The Journey of Understanding Karma: A Personal Perspective

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Life is a journey of learning and understanding, and one of the most profound concepts I’ve grappled with is Karma. My journey with Karma began with the Bhagavad Gita, continued with the teachings of Puttaparthi Sai Baba, and was further shaped by my reflections on a Quora post, my understanding of Nishkama Karma, and the teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba.

The Bhagavad Gita and Karma

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My first encounter with the Bhagavad Gita was during my school days at Satya Sai Vidya Vihar. The Bhagavad Gita was part of our curriculum, and I found myself memorizing verses without fully understanding their depth. One concept that particularly intrigued me was Karma Yoga, the path of selfless action. I was puzzled by the idea that all actions lead to outcomes, both good and bad. If that’s the case, why should we do anything at all?

Puttaparthi Sai Baba’s Teachings

author (in circle) with Puttaparthi Sai Baba

Years later, I had the opportunity to meet Puttaparthi Sai Baba, a spiritual leader revered by many. I asked him the question that had been bothering me: “Why should we perform actions (Karma), when any action can potentially lead to negative outcomes?” His answer was simple, “Why worry about it, just do your duty (Karma).”

At first, I found his words difficult to comprehend. But as I reflected on my life choices and the things I’ve said no to, I realized that the essence of Karma is not about the outcome, but about being independent of others. Even if something goes against what’s considered normal, you should still stick to your duty and act.

Reflections on a Quora Post

In my quest to understand Karma, I stumbled upon a post on Quora that offered a unique perspective. The author of the post questioned why corrupt people, despite their apparent success, are enmeshed in a web of heavy karma. They misuse their position for self-gratification, neglecting their responsibility to work for the welfare of others.

On the other hand, the author suggested that those who are struggling have chosen their circumstances as lessons. These struggles are teaching them resilience, self-independence, and survival instincts. These struggles are tests that one needs to pass to master the soul lessons. This perspective on Karma, as shared by the author, resonated deeply with me.

Nishkama Karma

Nishkama Karma, or selfless action, is a concept that resonates deeply with me. It’s about performing your duty without attachment to the outcome. This aligns with the teachings of Puttaparthi Sai Baba and the Bhagavad Gita. It’s not about the fruits of our actions, but about doing our duty with sincerity and dedication.

Shirdi Sai Baba and Karma Yoga

Shirdi Sai Baba, another revered spiritual leader, was a living embodiment of Karma Yoga. He performed acts of charity, healed the sick without charging any fees, and lived a humble life. His actions were driven by an altruistic motive, often resulting in personal suffering to alleviate the pain of others. His life was a testament to the principles of selfless action and universal love, serving as an inspiration to all who came to know him.


My journey of understanding Karma has been a deeply personal and transformative one. It has taught me that Karma is not about the outcomes of our actions, but about performing our duty with sincerity and dedication. It’s about selfless action and universal love. And most importantly, it’s about living life on our own terms, independent of others.

The Power of the Written Word: From Bezos to Batman

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In the world of business, communication is key. But how we communicate can make all the difference. Let’s take a look at two very different approaches to communication: one from the world of tech, and one from the world of… well, Batman.

The Bezos Memo

First, let’s talk about Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon. Bezos is known for his unique approach to meetings. Instead of PowerPoint presentations, Bezos introduced a new concept: the six-page memo.

These memos are read silently by attendees for the first 30 minutes of the meeting. The idea is that writing a memo forces the author to clarify their thinking and provide more context and detail. This, in turn, allows for a better discussion. It’s a method that’s been praised for its effectiveness and has even been adopted by other CEOs, like Twitter and Square’s Jack Dorsey.

The Grant Perspective

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant has a similar perspective on the power of writing. He believes that the best way to gauge the quality of someone’s ideas isn’t to listen to them talking, but to read their writing. According to him, compelling speakers can mask weak logic with strong charisma, but putting key points on a page exposes flawed reasoning. This perspective aligns perfectly with the Bezos memo concept. Writing a memo requires you to break down your idea, examine each component, and then assemble it in a way that others can understand.

The Batman Memo

Now, let’s take a detour to Gotham City. In the movie “Batman Begins,” there’s a memorable quote: “Didn’t you get the memo?” This line is delivered by Lucius Fox after a major power shift in Wayne Enterprises. While this quote is delivered in a very different context, it humorously underscores the importance of clear communication. After all, if you don’t get the memo, you might just find yourself out of the loop, or worse, out of a job!

The Power of the Memo

So, what can we learn from Bezos, Grant, and Batman? Whether you’re running a tech giant, exploring a swarm of ideas, or navigating the corporate world of Gotham, clear and effective communication is crucial. And often, that communication is most powerful when it’s written down.

Writing, whether it’s in the form of a memo, a report, or a simple email, forces us to clarify our thinking, articulate our ideas effectively, and ensure everyone’s on the same page. It’s a tool that can transform meetings, influence decisions, and even shape the direction of a company.

So next time you’re preparing to share an idea or a plan, consider the power of writing. It might just be the tool you need to communicate effectively, influence others, and drive change. And hey, it might even save you from a Batman-style takedown.

The Art of Continuous Learning: Insights from Coursera Founders and Kung Fu Panda

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In today’s rapidly evolving world, continuous learning has become more than just a buzzword. It’s a necessity. Whether it’s to stay relevant in your career, to fuel your personal growth, or to simply satisfy your curiosity, continuous learning plays a crucial role. Let’s explore this concept further, drawing insights from Coursera founders and the beloved animated movie, Kung Fu Panda.

Continuous Learning: A Habit Worth Cultivating

In an interview, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda and co-founder Andrew Ng emphasized the importance of cultivating a habit of continuous learning. They suggested that dedicating a small amount of time each week to learning can lead to transformative results over the course of a year or two. This aligns with the philosophy of lifelong learning, where learning is not confined to the years we spend in formal education but extends throughout our lifetime.

Aligning Learning with Personal Goals

Maggioncalda and Ng also stressed the importance of choosing courses that align with individual interests and career aspirations. This is where the concept of intrinsic motivation comes into play. When we are intrinsically motivated, we engage in an activity because we find it enjoyable and personally rewarding. By aligning our learning with our interests and goals, we can ensure that the process is enjoyable and sustainable in the long run.

Lessons from Kung Fu Panda

The movie Kung Fu Panda provides a delightful illustration of these concepts. Po, the protagonist, is an unlikely hero – a clumsy, fun-loving panda who dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. Despite numerous setbacks and challenges, Po’s intrinsic motivation and continuous learning mindset enable him to achieve his dream.

Po’s journey is a testament to the power of continuous learning and intrinsic motivation. He starts as a noodle-maker’s son with no Kung Fu skills, but through perseverance, he becomes the Dragon Warrior. Po’s transformation is not overnight. It’s a result of consistent effort and learning, reinforcing the idea that continuous learning can lead to transformative results. His journey is driven by his love for Kung Fu, a clear example of being intrinsically motivated and finding the learning process enjoyable and personally rewarding.

A key turning point in Po’s journey is when Master Shifu discovers that Po’s love for food can be used as a motivation for learning Kung Fu. Shifu ingeniously incorporates food into Po’s training, turning his intrinsic motivation into a powerful learning tool. This highlights the importance of aligning learning with personal interests and passions, a concept that is equally applicable in our own learning journeys.


Continuous learning is a journey, not a destination. It’s about cultivating a mindset of curiosity and a habit of seeking knowledge. Whether it’s through online platforms like Coursera or through life experiences like Po’s journey in Kung Fu Panda, continuous learning can open doors to new opportunities and personal growth.

So, let’s take a leaf out of Po’s book and embrace the journey of continuous learning. After all, as Master Oogway says in Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”