“Why me? What did I do to deserve this?”
I bet this question crosses everyone’s mind at least once in lifetime.
Life is biased… Many of us have thought about this. Haven’t we?
Real Life is like a sinusoidal wave with ups and downs. Some of us face rigorous stress tests and some lead a nonchalant happy life (at least from what we perceive through our eyes).
A Recent news, a teenager drowned his brand new birthday gift, a BMW car in the neighborhood river because his parents selected a model which was not of his choice. What Should I comment about this? There are parents and kids who have no clue about what a real struggle in life means. Kids throwing tantrum for not buying the best toy car in the market and parents cribbing as their kid stood second in a spell bee contest! On the other side, it is heart breaking to see small kids in wheel chair, people suffering from deadly diseases and there are parents who see their kids undergo treatments like chemo. But so is Life!
Another story for life being biased, Though I am not a big admirer of animals but always wonder why stray dogs fight on the street for their everyday meal. In contrast high maintenance pets goes around the city in fancy cars with pedigree nutrients and a personal vet consultant! Be It Human or an animal or could be any living being, there are stories to prove the above statement.
So is it fair now to raise this question again, “WHY IS LIFE SO UNFAIR & BIASED?”
BUT WHY ? IS IT THE WAY WE WERE BORN ? OR THE WAY WE ARE BEING RAISED?
Though there are multiple answers for such a vague question, I am stuck with this complicated word ‘KARMA‘- I bet everyone understands this Sanskrit word. Though it looks like a Religious Indian word, you can now find a definition in every urban dictionary!
Does karma really exist?? Or it is just a myth? Is it an old wife’s tale, or law of the past to discipline the society? Does it really follow us like shadows?
I am going to turn some pages to explore and see if something can lead me to a logical base for Karma!
What is KARMA?
My first thought about karma spins to religious ideation! Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism & Taoism to name few, strongly use karma in the same sense.
Is it just the cause and effect of actions and deeds of an individual? Unanimously, all religion explains about boomerang of good and bad deeds.
The biblical verses “what you sow is what you reap” may have a major conceptual difference with the idea above. But it still kind of refers to action and effect. Islam, Christianity talk about judgement day as a response to all actions in a lifetime.
Karma doesn’t just mean action/deeds, but it’s tightly coupled with intentions.
(Roughly, Karma can be equated like this, Karma = Actions + Intentions)
It can further be segregated as good or bad. Let’s go with a simple, real life example. A filthy rich person does lot of charity for fame, though it looks like a good deed, his intentions are not good. Hence, it’s not considered as good karma as per the Vedas. In this set up what I don’t understand is, how the intentions can be measured, On what scale ?
The interesting part of karma is how it retaliates in one’s lifetime. Some Indian religions go further ahead and say karma is the reason that decides between Samsara (Rebirth) and Moksha! It means Karma follows like a shadow after life as well. And it also briefs about passing merits and demerits to progeny.
Well, it’s my ignorance to understand about what a rebirth is or why someone will face the consequences in the next life, or why should it be passed to the next generation – I have heard many stories in the family and from friends about someone’s current state is due to past karma. Some people go behind astrology to find a remedy- to ease the mess. For me the word karma is loosely used for everything that happens in life and the remedy sounds like a confidence boost for those who believe it! It is just finding reasons to blame it on.
I am not trying to deny some one’s belief or faith. But my “fair” ask is if a person does either good or bad, and if karma works, let him face the consequences then and there. Why wait till next life? -where we have no proof rather just a belief. In modern life if everything is instantaneous, one click away, let the reward and punishments also be the same. And as per astrological methods, if bad deed effects can be limited or negated with good deeds, then people can start working on an excel to balance the account. Well, my spiritual, Vedic illiteracy could not let me think beyond this.
I enjoy connecting the dots and believe the harmony of science and religion, and trust basically both speaks sense-sometimes intertwined with many similarities but in different languages. Also, I am trying to feed my agnostic mind to find logical base for every faith. Well, I relate myself very well to this phrase “Faith is a gift. And I am yet to receive it” (Quote from the Movie – Angels & Demons). I believe raising such questions and seeking logical findings help me find a way to reach a little closer to faith or truth , it depends.
Back to topic, can Karma be loosely linked to Newton’s third law? (It says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). In scientific terms, any action we do will have a reaction, though science can’t measure the intention of the act. Even in science many times we do not have proof for every law/theory defined. Some are theories made under certain assumptions.
So, I guess it’s fair to assume Karma is a cosmic law defined to make believe that consequence in the future are based on your current actions. This again is extremely Psychological and ingrained in every human since long time. The fear and faith brought self-discipline too instead of enforcing a law by someone. Those who believe strongly in God’s law will abide by it and also pass it to next generation. Karma exist as action and reaction but the intention (who’s defines this – What is good to me can be bad to you, what is the scale to measure this??) and carrying the karma as a shadow to reincarnation/rebirth still looks baseless to me. Mitigating Karma by a third force (as per Astrology) also remains a open question.
But I still didn’t find an answer to the bias in the world – I can’t blindly say or believe it is “Karma” and take it as a rebound from past actions.
Life is full of different types of challenges. Sometimes we win and many times we lose. Sometimes we are left unarmed without a clue to get out. I feel instead of questioning or exploring a reason from our karma balance sheet and trying to mitigate with third force, we can set our mind to face it.
Many a times, we try to compare our battles with others thinking it is the same. Unfortunately, we are all in different battle fields facing different types of struggles. What works for me may not work for you. I strongly believe and the universal truth is, “We are the only sole reason for our own miseries, happiness, creating a hell or heaven on earth”.
From my own experience, it took me a long time to come to terms with my son’s special needs. But once I accepted it as it is, I didn’t see it as a battle but a bliss to have a genuinely loving kid.
When we come out of such a struggle/ or learn to accept and embrace the challenge, we emerge out with much more courage & strength. This can never be measured but can be felt deep in heart.
Though many dots are left open, my rational understanding as a response to “why me??” Question and linking to Karma, “What goes around comes around?” Stands totally weak. Rather, I believe in this verse “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger “– Kelly Clarkson. Death is easy, one time, but living every day and fighting every challenge makes you stronger!
Simply put, the dog on the street knows to handle any tough situation than the dog in the A.C car which does not know to handle its own enemies. “Nothing is constant in this universe” earth rotates not waiting for anyone even for a milli sec, showing us both day & Night. So is our life.
NOTE: These are completely my own belief and analysis based on what I have read about Karma. If anyone can give a convincing explanation for the above raised questions, please feel free to add your comments below.