Does the Burning of Karma Create Mental Upheaval?


Are psychological upheaveal and mental disorientation a part of the burning process of past karma or sanskaras ?

—Hari Prasad Sahu, India


Dear Hari Prasad Sahu,

Techniques like Kriya Yoga which have the power to burn karma or samskaras in our spine and brain are great accelerators of our inner evolution. This is our great good fortune, but that path is not always a smooth one. The more intensely one practices such techniques, the more one’s evolution becomes intensified and the process of inner transformation is speeded up. This means that the inner battle can become intense at times, as our old karma is being eradicated.

Through powerful techniques like Kriya, fortunately many karmic seeds are being burnt up and we don’t even know that it is happening. However, some karma needs to be confronted consciously. This can happen in our inner psychological world, as an “upheaval” as you say: desires might come up forcefully, old tendencies, habits, and we need to deal with them. Or it happens that we are confronted with our accelerated karma in the outside world, and need to work it out “publicly.”

However, “psychological upheaval” and “mental disorientation” should be only momentary, in the heat of a particular karma which has struck us. But if it is something you are experiencing for a longer time, then something else might be going on, and needs to be resolved on its own psychological level. If that “mental disorientation” feels like something serious and ongoing, it might be wise at some point to contact a professional who can help you resolve it. In other words, techniques like Kriya have an overall effect of inner joy, harmony, expansion, not of upheaval etc. Yogananda writes in his Autobiography: “Kriya is accompanied from the very beginning by an accession of peace, and by soothing sensations of regenerative effect in the spine.”

In short, if you practice your technique intensely and are experiencing some momentary battle, upheaval, even disorientation, yes, that might be a part of the “burning karma” process. If however the mental disorientation is a longer and destabilizing situation, it might be a different story, and needs to be dealt with on its own level.

God bless you, much peace to you,

in spiritual friendship, jayadev