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The Karma Thread...
Posted 1/10/12


If I had been really bad, probably Krishna, maybe Buddha. Though I also think your bad deeds come back around and punishments are automatically administered by Karma itself.
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Posted 1/10/12

DeusExMachine wrote:



If I had been really bad, probably Krishna, maybe Buddha. Though I also think your bad deeds come back around and punishments are automatically administered by Karma itself.


Wait, Krishna or Buddha? Those are figures from two different religions alltogether!
How does that work?
Posted 1/10/12 , edited 1/10/12

Syndicaidramon wrote:


DeusExMachine wrote:



If I had been really bad, probably Krishna, maybe Buddha. Though I also think your bad deeds come back around and punishments are automatically administered by Karma itself.


Wait, Krishna or Buddha? Those are figures from two different religions alltogether!
How does that work?
Nope, they're all parts of the Hindu faith. Which itself is a polytheism, not a monotheism that was once also a polytheism.

The earliest people that we know of were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important goddess. Like the Greek Aphrodite and Demeter, or the Roman Venus and Ceres, or the German Freya, Ishtar was a fertility goddess.

The Phoenicians and Canaanites, further west along the Mediterranean coast, were also polytheistic, but they had different gods. Their most important god was Baal, and some reports say that the Phoenicians and Canaanites sacrificed their children to him. Their most important goddess was Astarte, another fertility figure. The Hittites arrived later, around 2500 BC, and had different gods because they were Indo-Europeans, but they were polytheistic too.

The first signs of monotheism in West Asia come from the Bible, where by around 1000 BC the Jews seem to have already thought that they should worship only their own one God. They clearly believed that there were many gods, but they should only worship theirs, and in exchange he would take care of them against all the other gods. They may have gotten this idea from the Egyptians.

The next move toward monotheism comes from Zoroastrianism, also around 1000 BC. In Zoroastrianism the main god was Ahura Mazda, and his twin sons represented the Truth and the Lie; all the minor gods were on either the side of Truth or the side of the Lie. The most important of these minor gods was Mithra, who was the god of treaties and contracts, and of civilization.

When the Persian king Cyrus converted to Zoroastrianism and then conquered a huge empire, many of his subjects also became Zoroastrians, and the old Sumerian polytheism more or less died out.
---- form "Monotheism and Polytheism"

According to Hinduism, our temporal and corporal forms which host our own inner Buddhas are ruled by karma, an unified mechanism of cause and effect. Not only that, all Hindu deities are subject to karma as well, while they too have their own inner Buddhas.
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Posted 1/12/12 , edited 1/12/12

DomFortress wrote:


Syndicaidramon wrote:


DeusExMachine wrote:



If I had been really bad, probably Krishna, maybe Buddha. Though I also think your bad deeds come back around and punishments are automatically administered by Karma itself.


Wait, Krishna or Buddha? Those are figures from two different religions alltogether!
How does that work?
Nope, they're all parts of the Hindu faith. Which itself is a polytheism, not a monotheism that was once also a polytheism.


You are right of course, my bad.
I always think Buddhism when I hear the name Buddha and always forget that he is a hindu deity.
Which I admit is stupid because Buddhism is non-theist... and thus more of a filosophy than a religion, really.
At least as far as I've gathered. I admit, I am not very familiar with the details of neither buddhism nor hinduism.

But since that makes this debate essentially a debate of religious faith, I think I'll close the lid on it, at least with DEM. Arguing religion over the internet is pointless.
Posted 1/12/12 , edited 1/12/12
DeusExMachine's very first post in this thread was the most accurate description of karma.

Quite simply, karma is cause and effect -- action and reaction. And this concept extends far beyond good/bad or reward/retribution -- all that moral talk is interpretation, and mostly interpretation by westerners trying to put karma into a Judeo-Christian context so it can be understood by a Euro-American audience.

The Bhagavad Gita has what is considered the core commentary on karma. Commentary on this commentary can and will quite literally take up thousands of volumes, but karma can include doing actions that can be considered 'bad' by an enormous number of people, without it being immediately 'bad' for the person acting (or bad in any sort of objective, external sense) -- this is the core of Arjuna's 'issues' with taking part in wholesale battlefield slaughter, which is the core narrative thread in the Bhagavad Gita.

In some ways, there are some parallels between karma and wu wei (or as it's sometimes called, 'following the Tao') in philosophical Taoism. It is a way of describing the system where one finds one place in life, and once one finds said place, one can act efficiently and effectively. But even that is an interpretation. At its most basic level, karma is, again - causality. The way things work. All the assorted branches of the religious traditions that are often lumped into the inadequate label of 'Hinduism' have an assortment of interpretations which get into the question of past and future lives, but such gloss is not a prerequisite for understanding the concept of karma.

I would suggest that if one tries to put a moral gauze over karma, you might obfuscate the full implications of its meaning.
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