Success and Karma


I feel I am a failure. I feel I have not achieved anything in life. My father, to whom I was very close, had many dreams and aspirations for me. However, I was not able to fulfil any of them. Is this my karma? Will meditation help me? I have been practising meditation erratically for the past couple of years. How do I make it a regular practice?

—Alakananda, India


Dear Alakananda,

What is success? It is to become centered in the only reality there is: the joy of God; the joy of your own soul. This “ananda” is satchidananda: ever-existing; ever-self-aware; ever-new (joy).

You cannot be held accountable for the dreams and aspirations of your father. How often — all TOO often — does a parent project certain expectations and desires (their own) onto their child(ren).

The message here is that “success” for you must be your own success, not your father’s. In any case, there may likely be some karmic reason that you have not experienced outward success. If you (not merely your father) have a strong desire to materially successful, then you must work at it. It seems you may have some karma to overcome. A simple email like this is not the place to outline the laws of success but certainly, success comes from one-pointed concentration on achieving one’s goal; one-pointed intention, devoid of doubt or resistance, to accomplish your goal; persistence and unrelenting effort; association with others who are successful in the ways you are seeking (science, business, music, spirituality, etc.); training and education as appropriate; positive attitudes (meet success halfway!) and expectations.

But you can win the whole world and yet not be happy! Win God’s love, you will be on top of the world.

As to meditation, yes, of course, it can help you. Meditation will help you to learn to concentrate; to be positive and happy; and, to draw upon the REAL source of success: God and the Soul, made in the image of God.

But why seek success for yourself only? All gains must be balanced by loss. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and ALL THESE THINGS will be added unto you.” Make your connection with God and gurus FIRST and attune yourself with their guidance so that whatever you do will help you become free of karma rather than just create MORE karma!

At the same time, we must strive to make this world a better place and to be productive, creative and serviceful. All of these can be done as an instrument of God for God is the real Doer in all things. Attune yourself to the divine will, and, whether materially successful or not, you will experience the success of joy and inner freedom.

So, yes: start with meditation (and devotion) and carry its fruits outward into daily life!

Joy to you,
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA