Karma and Samsara Affect lives
Karma and Samsara shapes the foundation of Hindu’s faith and forms the philosophical thinking of Hindu’s today. It may originate in Shramana tradition that later influence Brahmanic religion. This has become the core of Hinduism faith. It is belief that knowledge to this can lead a person to have a better life.
Karma is the belief according to which a person ‘s future life is determined by past and present actions. The law of karma gives no option to be change by any intervention such as divine intervention or chance. It is believe that everything is inevitably determined by the effects of earlier actions in life which will determine our present state while, the present action will determine the future circumstances. In other words our actions whether good or bad, big or small will have its effect.The Brhardaranyaka Upanishads states ” By good actions one becomes good, by bad actions one becomes bad.”
The belief of karma comprises the idea of Samsara. Samsara is known as the cycle of series of births and deaths that subject every individual to innumerable deaths. There is an endless possibilities that we will be born again. Therefore we can relate Reincarnation to karma. Hindu’s believe that when a person dies, the Atman ( unconscious immaterial part of a human) carries the result of the good and bad actions. This result into Karma in the next existence. The previous Karma will determine the position a person will occupy in their new existence for instance a Vaisyas Class( commoner) incur good deeds in their past existence, when the Vaisyas return he or she will move up in the wheel of Samsara and be born in a Kshatriya Class and have a comfortable life. In our day-to-day life we can relate to this, whatever we do can produce results but the consequences of wrongdoing are severe. Chandogya Upanishad sums up the ideas of karma and Samsara ” those who are of pleasant conduct here the prospect is indeed that they will enter a pleasant womb, either the womb of a Kshatriya or the womb of a Vaisya but those who are of a striking conduct here the prospect is indeed, that they will enter the womb of a dog or the womb of a swine, or the womb of an outcast” (Lipner 1994:45)
The Hindu’s succeeding life becomes a burden for them due to the possibility that they could be punished or be rewarded. Therefore many Hindu’s aim to escape this cycle of continuous rebirth and attain Moksha. Moksha believes to break the karmic forces or release them from Samsara. Breaking the Atman will release them from this cycle. To break the Atman they accomplish it by asceticism, meaning renouncing the world to live in isolation. Nowadays, they break it by rituals, yoga, devotion and to Dharma (fulfilling one’s duty/truthful actions) or by fully understanding their views which is the world is not created once, but it is dissolving back to its unformed condition and it has no end, evolution and devolution were called days and nights which is converted into billions of human years. Another belief as the best way to break the cycle of Samsara and gain Moksha is through devotion to God Krishna who is their supreme lord.
In my own perspective, few of the teachings of Hinduism have similarities with Christianity. So, I personally favor some of the concept of karma. Since, This doctrines just help me answers my questions of “why’s” because there were times that I couldn’t avoid and wonder why we are experiencing things that are beyond our control. Perhaps, we were not able to draw good things during our past life. So we have to start working now to earn a good karma for our future life. This doctrine can serve as inspiration to other people to become a better person. It just proves us that God is not responsible for our heartaches, failures or unhappiness. We are solely responsible for the totality of our actions.