Friday, August 19, 2005

Implications of Law of Karma

Law of Karma in my view is simle law of cause and effect. For every action of yours whether physical or spiritual will bear its results.

Karma is a concept that puts the reason for Fate/Luck of man on the himslef and not on God. God is all the neutral, and it is our own good/bad acts of the past that we are bearing the results today. I would not go into the technicalities of Karma, but will focus on its implications:

Karma is a Destiny: Many times we do not why one person is say born wealthy and another poor; why some have good luck, why some have bad fate. Karma says that the reason is not the partiality of God, but our own past acts.

Karma is a oppurtuniy: If the present is the result of the past, then it is follows that the future will be a result of the present. So it is an oppurtunity to us build our glorious future, by working now.

Karma is a warning: Karma is a warning that no bad act of ours will go without we paying the penality for it.

Karma is an Assurance: Karma assures that no good act ever goes waste. It may not bear results immediately, or in a manner we can see, but it is bound to produce results.

Analogy: Two persons X and Y are there. Both start working, and used to get 10k per month. X used to spend away this money, while Y used to carefully spend it, and also work harder and earn more money. After the end of one year, X has nothing as saving, but Y has more than one lac. Our X now starts crying foul that by destiny he has no money, but Y has so much money. He conviently forgets the past, but only remembers the present. But in reality, it is their own makings that left them there. The destiny of today is the cumulative of yesterdays freewills. Sister Nivedita says Karma is no longer a destiny but a opputunity. This idea sums it all.

But again, if X wants to earn big money, it IS possible for him.

Importance of understanding Karma:
Many view Karma as a fatalistic theory, and just attribute all their shortcomings to the Karma. When asked questions like "why did fail in this?", the answer one usually gets is "ah.. what could I do; it is my Karma, so I failed?"

This is one of the peculiarities of the human mind.. it tries to find easy ways out to justify its laziness or other weaknesses. To take the responsibility of failure needs real strength.

For example take the verse from Gita "do your actions, and leave the results unto me..."

We selectively remember only the second half of it... "leave the results unto me". Why don’t you work for your studies?"... "ah, what can I do, it is in God's hands"

True the results are in God's hands. But is that all Shri Krishna says. He says "Do the work and leave the results unto me". But we conveniently forget the first half of it. It is the results that we leave to God, not the work itself.

This is one extreme of it. There is another extreme.... take every failure personally.

I see many interested young people with some enthusiasm to do something for India etc. They do try also. But they may try for a month or maximum a year. They do not see any results (naturally, Society does not change overnight. It takes some decades), so get disheartened and become cynicists... "ooff nobody can save this country". This is coz they do not think that their effort is really yielding any results; they lose faith in the powers of goodness.

Both the extremes are bad. Karma is unique philosophy which combines both free-will and destiny. It acts as a shock absorber to the man when he is faced with a difficulty. "it was my Karma that I lost my relative".. thus saving the man from excessive self-criticism (after all there are many things in this world which happen to us without we being directly responsible for it). It also gives man hope to work for “I am sure that no good work ever goes waste, it is bound to give results. My work might not have given results today, but it will surely one day”

I think it is very important that the present day Indians understand the real implications of the theory of Karma.


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