Karma - When karma kicks...
by Suma Varughese
A friend and I were discussing karma, a subject I find endlessly fascinating. She wanted to know what our stance should be when caught up in karmic events.
Suma Varughese is Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive.
Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, from the absolute point of view everything is a karmic event. Even getting an auto in minutes on the road is clearly a karmic dispensation. But there are some major events that come our way which are clearly karmic.
The event has come to us and we will have to go through it, but how long it will take and the further karma we create will depend on the wisdom with which we deal with the situation. If we resist against the situation and fret and fume about it, the knots that bind us tighten. The only way to have the knots loosen and fall off is to submit to the situation. By submit I do not imply resigning to it, but only to accept the present reality as inevitable. The action we take to heal the situation is the other factor that will determine how long the karma will last.
Karma visited me recently when my mother was struck down with a paralytic stroke six months back. My mother had been a highly independent person who strove all her life to ensure that she was not a burden to her children. Before her illness, she managed her own indispositions, bathed herself and even woke up and massaged herself at night if her leg cramped up. A giver to the hilt, she looked after my house and me. I often prayed that I should be given an opportunity to balance our karmas, and although my prayer was to be able to minister to her in good health, this was how it happened.
Knowledge of karma enabled me to accept the situation much sooner and much better than I would otherwise have done. It also reconciled me to fulfilling all the demands that the situation called upon me to do. In a book by Brian Weiss, he quotes the writer Elizabeth Kubler Ross. She too had a very independent mother who became paralysed. Elizabeth was filled with a smouldering anger against God. One day, while in meditation, she heard a voice within ask her, “Why are you so angry with me?” She answered that it was because of the humiliating dependence that her mother had to go through. The voice replied that she would have had to take another life in order to learn how to take, but instead she had been given a chance to learn it in this lifetime itself.
I too feel that my mother and I have been given a chance to balance our karmas in this life itself and the protests are gradually muting. In their place I find a great peace in being with my mother, hardly speaking, just holding hands. Increasingly I feel blessed to be in this situation. The lessons I am learning are tremendous – to take care of my household, to handle caregiving staff, to do what the situation asks me to do, to give care. A few years earlier, I had thought that I had no capacity to give care to a patient. I feared that my life force was too small and wavering. Today, I know otherwise.
My negative karma is giving me a sheaf of blessings and that is only because I acknowledge its existence.
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