Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dharma vs Karma

America is a country built on the principle of freedom, from the basic ones to all individual choices. Thats one of the reasons I have loved this country ever since I came here in 1999. No one will try to stop you in anyway of however you choose to carryout yourself, of course within the boundaries of civic and moral behavior. In Hinduism, that is the concept of Karma, or right to do. But I think it is due to that very freedom of choice that the american people suffer from some rather unwise or unacceptable aspects such as profligate spending, lack of upward mobility, violent crimes, drug use etc. Certain people in general will likely make a wrong or bad decision whenever given the choice to do so, and thats why american society might be stagnated as it is and has been for a decade or so.
In India instead of the individuals choice, the society decides how to act or not to act for every single situation, and also how to conduct yourself everywhere. This brings the idea of Dharma, or the duty of a person. I am very much against the idea, but it does somehow has managed to keep people rather moralistic in overall behavior, although everyday civic sense is almost non existent as you can pee,spit,throw trash almost everywhere, and Indian people arent too shy to prod their orifices to relieve an itch anywhere.I guess you could say they carry themselves very naturally, almost too much. Since the society in general is there to judge and point at a person at almost any time, people tend to make wiser decisions, or at least make an attempt.