The Karma conundrum

Karma is the only doctrine that explains suffering. Why is it that good people suffer? According to karma every deed has a direct repercussion, which may be immediate, or may be transmitted to a future rebirth. It is as if God has a master excel sheet upon which our deeds – good and bad – are being tabulated!

If one buys this theory, the karma doctrine certainly encourages an activist faith. Several western scholars have claimed that Hinduism is a religion in which the followers believe that everything is predetermined or fatalistic. But if you look at it more closely, if every action has a reaction, then this doctrine puts a lot of impetus on each one of us to act with free will and create our own destiny. Thus, our future is in our own hands. Or is it?

How much of our own destiny can we actually create? The doctrine of karma seemingly does not seem to take into consideration the power of the networks around us. The conundrum is: to what extent does the karma of those around you affect your own karma and thus your destiny? After all, in the words of John Donne “No man is an island.”

 

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