Monday March 25, 2019

Law of Karma: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism

Although the idea of karma originated in Hinduism , all three religions ,Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism believe that every action or deed has it's own consequences

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Wikimedia Commons. By Shree Diwakar Prakashan (Owner Mr. Sanjay Surana) (Website:http://www.jainbooks.in) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The notion of karma, the belief that the actions people do in their lifetime accumulate and determine the fate of their next life. Every action we take creates the genesis, which in time will bear its consequences and repercussions.

The law of karma and “akarma” in Sanskrit is similar to the Newton’s law of action and reaction. The notion of karma emerged out of an ancient Indian wisdom tradition known as Advaita Vedanta, which translates into English as ‘nonduality’. Karma is a law in itself, which exists in its own field without the involvement of any external force.

Doctrine of Karma in different religions
Wikimedia Commons

Although the idea of karma originated in the Vedic religion(Hinduism) where it was related to the performance of rituals, all three religions (Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism) believe that what people do to others, comes back at them.

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Karma could be both the actions of the body or mind. Every action – deed, expression or even a thought may produce an effect in this life or the next since all these three religions believe in death and rebirth cycle.

KARMA IN HINDUISM

In Hindu texts, karma was first learnt in the ancient Rig Veda and the Brahmana, but it is not until the Upanishads that karma was manifested as the principle of cause and effect based on deeds or actions.

Hindu philosophy, which believes in rebirth cycle, holds the view that if the karma of an individual is good, the next birth will be fulfilling, and if not, the person may actually devolve and degenerate into the lower chain of evolution. In order to avoid this, it is important to live the life of right conscience ie, the life shown by dharma or what is right.

And this cyclical cause of death and rebirth generates the concept of samsara. It is the nature of a human being or the jivatman, along with his actions that cause karma. The ultimate goal of Hindus is to attain liberation by evading samsara or the cycle of death and rebirth called moksha.

KARMA IN BUDDHISM

The theory of karma holds a firm doctrine in Buddhism. Although this notion was prevalent in India way before the arrival of Buddha. Nevertheless, it was the Buddha who explained the notion in its complete form.

“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.”

                                                – Buddha

According to the Buddhist notion of Karma, one must never be compelled to which he helplessly concede and follows blindly. But it should be driven by intention which leads to future consequences. unlike that of the Jains, Buddha’s teaching of karma is not strictly deterministic but incorporated circumstantial factors. Buddhism teaches that there are other forces besides karma that shapes our lives. These include natural forces like the changing seasons and gravity.

Thus, When the unexpected happens, the Buddhist believes that he is reaping what he has sown, and he is wiping off a past debt.

KARMA IN JAINISM

Jain doctrine of Karma is distinctive. An unlike the Hindus view of Karma which purely is the law of nature, Jains believe that deeds and thoughts attract karma and that a person’s actions from past decide the quality of life he has now. Karma in Jainism is a physical matter present throughout the universe. The soul, called the jiva, carries these karma particles from one life to the next which adhere to it. Jains seek liberation by freeing themselves from the rebirth cycle by ridding all karma attached to the jiva. They do so by following their vows and living in the right mental and physical state.

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The purpose of life in all religion is thus to minimize bad karma in order to enjoy better rebirth in the next. The ultimate spiritual goal is to achieve release (moksha) from the cycle of samsara altogether. The person who has attained moksha creates no more new karma during the present lifetime and is not reborn after death.

– by Yajush Gupta of NewsGram.

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  • Antara

    The concept of Karma has become very popular globally! People believe strongly in the consequence of every single deed.

  • Enakshi Roy Chowdhury

    do good you ll get good, do bad and u ll get back what u have done the same way!

Next Story

Westerners Adopt Indian Practices, Deny Giving Due Credits

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument.

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Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to protect our own heritage and Dharma. Hindu Council Of Australia

By Shashi Holla (WA) and Surinder Jain

Colonial or a white supremacy mind set may be clever enough to adopt Hindu practices but denies giving credit where it is due. Stealing Hindu Intellectual Property, they do not hesitate to rename and repackage so that they can sell it back to India for immense profits. Off course, they will leave no chance to tell Indians to stop their superstitious ways and to adopt the new scientific knowledge which “they” have “invented”.

Following has been already digested or appropriated by West. Some of the Western academics don’t believe that they belong to India.

Yoga Nidra   AS  Lucid Dreaming

Nadi Shodhana AS Alternate Nostrils Breathing

Vipassana  AS Mindfulness.

The latest addition to this list is

Pranamyam AS Cardiac Coherence Breathing

Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders.[29] But the latest attempt has taken the appropriation too far. An American magazine “Scientific American” in its article titled “Proper Breathing Brings Better health” termed “Pranayama” as cardiac coherence breathing. (15 January 2019). The article gives us an idea about how West is so sophisticated in stealing knowledge from ancient cultures particularly Hinduism.

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Man doing Yoga. Wikimedia Commons

Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in verse 4.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā.[11] According to Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, prāṇāyāma is translated to “trance induced by stopping all breathing”, also being made from the two separate Sanskrit words, prāṇa and āyām.[12] Pranayama is the fourth “limb” of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[14][15] Patanjali, a Hindu Rishi, discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 to explaining the benefits of the practice.[16] Many yoga teachers advise that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially Yama, Niyama, and Asana.[18]

“Pranayama” a department of Yogic science practiced and documented 5000 years back ( even 15,000 years back) by Rishis is not even acknowledged by the author of the article. If one read the article they vaguely suggest that breathing exercises also existed in China, Hindu and in Greek culture.  This is how appropriation of ancient techniques takes place by West.  As Sankrat Sanu an entrepreneur, researcher and writer put it in his tweet “after erasing the origin they claim it as their own invention, attack original traditions as Superstition”.

As famous Indian American Author Rajiv Malhotra summarizes: “The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”. Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to  protect our own heritage and Dharma.

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The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”.  Pixabay

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument. West has created an eco system and mechanism in which their knowledge system is Well protected and patented by international norms. Unless West does not give a new name and fits into their framework native wisdom is not recognized in academia and media. Whereas Hindus were generous in sharing their health techniques freely from millennium never thought they will struggle in proving things which belong to them. In fact in a westernized framework of Yoga and other techniques Indian scholars, insiders and practitioners are blatantly ignored. So our own knowledge will be repackaged and exported back to us at an extra price and conditions.

Also Read: Climate Change Will Melt Vast Parts of Himalayas: Study

Many of our practices are being called to be Biofeedback systems. According to WikipediaBiofeedback systems have been known in India and some other countries for millennia. Ancient Hindu practices like yoga and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are essentially biofeedback methods. Many yogis and sadhus have been known to exercise control over their physiological processes. In addition to recent research on Yoga, Paul Brunton, the British writer who travelled extensively in India, has written about many cases he has witnessed. (Hindu Council Of Australia)