Of late I find myself drawn to the spiritual state of mind or wakefulness as I would like to call it. I think of it as a shift into a more expansive, higher-functioning state in which we experience a strong sense of connection with the world around us and other beings along with a sense of inner quietness, and a keen awareness of our surroundings.
Karma is one topic that has intrigued me no end. Every time I decide that I want to write about this topic, I realise that I know so little of it.
I remember reading a proverb in school “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
If you sow a flowering plant and you get a lush garden of flowers, you plant a cactus and all you get are thorns. If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of suffering. And if you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy.
The much-misconstrued word ‘Karma’ has more or less an abstract concept that most people fail to understand.
Karma is nothing but a state of action, whether mental, physical or verbal. To put it simply we merely create our own reality and ‘Karma’ awaits our actions, to fill up the gaps we left and life comes full circle. It’s the actions of your deeds. Every action, every thought, brings about its own corresponding rewards.
Gandhiji explains such in a simple yet profound way:
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
What we do every day becomes our everyday karma. It could be helping people in any way we see fit – holding a door open for someone, giving some money to a homeless person, buying someone food, donating old clothes etc., etc.
Now two questions: What is the possibility that the person we’ve helped will reciprocate, or “pay it forward”? What’s the possibility that this action created a positive source of energy?
I read these sacred words, etched on a doorway “Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.”
Are these words the key to karma and destiny?
Some say that Karma is linked to rebirth. Each and every action we take in life ripples out from us like a stone hitting the water. The ripples have untold effects on others, and will flow back to us at some point in the future. The fruit of our previous actions are like echoes, and they cannot be escaped.
We are all born into certain circumstances, cultures, places on earth, wealth or poverty, with specific genetics, talents and drawbacks. We don’t have any control over these circumstances. Is it the wheel of karma that everything in our life takes place due to past actions and that present actions affect future lifetimes?
Have you noticed as to why do good things happen to “bad” people and bad things happen to “good” people? Is Karma is a way of explaining misfortune in the world, for those who do not appear to deserve it? Could their misfortune be due to wrong actions in their previous life?
Do the repetitive negative thoughts about your life drop away when you realise that you have absolutely created and caused EVERYTHING that is happening to you right now? And that at some point in your life, you chose it, by your actions and your thoughts.
Is Karma also a way to explain things like child prodigies, who are exceptional artists or musicians at a young age, with little to no training?
Have you ever found yourself thinking, or saying: never mind, karma will get them? I know I have. In moments of anger, betrayal, hurt, I have definitely thought ‘don’t get so worked up about this, karma will seek them out’.
But, as I seek to find the answers to all my nagging thoughts and questions, one thing I do realise that karma is a universal law, it is far more significant and meaningful than one can imagine.
And understanding karma is a key to living well.