sharaNaM gachcha sarva bhAvena bhArataH
tat prasAdAt parAM shantiM sthAnaM prApsyasi shAshvataM
Seek refuge in him alone; by his grace, you will attain perfect peace and a secure state.
Here is one more way we can define karma. karma
is simply our interaction with the field of Law or dharma kshetra. Many of our interactions with the field take the
form of interactions with other people in the field. (After all the way we interact with the field is by interacting with
the nodes of the field, people being important nodes of the field.) Relationships form when we decide to interact with some
people or persons more than with others. Quite naturally, most of our karma is connected with how we handle our relationships.
can be a source of joy or a source of pain. It seems that some relationships are made in heaven and some are never meant to
last or work out. Now I would like to apply this model to understand relationship issues. In figure 4 of Two Guys, we saw
how personality profiles of two persons, X and Y, might look. But I don't think our typical inhabitants of the world are like
that. A typical person looks like X shown in figure 5b of Personal Growth or worse.
Figure 6 below shows personality profiles of 3 individuals X, Y and Z. If Y is looking to hook up,
she will have better luck with X than with Z. This is so because of the significant overlap of the profiles fo X and y and
very little overlap of Y's profile with Z.
Internet dating sites encourage members to post their photos. They know
that most relationships begin with physical attraction. In the profiles, they ask members to list their hobbies and interests.
Overlap of the sheaths of energy assures us that two persons will have interest in similar activities, and are likely to have
similar interests generally.
Internet sites rarely go beyond this. There is usually nothing there to check for overlap of mental
or intellectual sheaths. That is left to their members' own devices. Overlap of mental sheaths indicates compatible emotional
characteristics of two persons and are very important for successful relationships. Finally overlap of intellectual sheaths
will show if the two persons will agree with each other on matters of intellect.
Content of intellectual sheaths is
however important in itself. This is what makes up true character of a person. This is his or her moral compass. But judging
strangers is not easy. There are no easy tests. But if we are good observers we can come to understand even strangers. On
a practical level, I think a good way to judge strangers is by watching the way they treat others, not us. With us, they are
trying to score. Watch how they deal with those with whom they don't care to score.
From figure 6, it is east to see why Y should try to find someone like X rather than some one like Z. If for some
reason, Y ends up with Z, figure 6 also tells us that she cannot change Z into X. People don't change easily. It is not easy
for Z to remake himself to be like X. For Y to attempt to change Z into X is to undertake mission impossible.
Figure 6. X and Y are compatible with each other but not with Z
Discussion on relationships can hardly be considered complete till the topic of breaking
up is addressed. One bit of popular wisdom can seen or heard in the song "50 ways to leave your lover " by Paul Simon. "Just
drop off the bus, Gus; no need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee, and set yourself free", he croons. Evidently,
Paul is not familiar with the notion of karma, or in any case, not bothered by it.
We must always remember that karma is all about what we do to ourselves when we interact
with others. Yet this is hardly given a thought when most of us deal with others. While it indeed easy to walk away from relationships
we tire of, it is never easy to walk away from karma we engendered in those relationships. We can free ourselves from those
we do not feel attached to at the present, but it never easy to set ourselves free from karma that resulted from those past
attachments. And sooner or later, the bills come due.
The topics of personal growth and relationships are closely related in an interesting
way. When you are troubled by struggle between you and some other or others, how you deal with the struggle sets the
direction in which you are going. When you see all struggle as something entirely within you, know that you are on the path
to personal progress.