The Journey of Understanding Karma: A Personal Perspective4 min read

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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.

Conclusion

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.

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