• Philosophy

    Karma and Altruism

    Some people argue that because we are predestined to suffer and enjoy due to karma therefore there is no point in helping people. This view of karma is interpreted to mean that Vedic philosophy is opposed to altruism and charity. In fact, practitioners of some religions such as Christianity claim that the belief in karma makes people less compassionate toward others. They also claim that by giving up the ideas about karma and thinking of everyone as God’s children, we become more compassionate. In this post I will describe how karma is misunderstood and how it entails altruism although for a completely different reason—you help others to help yourself.

  • Philosophy,  Religion

    Karma, Reincarnation, and Divine Justice

    This is the transcript of the fifth episode of my podcast. In this episode we talk about the nature of karma and how it is created. We discuss how karma is created as a consequences of actions, different from cause and effect, and to the extent that science only deals with causes and effects, it is incomplete. The episode goes on to talk about how time only creates possibilities out of which our desiring (guna) and deserving (karma) create actual events for an individual observer. So karma is a natural concept and morality that deals with consequences of actions is a natural law. The episode talks about many questions surrounding karma such as why we don’t remember…

  • Philosophy,  Religion

    How Guna and Karma Create the Body

    Vedic texts describe how the body of a soul is created due to guna and karma. This seems unintuitive if we think that the body is created by eating food. But how do we eat food? Food consumption is, in Vedic philosophy, influenced by two factors, called guna (plural) and karma. This post discusses how guna are the nature by which we enjoy consuming certain types of things, and karma is the nurture due to which we have access to certain types of things. Just because we enjoy certain things (guna) doesn’t mean that we will get them, because the environment we are situated in (karma) might not enable access to them.…