1. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Karma or Kismet

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Neha, Sep 13, 2009.

    So, assuming this hasn't cropped up before...

    I was reading the Sunday issue of the Times of India this morning, and while read the celebrity section where they're questioned about their beliefs of Karma and Kismet, I began wondering at how varied and uniquely people respond to this topic. For those who don't know what the words mean(I'm sure there aren't many)

    Karma-Karma is an hindi word meaning work. We usually use it in the context of all the work(not just labour) that a human being does during the course of his life, for himself as well as others. There is a saying that the karma done by one is what ultimately counts where he stand after death and in the next life(for those who believe).

    Kismet-Destiny.


    So my question would be, which factor do YOU believe ultimately leads to panning out one's life, and do you have any specific reason in believing thus?(Can include incidents)
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    We have Kader--Fate, and Kısmet--Destiny.

    If your Kader is bad you can't do much to change it, you just accept it. This means it's much easier here for people to accept death or disaster, they don't do the 'why me?' thing Westerners do nearly so much, nor do they feel they need to be guilty in any way for accidents or illnesses.
    The down side is, they can't always be bothered to do much when they are seriously ill (like my father-in-law, who has just been told he's got lung cancer). They just patiently wait for the inevitable.

    Kısmet is good fortune, the kind of 'some people are just born lucky' idea.

    Given the intensely competitive nature of business and the Turkish educational system, it seems that people are inclined to keep on trying to improve their lives even if their Kader seems bad, in the hopes that their Kısmet will actually turn out to be good after all, instead of staying passive--but Turkish people are pretty optimistic I guess.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe in sort of a mix of both, but if I had to pick one that I thought played a larger part, I would say karma. I don't have any specific life experiences to back that up, but I just feel like you can either take the hand that life has dealt you and let things play out, or you can ask for more cards and actively influence the way things go, change your path if you don't like it, etc. You are who you choose to be, and life is what you make it.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't believe or disbelieve either one... i simply live my life and accept that it may be 'destined' or 'pre-destined' by kismet and/or influenced by karma...

    though i was told by a very gifted clairvoyant that i have no karma and am 'pure dharma'... since she had no clue what those terms meant, at the time, i figured it had to be true... i had to look up 'dharma' myself, only being familiar with what 'karma' meant, and afraid that to have none was a serious failing! ;-)
     
  5. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    We have a mix of Karma and Kismet. We all have the Kismet in which we are all destined to be born, to die, and to have certain innate, 'born-with-it' traits, but its what we do with what we are given (Karma) that truly shapes our lives.

    If you work hard enough, you can do anything.
    It's exhausting, it's hard, you'll feel like kicking yourself sometimes, but it's doable, no matter what. I believe in equal opportunity. Sure, some people are handed it while some people have to search for it, but it's there.
    Trust me. :)

    Maybe we do have a destiny, a kismet, but we have free will and choice, karma-karma; we can always reshape it.
     
  6. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd like to believe in destiny, because I'm one of those people that sees depth in coincidence, but logically, it's the effort I attribute to my actions that determines what happens next.
     
  7. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe in neither.

    My problem with Karma (and reincarnation in general):
    The global population is increasing. If I die and come back, and you die and come back, we all die and come back (in one form or another) should not the total number of lives remain constant (possibly reduce, as once the highest state is reached, you shed your mortal coil)? Plus, who decides what is good and what is bad? I can say that sex out of wedlock is a sin while another feels that finding a life mate is a great thing. Cultural relativism really cuts into things like this.

    My problem with Kismet (predestination):
    If there is fate, then there can be no Karma. Why would I be rewarded or punished for doing what I was programmed to do? If [insert deity here] intended Hitler to kill millions of people, should not we celebrate him for carrying out [insert deity]'s will?

    I feel you get one shot at life and that people should make the most of it. There are people who endure a life of hardship and suffering, who do nothing to better their situation. They believe that they will be rewarded for their suffering later. I believe they are selling themselves, and their children, short.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Chaos
     
  9. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Mammamaia-many people do keep the belief(including my Dadi) that Karma and Kismet are just counterparts of Dharma(which means religion, though not the purest sense of the word, which would be Bhakti). If one follows his Dharma, then Kismet and Karma would become engraved in one path.

    Kyle-Like you said, that if we have Kismet why have Karma? I believe in the opposite, that if we do our Karma in this life, that decides upon our Kismet in the next, they are each the hen and the egg, no telling which comes first.
     
  10. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I believe in karma - in that whatever energy you put into your life and out into the world will be reflected in the quality of life you have. It's really no different than saying "work hard, do good and have a positive attitude". I wouldn't say it's a rock-solid guarantee of anything like material success, or that you can get karma "brownie points" by doing a charitable deed, for me it's more about a positive outlook having a positive effect in your day to day life.
     
  11. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    The global population of humans is increasing exponentially. Probably the population of other species as well, like rats, pigeons, and domesticated animals. But the population of other species has plummeted, and many have become extinct. Maybe if you measured all the organisms in the world, they'd be the same in number as they were millions of years ago?

    Hell, maybe deforestation and over-fishing and species going extinct is just the manifestation of evolving consciousness? Maybe humans increase and "lower" life-forms decrease because they're moving up the reincarnatory (just made up a word) ladder?
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can't make total sense out of that, but thought 'dharma' meant something other than 'religion' when applied to a person 'being' it... such as 'virtue' and/or the essence of the teaching of the buddha...

    if i'm guessing anywhere close to correctly, you seem to be saying that following one's own dharma [as in one's own 'nature'] will lead to kismet and karma being joined, thus meaning the person's actions will be 'guided' or 'predestined'?

    since i've also divested myself of 'self' does that then come close to, or become the state of 'nirvana?
     
  13. SlickBeast
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    SlickBeast New Member

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    I'm a bit of a fatalist, so predetermination is my cup of tea.
     
  14. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Mammamaia-religion, not in the purest sense, can be anything for you. The things you believe in, your work, love, and even the amount of dedication that one invests to get close to complete satisfaction-that is Dharma. I understand that you renounced the world to find yourself? That is a parallel of Nirvana...the day a human being belittles greed, he is completely in knowledge of himself. Many people I've talked to seem to think that Nirvana is only achieved by those who overcome their weaknesses...but the fact is that no one can completely let go of his weaker side...we can only hide it by the stronger one. And the day we stop using others' disadvantage for our benefit and learn to accept hatred...we truly become strong enough to shake free of the burdens of mortality. Forgive me if I said something wrong...but all this I have been observing and listening to ever since I was a child. I'm a pure Brahmin, my father, despite having a job, has even meditated as a priest for some time. Being a pundit, I have very strong ideas about these few topics, so if I offended anyone's beliefs, I apologise.
     
  15. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Neha: That is really interesting and beautiful wisdom. It sounds much like the idea behind charity in terms of being meek and letting go of pride/the ego, plus looking for the good in others and serving others. I think there is freedom in getting to that place, or at least moving your consciousness in that direction.
     
  16. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    The expanding population of humans probably wouldn't effect reincarnation, as various souls have different needs and agendas...one soul may only require one lifetime, while another may require fifty. Also, here on Earth, we have certain limitations, such as time and space. Elsewhere (wherever that is!), time is a non-factor, so souls incarnate into whatever time they need to. Always room for one more!

    Karma is a universal law, at least here, on Earth. Observation of one's own behaviour is the best way to validate this. Do good, feel good. Do bad, feel bad. Easy stuff.

    Kismet puzzles me a little more...I think we all come into the world with certain goals or things to learn, but whether we attain our goals or not is up to us.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...one definition of it, anyway... but since i'm freed of 'self' there is no desire or need to have 'satisfaction'...

    ...no, not to find myself at all... i had no need to do so... i abandoned my old life and 'the material world' only because i couldn't agree with or relate to so much in it... and i knew that i needed to be apart from it personally, while studying humans' history and oberserving the world they've made, to find out why the species is basically so inhumane [a semantic paradox, i know! ;-) ]... that is a question most, if not all of us philosophers have tackled and the most important one of all to me...

    no offense taken here, certainly... but i'm intrigued by the terms 'pure' and 'pundit' and have to wonder if you are self-perceived as such, or have been ajudged so by some authority or other... and this is probably not the proper place for further personal discussions, so please don't hesitate to email me, if you want, so we can continue what is for me a subject well worth exploring...

    namaste...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  18. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Claiming to have "divested myself of self" (with a lowercase 's') is the same as claiming to have attained total spiritual liberation, enlightenment, moksha, mukti, nirvana, or what have you. It takes a jiva (individual soul) countless lifetimes to attain, many of them spent in profound meditation under the instruction of enlightened beings.

    It means you have attained to the meaning of existence. You have perceived firsthand that all truly is One; that all separateness was a delusion. You have met God face-to-face, and have known without a shadow of a doubt that Tat-Tvam-Asi, "Thou art That". You see Reality as it truly is. The veil has fallen away.

    It means the mind has ceased its incessant yammering, and has submitted completely to the true Self (note capital 'S'), which in Hinduism is called the Atman, which is the same as Brahman, the All-God, the ultimate ground of reality.

    The word "nirvana" literally means "blown out", as in the flame to a candle. It refers to the ego. It means one's egoic consciousness has been completely extinguished. They have become "buddha", awakened.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Off topic, and getting personal. Back on topic please.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    forkfoot... yes, i know what it means... and except for the official hindu rules and jargon, which i don't use or adhere to, not being a believer, your description fits pretty well... but if you want to discuss it further, feel free to email me, since as cog notes, this is not the proper place to do it...

    namaste... m
     

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