Satsang with Jenny, 4.23.16 (Does One’s Dharma Change Over Time?)
Jenny: Can one’s dharma change over time, and how does one recognize the shift and follow dharma? I’ve noticed that I was in that happiness, knowing and living that fullness for a while, creating from that place. But not anymore. I’m still doing what I was doing , and wondering, what shifted? Why?. . .
Eaden: Hi Jenny,
One’s dharma in this incarnation does not change, only one’s understanding and response to it. Your dharma is your conditioning: like and dislikes, desires and fears, passions and gifts. Our dharma is based on past karma (action) from previous lifetimes.
You come into this life with prarabdha karma, that portion of sanchita (total) karma, meant to be experienced in this lifetime. While this portion of karma is based on your past action, Isvara, the creator and the keeper of the dharmic field, decides which portion of your total karmic account will be expressed in this lifetime, so as to maintain balance within the entire field. Your karma does not change once you incarnate. What does change is your relationship to it, which includes your level of identification and attachment.
Your dharma is how your past karma expresses itself in the present lifetime. It includes your astrology, numerology, enneagram number, personality,… Think of your karma as creating the perfect mind, body, sense space suit for each lifetime.
There are two parts to your svadharma (self dharma): 1) your duty to your self, meaning playing your part in mandala of creation and 2) letting go of all ideals and simply being you. Each one of us is vital to to the balance of the whole as we are, not as we wish to be.
The first step in gaining clarity about your dharma is to practice karma yoga which neutralizes negative karma so that you can see yourself more clearly. Karma yoga reduces the vritis (mind waves), or binding fears and desires which distort your ability to see and know the truth.
Karma yoga is taking action, with your present knowledge of you (the embodied soul), and the collective dharma which includes physical, psychological, and moral laws. Actions are offered in service to the field/creator. The kicker – releasing all attachment to the results of action which neutralizes the ego/doer. Finally, the results that come are received as prasad, a gift from creation. So learn what you can and offer thanks.
Some questions to ask when inquiring into svadharma: What do you love? What do you do that feels effortless?
Regarding your changing state of happiness, when we don’t know who we are, meaning when we are identified with this body and mind called Jenny, life is a zero sum game. Which means, we’ll experience an equal amount of pleasure and pain on any given day, week or year. The only way out of this web of Maya, what some call samsara, is to remove our ignorance (past conditioning) which over time, reveals the radiance of true self. Our essential nature is always whole, complete and good.
There is also the possibility that your actions may have simply unearthed the next layer of ignorance or conditioning, even if your actions are in alignment with your dharma. However, agitation in the mind is usually a function of breaking dharma, either your svadharma or the collective dharma.
To close, for now, realize that action (doing) does not lead to freedom, only knowledge does because you are already free, whole, complete and good. Our practices, like karma yoga, are good in that they neutralize negative karma and prepare the mind for the assimilation of knowledge.
A helpful prayer: creator, remove my ignorance and reveal the truth of self.
In Gratitude, Eaden