Hindu World

Karma and attachment

Karma and its inevitable results, that we enjoy or endure in our daily lives, is a key realisation/revelation of Hindu philosophy. The concept of karma, is the bedrock of our religion. It is the foundation of our daily virtuous living, since what you do is what you live and will live. Thus the karma that you do, also determines the body that the atma is born (resides) in, as also the conditions of the birth, the new journey. The extreme variations in the place and conditions of birth, is explained by this unfailing law of karma. It explains as to why does one atma take birth as an animal/insect, while yet another takes birth in the body of a human being. Even in such births, the variations are infinite. Imagine being born as a beast of burden, versus say a much loved pet cow, doted upon by its owners. Similarly compare being born in a downtrodden/helpless family, versus being born in a rich and prosperous one. These disparate births are not by accident, but are the result of the inviolable and inescapable law of karma, that transcends our births, where we carry the burden/account of our karma, from one birth to another.

With the consequent result of our karma being destined, the primary lesson for us is to do such deeds, that give us joy and bliss as against those which endow us with fleeting grief and sorrow. The former includes kindness, forgiveness, truth and the latter includes cruelty, cheating and dishonesty. It is because of a mixture of good and bad deeds in our karma, that the world is full of opposites of joy and sorrow, which alternate in our daily life, with no notice or respite. These alternating patterns of joy and sorrow are the result of our own karma, whether in this life or in the earlier ones. Good and bad deeds done in the past reflect in your current life and leave you stuck in a matrix of alternating joy and sorrow. Neither comes with a notice and neither is permanent, except in exceptional cases, where a person has long and uninterrupted periods of worldly joy or sorrow. These alternating cycles of joy and sorrow give no lasting happiness and the tormented man seeks respite from it.

The conduct of action is inevitable for one who takes birth, if not in pursuit of worldly pleasures at least for one’s own survival and comfortable living. Does it mean that we cannot get out of this cycle of joy and sorrow, that originates from our karma. The answer is that you indeed can. Karma done without any attachment or expectation, does not accrue any result for you to endure/enjoy later. Thus do no action with attachment to its results, even if it be an act of charity, because charity done with a sense of attachment or expectation begets a result for you to later endure/enjoy. A sense of non attachment in your deeds does not tie you to its result and gives you lasting bliss. Try it. Indulge in acts of piety, kindness, forgiveness and goodness, with no expectation and see how blissful you are.

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