Friday, 8 December 2017

Dharma and Karma in the village.

One day I will write a detailed note on Dharma and Karma. My learnings from people, the ordinary, illiterate, wise and grounded people of this land who live with those tenets. A lived understanding in our country, the understanding of which was what brought me back to god and religion. Realities I had casually rejected in the arrogant days of youth, when I moved in more deracinated circles, mainstream and activist. A village brought me back to India. To roots.

Here I will simply add to your post saying that people, the real people of this land, the people the leftists like to call 'masses' never apply karma to others. Karma is a personal concept, that gives us our bearings. Karma is only an empowering and liberating concept in practice.

Eashwaramma feeds ever poorer person with empathy and sympathy and respect. Even if she will have no rice after that. His karma never crosses her thinking. Her own karma applies to herself in two ways.
One - she accepts that somewhere she is answerable to her current fate, and is not bitter towards another. She acts in the present without anger and bitterness.
Two - her present deeds will decide her future, just as the past decides her present. So the immense responsibility on acting in the present with complete integtrity. And that integrity is Dharma.

An important point to note is that Karma and Dharma go together. Adherance to dharma is what is good karma. Dharma is duties. Ethical duties. The personal is the political.

That is the philosophical lived basis of our country. Gandhis satyagraha, which took a country along, like no other movement has, is based on that understanding. Of duties.

It took twenty years of living in a small, poor, illiterate, landless village to understand a little of the philosophy of this land. Philosophy as it is lived.

Kriti Bhardwaj
Many of us sympathize and think that poverty/disability/disease et al is a test given by God. Some of us empathize but dismiss it as a consequence of "past life bad karma".
It's because we have a superfluous and broken understanding of karma. Also because of our physical experiences, we have come to understand time as being absolute, consequential and linear.

Yet. Despite. Assuming that our understanding is complete, even by our misplaced logics how can we not see:
1. Affluence/privilege is ALSO a test given by God. A bigger test.
2. If anything, it accumulates loads of "punishable karma for next life" if there is any such thing.
God neither tests nor punishes. God just IS. Our energies, in the form of our thoughts, actions, intentions and emotions keep balancing themselves out- across space, time and dimensions. It's always between you and you. If at all there is a creator or a judge or a blesser or a curser, it's us. We create, judge, bless or curse ourselves. Only that. तत्त्वमसि.

Sthanunathan Ramakrishnan Wonderful post, Aparna Krishnan. It is very heartening to note that you have been able to see these truths in operation in people's lives, while my understanding is derived only from reading epics and purana.

Aparna Krishnan Yes, what my village has given me is unrepayable.

Aparna Krishnan It helped me return to myself, my roots, my country.

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