धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः। Dharmo Raksati Raksitah.

Dharma protects those who protect it.

– Veda Vyas, Mahabharat

What Determines Life, Karma Or Free Will – Sadhguru Explains

Source: Facebook – Isha Foundation


There have been numerous explanations of Karma prevalent in Hindu society through the ages, and the one that classifies Karma as an overly simplistic, if somewhat fearsome ‘Reward and Punishment’ formula has gained maximum traction with lay people over centuries.

While a serious seeker of Jnana Yoga or a diligent sadhaka of Raja Yoga, or even a pious devotee of Bhakti Marg may begin to unravel the layers of the profound and unrelenting theory of Karma with an inner, esoteric understanding, ordinary folk with their concerns of worldly duties and responsibilities, are often left groping for a deeper understanding of Karma and how it impacts their lives in a real way.

In this video, Sadhguru gives a simple yet succinct explanation of the concept of Karma which is easily relatable to ordinary people in present times. He sheds light on what is Karma, how we can make a conscious choice to influence our Karma and what role does our Free Will play in this choice. He clarifies that Karma is not a mere ‘Reward and Punishment’ equation as that is a simplistic understanding. Karma is the residual effect of our emotions, thoughts, words and actions that stays within the memory and influences our subsequent emotions, thoughts, words and actions. Whatever we thought or felt in our emotions yesterday, sticks on in our memories and influences what we think or feel today.

Sadhguru further elaborates that memory is not just related to our minds, but exists on many different levels, including in our body, our chemistry and our energy fields. These memories of past emotions, thoughts, words and actions come to the fore and act themselves out, hence influencing how we think, feel or act today. However, the key to break free from the influence of these memories, is to be conscious of the present moment and to be conscious of the memory that is trying to influence us. That is how we can have the power to use these memories in a positive manner and learn from them and rectify whatever we did wrong, so that we can do it differently today. So, the same Karma which we did in a certain way yesterday, can be done differently today, if we are conscious of it at the present moment.

Although we cannot change how we did the Karma yesterday, whether we did it negatively or positively, but we can change the Karma we do today by being conscious of it, by choosing to do it positively. The power to change our Karma today is always in our control. We always have the choice to change the way we do any Karma today, in the present moment. This power to choose is our Free Will and we can always control how we exercise it.

Do watch the video to get these simple yet profound gems of understanding from the Master, so that the ancient wisdom of the theory of Karma can be applied effectively in everyday life.


Featured Image Credit: https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en/wisdom/article/experienced-god-sadhguru