I think most of you might have already heard the word ‘Karma’ & there are many versions of it. Let’s use a scientific approach to understand karma so that we don’t end up having one more version and yet not understanding what it means. Karma is a Sanskrit word which literally translates into ‘Action’. Which means whatever actions you have performed till today is your karma. Now as per the choices you made in your life, you are bound to face some kind of consequence. So karma is closely related to ‘Cause & Effect’ principle. Cause and effect mean, that you made a choice and then there was an outcome of that choice. In your high school, you must have studied Newton’s laws of motion. The third Newtons law says that ‘To every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction’. The nature of Karma is also the same.
Now when we say ‘Action’, there are two possibilities here. It can be either a physical action or a mental action. Let’s look at this one by one:
- Physical Action: In simple words, physical action is any activity which you perform using some kind of physical means including your body. For e.g Exercise, Driving a car, Playing, Dancing. These are all physical actions.
- Mental Action: This is an action which you perform using your mind. For. e.g Suddenly you got a great idea about something, You are thinking of your mother or your little baby which gives you a sense of oneness, You are in a deep thought etc.
If you look closely both mental & physical actions go hand in hand. Your physical action is always being supported by the mental action. Without mental action, there is no possibility of a physical action.
Let’s go one step further. When we are talking about action, there is one key element which decides what kind of experience we are gonna have by performing physical or mental action & that key element is ‘Intention’. Intention implies the ‘purpose’ behind a certain action. The intention is one of the most important factors of our life. The quality of our life is majorly driven by the intentions with which we perform any action. That’s why in India we say ‘Karma & Intentions’ are inseparable. If you look at your day to day life activities you will yourself realize it. Every action has a certain intention behind it. For e.g why do we eat food? The very intention is survival. We clearly know that if we won’t eat we would die. Why do you love someone? Clearly, the answer is it gives you a certain sense of unity & oneness with that person. Likewise, if you observe almost every action (be it a mental or physical) is consciously or unconsciously guided by intention.
Whats the importance of ‘Intention’?: The intention is a very powerful tool which can either make or break your life. The intention is just a matter of willingness. Intention plays a very very important role in shaping your karma or action. The nature of life is such that ‘If you do good things, good things will happen to you; if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you. Now when we talk about Good or Bad things, we are not talking about good or bad action. Essentially we are talking about the intention which lies behind a particular action. The action is simply an action, it can’t be good or bad, However, the intention behind that could be either way.
Let’s take an example to understand this. Both a serial killer & a doctor carries the same instrument i.e knife. Then why it is so that when a serial killer cuts you with the knife you get wounded and when a doctor makes a cut in your body, you heal? If you look physically both the killer & the doctor are performing the same action, however, the intentions of both are worlds apart. That’s what is the importance & power of your intention. So when I said that intention can either make or break your life, it’s literally true, there is no iota of doubt in it. It doesn’t matter what kind of action you perform, what matters is what is the intention behind that action.
If the intention of your action is to bring well-being for others, then without any doubt you should go ahead with that action, no matter what other people say about it. However, if the intention is to hurt others then you should never perform such action. Let me tell you one thing, all those actions which you have performed earlier either with the intention of hurting or benefiting others, one day or the other you will have to face the consequence of that. So if you have done something which brought pain to others, it’s time to be conscious of that and never do it again in future. If you have done something wonderful for others, it’s time to rejoice & enjoy the fulfilling experience of that action. That’s what the karma is.
No matter how much you try to run away from your karma, you can’t get rid of it. Well in-fact the more you run away from it, the more tightly it will grab & arrest you. This reminds me of an incident which happened with ‘Akbar’ (Akbar was a great Mughal Emperor who ruled in India during mid 16th to early 17th century). It was just a normal day and Akbar was sitting in ‘Raj Darbar'(Royal Court) along with Birbal (Birbal was ‘Akbar’s Chief Minister & the wisest man in the court) & other courtiers. Suddenly a weird thought came to Akbar’s mind, he stood up and gave a tight thundering slap on ‘Birbal’s face. All the courtiers were stunned. Even Birbal was bewildered as to why emperor did that. But within moments Birbal got to his senses, he stood up and slapped the head of the Army chief sitting next to him. Army chief stood up & slapped the personnel sitting next to him and this activity continued. After sometime Akbar left the court and went to the jungle for the hunt. In the evening Akbar returned to the palace and went to his bedroom to take some rest. The moment he entered the room, his wife suddenly came up to him and slapped him. Akbar was extremely angry and shouted ‘You fool lady’ how dare you to slap me, I will take your head off. His wife said in a sarcastic way, You only started this game. And remember the rule of the game is, whosoever slaps you, you can’t slap that person back. Now go out and find someone else whom you can slap. Saying this his wife slipped out of the room.
So this is the nature of ‘Karma’. The moment you have taken any action, make sure that you are ready to face the music. Those people who think the world is a miserable place to live, they have clearly not taken karma into their hands. Such people make stupid choices and then blame others for the consequences. Those people who are reasonably happy in the world have in some way more accepting attitude towards their life situations. Lastly, I want to share my personal experience here. Just a week ago I was traveling in New Delhi Metro service and was going back to my place. When I reached home suddenly I realized that my 10,000 Bucks which I withdrew from an ATM machine before boarding the metro were lost. Now I had two choices, either I keep on thinking about it and get depressed, or I accept the situation that the money is already gone, there is no point thinking about it anymore. Immediately I made the second choice with a lesson that I would never ever put my money directly into the pocket while traveling in a crowd filled the metro train. The moment I made the second choice, I was much more peaceful & pacified.
If you want to learn more about karma, you may visit one of my previous articles where I have explained other aspects of karma in detail & ways of dissolving it so that you can live a happy peaceful life. The link is: http://wp.me/p7cqBI-sf
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