Monday, August 11, 2014

Karma


Foreword 



This article is written in a First person narrative but in reality we are two people who contributed to this work.

To say that this article is due to our own efforts is a bit of overstatement. We went through lot of articles, talked to a lot of people and watched a lot of videos before we wrote our first words. We would like to thank Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson for his inspirational videos and works. A special thanks to the people who were involved in correcting this piece of work.  

Before we begin with what I want to write about, I would like to declare that everything I present here is a product of a few intense discussions with my friends who in a way share similar views. Also, I would like my reader to know that I am a spiritual person and I follow my religion in my own way. 'Truth' for me has many names, but that does not make for many truths. My religion gives me the freedom to be spiritual in my own way, encouraging a multiplicity of paths, not asking for conformity to just one. Due to this diversity, I believe, I am profoundly tolerant of other religions, respecting the fact that each has its own pathway. The reason behind this example is to make it clear in the beginning itself that the ideas I present are going to sound little radical, but in reality they are not. Rather I believe they are logical with true scientific basis. So reading the next few pages should be done only with an open mind and bringing religion is not the best way to grab the essence of what I would like to say. Also, not to worry, I am not going to start the age old tiring debate about science versus religion but would like to refer to it few times.

One of the most interesting and at the same time, tiring topic about Creationists versus Evolutionists is the fact that the latter could give proper scientific explanations on how life evolved on earth. Though creationists from Indic religions tend to embrace evolution, few others like from Abrahamic religions refuse to accept that explanation and have their own theories based on the religion they follow. The reason I refer to this is that evolution is a combination of random and deterministic process. I think for starters it's hard to believe that we human beings are a product of random events combined with over millions of years of mutations and natural selection which is nothing but Evolution. But thats a fact and we have to learn to accept it. I have always been a firm believer in this randomness, chaos to be more precise.

One fine evening, a casual discussion with my friends led to the topic of Karma. A simple Wikipedia definition of Karma is action, work or deed - it means intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Some interesting points were raised in the discussion and I would like to discuss them in detail. Firstly, my friend indicated that he believes in Karma. I appreciate his view but in turn would like to pose a question to everyone who believes in Karma. Would you help a person because you hope to receive help in future? Would you not harm a person due to the fear of receiving similar treatment in future? If your answer is yes to both the questions, I would like to say this: Help to a person has to be extended because we might make that person's life a little easier with a warm gesture. We should be driven by some internal motivation to be of help to a person rather than help him to reap some benefits in near future. Likewise we should not harm anyone because it is not human to indict pain on fellow human beings.

The word Karma has been used and very often misused especially after it has become part of western vocabulary. I understand karma as cause and effect. What you do will definitely have some bearing on you in days to come but lot of other things add on too. 'Do good things and good things will follow' is oversimplification and personalization of law of cause and effect. It is for children in kindergarten, to behave well, to keep them in line. The society has used this ploy to control people to put things in order. We have simplified this complex law only to device a mechanism which involves a supreme being, who is watching your actions and rewarding or punishing you accordingly. I believe, the law of karma is very complex, not only that your actions effect you, a lot other things are going to combine with your actions in a weird (or rather random) manner and show an effect on you.


Secondly, I also believe that it is wrong to say whatever I am going do now is because of cause and effect law or I blame good or bad karma done in past for my actions in future. This is where Lord Krishna comes in and says 'Do things you think are right without bothering about the results after'. He suggests us to not expect anything in return. So maybe he is actually hinting that the world is quite random and there is no guarantee that you would reap the benefits of your work even if you performed it down to the tee. But at every instant, I believe, you feel you have the power to do what is right. There is something within us that say I don't follow what I am taught to do or how I have been brought up to do, but I do which I think is right to do. Every instant, every moment not only human but every living thing feels it has got some kind of handle on its own future. Simply put, you are in charge. When I follow this, I believe, I am not bound by the frame work of any religion. So, respect the things that are under our control and appreciate the things that are not. In a way, this is Karma according to me. I did not create any new definition for Karma and as a matter of fact I am just repeating what the Lord said with my own up-gradations to account for the randomness which forms the basis of our evolution.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

About us



If I am reading some article, book or even if I watch a movie, I would like to know a bit about the creators of that piece of work. Similarly, for others out there who are like me, I would like to provide a brief introduction of who I am.

I am Masters Student of Simulation Sciences at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. Fluid mechanics interests me and would like to have a career in that area. I hold a bachelor in mechanical engineering. Science is not just a tool which I use to pass time but its a door to truth and explanation of things happening around us.

For now i cannot think of much to add here. Hope to update this space later ;-)