In order for us to dip our toes into the language of the universe, we must understand the law of karma. What is it? And why do we care?
What is Karma? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, what goes around comes around, religious verses such as “The golden rule”, “That you sow you shall also reap”, ying and yang, and other pop culture references cannot stress enough that the energy you put out into the universe, you receive back to you. Like a mirror, like a boomerang, its cause and effect.
Hindu religion heavily implies that your soul goes through endless karmic debt throughout your entire core existence. If you step on a bug, you’ll pay for that. If you hold the door open for someone, you’ll be rewarded with another kind gesture. Paying it forward and getting what you deserve is an account balance with the heavens so to speak.
So if we look at it this way, as positively as we can, knowing that karmic debt is limitless; why not lessen it? Why not consciously make the effort to put good intentions into the world so we have nothing to pay for later on? Here’s the catch. Actively doing good for the sake of receiving good is for lack of better terms; a sin. And I use the word sin in the most spiritual and least religious influenced way that I can. It is selfish to only be a decent human being for the sole purpose of receiving.
So Karma is deeper than the actual law itself. It’s about self reflection, and finding your purpose. It’s about doing the right thing because you want to, never expecting anything in return. Simply because it makes you genuinely happy knowing you let someone or something else receive good instead of putting yourself first. THAT is how you receive good karma. Because good intentions and hidden intentions are very different.
There are a lot of people who seem to get away with so much, and never get their bad karma, so you may be wondering, “Where is their Karma? Why do I have to do the right thing, and they get away with murder?”
Karma finds people in the weirdest ways, and we don’t always see it. Every lifetime is full with its own challenges, so their karma may not be public, or they just go about it nonchalantly. Either way, karma works itself out across multiple lifetimes. Like I’ve said previously, the goal in life is to learn the lesson that is trying to be taught to you. Maybe their lesson is to learn how to do the right thing without reward. Maybe karma doesn’t touch them in this life, but if they fail their independence to do the right thing, they pay for those consequences later on in their next life. We can’t know unless we take a walk in their shoes, so just worry about yourself.
So if past lives determine your good and bad karma for this life, and so on – does that mean our current life is pre-determined? Do people deserve tragic endings and a horrible series of events? Why should we care if it’s neverending?
Here’s the short answer: No, no one deserves tragedy. Because the entity responsible for causing the tragedy is creating their own bad karma. No one deserves to be slighted, or receive natural disaster impact – but we can control how we respond to things. We can control if we fight for justice, or if we fight for revenge. We can choose if we rise above or stoop down. The Bhagavad Gita explains it in this way: We cannot choose the cards that have been dealt, but we can choose how we play the game. So if you are destined to die at 23, how will you get to that point? Will you be drunk driving, or will it be environmental factors? Will you suffer a slow painful death? Or will it be quick and painless? If you are destined to win the lottery, will you blow all of the money in a year? Or will you multiply your money and be successful?
In the metaphysical, time isn’t linear nor valid. So if karma is neverending, and time is a social construct, why not always act in kindness and good intentions so that you always have a higher ratio of good than bad in your lifetimes? If we all work hard on bettering ourselves, individually, we are all working hard to be better as a community. It is actually selfish, to not put yourself first in this case, because if you cannot love yourself, you cannot love others.