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Thread: How Well do you know karma

  1. #11
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    Re: How Well do you know karma

    Quote Originally Posted by Webimpulse View Post
    Namaste Mystical Soul,

    Nice blog post. It gets the job done of having the reader consider what they've done to earn their own karma. This being said, I do have some questions. I only have time to ask one at present: obviously our thoughts can influence our actions and therefore our karma. 1.But to what extent does our past karma influence our thoughts? 2.In other words, does it work both ways, where thoughts influence karma AND karma influences thoughts?
    Namaste Webimpulse


    Senior members should correct me if my understanding is incorrect.
    1. When we are born we bring along with us a portion of our karma as Prarabdha karma. So that portion of our accumulated karma design our present life. If I have done good deeds will be born in a good surrounding and reap the benefits of taking birth in a better place (ie in terms of standard and quality of life). Our life style play a important role in our thought process.

    2. I believe thought in itself is an action. I read this in Srimad B.G, do not remember the chapter. I think it is in 3rd or 4th chapter.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: How Well do you know karma

    Quote Originally Posted by Webimpulse View Post
    Namaste Mystical Soul,

    Nice blog post. It gets the job done of having the reader consider what they've done to earn their own karma. This being said, I do have some questions. I only have time to ask one at present: obviously our thoughts can influence our actions and therefore our karma. But to what extent does our past karma influence our thoughts? In other words, does it work both ways, where thoughts influence karma AND karma influences thoughts?
    OK I am no Vedic expert but I would say yes because our thoughts are comprised of life's experiences which would include our family, culture and all other factor that go into who we are. For example if you are born and reared in a place with constant war your thoughts may reflect that as you prepare for your day. You are constantly on guard so to speak for acts of violence. Were you from a peaceful harmonious environment you will not think the same thoughts but be more at ease in your environment.

    As for "little" thoughts, like sizing someone up as a potential friend, lover, enemy of the like those same forces are at work in your background or sub conscious as you form opinions. Since your past karma has put us where we are it stands to reason to me anyway that the thoughts are all part of the package. This may seem as if I am saying we are at the mercy of fate, but even after have a materialized thought, we still choose how to act on it.
    In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly.

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    Re: How Well do you know karma

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    2. I believe thought in itself is an action. I read this in Srimad B.G, do not remember the chapter. I think it is in 3rd or 4th chapter.
    Yes, actions may be performed by Body, Mind or by Speech or by any combination of these. Lord Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita Chapter 18, Verse 15 :

    "Whatever actions are performed by a person by body, mind or speech, whether proper or improper are (performed) due to these five factors".

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: How Well do you know karma

    Namaste all learned members - Yajvan ji, Devotee ji, Anirudh ji, et al...

    I have some questions for you regarding karma.

    I always thought, as Yajvan ji explained earlier, that merit or sin is relative to one's effort. If it takes more effort to do a good deed, then that activity will procure more merit associated with it. Is this assumption correct?

    Next, I really want to know how Vedanta terms these conditions and how one procures karma for the following scenarios:

    1. Correct inference but incorrect action - for example, "People who have leprosy must have sinned in the past" (Correct inference) "I will not help them because after all, they are paying back for their sins" (incorrect action).

    2. Incorrect inference and incorrect action - for exampe, "A certain subset of people are cursed" (Incorrect inference) "Therefore I will kill them" (Incorrect action).

    3. Total ignorance and incorrect action - for example, "I do no know if killing animals is correct or not" (Ignorance) "But everyone I know kills them, so I will kill too" (Incorrect action).

    Do each of the above action bring about different effects and results as per karma? Or their results will be the same for the individual?

    Which section of Vedanta deals with the above questions? Kindly add your thoughts...

    Thank you very much,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: How Well do you know karma

    Namaste Viraja,

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    I always thought, as Yajvan ji explained earlier, that merit or sin is relative to one's effort. If it takes more effort to do a good deed, then that activity will procure more merit associated with it. Is this assumption correct?
    Intention to do good is important and it is important in what conditions you are sticking to doing good. There is a story in Mahabharata. One mongoose visits the place of Aswamedha-Yagna being performed by the PAndavAs after the war. It had half of his body golden and other half normal. This mongoose rolled in the ashes of the Yagna for some time and then with a sigh started leaving the place. Someone stopped the mongoose and asked him what he was doing and why. It was also asked why he looked so sad after rolling in the ashes. The mongoose replied : "It is a long story. Once there was a very poor Brahmin family. They had not eaten for more than 10 days as there was no food in house and they could not get anything in "daan" from people they visited. That day the Brahmin (the head of the family) got some "Sattu" (a powdered mixture of mixed roasted grains) in alms. This sattu was divided into four parts : one for his wife, one for his son, one for his daughter in law and one for himself. Just when they were ready to start eating after praying to God, unexpectedly one guest came at the door. He was looking very hungry and emaciated. He said that he was hungry for many days and begged for food. Even though Brahmin himself was very hungry, he invited the guest and offered his part of Sattu to him. However, this didn't satisfy the guest and he asked if he could have some more as he still was very hungry. So, he wife came forward and offered her part to the guest, then the son and the daughter-in-law they all gave their parts to the guest. The guest went happy fully satisfied and the whole family again slept hungry and due to the hunger they all died that night. I (the mongoose) was staying in that house and I was seeing the whole episode. After their death, a heavenly ship came and took them to heaven. I, out of curiousity went there where a little of the Sattu, was lying fallen. I rolled in that little sattu and wherever that sattu touched my body, it became golden but as it the spread sattu was too little, only part of my body became golden and the rest remained normal. From that day, I have been visiting all sacred religious places and any place where some good work is done and I roll there so that my other part would also become golden. However, till date nothing has worked. I thought that this Yagna, which is being considered so meritorious, would be able to match the merits of that deed of the Brahmin family and its ashes would make my other part golden too. However, this whole Yagna performed by so many great saints and with highly sacred vedic mantras for so many days and where gold and silver have been donated to the poor and Brahmins in abundance, proved to be no match to the meritorious action of the Brahmin family and that made me sad."

    I think this story proves your point quite well. Performing a meritorious work when the conditions are favourable is very easy but it weighs heavy when you are able to perform the same action in adverse conditions. However, it doesn't mean that unnecessarily forcing your body and mind into suffering would bring more merits.


    1. Correct inference but incorrect action - for example, "People who have leprosy must have sinned in the past" (Correct inference) "I will not help them because after all, they are paying back for their sins" (incorrect action).
    There cannot be worse misconception than the above. You must help if you can help alleviate anyone's sufferings. This is your dharma. If you don't then it is adharma and incurs sin. The sinner is suffering due to his sins ... is correct but his interaction with you is also due to his good karma or due to grace of God. So, you should perform your Karma without letting any such thoughts in mind.

    2. Incorrect inference and incorrect action - for exampe, "A certain subset of people are cursed" (Incorrect inference) "Therefore I will kill them" (Incorrect action).
    There is no one who is cursed. He/she is just suffering because of his/her karma. You cannot suffer because of his presence, you will suffer because of your Karma. Every soul is as pure and divine as anyone is. Lord Krishna advises that one should not differentiate between pious and spiritual people and the sinners.

    3. Total ignorance and incorrect action - for example, "I do no know if killing animals is correct or not" (Ignorance) "But everyone I know kills them, so I will kill too" (Incorrect action).
    Any action which causes suffering to anyone (unless it/he/she is in war with you), incurs sin.

    Do each of the above action bring about different effects and results as per karma? Or their results will be the same for the individual?
    Which section of Vedanta deals with the above questions? Kindly add your thoughts...
    In VecAnta, it is Bhagwad Gita which gives some insight towards differentiating between Good and Bad Karma and how to remain unaffected by karma. Upanishads don't deal with this subject. So, basically, VedAnta (except Bhagwad Gita in some places) doesn't deal with this subject. VedAnta tells us how to go beyond the clutches of all sorts of Karma and become free. The Karmas matter only till we are bound to material world and the subtle worlds (i.e. heaven and the hell). The goal of VedAnta is beyond all these realms. Good Karmas are too bondage as are bad Karmas. So, there is no respite from the bondage by performing Karmas (though Lord Krishna advises to perform Yagna, Daan and Tapa and says that these take a person towards Mukti). VedAnta emphasises on attaining JnAna and not merits.

    The Smritis, ItihAsas and PurANas deal with this subject.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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