My father always said that whatever you do will come back to you, and if doesn’t in this life then it will in the next. Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s having one hell of a new life now given that the life that’s ended for him (leaving us all teary and chaotic) was one that was filled with honesty and hard work.
As I sit idle today, thoughts running wild, I wonder if what he said really does happen. Is there really a link between ‘karma’ or our deeds and reincarnation? Can a human really turn into a lizard in his next life because he had an ugly and manipulative soul in his current one?
I have often wondered what lies beyond the immersion of the ashes into the Ganges or the coffin buried under heaps of earth. Is death the final finality? The eternity? Or is it the beginning of something new? Some teachings believe that the soul lives on and incarnates many times into different bodies. Which body? Can we always choose? Or are the choices that is given to us based on the deeds of the life that just ended? Would a rapist ever be given a good body to enter in his next? Would he be forgiven and given another chance or would he be punished?
Reincarnation ensures justice. That’s the belief. The law of karma says that we get what we deserve – there is nothing like unjust suffering. So did the young soldier deserve to blow up? Karma will say yes. Gruesome and insensitive as it may sound, karma says that the baby with three legs deserved it as did the woman who was raped. Don’t come charging me with a stick or start trolling me on social media for saying this. I’m saying what karma says. While some will vehemently deny this and say that this is fatalistic, whimsical and nonsensical mainly because it conflicts with our moral sense; can they really say that there isn’t anything beyond the realms of logic and science?
As I think, and thoughts become more and more muddled, I ask myself, where does Jesus’ teaching fit into the system of reincarnation and karma? When the thief on a cross next to Jesus confessed his sin, He said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Then, for Christians is faith in the Lord enough to work off all the bad karma and has this ‘karma’ thing been specially designed for Hindus?
Hmm, I say and smile as I remember what the Bible says: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).”
As for Hinduism – it believes that the soul makes multiple appearances before it can be finally freed from the cycle. This is because when someone dies, they would not have worked out all their karma – ‘every action’ did not have an account for an ‘equal and opposite reaction’. And so it has to come back. I guess it’s like debit-credit sum from the accounts class – you can damn it and curse it but you just have to balance both sides before you can complete sum! That’s when ‘mukti’ or liberation is attained. But who decides this ‘mukti’ moment?
Sometimes belief in reincarnation is just a form of hope for many – to say that they will make up in the next one for what went wrong in the current one. But most don’t remember anything about their previous lives. And if they don’t then how can they make up for the mistakes? What’s the guarantee that they will get it right the next time? For that matter, why wait till the next life? Why not make amends now? Do good and burn up the negative karma now. Else prepare yourself to be turned into a mosquito who will be quashed between the palms of a human in your next!
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