Karma, Effort, Progress and Destiny
Thus Spake Nisargadatta Maharaj, Quotes from 'I am That'

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  1. Karma is only a store of unspent energies, of unfulfilled desires, and fears not understood. The store is being constantly replenished by new desires and fears. It need not be so for ever. Understand the root cause of your fears -estrangement from yourself; and of desires -the longing for the self, and your karma will dissolve like a dream. (411)

  2. Karma, or destiny, is an expression of a beneficial law: the universal trend towards balance, harmony and unity. At every moment, whatever happens now, is for the best. It may appear painful and ugly, a suffering bitter and meaningless, yet considering the past and the future it is for the best, as the only way out of a disastrous situation. (512)

  3. Most of our karma is collective. We suffer for the sins of others, as others suffer for ours. Humanity is one. (465)

  4. Ignorance is like a fever - it makes you see things which are not there. Karma is the divinely prescribed treatment. Welcome it and follow the instructions faithfully, and you will get well. A patient will leave the hospital after he recovers. To insist on immediate freedom of choice or action will merely postpone recovery. Accept your destiny and fulfil it - this is the shortest way to freedom from destiny. (489)

  5. The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendence, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people - they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die. (419)

  6. Man does not change much over the ages. Human problems remain the same and call for the same answers. (445)

  7. It was the same ten thousand years ago, and will be the same ten thousand years hence. Centuries roll on, but the human problem does not change - the problem of suffering and the ending of suffering. (459)

  8. The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is painful and transient. See it as it is and divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold and bind you, it becomes an abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it. (504)

  9. Causes and results are infinite in number and variety. Everything affects everything. In this universe, when one thing changes, everything changes. Hence the great power of man in changing the world by changing himself. My world has changed completely. Yours remains the same, for you have not changed. [You didn't notice this change] because there was no communion between us. Do not consider yourself as separate from me and we shall at once share in the common state. (490)