Swami ji said…
The laws of ‘karma’ -कर्म – are understood intrinsically by most of us. We all generally accept that there is a certain truth to the fact that our ‘karma’ comes back to us. The fruits our actions bear – are most certainly received by us – sometimes instantly, sometimes over lifetimes.
It is this belief that often stops us from indulging in any wrongdoing – ‘पाप’ – and sometimes even inspires a few , and, compels others to do some good – ‘पुण्य’.
It is thus but natural that most of us try to do good ‘karma’ – good actions. Sometimes, it could be simply because we happen to be good hearted individuals ; sometimes in the hope of receiving special blessings from God; and sometimes to be ‘seen’ and ‘perceived’ as a good doer – even if within hearts of hearts we’d rather not – as we try to figure out – what would we ‘gain’ by being charitable. ‘ ‘Galat kaam’ ya ‘paap’ karte huey toh hum ek baar bhi achcha bura nahi sochte hain, toh punya karte samay hum kis soch vichar mein pad jaate hain ?’
Despite the sometimes questionable intentions behind our ‘punya’ – it is still better that people perform good ‘karma’ instead of bad or wrongful actions. However, our intent always has an effect on the nature of our actions, and, the results of good actions will continuously depreciate if the intent behind them is not equally noble.
It is thus important for us to realise that performing good karma’ is a ‘duty’ – something that should be spontaneous and done from our heart. Just like breathing air, drinking water or eating food is essential to the human body; performing good ‘ karma’ is essential for the human soul. Bad ‘karma’ holds us back, while good ‘karma’ frees us from this world. We ultimately owe it to ourselves – to free ourselves from the cycle of rebirth. We are not doing anyone any favours – but to ourselves – by trying to do good.
Why then do some of us feel superior when we perform a good act ? Why do we look down on the less fortunate with an air of superiority and make them feel insignificant and small with our looks and gestures ? Would ‘पुण्य’ – laced with pretence, lack of sympathy and genuine empathy mean anything at all ? The worst part is when we make a big hullabaloo about the acts of charity that have been done by us. Some of us are able to count on our fingertips the acts of goodness that we have done so far. It appears as though we expect to get something in return by doing the ‘पुण्य’ that we intend to do. Like a wealthy man showing off his wealth to those less fortunate; we also boast to others about how magnanimously we have acted – trying to make them also feel small in front of us. What difference then have we truly made to ourselves and to the world ? Doing good ‘karma’ is a blessing in itself – for it is the opportunity to do God’s work – on His behalf – in this world. We should simply be thankful that there was good meaning and a positive intent to, at least, some of our actions during our lifetime.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ, said – ‘ Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.’ We must take this message to heart and follow it in principle.There is no need to announce to the world the number of good deeds that have been done by us. We must strive to overcome the need to seek admiration from the world for our ‘goodness’. This will be the first step in learning to lose the sense of false pride – the ‘ego’ that we develop – in doing ‘पुण्य’. We will gradually learn to enjoy good ‘karma’ – as the beauty of doing so touches our heart and makes us see Him in every one around us. We will realise that doing good – is the best for us – as it cleanses our soul and makes us feel pure – and that is solely why we should try to be helpful, kind or generous in the first place. And, when it comes to others – we will realise that it is not by admonishing them or by belittling them, but , by showing them the way silently with our actions – can we also stir their hearts into doing good. Our genuine joy and contentment in doing some ‘पुण्य’ will inspire them, too, to do good deeds before it is too late. Remember – ‘ Desist from doing bad ‘karma’ as it is wrong to do so – but nothing can be worse – ‘अगर पुण्य करते समय हमारे भीतर अहंकार की भावना जाग जाती है…’