Today I was reading about the ashram and yoga center where I am lucky enough to be going tomorrow.
It is at www.yogaindailylife.org/thesystem/main-goals
I am interested in Social Health. - 'to assume responsibility within society and to work for the community. I wonder how India will develop in its industries and commercial aspects compared to the Western European nations? In fact, as a Hindu nation how will it be different? Were European countries more 'altruistic' before the industrial revolution I wonder?
I remember saying to an artist, well, how will the belief in Karma affect the development of India - and he said:
I think their karma has now changed to money -
Some people do apply the idea of karma to a whole nation.
I have thought of karma as being cause-effect, as a reaction to balance the action, just as in a scientific way, Newton's Laws include the idea that nothing happens without a force, and for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction -
So it seems logical that there's a balance on another level, emotional, human action, more complex. Thus with the Banks, if someone takes a big bonus, it comes from somewhere, or someone else. Petrol comes from summer, burning it has an effect. If I walk round thinking how great life is, that thought does have an impact on my relationships, with the way I speak to people. So what a person thinks life is for, has an effect.
If I think work is about finding security and security is something material, then that translates into pensions, houses, secure job and so on. If security is an ability to face challenges and adjust then that translates into self-development, and self reliance perhaps. But that's not karma? which I think is within relationships and with the world, and people. If I trip over a pavement and break my nose, on one level, then the experience could teach me to take more care, so then it doesn't happen again.
The experience was necessary, I take more care, it doesn't happen again. Maybe someone says to me'take care' and then I don't have to break my nose to learn the lesson. That is good karma and if I helped someone in the past somewhere perhaps the reaction is that help at that moment.
Someone said to me; you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink - and you just need blinkers.
Well I thought maybe I am lucky to be led to do yoga in India so I have to take part as much as I can.
If everything is karma then the bird dropping on one's head walking down the street also is. It's hard to imagine what previous interaction with life led to that - in order to prevent it happening in the first place!
Perhaps no need to fear karma, most texts seem to focus on it as a way to make sense of events that happen, and as a necessity and to learn the lesson is the best way to change it fast! People say 'why do the innocent suffer? Why did it happen to such a good person? Why is someone begging on the street and starving and not someone else?' leave it, it's their karma is the answer - their soul needs to learn that lesson. Well it could be that's hard to do, when seeing India, we shall see. It can seem callous too.
But here an interpretation of Patanjali - who is claimed to have written texts about the time of the first few centuries before or after 0 AD (or CE). The 'Yoga Sutras' are texts about a philosophy of life based on yoga beliefs. There are eight limbs of yoga, written about in the second sutra. Yana, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
Yama refers to five qualities: non-violence, truth, non-covetousness, monogamy/celibacy, non-possessiveness.
These qualities seem to be the kind for taking part in building a community, taking responsibility for people and oneself and building good karma reactions for the future.
In that, 'we can see the kind of fruit tree we yield by the type of seed sown'
we 'reap the consequences' http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/patanjali/raja_102.html
"By the practice of yoga it is possible to see that the future does not manifest itself, because the future has not yet taken action. It has not become part of our conscious life. It is still hiddenly present, and it can be burnt up inside before it germinates into action. Once it germinates, it becomes a prarabdha which is the total complex of a present experience, including the body, the mind, etc. Once it manifests itself, we cannot get out of it."
So - more frogs. When someone is facing a lot of challenges sometimes I've heard people say 'you are burning up a lot of karma in this life' meaning you are transforming your 'inheritance' in a way, which may not be pleasant at the time, but means there could be a silver lining - or a lot of yoga. (no offence meant)