Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Karma Confusion

(for "mature" and broad minded audience only)

It is said in the scriptures that the decision whether our souls would be saved or not, would be based on our actions. In the Hindu perspective, the philosophy which I adhere to, it would mean that the decision would govern whether my soul would be exposed to the procedure of rebirth, in some life form. In the Christian philosophy, the decision would govern whether my soul would see heaven or hell. (I am specifically not pointing to other philosophies because I do not know much about them. I save myself from the habit of commenting on things which I do not really know about!).

Now, if there is any God (I am not still sure, if there is any), in His (I am also not sure if God has a gender) perspective all souls should be equal, independent of the life form (the physical form of the body). It is in this perspective of equality, that I have a question.

Consider a sequence of incidents and a list of life forms; a human, a cat, a donkey and a cow. The human is a hardworking washerman earning an honest living by washing clothes. The cow has recently given birth to a calf. The donkey and the cat are pets to the washerman, the donkey usually carrying the washed clothes back from the washing place, and the cat saving the household by eating away the rats. One fine morning, the washerman has a fight with his wife, he goes to the river with the soiled clothes, washes them and puts the clothes on the donkey's back and shouts on the donkey. The donkey was feeding on the grass by the side of the river, gets annoyed with the washerman and gives him a kick on his groin. The washerman writhes with pain, but returns home with the clothes. He goes to milk the cow, with the recently born calf tied at another corner, and the cow kicks the washerman again. Somehow, the washerman manages to milk the cow. After half an hour, the washerman keeps the boiled milk at the corner of his house and goes outside to nurse his injuries. In the meanwhile, the cat feeds itself on the milk kept for the children and the wife. The Washerman returns home, sees the empty container of milk, gets angry and beats the cat badly.

At this point there is a huge earthquake, and the world is destroyed. Now it is decision time:
  1. The washerman complains that he has been honest throughout his life, but he has had to bear sadness and pain due to the cow, the donkey and the cat.
  2. The cat says it has been faithful to the washerman and feeding itself was the only way to keep itself alive. The washerman beating the cat was not justified.
  3. The cow says that her milk is first for the calf and then for anybody else and therefore the washerman is not justified about complaining.
  4. The donkey says that it was feeding on the grass peacefully and the Washerman's anger was not justified.
It can be seen that it is the same incident, the same story, the same set of life forms, but Karma changes perspectives according to the character and dharma of the person. Therefore, in our perceptions of the Karma (that is the life forms on earth), a decision on who would go to heaven or hell is not possible.

Now, can we conclude that thieves, backstabbers, nymphomaniacs, kleptomaniacs, pedophiles, sadists, psycopaths cannot expect to be judged on the same platform as normal people? Would the normal people agree to be judged on the same platform?

 This is my Karma confusion!


Unknown said...

The fruits of Karma (in the perspective of post) depends on the spirit behind Karma.

navin said...

It is like the equations of motion are well known, but you cannot solve the three-body problem. The consequences are not time-stamped, and you dont know what is the origin of an experience. The boomerang that just came and hit me from the direction of X might have been thrown by me a long time back at Y.

navin said...

The rule of football applies only to those playing the game, while they are playing the game. One who chooses to quit playing is not bound by the rules of the game. According to the Hindu philosphy, everything starts from the Absolute and would end with the Absolute. All the rules, laws, morality, ethics, heaven, hell. manners, etiquette are mind-games for the interim. Of course it is an entertaining game, and can pave way for great and fun discussions, but the way out is to quit playing the game altogether. Bad karma applies because we crave for the good karma. So while this confusion can be addressed and discussed, the real solution is in going out of it. A detached action with no intended malice doesnt create karma.

Unknown said...

I am happy that you have penned down this confusion in the most simple yet exact way. I have always lived with this.