At school, explaining the Indian concept of karma, tutorials used to focus on karma’s work in “next incarnations”, on its role as determinant of “next life” and avoided analysis of the concept of karma in application to this, “present” life. I’m sure, this image was incorporated into the Soviet school program to show how silly hindus with their religion and philosophy are in the light of communist-atheist perception of reality.
Effects of karma, especially of that aspect, which deals with return/bringing back into our lives “unpleasant” things and actions, that some people call “karmic retribution” is of much more interest for us than some hypothetical consequences in hypothetical “next life”.
Many Hindus, whom I boldly questioned about it, told that they do not believe in the “next life” – (and why fool oneself believing, if you do not know anything for sure about it), but reasonably apprehend their present life in the light of karma concept. Understanding this is at first glance not easy, especially considering all the discourse around the concept of “karma”, which has been formed in postsoviet mental space.
Remember, the word “karma” is translated from Sanskrit simply as an “action”.
We are used to tear phenomena out of the flow; thought of the East, however, is subject to that much less, and karma is often seen as a set of systems “action — next-action”, “cause — effect”. To understand how karma works it is important to see interconnectedness in of any action with its consequences in space-time continuum, regardless of whether we see \ understand \ can think of connectedness of some causes and effects. For example, some people can not see cause-effect connection between lung cancer and smoking in the amount of twenty cigarettes daily. Discovering “karmic retribution” that “some people” can even imitate biblical or dramatic characters and histrionically cry: “My God, why, God, for what?” But God in particular has nothing to do with it, at least directly — karma just acts, causes bring effects, no matter our minds accept it or not.
Some karma works instantly and is more or less linearly. It is much easier to understand, but most acts “indirectly” to such an extent, that we can not recognize (we “do not believe in”) the connection between two or much more events. Example: if you do a puja for Hindu goddess of prosperity Lakshmi, will your financial status improve or not? I know people that will say: what a nonsense, but I know those who regularly use Lakshmi Puja to improve business affairs. The latter say they believe because they have experiential knowledge of the effectiveness of such a puja.
Some “karmic results” are stretched in time, or they act remotely; some karma, for no apparent reason (for us), returns SUDDENLY and breaks triumph moments of Hollywood movies’ bad characters. We will investigate these nuances later.
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