Understudy Karma

by Aranyakananda

To illustrate a point: I do not drive. Though I am well aware that the Gita tells me to live without fear, humans do feel this emotion and when it is based on previous experience, it is a good tool, fear. My fear of driving is based on a previous experience in which I demonstrated some scary driving habits. So it’s justified, I think.

Friends have tried to trap me and say “what if your karma dictates that you are to get into a car accident. Aren’t you just shifting your karma over to an accident caused by another driver with you as a passenger?” A fair point. But I think if it were my karma to be hurt while driving a car, it would happen. Since I am of the disposition of one who refuses to drive, if I continue to do so, then it was not my karma for this hypothetical accident to happen. It might be my karma to be hurt as a passenger in a car accident, but not because my karma got shifted over to that scenario.

As if there were some kind of “understudy karma” waiting in the wings.

At one point or another, we have all said “I can’t believe I did something so stupid.” Some people think this is evidence that our free will has been usurped by some kind of predestination.

Not believing in complete predestination, one may need to ask: Are we sometimes “possessed by karma”?

I think not. I think no matter how “stupid” the act, at the moment we either wanted to do it, or we were simply being careless.

Really it’s up to you. I choose not to drive. Do I just know myself or am I a coward?

Jai Hari Aum!

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4 Responses to Understudy Karma

  1. Dhrishti says:

    First, I think your friends have a very poor understanding of karma. It may well be your karma to be in an automobile accident, and whether you’re a driver or a passenger is irrelevant – it’s still an automobile accident.

    I agree with you, if you continue your passenger-only status, then it mustn’t have been in your karmas to be injured as a driver to begin with. I also agree with you that we are never really “possessed by karma.”

    Also, you should be a driver. Your fear, and your own scary drivering, are no reasons to abstain.

    • treadmarkz says:

      I’ll take that into consideration. I presently have a monk harassing me about going out driving “as soon as the snow is gone.”

  2. Mahalaya says:

    I think sometimes it is a mix. If you ever outfoxed a karma lesson, the next attempt may not be so pleasant. I was in a deep deep fog for 13 years. Very confused. This state brought some deep lessons…prior to this time i was alone and decided to stay this way. But that was not to be. However, whenI avoided the first hook line…the second was far worse.

    I think if it is your destiny to have something happen, say perhaps…die in a certain way…there is all the time in the world to make it happen. Recently read about an individual who was in a mass shooting, survived, only to be in another mass shooting and did die. Sometimes what is coming for us is inevitable.

    I do not drive often, i only have a permit. Never was allowed (during those 13 years) and then after…well…certain things happened which made it impossible…for now. Having lil ones in the car while you make your mistakes in getting practice is no good at all.

    You are not a coward. It is not cowardly to be so considerate that you do not wish to harm others, or even yourself. ❤

    • treadmarkz says:

      I really appreciate you sharing your personal story, Mahalayaji. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation. I appreciate feedback from people with a variety of experience.

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