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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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product of past life activities. So the past life activities affect our present life in the form of prarabdha karma. 

The seeds of all past life actions that lie embedded in the mind and which will have its effects in our future lives are called sanchita karma. These seeds need to be fried in the fire of wisdom or meditation, to prevent future births. 

We as human beings are forced to do actions compelled by the natural forces of hunger, thirst, survival etc. We cannot say we will not act. Every action will produce an effect, which we will have to experience whether we like it or not. The experience may come to us in this birth itself or we may have to wait for another birth thus keeping the soul in bondage. Every action produces a seed in the mind. This seed creates a desire in us to repeat the action. Repeated actions go on repeating endlessly bringing its fruits of good or bad experiences endlessly. 
This is the binding or chaining effect that the Law of Karma has on each soul. The soul remains bound to the body. This bondage to the body is the cause of the soul's suffering because the body is limited and the soul cannot express its full potential through the body. The soul first tries to improve this body instrument, make it as better and better as possible so that it can express its potentials more and more. This desire of the soul to perfect the body instrument is the primary cause for the evolution of species. The environment factor of natural selection as noted by Darwin is the secondary cause. The soul from the mineral kingdom, rises to the plant kingdom, then to the animal kingdom and from there to the human body. After perfecting the human body in successive births, it finally seeks its release. Our inner urge to practice yoga or any spiritual discipline is the expression of the soul's desire to free itself from this bondage. 

To free ourselves from the bondage to matter we have to learn to act in such a way so that: 

  • The activities do not create an effect or the effects do not come back to us. 

  • The activities do not create fresh seeds, which will compel us to repeat the actions endlessly. 

  • The seeds that we are already carrying in our mind from past life actions has to be fried in the fire of wisdom or meditation so that all the causes for a future human birth is totally eradicated. 

Principles of Karma Yoga 

Karma Yoga teaches us this method of correct actions. The purpose of all yoga is to release the soul from its confinement to the three bodies — the physical, the astral and the causal. At death the soul releases itself only from its physical body, it still retains its astral and causal bodies. So death is no freedom. Very soon the unfulfilled physical desires which remain in a seed form in our mind propels us towards a new physical body and a rebirth on planet 


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