What is karma?
Karma in the western world is referred to as a law of nature. It’s thought of as a philosophical and mystical force that keeps track of our deeds and punishes us when we stray from the path of good.
As the saying goes –
Karma is the most patient gangster ever.
The eastern philosophy meaning of the word is much different however. People in the east know the meaning of karma as work or action. Karma means the deeds that we do.
From the very beginning Hindu teachings from ancient India have never been based on forceful laws or bindings. Most knowledge of ancient scriptures are in the form enquiries and stories. That has not been the way in the west however.
Even religions in the west have been focused around binding laws that humans should abide by and thus when the meaning of Karma came to the west it was seen as an all powerful law that states that the universe keeps a track of our actions.
What most people miss is that laws are mere learnings. Laws in nature aren’t like the laws in the legal profession.
Laws don’t cause things to happen but instead are representative of the demonstrations of their truth.
The law of gravity in itself does not cause the apple to fall to the ground but it merely represents the truth of what happens.
We won’t go into much detail on this front but VSAUCE in his insightful video on youtube demonstrated this fact brilliantly.
Cause and effect
Science for a long time mainly progressed from this perspective.
Newton gave rise to the equations of motions and established the Law of Gravity and his explanations showed us how the world around us is like a systematic machine that runs like clockwork but there were gaps in his work.
Einstein, later on, came up with his theory of relativity. What he brought to the table was revolutionary in many aspects as his approach deviated from the 1 and 0 way of thinking.
Rather than talking about polar
Newton says every action has an equal and opposite reaction and Einstein observes both of them as one process.
From this perspective, Einstein proved how mass can convert into energy in his equation E= mc^2 and thus came the law of conservation of energy and mass.
What can we learn from Einstein
Instead of observing our universe as a collection of separate living and nonliving we can view our universe as an interrelated system. Nature has no separations or boundaries, it’s a continuum.
We may think of ourselves as a bag of skin containing bones and organs but we know that our skin completely renews in a few weeks. All the cells that hold us together are replaced by new ones. Same happens with our internal organs and from
We may think that we are our thoughts and
We aren’t some centered being that exist behind our eyes inside our brain, instead we are a part of the universe that acts with respect to our surroundings. The only tangible way to describe our existence is the effect we have on our surroundings.
Just like the only tangible way to know an object is how it reacts to its surroundings. Shown by the Butterfly effect that even a flicker from a butterfly’s wings long back in the past can completely change the world as it is today.
We can realize that we are the actions that we take and the choices that we make. We are our Karma.
Continuum of the universe
The polar opposites that we interpret in the world are interdependent and one can’t exist without the other. There is no good without bad, no black without white, no knower without known.
Between the past and the future lies the present moment. Just the way the actions of the past unfold towards the future if we try interpreting the actions going back we see their connections folding back in time.
The present moment you are reading this sentence is the past of your future self. The actions you do now can completely alter the life you have in the future. Just like the past actions that you have taken in your life have been responsible for the consequences and circumstances you face today.
Stephen R. Covey describes this with an analogy of a stick in his book 7 habits of highly effective people. He says that actions and consequences are like two ends of a stick.
We have the freedom to choose our actions however that freedom doesn’t extend to the consequences that arise from them. The consequences of our actions lie beyond our circle of control.
We have to pick both ends of the stick we can’t just pick one. When we choose actions that are not in line with fundamental principles we create adverse consequences for our future self.
We always do what we want
We in our daily life don’t go so deep in the understanding and instead only focus on the surface of the law of karma. Thus we always do what we want even using the knowledge of karma!
But that’s not true you might say. We don’t always do what we want. You might go on to say that some people do good deeds despite them not being very pleasant but I’m here to tell you that it is too done by us to prevent further consequence.
A child eats green vegetables because he doesn’t want to get sick. He finishes his homework because he doesn’t want to get scolded in the class. Even the stuff we think we do despite our wants, we do it because of them.
Karma says that we should do things not based on the outcome but simply to do them.
The true meaning of Karma
The true meaning of Karma is to be completely present with the work that you do. When we do that we become one with our actions and in turn our consequences. We begin to see that they aren’t separate from one another.
Just like a wave. The crest isn’t different from the trough. It’s the combination of the two that makes the wave. Similarly, we don’t distinguish between dualities and begin to look at our surroundings just the way they exist.
Past and present rather than seeming opposites look like a continuum and we realize that the present moment is the most vital resource we have. We only exist in the present moment.
The present moment where we stand now is like an unfinished sentence.
Just like remaining words in an unfinished sentence can completely change it’s meaning similarly, the remaining actions that we take in our life can completely change the meaning of our lives as well.
Karma is selfless
The moment we begin acting just for the sake of our actions all of our worries fall apart. By worrying about the past or the future we give our energy away instead of using the present moment. The only place in which we can exist.
This is how Karma saves us. When we act knowing that we are our actions we let go of the ego and thus let go of the feeling of I.
Karma tells us that every action done from the ego brings us misery.
Thus we must do actions just for the sake of actions. Our true self is not our thoughts or our possessions we are the actions we take when we are in the zone. The actions that come out naturally when there is no ego.
Karma is action without the ego
Karma says to do things not for what they can provide us. That is doing things not wanting something in return in the future but for what they are in the present. The only way we can do that if we don’t think in terms of our ego.
If we begin to think of ourselves in terms of what we truly are the ego fades away. We become one with the work that we do. No thoughts distract us, no anxiety or regrets of the past haunt us. We become our actions!
The more we act with the ego the more suffering we will face. The more we act in synergy with our true self the more ambient our life will be. If we steal from a shop the karma has already punished us since our mind knows the wrong we did.
We forever will keep looking behind our backs even if we don’t get found out. If we lie and deceive people we form a habit of that behavior. Every time we talk to someone we experience anxiety as to which of our lie might
Being one with our actions brings us completely in the present moment and that liberates us from all these worries. We do the callings of our true self and that is when we can be truly happy in our life.
This week while going on about your day focus on the things you work on. There are a lot of tasks we do naturally as our mind drifts apart into a subconscious chain of thoughts.
Whenever you realize this happening take a step back and bring your focus back to the task at hand. You will be more mindful of your actions and that will be the most important step towards your self-
We urge you to explore what your callings are. Do you possess the courage to chase them?
We provide a free ebook called The perfect beginning that might help you in finding those callings. We post every week and if you like what you read, you may follow us on our social handles on Facebook, Instagram as well as Pinterest to be up to date on our posts
Well, that’s all for this post. Have a good day and a good life.