Breaking down Karma

I read an interesting article the other day about Karma and how it works. Now I respect each individual’s beliefs and I respect each person’s idea of religion,spirituality or whatever it may be, to each his own and so on. Coming from a website in the western world about a very Indian concept I had to write something about it.

Karma comes from the Sanskrit and later Hindi word  कर्म , which basically means means action, work or deed.

The concept of karma in Hinduism developed and evolved over centuries. The earliest Upanishads began with the questions about how and why man is born, and what happens after death. As answers to the latter, the early theories in these ancient Sanskrit documents include pancagni vidya (the five fire doctrine), pitryana (the cyclic path of fathers) and devayana (the cycle-transcending, path of the gods). Those who do superficial rituals and seek material gain, claimed these ancient scholars, travel the way of their fathers and recycle back into another life; those who renounce these, go into the forest and pursue spiritual knowledge, were claimed to climb into the higher path of the gods. It is these who break the cycle and are not reborn.

“Karma in Buddhism also is action. Action in the form of the thinking. Thinking is acting. Speaking is acting. And doing things is acting. And every act has a result. That is Karma. And nothing can be lost. It continues always. The shameful action continues as bad karma and if you perform positive actions or positive Karma, it will continue very well”

The concepts of karma and karmaphala explain how our intentional actions keep us tied to rebirth in samsara (suffering) , whereas the Buddhist path, as exemplified in the Noble Eightfold Path, shows us the way out of samsara.

Every thought you think is an energy simply because it is a chemical energy produced in the neurons of your brian. It is an energy that you send out there into the universe. And nothing is lost. In Zorastrian culture they keep a small pouch (This is called the gireh-ban) that they tie along their hearts or centre of their chests and they believe essentially the same thing that every thought you think is recorded and kept for the time of judgment when you die. And again nothing is lost. They believe in good thought, good word and good deed. Which is essentially good karma. 

Every thing you say and every action you perform is also a determinant of your karma, if you say and perform good it will keep the cycle of karma positive. Again another concept is about selfishness and selflessness as you think or perform. Essentially you cannot trick the system. If you do good and expect good to come back to you in your thought, word or deed it will not work.  The important distinction is that your actions be selfless. You cannot preform kindnesses and compassionate acts with the expectation of expecting anything in return. SELFLESS. If you do something ‘good’ to get ‘good’ back, this is an inherently selfish action, and in the end unproductive.

“Think, act and speak, so Karma should be understood in a positive way also. To produce a type of loving kindness, compassion and understanding is a wonderful Karma that can bring happiness to so many people. To say something that inspires confidence and remove doubt and suffering, that is wonderful Karma. And to do something to help people suffer less, that’s wonderful Karma, and that Karma we encourage, and the Buddha or elightened Brahman always will produce this Karma during his whole life.” – Thich Nhat  Hanh

So Karma should not be seen only as something negative. Why the negative Karma should not be continued, should not continue the cycle of Samsara. The good Karma should be included to be reborn and reborn because if you practice love and kindness, you produce love and kindness in your child, in your student. And if he continues, if she continues, she will practice love and kindness and will transmit to her children and that is why we encourage the continuation, the rebirth of the good things. We only want to discourage the continuation and the rebirth of bad Karma.

Karma goes to the extent that  it determines your next birth and next life as well. Do good and you will be reborn with comfort, wellness and wealth. Do bad and you will be reborn in to hardship, suffering and poverty. All those you see who are currently suffering in his life is a direct result of their karma. The cumulative actions, thoughts and deeds of the soul throughout its lifetime is judged and rewarded or punished from one birth to the next until moksha or attainment of liberation.

Good and bad are highly charged words, this gives them too much ‘weight’ outside of their very subjective meanings. The more emotion and energy we pour into words and concepts, they change from their original context into personalized behemoths of our mind.
The wheel of Samsara (suffering) is always spinning. Nothing can or should ever even attempt to stop it. We encounter suffering and have two options. Turn it into a productive or unproductive experience. Learn from the mistakes we make, or continue to repeat them; lamenting our station in life. Forgive those who have hurt you and never keep a grudge or keep the cycle of unnecessary pain going.

As you go through your current life and form, you are blessed with a multitude of experiences that you can be productive or unproductive with. How you choose to live your life will dictate your current and your next.

A person who has spread happiness, joy while helping others throughout has lived productively and shall be duly rewarded in this life and the next, that is our dharma or duty. Whereas a person who has spread pain, evil and suffering shall be punished in this life or the next.

The soul is reborn into various bodies, those of animals, birds and so on – The human birth is the biggest gift and is a result of good karma in the previous life. The ultimate aim in life is moksha or freedom from samsara and the cycle of births and deaths while esentially doing good.

A perfect soul is that one that attains freedom from the cycle.

According to Karma, we should stop trying to control everything in life. Deal with what you are handed and help your neighbor when you can. The eventual sum of your actions are beyond what you can understand in your mortal form. Don’t limit your future by mixing in your fears and desires and resulting in a bad experience.

Break free eventually and spread the good thought word and deed and pay it forward to your friends,students, children and family so they may perform the same as well and keep the cycle positive.

Think, do and speak well and good at all times it will help you keep the energy flowing toward righteousness.

Have a great weekend and blessed life.

Aim for the samadhi state of conciousness.

Take care.

Love, joy and light.

Gaurav

 

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