The Doctrine of Karma has been influencing Indians in innumerable ways. It emphasizes on acquiring everything by accepting the current life as everything. According to Dr. Radhakrishnan, no other doctrine is as important as the doctrine of Karma in life and behaviour. This emphasises on the hope for future and forgetfulness of the past. It inspires us to continuously do the karma and move ahead on the path of progress. This doctrine is based on the concept of self-religion and on the belief that the current life of an individual is not the result of his birth in specific family, specific caste or varna. But it is the result of his karmas in his previous incarnation.
Influence of Doctrine of Karma on social life
After being influenced by this, Max Weber has even written that, the doctrine of Karma has changed the whole world into a logical and moral system. It represents the most balanced belief in the God in the whole history.
According to Stanley Jest, the doctrine of Karma and reincarnation explains the mysteries of our life on the Earth. In its absence, the life becomes a meaningless puzzle
Also arrival and departure in life, our changed contacts, man and his character, capabilities, depressions and deviations, success and failure etc can be explained on this basis of reincarnation. Let us discuss its importance in following aspects of life
1. Development of Morality
The doctrine of lapse has contributed in the development of morality. It inspire people to give up bad virtues and to follow the right path. The thoughts of good and bad, heaven and hell are developed in person. Also one knows that he has to face the consequences in present or in future life.
Basically “Karma” is a Sanskrit word which means our deeds or actions. What ever we do it comes to us. You must be familiar with the line ” Sab apne apne karmo ki baat hai” ( It all depends on our own deeds)
Thus it inspires people towards good deeds they fear to indulge in anti social activities. Hence due to the Doctrine of Karma a morality is developed which contributed in controlling the life of people.
2. Gives mental satisfaction
The Doctrine of Karma contributes in giving mental satisfaction. Also it helps the person in maintaining faith in social system. According to this theory, each person is satisfied with his current situation because he believes it to be the result of his karma in previous incarnation. Thus this satisfaction is helpful in development of healthy personality. Also a person will remain loyal to his social system only when he is satisfied with his current situation.
3. Move ahead on the path of duty
Karma inspire us to move on the path of duty. Although the person does not have any control on his past deeds, but he can improve his future life by following his self religion and duty. Hence this doctrine also makes the person optimistic, man of good character and progressive.
4. Maintain social balance and reduce struggles
Social struggles happen when people are dissatisfied with their current situation and fails every time in spite of trying. According to doctrine of karma, a person considers himself responsible for his situation as he believes it is the result of his acquired karmas. This explanation encourages people to be satisfied and not to raise a protest or struggle. This doctrine has given a never before contribution in the work of social control.
5. Keeps social system organised
All the social systems of Indian society are based on the Doctrine of Karma. In other words it can be said that it has helped in keeping all the systems organised. Whether it is a family, varna, ashram or religion, a person is supposed to carry out his duties towards everything. It plays an important role in developing good virtues in a person by emphasising on fraternity, love, cooperation and organisation.
6. Related to welfare of whole society
Although the doctrine appears to be individualistic, but in reality it is universal. To follow self religion, sense of equality for all organisms and selfless karma are basis of it. This is what the true knowledge is all about. When a person selflessly does his karma, consider everyone as equal and fulfils his responsibilities then there is increase in charity, which leads to welfare of society. When a person thinks and behaves for the benefit of each organism, the social welfare has got to increase.
According to Hinduism, doctrine of karma is a logical philosophy. The person is free to do his karma in previous incarnation and is free in this incarnation too. If the current life of a person is the result of his karma in previous incarnation, then he has the opportunity to improve his future life by accumulating good karmas. It emphasizes on the fact that person cannot forego the karmas for his own self, but can boycott their influences by trying. The karma considers a person as a maker of his own fortune.