Karma

FINALLY I BEGIN BLOGGING! Now that the stressful semester is over, and before summer school, quietly lurking around the corner, catches up to me, I decided it’s high time I embark on my mission to become a blogger. And what better way to begin than writing my inaugural blog about my heritage from my point of view.

I’m sure most people have heard the term “Dharma” from the best show on television right now – Lost (don’t quote me on that… that’s a very subjective claim). The word invokes this very eerie, almost apocalyptic feeling in me when combined with the word “Initiative”. But I think that in reality, the word has a rather simplistic meaning – duty. It’s pronounced DAAR-ma on the show, but its actual pronunciation is DHAR-ma. Anyway, no harm no foul. The fact that Indic words have made their way into mainstream Western media without losing their foundational meaning is, in itself, a matter of pride for me. Anyone who has the power of insight into an industry and whose insight is relied upon by the leaders of that industry are commonly known as “gurus”, the ancient Indian Brahmins, the imparters of worldly knowledge; Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Donald Trump are often referred to in the media as “moguls”, a reference to the mighty Mughal rulers of India. Perhaps all that is left to liken the global business system to the Hindu caste system is to name the white-collars and blue-collars some variation of “merchant” and “worker” respectively. This may be a case of “seeing what I want to see” and I won’t argue against that. I, for one, am not interested in challenging thought; instead, I would add mine to the collective cloud of idea.

While an increasing number of Westerners begin to recognize, understand, and respect my culture, I find that an increasing number of South Asians are being drawn away from it. I have begun to believe from self-reflection that it is not necessary for one to agree with all traditions stemming from one’s culture. On the contrary, one must try to understand the environment in which those traditions were conceived; this may lead to the revelation of the underlying meaning of that tradition. Personally, I do not completely agree with everything I have been taught, but I am training myself to see beyond that. I am training myself to absorb several thoughts, amalgamate them, and allow a renewed understanding of the world to arise – and that is precisely how I would like to see things.

“Karma” is a very important word to me. “Karma”, pronounced KAR-ma and not KAA-ma (the Hindu God of Love) like the guy in the Matrix Revolutions, means “deeds”. While Dharma is the duty one has while on this Earth for the duration of one’s life, Karma is the deeds one does that is not necessarily part of one’s Things To Do list. It was interesting for me to learn the traditional concept of Karma in a religions class I took last year: Karma is like a bank account – your good deeds increase your bank balance while your bad deeds are treated as cash withdrawals. At the end of your life, your bank balance reflects the kind of person you were in this life and what the nature of your next reincarnation will be. You may be reincarnated as a human if you were a great person; on the contrary, if you were evil, chances are you could end up as a lowly cockroach.

My idea of Karma, and I tend to stick to this philosophy, revolves around the saying: “What goes around, comes around”. I don’t believe that one will have to wait until the end of their life to have their bank balance judged. I believe that the universe is in a constant state of balance and if that balance is disturbed, there will be an equal and opposite reaction to that disturbance. I don’t really need to elaborate on how our planet seems to be reacting to the devastating exploits of the human race and how people seem to react to the prejudice and discrimination of other people. Nonetheless, I feel that balance is restored more or less instantly relative to the universe (I’m sure many scientists will agree that a few hours, days, months or even years is relatively nothing in the cosmic timeline).

This article was rather unfocussed and unstructured. The reason for that is because it was a random outpour of thought – a large portion of which I did not think about before laying my fingers on my keyboard. If you’ve gotten this far, I thank you for completing to read my inaugural blog. I will try my best to add a versatile selection of thought in order to interest a larger number of you.

Until the next blog.

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4 thoughts on “Karma

  1. Interesting read, I do agree with your thoughts on Dharma and Karma, however, something I have not yet figured out is the concept of reincarnation. The main question that comes to mind is, If reincarnation is true, then this may most definitely be not my first life. As we know the earth has existed for a very long time. Now I have no previous memory of my previous life, therefore, I have reason to believe that maybe we wont be reincarnated. Also by believing in reincarnation, i must also believe that when I have a child in the future, it wont be his/her first shot at living on this earth. This may just be our only chance to live and live it right. Lets hope the bank balance is positive. Just some thoughts…

    Abdul Hameed

  2. Thanks Abdul! I’m glad you read it and liked it! About reincarnation, you know, I’ve thought about precisely that many times. What I imagine is that when we go to that place we call Heaven after a life, we may as well be in a different dimension of thought – one in which we have a collective memory of all our lives. When we are reincarnated, we forget and start afresh. I guess it’s kind of like playing Call of Duty or something – you have a number of goes and if you die, you begin afresh as though you never died in the first place!

    But maybe you’re right. If someone believes that they don’t have a second chance, they may give their current life their best.

    THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING!!! 🙂

  3. A very interesting read indeed, I never knew you had this deep philosophical side too. I agree with the concept of dharma and karma to a certain extent.

    I also believe that we should not try to adopt any values without trying to actually analyse the reason behind their existence even if they stem from our own cultural or religious beliefs. I feel that it is only through a comparative study of different perspectives that one finally begins to see a clearer picture.

    As far as the karma part is concerned I am not really sure whether people would have to pay for their sins in this world itself or after they die. I think that it is truly up-to God to decide whether He wants to punish or reward the person for his/her deeds in this world itself or after death either by putting the person in Heaven or Hell.

    Furthermore, I agree with Abdul regarding the reincarnation part too. It just doesn’t make sense as it assumes that the world will never come to an end and that we don’t really have any purpose in this world than just doing good deeds in order to avoid ourselves from being born as weird creatures rather than human beings in the future.

    Nevertheless, it was a pleasure reading this thought provoking article Ashwin. I will really be looking forward to some more such interesting perspectives in the future. Good job on your first blog entry…. 🙂

    1. Thanks Wamiq! A very interesting approach. Again, there’s not much I can say to that because a topic like this is extremely subjective and I can see how your perception on this is right. The main purpose of this article was basically to show my take on a subjective topic like this one. That doesn’t make it right or wrong though.
      Thanks for sharing and for your good wishes and I’m glad you liked the blog! 🙂

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