vedic Meditation brings about a preponderance of kriyā in our daily activity. And some of that kriyā is the exact action that’s needed to untie the knots of karma, which are certainly due, or in many cases, overdue.

Was the karma ever able to be detected as instant? Yes. If you were a meditator way back in the day when you departed from kriyā, and you first began to embark into karma, you would’ve felt it instantly.

But because of the callousness of the senses, the hand, which regularly, without a glove, is thrust into the thorny part of the rosebush, develops calluses so that it can’t feel the thorns anymore. But that same callous hand cannot feel the rose petal either.

And then, as we remove the calluses with meditation, we increase the sensitivity. That hand can deftly move between the potential for thorns and not be pricked by the thorns, and it can also feel the petals and the beautiful, delightful sensitivity of a rose petal between the fingers.

So as we meditate, not only can we undo karma very quickly and spontaneously, we will. We don’t have to sit down and make a plan and write things out or anything. We just need to be guided by our inner Nature. It will be enough to guide us.

But we are also reverting back to where we could have been when karma was first conceived and constructed, which is having our awareness regularly floating in that kriyā zone, available for activity of an evolutionary nature, as inspired by Nature’s own intelligence that’s there in that state that we attain to every time we sit and close our eyes like that.

[18:35] Q – Can current difficulties be a result of karmic habits?

I am so grateful for the knowledge you have shared and the clarity our practice has revealed. I generally feel that baseline mooring to the infinite field of Being, but I have also noticed that greater difficulties can present themselves.

I navigate through these with minimal discomfort, thinking to myself that these must be old karmic habits or greater challenges to help stabilize my inner Being. Can you please verify and validate what is true here, and if Nature’s support eventually comes in the form of total ease and fewer challenges?

[19:09] Karmic Debt

 It’s true what you say about how there may be, in a sense, a karmic “debt” that we’ve now become aware of, that forestalls our ability to move forward with that frictionless flow that we’ve become so used to as meditators.

Let’s think of the debt, instead of being a debt, as simply time now to release, to unwind, to disentangle, to undo a knot that had unnecessarily been created in the past, and to move forward with that frictionless flow. So sometimes it requires some dedicated quiet time.

Nature will undo the knots for us, if our individuality is able to give itself over to Nature’s intelligence, but this does require some time of disengagement from regular activity.

And what I’m alluding to here very gently, to begin with, but now with greater assertion, is getting away on meditation retreats and doing rounding. When we do rounding, a “round,” R-O-U-N-D, means, to learn how systematically to do a specific set of positions that come from the ancient yoga tradition.

A position is known as an asana, A-S-A-N-A, physical asana. It’s a physical way of moving the body in a particular fashion that prepares the body for transcendence, for diving beyond relativity, asana.

Pranayama. Prana, prana is the life force in the air. Yama means to administer something. Pranayama is to administer prana to yourself in a particular way. The asanas that are required for doing a round are able to be done in about 10 to 15 minutes. The pranayama can be done in three to five minutes of just an innocent, alternate nostril breathing technique.

[21:46] Mastering Rounding for a Deeper Meditation Practice

And then meditation in the usual way, followed by lying down. This is referred to as a “round.” And then rounding means to do multiples of those.

Now, this should never be attempted by any meditator in isolation, nor should it be done by iPhone instruction or iPad instruction or online instruction. Rounding properly needs to be done with the direct, in person, and by in person,now that those words have been played with a lot in the age of the internet. By in person, I mean molecule to molecule, a human being’s body in the same room as your body.

A teacher of Vedic Meditation, who is an expert on the subject of rounding, needs to be present in the room with you, molecule to molecule, in person, that kind of in person, not the FaceTime in person. And can show you and observe your responses, show you how to do rounds properly, in a proper retreat setting, where you’ve gone away from your regular home environment where the demands of home are now no longer your demands.

And you’re in a special retreat environment where you can dedicate yourself to the proposition of doing some industrial-strength meditating, which is my rather jocular way of referring to what rounding means.

You get down to doing multiple rounds before lunch, have your lunch, have some talks, some lectures, some knowledge, while digesting your food, you can’t do rounds. And then, when digestion has come to a conclusion in the early afternoon, you can start rounding again and do multiple rounds before dinner.

[23:50] The Power of Rounding in Dissolving Karma

How many rounds you would do? You would follow the instruction of the qualified Vedic Meditation Initiator, who is taking you through this program.

And this is the way to undo karma. How to undo karma? How to undo that which is overdue. The overdue release of those twists and turns that have been put into the human physiology as a consequence of individuality trying to do things its way.

And individuality, having ignored the natural creative intelligence impulses that come from the deep inner silence, which would’ve been kriyā. Kriyā, frictionless karma, free activity of an evolutionary life-supporting nature. Karma the consequence of departing from kriyā. Consequence of departing from kriyā.

How do we dissolve karma? We do rounding. Rounding may also give rise to natural conclusions about, and impulses of charm that come from inside, about things that need to be done to repair alliances that may have been damaged during the karma years. And this may spontaneously occur as a result of rounding.

But to embark on an attempt to undo our karma without regularly visiting that least-excited layer, we might be making the karma worse. We’ve tied some knots in the rope already, and we might tie some more knots in the rope, while we go back and try to untie the previous knots.

Let’s not attempt to work on the karma with the very thing that caused the karma. That which caused the karma was individuality thinking that it knows better than Universality.

This is what caused the karma in the first place. And for individuality to then try to use what it considers to be its prowess, because maybe you read a book or maybe you went to a Tony Robbins course, or maybe you did something that, by the way, Tony’s a great person and a meditator, and I love him.

[26:29] Don’t be a Bull in a China Shop

But trying to make decisions that you’re going to go and undo all of your karma off your own bat, based on what your individual reckoning might be about damage that you might have done in the past, and you wanna undo that damage, you could be just making a bigger mess.

And so then let’s let cosmic intelligence intervene by letting our individuality, with greater regularity, dip into, dive into experience, and let’s change our individual identity into the identity of cosmic intelligence itself.

Sometimes the very best action for undoing karma is no action whatsoever. Other times, the very best action for undoing karma is spontaneous, right action that comes from deep inside the layer of our own consciousness that is unified with that Totality.

But let’s not sit outside of the industrial-strength meditation zone and say, “All right, I’ve figured it out. I have to do this. I have to do that. I have to stop doing that. I have to start doing this.”

 Trying to use our individuality to repair the damage… there’s that old analogy of a bull in a China shop. I mean, China shop is a shop where you have fine China saucers and plates and glasses and cups and all kinds of things, and the bull goes in there. And every time the bull turns around trying to fix something, that it broke. The process of turning around causes more things to fall down and break. Let’s not continue to be a bull in a China shop.

Let’s make ourselves into, allow ourselves to become one with the infinitely nimble and agile cosmic intelligence that can repair any wrongs that have been done in the past. And sometimes this will be done just by doing nothing. Other times it may require some natural activity. But we receive our inspiration from that least-excited state, not from merely the conscious thinking level.

[28:57] Q – Why does consciousness choose life in an abusive environment?

I heard you once say that consciousness chooses its new parents and new life before being reborn again. Why would consciousness sometimes choose life into an abusive environment? Is this consciousness choosing its own karma? And if so, what would its previous life have looked like in order for this type of karma to be necessary?

[29:21] The Story of Ashtavakra: Spiritual Guru with Deformity

See, the thing is that abusive doesn’t always end up remaining abusive. There was a great saint once named Ashtavakra. Ashta, in Sanskrit, it means eight. The number eight. Vakra means right angles, like 90-degree angles, Vakra.

But with reference to human physiology, it means a deformity. So we have eight straight bones in our body. The shins, the femur, the thigh, the forearms, and the upper arms altogether eight straight bones, big straight bones. The big straight bones.

Imagine each one of those bones, at birth, being bent at right angles, 90-degrees. Instead of being straight from the knee to the foot, there was a 90-degree angle between the knee and the foot. And a different 90 degree angle between the left and right leg.

Instead of having a straight bone between the hip and the knee, each of these both were also at right angles. Instead of having straight bones between the elbow and the wrist, each of those left and right, also at two disparate right angles. Instead of having a straight bone between the shoulder and the elbow, each of these was bent at right angles.

A congenital form of rickets that had been the birth reality of a particular baby who ended up with the name that described him, Ashta- eight, Vakra, Ashtavakra. When we look up Ashtavakra, we see there is a great Samhita, Samhita, S-A-M-H-I-T-A. Samhita means a treatise, a bringing together of ideas, Samhita.

[31:26] Ashtavakra’s Calloused Chin

And the Ashtavakra Samhita is considered to be one of the greatest sources of wisdom of the entire pantheon of Vedic knowledge. A concise, succinct expression of the growth between Cosmic Consciousness to God Consciousness to Unity Consciousness.

All written by this man who was an embodiment of deformity. He was so deformed that he had to, in order to move across a room, he had to stay on the floor. He could never get into a chair or any kind of elevated place. And he crawled along the floor, dragging himself and all of the useless limbs using his chin.

And it’s said that he developed a callous on the end of his chin, something akin to the heel of the foot, to drag himself from room to room across the floors. When he taught, he taught from behind a screen, because his appearance was so disturbing to people that he didn’t want them to be distracted by how he looked, though he had a beautiful voice.

And so people became great devotees of his. And one of these devotees was a king. The King of Western India, known as Janaka. Janaka was famous for something else. He had a daughter by the name of Sita, who married Rama, an avatar of Vishnu, and together their story is known as the Ramayana.

Americans and British say Ramayana. But it’s not actually Ramayana. It’s Rama yana. Ramayana, one of the most ancient epics of India. I strongly recommend you read it, especially the translation by Ramesh Menon.

[33:35] The Role of Karma in Ashtavakra’s Life Story

Why are we talking about Ashtavakra? The Raj Guru, Raj means King. Guru, guru is a Guru, a teacher.

The King Guru to King Janaka, father of Sita, a most sought after great guru, when asked once, “Why did you choose that body?” Because the Vedic worldview is that we have a menu of choices at the time when we’re contemplating returning to the Earth. It’s not a choice. A choice is not a choice. There’s only one thing. There are choices.

To which Ashtavakra commented, “In my past existence, I was a beautiful man, absolutely beautiful. And I knew it and everyone else who looked at me knew it. It was so distracting being beautiful.

“Even though I had a great interest in enlightenment, I had a great interest in becoming an enlightened being. My beauty was the greatest obstacle to it because people would just stare at me with wonder and amazement.

“And the desire in their heart was to just to spend more time with me, not because of any wisdom I possessed, I possessed hardly any, but because they loved looking at me. It was all the physicality of it.” And that was also due to change because age changes everyone. Shakespeare wrote so beautifully, in Romeo and Juliet, a rose must bloom, it then must fade; so dost the youth, so dost the fairest maid. So like that, long before Shakespeare, Ashtavakra knew all about this.

[35:33] Ashtavakra’s Choice

And then his body aged, and he reached the end of his existence without having gained enlightenment. And in the in-between space, he was confronted with the possibility of once again becoming a beauteous creature, or choosing the body of someone who was deformed. And he chose the deformed body because he wanted no distractions from physicality.

Physicality obviously would provide some distraction because he had to learn how to operate in that deformed body. But he didn’t want anyone distracting him with notions of love or infatuation over his beauty.

He just wanted to be a teacher. And that he became, by a very early age, it’s said that by the age of 11 or so, he had entered into Unity Consciousness. And from that time on, only ever taught, and was a very sought-after teacher.

There are so many things that face us at the time when we’re looking at the menu, for our parents. Some of them are things that might satisfy the desire not to be brought up in a materialistic existence. To have a life of adversity in advance of seeking our enlightenment could, in fact, be an advantage, if we have a certain heightened consciousness state already.

So we are born, our consciousness state is a leftover of whatever work we did in our previous life. And it’s possible that we would choose an environment in which we’re not going to lead the cushy life of someone who’s provided everything by their parents, provided nothing but admiration and love, provided everything, all material comforts and so on, because we want to snap out of the illusion of materialism quickly.

[37:41] Buddha: The Abusive Life of a Child in a Palace

And so, what snaps us out of the illusion of materialism quickly? Some adversity in young life. So many great masters were born into adversity, and we might ask the question, why? Even Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama Shakya, those are his three names, his three names at birth, was born to a psychotic father, who was convinced that his son, because of a astrological reading that said so, his son must not ever learn anything about spirituality, which would come if he learned anything about suffering.

And so he made sure that he and his wife always wore makeup and wigs as they aged so that no graying hair could be seen. Anyone who was suffering inside the palace walls would be exported outside the walls very quickly. No aging could be seen by the boy. This is psychosis and a form of abuse.

The boy was married off at the age of 13 to a girl who was a palace courtier, whose entire life was enslaved to being nothing but the perfect wife for the Crown Prince, Siddhartha Gautama Shakya, who later on became Buddha.

We think of this as being a life of a child that’s terribly spoiled, but in fact, it’s an abusive life. To know absolutely nothing about aging, to know nothing about disease, and to have everyone just saying yes to you all the time is a working definition of hell.

[39:25] Enlightenment of Buddha

There’s something deep inside of him, who knew this isn’t the reality and he lived day after day of a restless life. But he chose it. He chose this and eventually left, departed with great heartbreak, leaving a note for his wife and his young son. And here’s the spoiler alert for the happy ending. Later on, they became disciples of his when he became Buddha. That was much later on.

But leaving a note for them, saying, I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve gotta go find the truth, then starving himself. Going into the forest, he thought maybe by being an ascetic saint, if he could starve himself. Then somehow by making the body completely miserable, he could somehow gain enlightenment of the mind, but it didn’t work.

He made himself so thin from fasting that, by his own description, when he felt his belly with his fingertips, he could feel the spine of his back through feeling his belly.

There was one point where he and a friend of his clenched their fists for years because they wanted to have the experience of their fingernails growing into the palms of the hands. Never unclenching the fist day or night so that the fingernails would perforate the hand and come out through the back of the hand.

And even with this degradation and deprivation of the human body, no great enlightenment occurred. Nearly killing himself with austerities.

And then eventually, he found a middle way, and his consciousness blossomed out into Nirvana, and then he became the Buddha. Born into various kinds of different bodies, different environments, abusive environments, and all that, using those as a leverage into spirituality.

[41:38] Karma and Unfinished Business

If you’re not going to find happiness at home, if you’re not going to find happiness in parents, if you’re not going to find happiness in materialism, where are you going to find it? The plan is made prior to birth. There are some people who are born into opulent and illustrious families, who don’t need any of that because they have a different kind of karma.

Karma is something we choose how it’s going to be applied. In what way will we apply it? Karma has to do with unfinished business.

There are a few factors that have to do with the choice that we make when faced with the menu of parents that we can choose at the time of making that choice before we enter a body. And one of those is unfinished business.

Unfinished business with those to whom were going to be born. Unfinished business with those whom we’re going to meet, those who may be siblings, or those who may become acquaintances. Unfinished business.

What kind of karma could we have with them, where we get born to them and they’re not pleasant to us? We don’t know who those people were in a previous life. Maybe we were their father or their mother. Maybe we were unpleasant to them.

As you sow, so shall you reap. This is a standard saying that, though my quote of it just now is biblical from Jesus, it’s nonetheless the same quote in slightly different words in every wisdom tradition on earth. As you sow, so shall you reap.

[43:29] Ideal Families Don’t Guarantee Enlightenment

And so we have some unfinished business, but we can use the unfinished business to gain our enlightenment, and that’s the real point. We can use the idea that if you are brought up in an ideal family, that you’re just going to suddenly get enlightened because you’re in an ideal family. This is not true.

I can tell you many, many children who are born to Vedic meditators, born to teachers of Vedic Meditation, who, even though the knowledge is right there and available to them, do not partake of it. They don’t use it.

Even though they were born to either quasi-enlightened, or illuminated, or even enlightened parents, they don’t have any use for Vedic Meditation. They don’t have any use for the product, and they make themselves suffer. They make themselves suffer even though their parents didn’t do that. So many times, it’s the case.

What is it that we’re doing at the time that we’re making a choice? We’re making a choice to expedite our arrival at the conclusion that the material world, the circumstantial world, is not the answer. In fact, it could be a very wise choice.

We’re making a choice that will drive us towards spirituality as fast as possible, whatever it takes. And if it takes parents who are either just dumb and ignorant, or even actively abusive, because of their own incapability, their own desperation, then if that’s what it takes, I’m gonna get enlightened, no matter what it takes. Put me in there. And if it satisfies the criterion of meeting the demand for unfinished business being finished, then that may also be part of it.

[45:29] The Science of Jyotish

But more than anything else, the one thing that draws us into a body is the ability of the parents to be available for the timing of your birth. When you’re a soul wanting to get a body with two particular parents, being the providers of that body, you really have quite a lot of power.

You can pull strings and make them feel sexy on a particular night or day. Night or day doesn’t matter, right? And make them feel sexy and have the baby-making cuddles at a time that suits you and what is it that would suit you? You project forward 40 weeks to the day of your birth because you want to be born under particular stars.

We call this Jyotish in Sanskrit, J-Y-O-T-I-S-H. It means inner light, but it’s the light on the way in which the starry world and world of planets impacts on your opportunities in life. And more than any other feature in the menu search, is the feature of, can I get these people to procreate exactly 40 weeks away from the period of time that I wish to be born, so that I’m born under the stars I wish to be born under? Give or take.

I have a child who was supposed to be born on the 1st of January but went 12 days overdue and got born on the 12th of January, because that happened to be the birthday of my master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was born on the 12th of January.

[47:23] We Make the Choice of Birth Timing and Parents

And this son of mine not only was born on the 12th of January, he was born within an hour of the birth time of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And this impressed Maharishi so much that he was born on that particular day that Maharishi instructed a particular name to be given to him. And it was very rare for Maharishi ever to give a Sanskrit name to a Western child.

But this particular child was given a Sanskrit name. It was bestowed on him by Maharishi because he was born at that time, a very attention-getting act.

You make an arrangement for parents to feel baby-making cuddles coming on, and then it looks as though you’re gonna be born a little early, but you stay in there and stay in utero and hang on and hang on and hang on for 12 extra days and get born at the time you want to get born.

So a lot of our menu choosing has also to do with what kind of starry and planetary array we wish to be born under. And we do have quite a lot of control over that too. And it might even be, in order for me to get born under those stars, I need to have these parents who are ignorant. And so I’ll choose the ignorant parents if I can get born under those stars because, for the longest period of my life, it’s going to be the stars that matter, not the parents. Like that.

So we need to think more broadly on the subject. It’s a big, vast subject.

Jai Guru Deva.

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