Karma

In last few months, I have adopted a belief and have strongly moved towards the existence of Karma. That means that I no longer believe in Fate, Luck or Destiny. Before I go about explaining how and why I arrived at this thought process, let me start off by explaining to you all what I understand of these words. If you want to learn more about it, I have provided links to all of these. My viewpoints mentioned in this post are just a summary of the concept and they closely follow what Brahmins follow in Hindu. I am not going to digress into Jainism, Buddhism or any other religions and debate what they each mean/infer of these divine words.

Karma can be summarized from a theist viewpoint as “God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve.”

Luck is either a good or bad fortune in life caused by accident or chance, and attributed by some to reasons of faith or superstition, which happens beyond a person’s control.

Destiny refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that a fixed natural order to the cosmos. Destiny and Fate may be used interchangeably.

Now to tie things up – about a month ago, I wrote about Destiny and why it has me confused. As you read that post, you will find me conflicted, but I do make a point that it seems my existence is purposeless. I have to exist to fulfill a purpose just like any other object in the universe be it Sun or be it an Ant or a pebble. We all play our roles in the environment around us. So, if everything has to be pre-determined or Destined, that all of this is simply pointless. Why would God create such a world where everything is pre-decided. Do we create a game where we know what is going to happen. Will we enjoy it?

Decision 1: There is no such thing as Destiny.

Just like Destiny, Luck is something that happens for no reason. Now, we all know that it is a proven fact of life a scientific principle proven – “every action has a reaction”. Hence, there has to be an action for an event to happen. Things do not happen for no reason. Everything has a reason, just we don’t understand what that is. Read this post here; and you will see that I was able to find a few reason about why the chain of events took place. It also ties to our responsibilities and we are given a chance for God to fix things that we may have done wrong.

Decision 2: There is no such thing as Luck.

That leaves me with just one reason – Does Karma has a very big role to play in our lives? It is all based on what decisions we make. God provides is with options in every aspect of our life, He asks us to make choice and decide what we are going to do in every single moment. Sometimes, those decisions are just easy to make as they are trivial like eat what at a diner; buy a car. There are other times when these decisions are very difficult to make and are life-altering like this one. But, the choice is ours – we have our free will. Two people in same situation have the capability to think and choose what they are going to do. One of them may chose to pardon sins of another while the other may turn to terrorism or depression. But, the decision is theirs to make. It the sum-total of these decisions that lead to the events in our life.

Hinduism believes in after-life and reincarnation; while Christianity believes in one life. However, in both the religions and some others that I have read about (I am no expert in Atheism or religions and my knowledge is limited) do talk about the sins of your earlier life or your ancestors are carried over to you and you have to pay for it. I have never heard of a religion talk about a good deed to be carried over.That is one reason why I do not believe in a religion, but do believe in God. Religions talk about bad things and then they ask people to come to the Divine shelter of God i.e. the Holy Place. I feel it is self-marketing.. I have arrived at this theory for Karma. Now, I have not read it anywhere, so if someone comes across a text where there is written somewhere, please point it out and I will pass on the credit/links. However, I do want to announce that I did come up with his all by myself.

Rule: Your Karma decides what you get back in life.

God, maintains a balance scorecard for us. It all starts with a ZERO (0) at some point. As we live our life, we are provided with choices – some of those choices are right and other are wrong (how is another topic I will cover later; lets assume to be right an wrong for this conversation). We have to decide what we would do in such a scenario. Based on our decisions, we are awarded points or points are taken away from us. Now, when we go t God and pray for something, or want something in our life, God sees what is our Scorecard and gives is what we deserve. We either get what we asked for or we don’t or we get something in between; but all that is based on what our scorecard is at that time. Once we have been awarded, our scores neutralizes back – it is like earning “Game Points” and spending those in the game for powers to do bigger things.

So, you may be asking yourself, how do I explain the exceptional people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar who were born with talent. My answer to that is that those people had their scores carries from a earlier life. They did some good things and they were rewarded with a head-start. Now, we have people like them with exceptional leadership skills, and then we also have people like Osama bin Ladin who also had exception leadership skills. What they chose to do with those leadership skills was their decisions. A few decided to do good to the world, while other decided otherwise. They will have been rewarded as per their actions.

Now, Karma becomes more complicated when you put people together. Have you ever heard a husband say “My wife is lucky for me” (I have ben saying that for 5 years now) or a father say “My daughter/son is lucky for me”. Remember, we have established that there is Luck. So what is this? It is two people’s Karma’s coming together. We do not decide our Spouse based on their good fortunes, but we try to choose based on what we know of them – what good they have done (or what bad they are capable of if we are negative people to begin with). But, we essentially try to match up. Based on our decisions, we get chances to do more good together and it is our way to build up that balance scorecard. Who we are blessed with (our kids) is a direct result of what do and what scorecard we have. And, it is our chance to make a difference with that kid. God entrusts that child to us and what we make out of him/her is our Karma. How good are parents is a head-start that a kid gets based on their earlier balance scorecard that is a carry forwarded.

 

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Faith isn’t an Argument

Faith Happens

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Theism is based on Faith and by its simple definition “Faith” is belief in something that can not been seen or proven. So, when people ask me to prove to them Who is God and Where is your God or why did God do something – I do not know how to answer. I just know it in my heart that He is out there somewhere watching me and providing me with opportunities to do good things. He is out there paving my path with temptations but trusts me to do the right thing. He is out there trying to understand me and forgive me for my sins and take care of me

I just know.

Why can’t he just be a leader?

I sit here at 11 in the night and waiting for my approval to trip back to India. I sent request for the approval on Thursday and have been waiting for three working days. I know the approval will come but I am waiting for the date that will come back in the approval – can be 15 or 22 july.  I was supposed to go back in early July but has been pushed already. My anxiety to meet my family is increasing.

As I sit here and wait for the email to come, I can not reach out the person who has to approve the request. Only person I can reach out to is my manager and he is three levels down the person who has to approve. This makes me think – are they leaders? Why can I not reach out to anyone above my immediate manager? Why do we even have a hierarchy in place? Can we not do work in a horizontal leadership model? Why does pyramid has to exist?

The reason I know I can’t reach beyond Harsha (my direct manager) is because I have been asked so, I have been told rather instructed to go via Harsha for any details I need from people above him in hierarchy. I have been told by Krishna (Harsha’s manager – our Director) that he will meet his direct reports for any details he needs and there is no need for us to meet regularly. I feel he has shut the door on us and it will only open when we have any issues or escalations.

Why can’t he have the door open for all of 150 people who report into him? Why not? Why can’t he just be a leader? Or are they just managers?

Selfless deeds don’t matter

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A few weeks earlier when I was having a conversation with my nephew this topic came up. He said there is ni deed as selfless deed. We all see people around us praisung selflessness and any selfish acts are seen with disgust. The big question is do people know of an act is selfish or not? And is there a deed that can truly be defined as selfless?

Selfish deed can be defined as a deed that has been done for self interest or happiness. Ones selfishness leads one to do things that are directed for their own benefit. Any selfish deed will only mean their own benefit.

A selfless deed can be defined as a deed that has been dine without any self interest and only for the benefit of the others. A true selfless deed should not bring any benefit to the one who is performing the deed.

Now that we have the definitions out of the way, lets think abiyt his would you judge a deed to be selfish or selfless. Okay, did the definition not cover it? I think it did, but lets see that I be again. A deed that has been acted upon without any self interest will be considered as selfless only if there are alternatives that exist and are more profitable for the person acting upon it. However, a true or an absolute selfless deed would mean that the action has absolutely no benefits irrespective of the options available. I. Other words, if there are more profitable options availabe, the deed performed should bit have any benefits even if they are lesser. Anything else is selfish (phew that was easy).

The next big question is – how are the benefits quantified? The can be material or emotional. Lets say, if I was to do charity for an organization run by a friend or a colleague, and in return I expect to bb benefited in a contract or job than that is material benefit. But, if I do charity for an independent organization where I know no one and I don’t expect any returns, I am doing it for my internal peace and happiness. So now, if we take this argument and apply it all deeds and say that every deed is for self-hapiness then it implies that big deed cna be selfless. Everything that is done is don’t for an emotional or internal benefit. Every person has some interior motive to do it.

The last part may be philosiphical, but it is interesting and eventually leaves no room for any other discussions. I do nit know if I have an answer for it yet, but I do feel it very intriguing. Why? Simply because if thus is true, then all the praise that goes in for selfless deeds is nothing but a hypocritical, the praise itself would imply that the person who has done a deed with openness had an interior motive of getting praise out of it and hence getting benefit in the society of being a “better person”.

Now, having said all that, I think of Saint Mother Teresa and all the good she has done, and it breaks my heart to call her selfish. However, if I apply the same rule to her then she was very selfish. Now that simply can’t be true. But, the logic takes me there.

And makes me sad to think that it is these so called “selfless and great” people who get the most out of it and other who have motives of salvation and happiness are left behind. Ever heard of “neki kar kuain main daal” (do good and forget about it, don’t tell it). That is something which is a rare commodity today.

Thinking all this, I have come to a conclusion that it don’t matter if a deed is categorized as selfless or selfish, as long it is a good deed. If the society can go past the selfless act and praise all good deeds, the world would be a better place to live in.

Be a Slave or Be Selfish

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My nephew (Sushant) has started his new blog and he started off with a great topic – Being Slave. However, as the comments started up and we picked up the debate it left me with this thought – “Be a Slave or Be Selfish”. In one of his comments, Sushant mentioned that there is nothing called “Selfless deed” and argument being – if a person chooses to be selfless and take up pain, that is for their self-satisfaction and hence it is not self-less.

I see things a little differently. Let me first explain now I perceive these 2 scenarios:

 – Slave: Is a person who does not have a choice and are asked to do something against their wish.

- Selfish: Is a person who performs a deed for their own happiness.

Every person will fall in either of the two categories.

In my comment here, I have explained the point where people are given the option of being able to choose or not. What is unquantifiable, is the fact if someone has chosen. It is easy to spot bondage and slavery when it is physical and people are chained and beaten when they don’t do as asked for. However, when someone is chaining their thoughts and taking away their free-will it is simply not  quantifiable.

To set the semantics right, it is not one’s choice to be a slave and in relations one would not even know that they are slaved because they are brain-washed by the master. A Slave in relation would not even know what hit them, and they are driven by a feeling within them that leads them to believe and do what their “master” says.

It is only when you have a choice is when you can be selfish or not, but a topic for another day. And, I re-phrase a few things I said earlier in the post:

Every person will fall in either of the two categories. Do they? Or is there a 3rd category – Non-slave and non-selfish?

Being a Slave is not a choice, it is thrust upon; so you cant be selfish. You just don’t choose

Time for a Change – The new name

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It has been a while since I first thought of upgrading my domain to a proper domain name and get rid of the blog-engine from the address bar. I thought about setting up a website and host the blog of my own, but then it was too much to handle and make sure that I keep updating the hosted version with so many widgets and of course configure them. Finally, I decided to keep things simple and just keep using the hosting by WordPress and simply buy out their domain mapping, which is not that expensive.

And here is my new Site – just the change to the name for now and a new tag line. The reason for a new name and tag-line has been because of what and how  given how I have thought more recently. while my “Pursuit for Happyness” still goes on; I am now thinking more radically than ever and I hope that I just find peace along the way. Somehow, I have started to believe that trying to find Happyness is making me do things that I should not have done and I am complicating things. I just have to keep things simple and go back to basics – Bizarre!! Yeah I know, I am still trying to figure it out. Maybe it matches up :)

Let me know what you think? Like it or not – always welcome.

God’s role in Karma

Wen god pushes u to the edge of difficulty,trust him fully.Coz only 2 things can happen Either he’l catch u when u fall or he will teach u how 2 fly

This was posted by my sister-in-law on facebook and it led me to re-think a very old belief that I have had.

We can trust in God only if we have Faith; and if we have Faith, trust will come naturally.

I am confused because  if you know nothing can go wrong then that means we dont have a role to play. The only choice we got is to jump. I believe that God gives us choices – Jump or not. One will have a bad consequence like – We dont jump we dont learn to fly or we jump and we get hurt. The choice is ours and we dont know what leads to what makes is more difficult.

I have believed for a very long time, that everything that happens, happens for a reason and that reason is always good. God does takes care of us. I dont want to let go of my belief, but I have started to believe in Karma a lot more and how it shapes our life. And, currently I am finding it difficult to put these two together.

Destiny!!

Destiny is seen as a sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable.

Well this has me confused – It is also said – “you can choose your own destiny”. If Destiny does exists, then no matter what I choose to do throughout my life, all those actions nonetheless lead me to a very predetermined destiny. So where is my free will? So why do I struggle everyday with all those decisions that I make? Why do I even exist as a puppet?

 

The feeling of being stuck

I want to move on, but looks like I have placed myself in a position where I cant. I find myself stuck at a place where some of my personal priorities are taking a hit on what I have want. I find myself at a point in time when a passion suddenly does not excites me. I just dont want to go back to that place. And No it didnt happen overnight, the process took almost 3 years and now I have reached a place where it is no longer with me.

Now a very important part of my life kicks in and I need to answer a very important question: Was that a passion or just an addiction? the answer can change my life in ways that I cant think of today. I need to answer myself on what I need to do – balance out my personal priorities and let go of my ambitions passions or go back and find what I lost over a period of 3 years.

Both options have their fall outs and I need to see what is more important for me – ?? vs ??. Sadly, I dont know how to put these in words that describe what I am thinking and I do not wish to say those words and end up hurting loved ones.

I dont know who to turn up to for answers that are neutral; I dont know even if anyone can come up with a neutral answer. Every person has their experience and unique situation in their life and their answers are influenced by those situations. What I am feeling is unique in its own sense and I need to find answers in those situations only. I hope I can reach out to God and seek guidance.

Leaders or just Managers?

Recalling an incident from 2007, it reminds me of the ideology of being “emotional for your work and company”. The phrase comes to mind – “Married to the company”.

In the past I have tried to be very emotional around my work, but a couple of discussions back in 2008 with a Senior Project Manager and a Director made me realize a few things. And now when I contemplate those things back and see similar things happening elsewhere too.

My assessment back then was that being emotional towards work and company (someone else) will only hurt me in the end. In the past I had worked almost twice the tenure with my company. For the 4 years I spent, my time spent working clocked to almost 8 years. No doubts that I was learning a lot, but the mistakes I did was that I was emotional about my work. I used to put that in front of everything else in my life. The rewards were good too – money, position etc. Until the day my project started to do South. A meeting that I had with a Senior Project Manager (Manish) around my future role on the project made me realize that he was going to sacrifice a human interest for the betterment of the project. He is a very successful manager in the organization and is very talented too.

A year later in 2008, another meeting made me realize that the company will choose to pay new hires more than what I am getting because I enjoy the Goodwill in the organization. I was not fully sure how to respond back then. But, I realize now that this is how every company operates. What I fail to understand is how that works out. A company/manager chooses to pay less to an existing employee who has done well for them and has generated results in the past; someone who knows the domain and the company. How can a manager/company let go of that person and go about finding a replacement only to give that new person a higher compensation and in the process spend a lot more on training and opportunity.

Maybe, this is a trait of a successful manager, I do not believe that this is a trait for a good leader. I have not done any MBA, but all these people who are running companies around me are MBAs from IIMs and other premier institutes. I do not understand the rationale behind it.