The theme I have chosen for 2022 is the Four-Fold Path — the path of Dharma, Karma, Yajña, and Yoga — for playing the Game of Life with effortless effort.
In this newsletter, I write about what it means to align with your Dharma, trust your Karma, perform your Yajña, and be in Yoga.
The quotes herein are from the Bhagavad Gita (BG). Please note: I have no formal training in these scriptures and my interpretation of these teachings is based on my lived experience and my own research.
I believe that in the ultimate analysis, life needs to be looked at with a spiritual lens — because we are spiritual beings having a material experience. The Four-Fold Path is my approach to living an optimal and graceful life.
Alright, here goes…
Aligning with my Dharma
“One’s own dharma, even if followed imperfectly, is superior to someone else’s dharma, even if followed perfectly. It is better to be slain while following one’s own dharma. Someone else’s dharma is tinged with fear.” — BG 3:35
What is mine to do? This is the question that leads to one’s dharma. There are plenty of things that we can dedicate our lives to. But when you follow the dharmic path that has been laid out for you, you don’t need motivation — you don’t need to push yourself — because you are pulled forward by the strange attractor that is your dharma, making it the path of least resistance.
I have discovered that my dharma is to live with a feeling of abundance and help create the same for others.
I’ve been moving towards my dharmic path for nearly a decade now and I’m almost set on it. I can feel the ground rise to meet my feet. I can feel the universe conspiring in my favour at every moment. I can do what I feel like doing — and it ends up being the right thing. In other words, I can trust my feelings.
In 2022, I want to ground myself firmly on my dharmic path. I want to get into full alignment with my highest possibility. I want to heed my sacred calling at every moment. I want to live out my divine purpose on Earth.
Trusting my Karma
“You have the right to action alone. You never have the right to the fruit. Do not be motivated to act because of the fruit.” — BG 2.47
What comes to you is your karma. This includes the thoughts you have and the feelings you feel, as well as the external events happening in your life.
A popular understanding of karma is that "as you sow, so shall you reap". The ‘you’ referenced here is not the ego-bound individual “you”, but the larger cosmic U (short for Universe). From this cosmic perspective, everything is done by U, for U, and to U. So of course, what goes around, does come around — what U sows, U reaps.
Trusting my karma is recognizing that everything that comes to me is here for me — all the thoughts and feelings I experience, all the situations and events in my life — are guides — here to help me fulfil my dharma.
No single thought, feeling, situation, or event is out of place. Everything that comes to me is exactly what I need. Therefore, I will learn to see that everything I need, comes to me. In 2022, I will learn to trust my karma.
Performing my Yajña
“Work must be done as a yajña to the Supreme Lord; otherwise, work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, for the satisfaction of God, perform your prescribed duties, without being attached to the results.” — BG 3.9
Your yajña is your offering or your sacrifice. It usually refers to a ritual or puja, but we are using it in a general sense here. A yajña is the act of living your life as an offering to something greater than you — be it your family or your community or your nation or your God.
Starting this year, I want to offer up every single thought, word, feeling, action, desire, hope, fear, joy, suffering — every experience I have and expression I create — as my yajña to the divine mother and father.
In seeking my dharma and finding this path, I have made compromises and sacrifices. There are things that my heart desires, but they are not (yet?) in my karma - they have not come to me. I offer up these desires to you — I surrender them at your divine feet. I ask that you make me an instrument in your divine hands and use me as you wish! This is my prayer to thee.
Being in Yoga
“He who practises yoga, he who is pure of heart, he who has controlled his body, he who has controlled his senses, he who sees his own atman in the atman of all beings, he is not tied down, even if he performs action.” — BG 5.7
Being in yoga is being in a state of union — when you simultaneously align with your dharma, trust your karma, and perform your yajña — you are in yoga. When you use what comes to you to do what’s yours to do, you are in yoga.
Being in yoga is an act of incarnation — of fully inhabiting one’s body. In 2021, I have digested the distress that was preventing me from feeling fully embodied. I have become that weapon that secures my freedom — a lightsaber of love and life. Now, it’s time to see what this new world that’s free of the shackles of the past has in store for me! It’s time to walk down the Four-Fold Path.
To mark the beginning of my dharmic journey, I am stopping 3 habits from 1st Jan 2022 — drinking alcohol, masturbation, and screen time during meals.
I don’t drink alcohol that often, but when I do, I feel like it’s not something I should be doing — like it’s not aligned with who I am.
I had completed 10 weeks of NoFap in 2021 and I loved the results — increased energy and clarity. But I had done it out of fear that time. This time, I’m quitting as a sign of my love and commitment to the path that’s ahead of me. NoFap for life.
I want to treat meal times as sacred and I want to respect the food that I eat. Therefore, no screens — laptop or phone or TV — during meals.
Alright, that’s it. Wish you a happy 2022 — may you find what’s yours to do!