India: Defining karma + feeding cows

December 16, 2013

Karma is often described as destiny.  But that’s not what it is.

It’s a Sanskrit word for “act, action or word.”

Karma is a cosmic law that teaches that each of our actions, our deeds, our words set into effect a chain of cause and effect.

That we will experience personally the effects of what we do. Everything we do.

Karma is the force generated by our actions that determines our next life.

It’s karma that helps our souls evolve.  The good and kind acts we do are good karma.

Of course, the things we do that are not so kind or good also set in motion negative karma that will impact our next lives.

at Pushkar

at Pushkar

What goes around does come around.

THAT is karma. the things that go around and come around.

Indians believe they have four mothers, including Mother Cow, who is the giver of milk and therefore life. Feeding cows is auspicious– good karma, so first morning bread is given to cows.  Now, not everyone can find a cow to feed, so in India, there are centrally located cow feeding stations where you can go feed a cow for good karma.

Cow feeding station, Jaipur

Cow feeding station, Jaipur

And while we know karma as an Eastern concept, it’s also a Christian concept:  “as you sow, so shall you reap. Everyone receives their own reward according to their own labor.”  Yep, the apostle Paul in the Bible.

And let’s not forget Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which is all about karma.


15 comments on “India: Defining karma + feeding cows
  1. Allen H says:

    Coincidentally, todays Wall Street Journal has a front page article about an Indian, Hindu, Female police officer who joined the ranks of the one Indian woman a minute who die over dowry disputes . This one hung herself because her dowery did not include a car. Perhaps the definition of KARM reads differently in Hindi than the chosen english translation.
    The victim above, as a police officer, was to dealing with rape cases in India – apparently what “goes around” in India has more to do with being born as a woman than it does with how one lives as a woman – Karma as read in your examples applies to men only.
    Or is it that ones KARMA to be born a woman in this cycle is punishment for sins in the last life?

    • admin says:

      You raise a good point. I never asked the hard questions of Sushil–none of us did, I don’t think–but I wish I had.

  2. Great post!!! I am a huge fan of The Sermon on the Mount. 🙂

  3. dawn says:

    Love this post! What an enlightening experience for you.

  4. Nancy Hill says:

    I once had a poster that showed “the golden rule” as it was integrated into the world’s major religions – it was ubiquitous and beautiful. As you reap… that was a great include. Namaste.

  5. Nancy Hill says:

    Oh, and I keep forgetting to share with you: you may want to check out the Carrie Newcomer CD, she has like 15 CDs and I can’t remember the name of the one I’m referencing., that came out of her trips to India as a peace ambassador for the U.S. – She is a an amazing folk singer and spiritual type person… and a friend.

  6. I definitely believe that we reap what we sow. But, I also believe that sometimes we reap what others sow for us. (Man who is good, kind, generous, great husband and father drives to the store to get medicine for a sick child, is killed by a drunk driver) And then there is that whole time and unforeseen occurrence thing (you are on vacation and a tsunami hits and your child is washed away.)

    • admin says:

      We do. And I hear you on the bad stuff—In my belief structure, there is a reason for all that and in fact, we have a contract beforehand for all that will happen, either to help our own souls grow or to help someone else. I never really got the “we choose” concept until a few years ago, when my own beliefs finally coalesced. So bad things do happen but it is part of a plan, as i see it now.

  7. Laurel Regan says:

    Love this, Carol – thank you! Much food for thought.

  8. I love that there are “cow feeding areas”. I think it’s so important that our animals eat well. I’ve always had an idea/knowledge that Indian tradition/culture values the cow so very much. I never knew they had a way for the community to honor cows as well.

    I also have toyed with the karmic belief before. Not enough to discuss it on my own, but I understand it as also “golden rule-ish”.

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