By Kaydee Donohoo
In ancient Indian philosophy, there is not one overarching belief system by any means. However, there some key components that are essentially nationally accepted in India. For instance, karma is believed to be a piece of connection between one reincarnation and the next. Karma is also a form of the resulting consequences of moral actions. It can be deduced that positive actions bring positive results, and negative actions negative results.
You have probably noticed the world doesn’t seem to work like this. Some people use dishonest ways to get ahead and then reap the benefits seemingly undisturbed, even by their own conscience. Then there are wonderful people who, despite their selfless and self-pitiless, attitudes always seem to reveive the worst outcomes.
In answer to this, ancient Indian philosophers speculate that not all karma is paid off in this lifetime.
That’s great, then. Your awful, undeservingly rich boss? Well, maybe in his next life he’ll be hit an obscene number of times by misthrown frisbees. That optimistic younger cousin of yours fighting a rare skin disease? She might be reborn as Hollywood royalty.
But there’s much more to karma than that—if unrepaid, karma can appear in the next life. What’s to say the life you’re living now isn’t heavily shaped by your actions in countless lives before this one?
This is one reason some Indian philosophers choose to say that free will is limited and each person is trapped within the life they don’t remember creating. This complements theories that karma also shapes your personality. If in your past life, for instance, you acted in patterns of irrational anger, you may have acquired a short temper to follow you in this life.
Then doesn’t it seem unjust to be judged for your ability to overcome your natural tendencies if you’re on the same scale as everyone else? And if your horrible boss got his wealth from being a good person in a previous life, isn’t he blowing it all now? Why didn’t he keep his good-person disposition?
Karma can become problematic when you consider that some use it to speculate that those born into poverty deserve to be there, and therefore receive less necessary assistance.
All things considered, I still find karma to have a certain beauty that makes it worth placing into our lives some of the time.
Karma can remind us of a simple truth; being good should be for its own sake and not for the rewards it will give us. Okay, sure, karma is based off of rewarding good actions, but those rewards may be quite far off. We might even be different people for them to come to fruition. But the point of distant consequences is that good actions should be done because they are the right thing to do.
When patience is running thin from keeping a smile plastered to your face from rude relatives, just remember somehow it’ll all be worth it. It also is a way to remember you have to just worry about you. Only worry about your own karmatic consequences when you see horrible people have nice things. Maybe they are even disgustingly miserable in some hidden deserved way. The thought of karma is a simple way to keep seeing justice in the world.