Saturday, April 4, 2009

Untying the Knot of Karuna

In the chakra system there are several knots. You can think of them as safety valves. They keep the kundalini (google kundalini for info-there are volumes written about it) from rising too rapidly once awakened as if this occurs there can be complications.

Above the heart chakra there is a knot known as the Knot of Karuna. Like the chakras it does not exist materially. "Karuna" is a sanskrit word related to the word "Compassion" just as Diksha is a sanskrit word related to the English word, "Benediction." This Knot of Karuna keeps the being attached to gurus, to religions, to scriptures or ancient teachings, sentimentality, the physical body, to suffering (the root of compassion is passion and in the ancient sense of the word, passion is related to pain-to have compassion on one level is to be able to feel the pain or relate to the pain of another). to music and to spiritual orders.

The Knot of karuna must unravel if the being is to grow and move the point of awareness to higher chakras. Sometimes it can be a very painful process. You can think of this as a little bird sitting in a nest. His mother feeds him, nurtures him, keeps him warm at night. She shades him during the day. He loves his mother very much. She is the word to him.

Then one morning she shoves him from the nest. He cries out as he falls, opens his wings in fright and horror and suddenly flies to freedom. No longer is he bound to that nest.

Many Spiritual Masters that know this and may very well one day give you a shove when the time is right. Just as the shock of the push from the nest helps the little bird to fly and grow, there can be a time of great disillusionment and pain surrounding your spiritual teacher. Ancient stories tell of people who served at the feet of a guru for many years. Then suddenly the guru slapped them or said, "Get out of my sight you make me sick!" enlightenment followed.

This shock is often enough to unravel this Knot of Karuna so that you can attain new heights.

This is the time to spend your time focusing on sadhanas for the throat chakra and go with the experience, to move to the next level, rather than seeking a new guru, religion, spiritual order etc. or worse yet seeking revenge at the perceived hurt.

just see that it is a great gift you have been given. Give thanks that you are free. Gratitude is the great annihilator of suffering. Ask yourself if suffering and gratitude can coexist.

It is said that if a tiger is kept in an enclosure for years, if released into the wild, will pace back and forth in a space that exactly matches the dimensions of the cage it was kept in. Leaving ones teacher, ones religion, a spiritual order, etc does not necessarily mean the Knot of Karuna has untied. Many times we just trade a new set of beliefs and ideas for some old ones, and for some time the mind becomes very happy. Until the ideas lose their charge or the next time something does not go our way.

A dynamic of suffering, (see the Suffering is a Constant Sutra in the workshop transcript "Earth Changes and Enlightenment" at more more of this perspective) is that psychological suffering is what happens when things do not go our way. If you can see this, it will help you greatly in your journey and help you to untie the knot. For example someone might say "I am angry because that man cut me off in traffic" (I WANTED to go first). "I am upset because the waitress did not bring the ketchup and now my french fries are cold" (I WANT the ketchup with my french fries so I am going to manage my suffering by complaining to the manager and seeking revenge-no tip for her). It is of tremendous benefit and often hilarious to see this dynamic and the desire behind it in yourself. Look for it the next time anger or hurt comes. What just did not go "your way?" You may be amazed and entertained at the internal tantrum, like a small child kicking his feet and banging his fists on the floor.

Here is a favorite story of the unraveling of the Knot of Karuna:

"In ancient times there was a nun who lived by the river. She had only a pot that her spiritual master had given her and some articles of worship besides her clothing. She loved the pot, was grateful to it and felt she owed her very existence to it. She used it to water her garden, to drink from. To wash and cook with. So grateful and happy she was to have this pot.

One day as she was carrying water from the river she stumbled and the pot cracked and broke. Grief and sorrow filled her, She looked up and saw the river. Enlightenment came.,,,,,,,"

Dharma Dharini