Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Karma Sutra: Choose the ‘middle path’ to deal with the stresses of life

Focusing on action — rather than the result of your action — will help you walk the tightrope walk between material and spiritual bliss.

business woman with laptop relaxing Shifting focus from the result of your actions to the actions themselves will help anchor your true self from drowning in the sea of uncertainty. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

The events of our life leave a lasting impression on our mind. Between our outer reality and inner reality lies our mind. This mind of ours is very often overwhelmed by the ever changing, ever demanding outer reality. When the mind is overwhelmed by the demands of the changing world, our consciousness gets crumpled. The more it identifies with the outer world, the more it gets crumpled. With this crumpling of consciousness, the self gets truly alienated from its true nature. Such a self is guided by ‘ego’ and motivated by desires. Its actions are ‘result’-oriented.

But the waves and troughs of life have a rhythm in keeping with the ever-changing nature of the material world — winter is followed by spring, pain by pleasure. When the ego self does not get the ‘desired’ result and is unable to cope with the ever-changing reality, it tends to despair.

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Read other Karma Sutra columns here

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Different people react differently to cope with the stresses of existence.

Some people try to modify their circumstances and realise their desires by manipulating space (vastu shastra), time (jyotish vidya), and matter (Ayurveda).

Some resort to inaction and choose to submit to a higher power to guide their destiny. They are almost crippled by the uncertainties and tend to withdraw from the world.

Some people choose the middle path — their focus is ‘action’, not the result of their actions. Their actions are guided by their sense of ‘duty’. This keeps them involved in their world, yet detached from it. Such people respond to the demands of the world with a sense of equanimity. They are better at fulfilling their social obligations and pay off their karmic debt without generating new ones. Such a relationship with the world allows for simultaneous achievement of material joy and spiritual bliss.

When our actions are based on ‘duty’ rather than being ‘result oriented’, there’s no confusion and no restlessness — only peace. This basic clarity of thought is enough to help us cope with the stresses of existence. No matter which way the wind blows, as long as we are bound by our sense of duty, we will not be swept away — we will survive life.

First published on: 11-01-2016 at 02:00:59 pm
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