Karma- a word which has been given different flavors to suit the needs of those who theorize about it.
Literally, by definition, karma means action. Any action will always cause a reaction. The action by its very nature breeds some reaction. They are inseparable like two faces of a coin. If we understand this then we will realize that there is nothing in the world that happens without a reason and if we can see the cause, we can remove the effect by removing the cause. It is so simple yet very complex to understand. Why is it complex? For one simple reason- mind loves abstractions. It does not want to look into the cause. And this not looking into the cause is itself a karma which fructifies in its own time. In this article, I will not try to touch any spiritual aspect of karma because I don’t know if it has got any. But yes, everything that is happening around you or me has a cause and it has become evident to me. Let’s look at it pragmatically.
Let’s take an example with which everybody would relate to.
There are two students in a class. We name them as, say, A and B.
A studies five hours a day. B studies two hours a day.
A gets 75% marks in the final examination while B gets 95%.
You look at the whole scenario. Now, you might theorize on a superficial level:
A has poor concentration. B can concentrate better.
Now, it means, there is a cause. What if we could make A to learn to concentrate better? It seems as the only solution from your perspective. You might open up your vault of knowledge about concentration techniques that you may not have applied in your own life. But have you ever sit with A and tried to know him better? Maybe, you never did. I am not blaming you. I am just trying to point to how quick we are in our reactions. Even, the so-called best psychiatrists would sometimes get frustrated if a patient opens his heart to them. They are paid to listen and understand but they are human beings in the end. We think we know and that is the biggest lie we tell to ourselves. Now, let’s look into the possibilities: A, once, was a very bright student. Owning to a massive loss in business, his father became depressed and stopped spending quality family time. His mother is not happy with this situation either. At his home, the situation is tense. He is being neglected. Also, he is not mature enough to understand the situation. He had been pampered by his parents and was given everything he asked for. He has now fallen for a girl. He has become attached to her. He has developed a fear of losing her because of one reason- he is not getting that emotional support at home. Now, let’s break down this whole scenario.
- Even if you tell him the best concentration techniques in the world, nothing is going to work because it won’t remove the actual cause i.e. emotional disharmony.
- Emotional disharmony is at the core. What has caused it? The situations that he is going through. If you see, failure in father’s business has caused the problem. Again, you can go deeper into that. You might find that his father was an impulsive risk-taker. And his risk-taking behavior has brought trouble to his family.
- Why is A dependent on the girl? Because he is emotionally needy and he doesn’t want to lose that support. He is being neglected at home.
Can we reach to a solution now? If you have really seen the causes, you can.
- What his father did was not his fault. He needs to understand that.
- If he really wants to become bright again, he MUST protect his mind. How?
- He must understand that more he seeks emotional support from outside, weaker he becomes inside. It will impact his inner world.
- He must understand that he can’t change what his father has done. But situation is not that worst that he would have to stop schooling.
If A can see the causes, he can use this situation as a fuel for excellence. But it needs self-reflection because only then can A see the whole picture and understand it. That’s how tough times can bring the best out of you if you really learn something from it. Remember, whatever you are facing in life has a cause. Sometimes, these causes have to be accepted as facts. And sometimes, we have to remove the cause to destroy the effect that is born out of it. This is so phenomenal. So,
- Either you accept what can’t be changed(Embrace it). OR
- You change what can be changed.
I told you, mind loves abstractions and it takes immense mental energy to look into the cause which most of us don’t have. We spend this mental energy in addictions, useless thoughts, gossips etc. and what not! And then we look for happiness in outer world which is the most frustrating impossibility. We don’t look into the reasons why we are unhappy. We don’t want to hold ourselves responsible for the miseries face. If that is how you want to live, you can. Ultimately, this is your life, not mine.
Author: Pankaj Kumar
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