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The Law of Karma – Part 1

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The word karma has a dual meaning. It means “action” and it also means
    “ destiny”. The two are inseparably linked together because our own actions fashion our destiny. This may not be obvious because in daily life we see many hard working honest persons without money and support. At the same time, we also observe, very often, corrupt men enjoying comforts and leading prosperous lives.

    One important vision of life that Vedanta gives us is that, what comes to me, is on account of the actions I have performed before. Results are always in keeping with the actions we perform and we must know how to corelate the cause and effect.
    Most people are familiar with the saying " what you sow is what you reap." Obviously, if we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow seeds of happiness. Therefore karma implies the action of conscious choice making.

    Let us take a simple example. In villages huge storage bins are used for preserving the grains for the whole year. They are added from an opening at the top and taken out from another opening at the bottom. Seasonal grains that come are stacked one over the other in different layers, like rice, wheat, barley etc. If we fill barley at the top, still when we open at the bottom, only the rice will come because that was stored first at the bottom ! This only proves that cause and effect do not happen in sequence and we cannot corelate two events.

    The same way, a man who leads a life of Dharma, a life of values, is certainly going to get appropriate result in due course. What he seems to be getting now is due to what he has done earlier in the past. This requires a courage of conviction and that is why the total vision is necessary. I must have the conviction in justice and impartiality. If I do something good, bad cannot come to me in future. This is the simple law of cause and effect or the law of karma. I must do good actions today in order that in future I get good results. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.

    Those who are dishonest and corrupt and are still powerful, they probably have done something good in the past for which they are reaping the results today! And what they are sowing today, they will have to reap in the future. Actually it is no concern of ours whether they suffer or not or get bad or good results. But we should know for sure, for our own sake, that the good, the happiness comes only from good actions, from a life of Dharma. Happiness comes only from righteousness. Hence Vedanta gives a great importance to these values. They help me develop an inner strength and conviction that nothing wrong will happen. Man is blessed with an intellect, with an ability to implement this vision in life.

    Thus the foundational element of using this law of Karma is, becoming consciously aware that the future is generated by the choices we make in every moment of our lives. The more frequently and more closely that our choices can be brought to the level of conscious awareness, the more we will make choices that are spontaneously correct.

    Part 2 will be posted next week.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Ms C

    Superb explanation for a complex term.:2thumbsup: Yes I also believe in the proverb " as you sow so shall youreap" and have heard all my elders use the " purva janma puniyam or Pavam" as the case may be to explain some ones situation.

    Yes all our Karmas do determine our fate. Am eagerly waiting to read the next part .

    Vandhana
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra,

    Another loving and patient explanation of Karma. I must appreciate you especially for making a complex topic seem so simple. The comparison of the human's papa -punya cycle to a silo was at once amazing and innovative!
    Yes, as you sow, you reap. But this Karma and its consequences on life simply does not appease me. I am all ready to face the consequences for my action done in this life itself. But why should I wait till next Janma? I have a problem with God regarding this pattern! Well, I shall wait for the next part on Karma and may be I will have more questions or it might provide me some answers?!

    L, Kamla
     
  4. Lavanya

    Lavanya Bronze IL'ite

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    Enjoyed this thread... I've been waiting for this for sometime & now I can taste the sweet satisfaction of reading it... Can't wait to read the 2nd part.
    L.
     
  5. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra

    Thank you chitra for explaining in such a simple words. The example you have given made sense. we are lucky to have some one like you to explain all these things. Some of my doubts are cleared through these explanation. Thank you once again.

    regards
    vidhi
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Vandhana,
    Usually, when I post the culture thread, F B s are prompt. But today there was a delay which gave me the indication that the post had set everyone thinking !
    Swami Vivekanada says
    "Karma is the essential assertion of human freedom.....Our thoughts, our words and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves".
    I am glad you accept & enjoyed. Thankyou for the F B.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Kamla,
    In one of the earlier culture posts, I remember to have discussed this with you.
    I agree, it is far from easy to accept. The Universal laws cannot be & will never be changed.
    Next week, we will discuss the advantages of assimilating & understanding the law of karma.
    But, as Hindus, we believe in rebirth and this karma theory is a corollary.
    As a base line, if we accept, w realise things fall in place for every situation in life. Then understanding follows.
    Thankyou for joining us.
    Love,
    Chithra.
    P S - After posting this, I had a query from manjurddy about the same point you have raised. Please read it. It will help you understand better the answer to your question " why not in this jaanma itself?".
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Lavanya,
    Thanks for the very sweet F B.
    I was postponing this topic for quite sometime. But now I feel, many "why"s in life can be understood only by accepting this theory. Understanding comes much later.
    To put it simply, if we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness. Thus karma becomes conscious choice-making.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Vidhi,
    I am glad my explanation has convinced you. Thankyou for the F B.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  10. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chitvish
    Your gentle explanation of Karma is comforting to read. But when I think about it to its logical conclusion, I find myself agreeing with Kamla, why wait for another janma to reap what was sown in this life. In next janma we dont even remember what happened in past life. So what lessons can be learnt by that ?

    I have read the usual vedantha ideas that bodily janmas are only like clothes, worn and discarded. Only the atma or inner chaitanya is everlasting and it keeps incarnating and getting purified by various experiences till it is completely liberated. But this atma is also said to be ever- pure, distinct from the body and untouched by the body's experiences. As in B.Gita, fire cannot burn me, water cannot wet me etc. So how can the body's experiences have any learning effect on the atma ? Why should one body ( in Janma 2 ) suffer for the actions of another body(janma 1) ?
    :idontgetit:

    Its very frustrating to think of these things Chitvish ! I would love to get some answers.
    Also, one more doubt. Suppose a man kills or hurts another . It will bring bad karma to the killer, thats accepted. But maybe that kind of pain or death came to the victim because of his own previous bad karma ? How can we rule out that possibility ? In which case, why blame the killer because he was only made instrumental in resolving the victim's purva janma paavam. :bang

    Please Chitvish, do not think I am being a bad girl, heckling you. I am really puzzled and genuinely want to know.
    Regards
    Manjula
     
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