Friday the 13th: Bad Luck vs. Karma

by Aranyakananda

Friday the 13th always brings up a lot of talk from superstitious types who say this entire day is bad luck. I was talking it over with a co-worker last night. I said to him “I don’t believe in luck, I believe in karma.” He replied by asking “isn’t that the same thing?” You could say it is, though when I think of the concept of “luck” I think of simple, dumb luck with no rhyme or reason behind it. However, when we act in the path of dharma we do indeed accrue positive effects of karma and experience them as pleasant events in our lives, and indeed do store up “good luck” for the future. So far into the future – possibly in another incarnation – that it may seem like completely random, yes, dumb luck. So maybe they are the same thing when we look at things in terms of our present incarnation.

If you believe in all this bad luck stuff when Friday the 13th comes around, is it just one whole day for people to burn off negative effects of karma in one 24-hour swoop? Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? What I do know and care about is that by following dharma I can make the next Friday the 13th a “good luck” day. But I also know that it will be nothing more than good luck which will come and go until I have reached Krishna Consciousness, mahasamadhi, and moksha.
By the way, today went very well for me.

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3 Responses to Friday the 13th: Bad Luck vs. Karma

  1. Dhrishti says:

    I think I disagree that one could say luck and karma are about the same thing.

    As you pointed out, luck implies a certain element of randomness. While karma, by definition, deals purely with cause/effect: nothing random. With that in mind, I’m not sure I think luck even exists- or even can exist.

    I think the best approximation would be to liken good karma with good fortune. The term good fortune implies a certain degree of responsibility on the part of the receiver, which directly relates to how The Law of Karma operates.

    Only The One can be without a cause, so naturally everything else has a cause. There can be lifetime after lifetime of occurences we may not be able to explain, but still there can be no accidents/luck-only the results of past actions(literally, karma).

    • treadmarkz says:

      Of course you are right Dhrishtiji. I only likened effects of karma to “luck” because in perceiving these effects in the context of one current lifetime, we don’t always know the cause and therefore see things as random.

  2. Jilli says:

    I’ve had some of the most divine and personal interventions that have occurred on the 13th and Friday the 13th. For me, it’s a Karmic number, and the universes way of speaking to me when I’m out of balance with the world!

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