Intense karma fructifies quickly
[It doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t get him out] No amount of light is going to get through the iron walls. Well, we now know that that’s not so. If the crests [of the light waves] are all brought together, so that they beat together, that’s a laser and that can burn through a thick iron plate in a minute. The Samādhi state when the new thought is identical – not like – but identical all the time, can affect our karma very powerfully and so, affect the outer state as well as the inner state.
This is what makes Shankara say, “Intense karma, which fructifies very quickly.” Normally he says in his Patanjali commentary, “Karma will fructify in the next life, but intense karma, which is done with devotion, with mantra, and with Samadhi, the Samadhi state, will fructify quickly in this life. Or by devotion to God, if there is Samadhi on God, then too, there will be a quick fructification of the karma.” The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali contain in the second book, the third book, and the fourth book, some examples of changes in the external world brought about by this, I might call it, Samadhi meditation, this, so to speak, laser beam.
You can only get this complete identity of thought, where the new thought is identical with the previous thought; where the object of meditation blazes out. You can only get that when these irrelevant thoughts have gone; in other words, when the memory has been purified, when memories no longer invade. He makes a great deal of this, the purification of memory. He says, “While there are passionate attachments or fears to the external world, for things in the external world, memories will inevitably come up and they will break up the Samadhi sooner or later.”
Especially, he says, “If a man becomes successful in Samadhi, then the next time, it would be very difficult for him to enter meditation, because he’ll be thinking what he’s going to get out of it again. Then he’ll drop into Rajas. He says the easiest way is to have devotion to God, to do these things as a worship of God and a seeking to become identical, to enter the Lord. Unless he can do that, unless he’s willing to try to do that, then he may attain Samadhi, temporarily but it will lapse, and sometimes there will be a reaction.
I give one example of this, not from an Indian example, but 160 years ago in Japan, about the wife of the headman of a village. She was a Buddhist but also she followed some Shinto ceremonies as they often do with a tolerant sort of way. One day she fell into a trance and a god announced that if she was willing, he would speak through her. She replied that she was willing and the god began to speak through her. The family were very pleased at this with because they thought, “Well, we are really going to get something now we have a living god.” But unfortunately, the first command of the god was, “Sell all you have and give it to the poor.” Then they thought, “No, we don’t want this.” and they tried various means to expel the god and frighten her. They tried starving her, imprisoning her, threatening her with a sword, but this girl remained absolutely firm. Finally, they gave in and they did sell all that they had and they gave it to the poor.
She became a rather famous seer and, in the end, she founded a new religion, which has now about three or four million followers. They built an entire city, all done by voluntary labour. They’ve done a tremendous amount of social good. Their religion is of ‘God, the Parent’, who wishes his children to help each other and to be happy and clear the dust off their minds. There were a number of miracles attended with her life and they still have miracle healing at the centre. One story which I have read in the records was that a very beautiful girl – so beautiful that people would stop in the streets and turn around and look at her – began to lose her sight. This was a terrible tragedy because it gave her this peering look and that spoiled her beauty. Her father had heard of this woman seer. He took his daughter to her and said, “I wish to make an offering to your shrine to help you set up your new centre. But my daughter is going blind. As you see, she’s very beautiful and it’s a terrible tragedy.”
The old lady (well, no, she wasn’t old then) said to him, “Let the girl go to the back of this house where there’s a stream, and let the girl herself search in the stream and find a five-coloured stone and bring it to me here.” The father was pretty surprised because there aren’t five-coloured stones. Even if there were, the girl would not be able to see them. He thought this was some weird sort of test for putting them off or something. He went away and they tried various doctors without success. Then he brought her back. The seer made the same answer. “Let the girl go back, search in the stream and bring me a five-coloured stone.” Again, they went away. The third time, the father couldn’t come himself, he sent the girl with a servant. They made the bows and prostrations. Then the servant asked the same question. The seer made the same reply, “Let the girl go and search in the stream, find a five-coloured stone, and bring it to me.”
Then the servant blew up. He was not quite as self-controlled as the father had been, and he shouted at her. “You old witch. You’re making fun of people who are in real distress, and you’re just mocking.” He said to the girl, “Come on now, I’ll take you away.” They went away. Suddenly, the girl broke from him and said, “No, I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it.” She ran to this stream which she could hear. She knelt down and start feeling the stones, although she couldn’t see them. She felt them and she found one that seemed to have a different texture to the others. Suddenly, she thought, perhaps this one has got five colours. But then she found she couldn’t move it. She burst into tears. She was there a little bit, and she found her eyes were beginning to clear. She went back and prostrated herself in front of the seer. She said, “My eyes have become clear.”
I would like to say to you, what do you think that the seer said there? But as some people are leaving today, I will tell you. She said, “You were asking for your sight to be restored so that you could strut in the street as before, and get all the attention from the men. They’d all turn around to look at you, wouldn’t they, and the other girls wouldn’t get a look in, would they? That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it? Absolutely ridiculous! And so, God the Parent sent you something absolutely ridiculous, but finally, you did it. You should accept what has happened, because God the Parent has done this. Now what? You’ve been cured, but you haven’t been healed.”
Then the account says the girl had a flash and she said, “No, I understand. I’m going to devote my life to following you and to helping the poor people around here to cooperate and to worship God the Parent.” This is roughly what Patanjali says about such events. They can happen, but if they happen to confirm our pride, our conceit, our personal advantage, then they’re absolutely worthless.
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: The gunas
Part 2: Patanjali and Sattva
Part 5: Intense karma fructifies quickly
Part 6: Patanjali and meditation on God