“Unawareness is Karma, and Awareness is Freedom from Karma.”
Whatever action you perform in unawareness, they bind you in Karma and whatever you do with complete and total awareness, they free you from the bondage of Karma. And if you are bound by Karma, then your personality develops, if you become free from Karma, you become free from personality, hence Enlightened.
If you become angry, you say, “I have become angry.” If you have not become angry you say, “ I have not become Angry.” Isn’t it? It is that simple. That is how actions are done. If you do something, that is action, and if you do not do something, that is the state of non-action. However, according to Mahavira the Jain enlightened Soul, that is a very surficial understanding of Karma. He defines Karma in a different dimension altogether.
He says, “If you do anything without awareness, it is Karma; action. And if you do anything with total awareness, it is freedom from Karma.” I know it sounds a little surreal and difficult. Bear with me, this is very important so it is also very necessary. We will understand it by breaking it down.
If you feel like you have done something, but you do not know that you have done it, you did it without knowing, you were not present when you did that, you feel like you were possessed while doing that work, if you were not the controller of the action, then it is Karma and it binds you in the bondage of Karma. For example; you become angry and destroy something, after a while can you claim that you were the ruler of your body or the controller of your body when you got angry and destroyed whatever you destroyed? A man stepped on your foot or looked at you with intimidating eyes and anger took over you. You did not bring anger yourself, anger came into you and filled you.
If the person had not stepped on your toes or not looked at you with intimidating eyes, you would not have been angry. Hence it is proved that the anger that took over you were not brought about by yourself but rather by the other person who did something to you. Try it on your life yourself. Do you become angry by yourself or does somebody else makes you angry? Experiment it in your life. If you experiment it properly then you will realize that the switch to your anger was on somebody else’s hand.
You press the button and the fan starts to swing. In that case, the fan is not in control of the swinging, the person on the switch is.
Now if you agree that your anger is controlled by somebody else most of the times, then try once to be angry with complete awareness, try being a controller of your own anger. Everybody should try this once. Know that you are getting and become angry. Then you shall realize that your anger disappears in an instant. To tell you the truth, it is completely impossible to be angry with complete awareness.
Whenever you get angry, you are never present, anger happens in spite of yourself. Somebody presses a button of anger in your life and you become angry, similarly, somebody presses the button of love in your life you fall in love, somebody presses the button of joy in your life, you become happy. So ultimately, you are nothing but a collection of button waiting to be pressed. You are a machine where there are multiple buttons and anyone can press your buttons according to their will. Somebody comes to you and compliments you on your smile and you become happy and elated for the entire day and another person come and looks at you with intimidating eyes and all your blooming flowers die, smoke starts to rise inside you. Where are you here? Apparently, external stimuli are controlling you all the time, and you are just getting affected by them. Apparently, nothing is in your own control.
So these are the actions that create bondage and hence Mahavir calls them Karma. If we analyze our actions, then we shall realize that all our actions are similar to these. They might be dependent on each other but we are never the owner or even regulators of these actions. We are just a collection of senses and these senses are pulled at places and we react accordingly. This is what Mahavir calls Unconsciousness or Unawareness.
Now regarding this situation, what is awareness?
So somebody is shouting at you, and you are starting to get angry. If you remain a witness in the whole process and look at from where exactly your anger arises, and you look at it from an eagle eye view. Look at what part of emotion the other person is shouting at you, and where exactly you are getting hurt. How exactly I anger forming inside you and how it is rising up in your body, starting from your stomach and through your spine. Then that is called awareness. If you look at the whole process as if it is all happening to a third person and not you, now you are in a state of awareness. You are awake.
Now after looking at the whole process in such a way you take a decision from your heart then that is probably the best decision that you can take. If anybody shouted at Buddha, if anybody hit Mahaveer with a stone, if anybody put Jesus on a cross, they watch themselves with the witness state of mind. As if the whole thing is happening to somebody else. Hence they could still say, “Dear Lord” forgive these beings for they do not know what they are doing.” While they were being hung.
So remember, the third person’s point of view that we discussed above is the vision that you see from the third eye and if you can see everything that is happening to you as if it is happening to somebody else, then you are able to take the best next step and not get entangled in Karma. We shall continue this.