Karma and Karmafal

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

What is Karma?

Karma is the Hindi world for action. According to Hinduism, we should do the right action. And we should take the right action voluntarily despite the challenges we face because it is the best possible path.

Karma, the action, is always something in our control. The result of our actions, karmafal, is not in our control.

Karmafal: The results of our karma

There are things outside of us that we can influence, but it doesn’t mean that we control them. We don’t even control our bodies, we influence them with Karma, and the right Karma or even approximately right karma would push us in the right direction.

For example, let’s say you want to get fit, you start exercising and you influence the outcome of getting fit, but it doesn’t mean you get fit. It may be that you are following the wrong diet, which is fine, you just have to update your diet. Or it could be something outside of your control, like a disease like Thyroid which may be leading you to be overweight or underweight.

Detach ourselves from controlling the outcome. Control the input

Doing Karma is in our control. Having the Karmafal, the result of our karma is not in our control.

We are influenced by many things that weren’t our choice, neither those are results of our actions but are our responsibility. There is a randomness to life. Like in the previous example with a disease, it’s likely not our choice to have a disease, but let’s say we have it, now our best bet is to take good action going forward.

This may sound depressing, but it’s actually empowering. In any situation, we can’t control the results, but we do have the ability to influence the results.

We should abandon the idea of controlling the outcome. We can control the input, we can do our karma to our best and let the outcome be influenced, and the resultant tiny influence we see in the outcome may be enough.

This also keeps you free. When you are not attached to the outcome means that you are not terrified by it. For example, if you like someone, and they are doing something stupid if you are attached to how they may feel, you may never tell them how you feel. And they may continue to do something stupid. When you are not attached to the outcome, you can tell them how you feel (maybe you can learn to be kind), and your input may help them. To take action according to your input is their lookout and their action. It’s not something in your control, but you have influenced it and given them the tools and your thoughts to help them make a better choice.

We control how we play. We don’t control if it rains or not, we control if we go for a run. We don’t control if we get 1000 views, we control how well we present our ideas.

Further Reading

Daily Stoic: You Control How You Play