THE CONCEPT OF KARMA
The concept of Karma had been an old age debate. Each school of thought had in time past and even now presented differing ideas of what Karma might be. A well known generally held idea on Karma is that of direct divine retribution, justice is always served to the guilty person. Or should we say the bullet bounces off the wall back to the shooter, or better still we can argue that those who kill by the sword dies by the sword. Such accordance of justice satisfies our conscience since the same measure of guilt is given to the guilty individual. At the same hand, we wholeheartedly accept the idea that the opposite also applies, which is, virtue is quickly rewarded with virtue. But is karma all about direct justice and divine retribution?
Karma may not be all about retribution as most believe, it is more than just a repayment to get things squared up. It is not a tit for tat affair neither is it an eye for an eye, such dampens the spirit since the offended watches for a direct pay back on the offender- for example, a fellow looses $500,000 dollars to a conman. The fellow helplessly watches out for divine retribution on the conman. He expects a tit for tat divine retribution, his $500,000 to the con artists $1000000. But when this does not happen after a time he may sink into depression and despair or decide to become the man that duped him.
Someone who believes all ills he suffers are as a result of Karma might suffer undue hardship. The situation he wallows in maybe one that requires him to only raise his head in order to disperse the ills but his believe that the divine has at last gotten up to him and now dishing him a cold plate of retribution will hold him down. We might view this fellow as a lazy one who uses Karma as an excuse for his failures. To this person the divine decrees retribution and no one alters it.
Not all ills are Karma related. From time immemorial, troubles have always retained their roots on earth. Life is simply filled with ups and downs, one day on the mountain and the other day at the foot of the mountain. The ups and downs maybe learning situations seriously needed for refining an individual thus making him fit for greater disposition.
Karma maybe associated to compensation more than retribution. Each day we found it harder to avoid hurting others, an average human being is strongly tempted each day to lash out verbally on his fellow man. As beings of emotions and strongly predisposed to injure others both physically and otherwise, karma expects us to live daily compensating others we might have wronged. A simple ‘sorry’ or better still, giving back that we wrongly took will go a long way in keeping our hearts in peace. Karma also expects us to compensate others for the good we receive from them- this does not mean we should expect compensation equally from those we show goodness. We can relate this to the Bible where there is an instruction to do good to those who hate you. Now we see the wrongness of tit for tat, Karma is more of compensation than retribution. We find the expectation of good for good or good for bad in nature. A heavy smoker continues to endanger his heart while the heart fights tooth and nail in order to keep the fellow alive. Man seeks each day to destroy nature through his acts yet nature compensates him with the good its depleted store room can afford.
But is retribution totally off the picture whenever karma is presented? A school of thought teaches that whatever one does will definitely comeback at some measure after a long time if the fellow remains in the path. Do evil continually and after a while it will bounce back on you. Newton said in his laws that every action leads to a reaction. This action and reaction is not only positioned on the retribution side of karma, in fact one's goodness towards others accumulates and explodes just as evil does. A governor who rules with no regard for his followers will definitely live in fear for his life. He will not venture out of his house without adequate security. The reverse is the case for a governor who rules in love. We must then establish the fact that retribution tarries and may take many years before it takes effect. The Christians will say that God is long-suffering while the esoteric believes the retribution aspect of Karma does not set in until the offender is drunk of his wrong doings.
Even when retribution does set in, it does not mean your hurts makes life nonsense. It is said those things you missed may have been replaced by the things you gained. No wonder Christians believe one must continue to be thankful to God no matter his situation. The esoteric have this saying “no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made useful to him.”
Karma is a cause and effect mechanism which allows us to adjust our behavior towards others. It affords us a practical guideline on what to expect in our daily association with others. We must learn to compensate others for the ills we caused them, we are also expected to compensate others for the good they’ve given us.
Karma will become personal when we apply the laws of retribution and compensation as established on ourselves. What we do to ourselves will light up our personal karma. Just like the illustration above, the heart of a smoker daily seeks to compensate the smoker even though all it receives are ills. Remember that retribution sets in after some time thus nature will definitely establish its laws.
We must live each day compensating those we have wronged and asking for their forgiveness. How we treat ourselves is essential for our healthiness. Again karma is found even in our relationship with nature around us- the trees we cut down, heavy industrial usage/wastes, pollution of water bodies etc. all have their effects on us after a long time. We can always avoid retribution from others when we embrace the spirit of moderation and compensation.