Eternal Law

brahman - Vedic Universe
Three Views
Two Guys
Activity and Experience
Personal Growth
Personality Problems
Thoughts on Death
yoga sAdhanA
tantra yoga
Ishvara, IshvarI, devas & devIs
bhakti yoga
Night of brahmA
Questions & Answers
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shrI viThThalAya namo namaH
(Vithoba and Rakhumai)

tameva 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.

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. 

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