Thursday, February 23, 2012
What IS karma?
I was at our local ice cream shop and the tip jar had a label that read “Karma Insurance.” I thought to myself, tips are for good service…what does that have to do with karma?
Where does the thought of Karma come from anyway? It originates in the Hindu religion. Hinduism relies heavily on karma as the basis for their belief in reincarnation and their caste system.
Reincarnation defined by dictionary.com: the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form.) It’s basically a nearly endless series of rebirths (samsara). Where they are trying to go from the lowest creation to humanity and then finally some sort of release or liberation is achieved at the highest levels (priests, ruling class, royalty, and wealthy of their society). They are considered “twice-born” and are given full participation in society, as all others are denied full participation.
Now the caste system is a rigid system of hereditary social distinctions based on your birth. Which is kind of peculiar because they believe if you were born to a street sweeper, then you must remain there until you die and hope to be reborn as something of a higher class next time. It’s a way that the ruling class uses to reason why they get to be the rulers, and why everyone else must wait until they die to see if they come back as something higher in caste next time. Not very nice to judge people on their birth—which we all know we DO NOT get to choose.
And here’s an interesting note, that you are not only responsible for your actions, good or bad in this life, your past life and your thought life, but you could also be punished for bad things done by your family members or even your society. So if something bad happens to someone, say they are poverty stricken, the Hindu believes that person is being punished for something they did in this life, the previous life or something bad done by their family. And they are very reluctant to interfere or help because of this belief.
Karma is a very complicated thing with lots of rules and doesn’t allow for compassion or love because in their view, everyone gets what they deserve. I guess that's why you hear a lot of people say "Karma's B#####!"
In Christianity, we know that Jesus Christ took the punishment we all deserve, paying our sin debt for us. And Jesus calls us to lives that are lead with LOVE first, no absent.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Maybe I should share this little post with the ice cream parlor folks? hee hee!
A triple scoop on a waffle cone please,
(My basis of research is from The Bhagavad Gita, which is Hinduism's basic reference book for their religion.)
Posted by Tiffany at 10:19 PM