Ii, 12-13 The Five Kleshas & Karma

[b]II, 12 klesah mulah karma asayah drsta adrsta janma vedaniyah
II, 13 sati mule tad vipako jaty-ayur bhogah

The reservoir of subliminal impressions
is the root of the
primal causes of suffering,
producing obstacles and experiences
both in the present
and in the unforseeable
future lives.

As long as this
karmic root exists,
the obstacles continue to mature
predetermining one?s
social status, lifespan, and experience.[/b]

M. Stiles

Patanjali explains how the kleshas contribute to karma:

  1. Karma, as defined by Swami Satchidananda, is ?action and/or the result of action? which is to say that ?every action leaves it?s result; every cause will bear its effect?. p. 95

  2. Karmas are stored until they have an opportunity to be expressed.

  3. Kleshas (subtle or manifested) will cause karmas. ?One strong karma may call for a body, and all similar karmas that can make use of that particular vehicle to bring their reactions will join in… Even your present body can be changed if you have an intense desire. If your mind is consumed with intense anger, for example, the whole face & body will change to express that emotion. If your present body can?t change enough to fulfill the purpose of a particular thought, the body will be disposed of and you will get a new one. Karmas are that powerful.? (Swami Satchidananda, p. 96)

  4. Karmas can be classified into three categories:
    a. manifesting, expressed and exhausted in this birth.
    b. be created during this birth or
    c. waiting to be fulfilled in future births.
    Only the last two may be controlled by being aware enough not to create more or by becoming aware of those subtle seeds of karma within us and getting to the source and going beyond the ego.

  5. According to Swami Shyam, ?As long as this root of the five klaaysh remain in ones storehouse of the impressions and results of all of his actions, he keeps moving in the wheel of birth, existence and death.? (p.56) Iyengar explains why this is so: ?According to the law of karma, all conditions in the nature of birth and life stem from our past actions are responsible for the experiences, pleasant or otherwise which we meet in life. The fruit of the actions gathered in this life are called samskaras, which become residual imprints or impressions. The fruits of actions committed in all previous lives are called vasanas (knowledge derived from memory, or the present consciousness of past perceptions). Vasanas are impressions remaining unconsciously in the mind from past good or bad actions, producing pleasure or pain.? (p. 114-115) However, Sw. Satchidananda reminds us that regardless of the many forms of reincarnation, ?the individual soul continues to evolve. Even though the individual may get various bodies which are evolved to a greater or lesser degree and which experience things through these different forms, he or she continues to progress. Remember that the body is not the experiencer. Life is experienced by the mind through the body. The body is only a vehicle or an instrument.?

Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993

Swami Satchidananda. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004

Stiles, M. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002

Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.

Primal suffering creates a reservoir of karma (actions and reactions). Karma may
i. be expressed and exhausted in this birth,
ii. be created during this birth, or
iii. be waiting to be fulfilled in a future birth.
Only the latter two may be controlled.

That might mean that even if you control the second two, you might be still very surprised by what happens to you.
But the ability to control the second two must be made possible by the first one. There can be no chasm between these classes, because all is about an individual soul.