Advaitam and Science

OM, Purnamata purnamitam purnat purnamutachyate, purnasya purnamataye purnamevavasishyate – Bri.Up V.i.1


                                                                                 THE IMPACT OF KARMA


In life, at many times we are cornered by challenging situations.  Sometimes we are cornered by our own faults and sometimes we are innocent, but unable to prove it.  In spite of our repeated sincere efforts, we will not be able to come out of that veiled corner.  Even people close to us cannot help us to come out of that terrible situation.  It is a common experience regardless of the age, gender, nationality and so on.  Seeing our desperate situation some will pity us, but most of the time we are labeled as inefficient, not-intelligent, untrained to cope up with the situation and the labels go on.  We ourselves also label us in similar manner and make the situation more worse.  The labels and comments of others will not affect us unless and until we take it inside ourselves.  We may view such situation as ‘bad time’, and run from pillar to post to rectify it.  It only drains the money and energy, but has little or negligible effect or impact.

Spirituality views such situation as the impact of negative karmas.  Any person is in the grip of the karmic influence.  If there are no karmas, then there is no birth.  The matter of concern is, we must be able to deal with that trying situation.  The solution Vedanta advices to deal with such challenging situations are, “give maximum sincere effort, without getting wavered or discouraged by the failures”.  Until the bad karmas get exhausted, one has to wait patiently and there is no way out to oppose the negative karmas.  For the time being, one has to accept the failure and learn from the mistakes.  The effort taken to perform the duty must be sincere with dedication.  Failure and success are both temporary.  For instance, if a student gets scared by failures and lose interest in the studies, then his future will be at risk.  Instead, if he is sincere and hard working, he will be very proficient in his area of interest, and his sincere efforts will pay him one day in the most successful manner.  This is the concept Bhagavan Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, “Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits, let not the fruits of action by thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction”, (2,47).  It may be hard to digest these words, because we all target the results while doing our duties.  Bhagavan Krishna says that if we work keeping only the result in mind, the thought of the result will influence the work, and the work will not be perfect.  Instead if we work with full dedication, we will be free from the grip of karmic influence.  We are satisfied with the work itself and the results follow automatically.

Sometimes the contrary may also happen, we will be showered with success.  This is the impact of the past positive karmas.  Two things normally accompany success; they are pride and arrogance.  Our success is due to our present effort and the past karmic influence.  If we fail to remain equipoise in success, arrogance and pride becomes the vehicle to bring us down.

In my view, it is very important to be equipoise in success and failure.  One should inculcate the habit of sincerity and dedication because they are permanent, and it is to be applied in all the duties we perform.  Success and failure are passing phases, one can learn from it and leave it there and go for the next phase.  Any person will have the karmic impact, but one can be free from its grip by being an equipoise person.  Wrong karmas of the past come to us as present challenges.  Help from others in times of challenges is a return of our past good karmas.  Right response to the challenge at present is the right karmas done in the present and this reduces the suffering.