Karma – The Universal law of Cause and Effect

Soon after completing my probation for 3 months in the MNC that I worked in, I was absorbed as a Junior foreman of the maintenance department on the permanent rolls of the company. That was in 1982. 35 electricians, pump/ boiler/kiln operators were working in our department and were reporting to me. Our department understands and cooperates with the needs of the production department, plans preventive maintenance and carry out planned shutdowns on weekly holidays to enable a seamless running of the plant 24 X 7 thereby reducing breakdown maintenance time.

It was tea time in the morning on the beginning day of the week around 10.30 am when the chai walla rolled his mobile trolley through the shop floor and all workmen near that area stood in line to collect their cup of tea in their cups along with a piece of vada pav. Just as they were about to start having their tea, a production supervisor came in to our department to register a complaint saying that machine number so and so was not working. I asked him what happened and he said that it had tripped and he conveyed to me the urgency to attend to the breakdown immediately and set it right. I conveyed this message to the electricians who said that they would attend to the breakdown after their tea. A few minutes passed and they were not yet ready to go and attend to the breakdown. They were still talking about the movie they saw the previous weekend and I was getting restless. I requested them again and still they did not get up. Meanwhile there was a call to me from the Production Manager who told me that the order they were executing on that particular machine was very critical and they were already behind on time line. I said that I would go there myself to check up and sort it out. I informed our department electricians to join me there immediately after their tea (which took time eternal) and that I would go there and be conducting the preliminary investigation to identify the cause for the breakdown.

I took the department’s tools consisting of the basic Line tester, screw driver, plier, cutter, a roll of fuse wire, HRC fuses, insulation tape and a test lamp. I went near the machine that broke down and when I saw it and looked up, saw 6 pairs of production department people looking at me. Their machine was not working since the 20 h.p induction motor which was the prime mover had tripped. They asked me where the department electricians were? I told them that they are having their tea and should be there any minute. I checked the incoming line with the test lamp – the first phase was healthy, the second was healthy, the third one was not. Upon removing the fuse holder I saw that it was a rewirable fuse that had melted and broken the connection. It was just loose connection, I thought. With enormous pride with my diagnosing abilities and with my chin up, I told the production workmen in my broken hindi, “Get ready to work, Just 5 more minutes” I said and gingerly fixed the rewirable fuse wire in the 100 Ampere carrier, inserting one more strand of the fuse wire so that it would not trip unnecessarily and again hamper production. I showed my thumbs up to the production team and they also showed their thumbs up. My electricians were just coming near the machine, I smiled at them triumphantly, waved to them, switched on the 100 Ampere switch and pressed the starter push button. There was a huge noise that was heard by all the 600 workmen in the factory and all the engineers and executives. The next second, smoke was billowing out of the motor/pump assembly, the production workmen ran, the whole area of that part of the factory lost electrical power since the oil circuit breaker in the transformer yard had tripped because of the extensive intensity of the short circuit. My face which was swelling in pride until I switched on the starter, afterward looked like a gas balloon pricked by a needle !! My electricians were not sympathetic towards me, they ripped me in the choicest of language in Marathi and Hindi, fortunately I understood neither, I was looking like a goat in the slaughter house looking at them pleadingly to consider being compassionate this one time and I would never ever venture out like an electrician !! They asked me what I had learnt while I was doing electrical engineering degree.

While the electrical engineering degree taught me about generation, transmission, distribution, switch gears, motors etc.. they did not teach us about the cause and effect that turns out during the actual operation of electrical systems and since I was new to work and this was my first hand experience of Cause and Effect, I faulted very badly. Here the cause was the insulation damage in the motor winding and my poor understanding followed by wrong action of not checking the insulation resistance with a megger but just replacing with a fuse of a higher rating without addressing the cause caused the blowout. What happened was instead of the fuse which was supposed to break the circuit, damaged the winding of the motor completely. I cut a sorry figure that day in front of many. Although there was a spare motor available which got installed in the next hour as a saving grace, this experience formed an indelible impression in my subconscious mind. Immediately after the incident my name was the talk inside the factory and immediately became very popular for the wrong reasons !!

I should not have done like that and so many things were told by my seniors, my electricians. Hind sight wisdom or retrospective wisdom imparted is useless wisdom for that incident, since there is no way for one to go back and set right things !! But that practical experience taught me to have foresight/mental preparedness/anticipation and the wisdom I got out of the experience was there to stay. Next time I won’t commit this kind of mistake ever, I thought. After that incident I became so cautious that I checked the brakes of my cycle, every evening before going to the chaat shop to have my bhel !!

Life works on a cause and effect principle. Mahatria says, “For every cause there is an effect, Varying the cause, varies the effect, Changing the cause, changes the effect, denying the cause denies the effect, embracing the causes, embraces the effect. Cause is an action that makes something else (the effect) to happen. For example when water is heated (Cause), the molecules move quickly, therefore the water boils and produces steam (effect). The tsunami (cause) swept through the fishermen’s quarters and so the fishermen had to find another place to live (effect) The radiation (cause) produced by cell phone towers affect the navigational skills of the honeybees and prevents them from returning back to their hives (effect). Physical inactivity (Cause) contributes to depression and anxiety besides hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes (effect) Because the alarm did not work (cause) he missed his flight (effect) Similarly, if there is a creation (effect) that is you,, me and the Universe, there has to be a creator (Cause) Essentially the “cause” can be due to a person, object or event that can result into something called an effect while an effect is the result of action of the person or outcome of a chain of events that has happened.

Wikipedia says “Cause and Effect” is the principle of Causality which means both cause and effect have a strong connection between each other. Cause and effect is similar to choice and consequence. Your thoughts create your world as it manifests into action and your life is a resultant of all the thoughts (cause) put together. Your body (effect) is nothing more than the sum of your thoughts. Your whole body from head to toe is nothing other than your thought itself (cause) in a form (effect) you can see. You are what you are because of what you have done before. You are where you are because of what you have done before.

Mahatria says,” The act of becoming intelligent and the science behind tapping into the power of human intelligence is to train the intelligence to look more into the cause than the effect. People who work on the effect invest maximum effort to produce minimum results. People who work on the cause invest minimum effort and produce maximum results. Pace of growth is possible only for this class of people.”

Karma refers to the Spiritual principle of cause and effect. An important word that is a central concept for many religions.. A good intent and good deed create a good karma and future happiness while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and suffering. Mahatriya says, Karma means action and not fate whereas thought is the other name for fate. As you think so you become. As you sow, so you reap. Karma is a Sanskrit word that means action and is an energy created by willful action through thought, words and deeds. Karma is often misused to denote luck, destiny or fate. It is used as a way to explain hardships. Buddha taught about karmic conditioning which means that it is a process by which a person’s nature is shaped by their moral actions. All of these cause to acquire karma. Many religions place importance on being mindful of every action they should take. All actions have an initial intent and are harmless as long as it remains dormant but best still to remove the intent itself. It is only when it transforms into action it starts to affect your life and lives around you. The potential energy hidden within becomes kinetic.

Our thoughts define our actions. All our actions loudly define who we are bringing up new thoughts that establish, make inroads and become our mindsets causing more new actions. If we do not choose our thoughts constantly eradicating the mental rubbish and watering the seeds of the fruitful mindsets, if we lack mindfulness about our daily actions and reactions, we let the system define us. Karma is like gravity. You can’t defy gravity, can you? It just exists. No one ever heard that anyone succeeded in breaking the gravity by jumping from the building. Neither it is possible for anyone, who has defied karma and did not get a feedback/reminder in the form of a pat or a gentle nudge or a tight slap !! One thing is sure. You can’t defy gravity and in the same way you cannot escape from the actions of karma.

The ways to create good karma is to tell the Truth at all times. Anytime you tell a lie, even if it is a small one, you set up yourself up for deceit and hidden agendas from other people. Live purposefully.. Help people. Meditate. Practice compassion and kindness. Remember the larger picture.

Supposing we come across a person who is not very educated but very successful and also very happy (effect) many people have a tendency to say, ”he is lucky, all because of past life karma et all !! Little do they know the thoughts of abundance and love (cause) that he has always cherished in his conscious mind which deposits into the mighty subconscious mind. Success is not built on chance and luck, success is not created outside of you but created inside you and manifests outside.

In the same way if someone who has studied in the best B school and not succeeding professionally (effect) people have a tendency to say that because of his past karma or he is unlucky he is not successful (effect) Little do they comprehend that this person relives on thoughts of inadequacy, negativity and doubt (cause)

We should know where we are going is a famous Zen saying. If you do not know where you are going almost any road will take you there !! If we know what we want in life, success and happiness are quite easy to achieve by applying the principles of Karma which is the law of cause and effect to best use.

Some of the ways to improve your Karma which is also called the Universal law of cause and effect and understanding is whatever goes around, comes around. To practice doing One good deed everyday. Say thank you for all the smallest favours received. Be thankful to the Universe. Be honest. Be kind to all including human beings, animals, insects and the environment. Plant a few saplings and take care of it for life. Being ever positive. Teach someone. Find a job for someone. Be generous. Practice the art of giving regularly. Listen. Take care of the old, women and children. On the road give way to others. Read at least a page from a Spiritual book everyday. Respect everyone. Meditate. Wishing the wellbeing of everyone to the world at large. Seeing everyone as your brother and sister.

To get rid of your bad karma which feeds resentment – avoid gossip, sever toxic ties with people who burden you constantly with their negative karma. Forgive everybody. Not to get angry, get jealous, get envious, get greedy, get lustful feelings. If you are mightily aware when you are feeling negative the emotions slowly recede to oblivion.

The law of Karma discusses about the power of our thoughts since everything originates from thoughts. Your thoughts create “causes which is what you act upon.” Your thoughts give meaning to circumstances. Your thoughts are creatively manifesting your reality. Within the seed of individual thoughts lie the origins of the causes you create in your reality. These causes create effects which you experience in your lives as manifested life circumstances.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words

Watch your words, for they become actions

Watch your action, for they become habits

Watch your habits, for they become character

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny – Lao Tzu

Let your intentions be noble (cause) Existence will take care of the rest…

In Mahatria’s words to sum it up, “To use my intelligence when it comes to executing choices and surrender the same intelligence to the infinite intelligence in accepting the consequences is intelligent living.”

S.Ramkumar 1981 E & E