Our experiences in life are caused by our actions. We often observe this in real time. Help a stranger and a stranger helps you in difficult times. Hurt someone and you get hurt in the same manner by someone else. Conspire to get your hands on something and it gets snatched away from you.
In life, what we get is a function of what we put in. Let us define this incomprehensible and extremely complicated function as:
f(x) = y
For some people, the input and output are balanced:
x = y
These people’s lives seem fair, as their fate seems to be dependent entirely on their actions. When they are good, their life seems blessed. When they do bad deeds, their life seems miserable. Looking at them, we feel that God exists and is just.
For others, there is a constant involved. Some have it favourably as:
x + c = y
These people seem to be blessed ones, who probably live a life of luxury and/or are extremely talented. Even if they do some bad deeds, we do not see them undergoing any negative experiences. The truth could be that they were meant for better things in life, but because of their vices and bad deeds, they did not get to see their miracles and had lesser good experiences.
Others have it unfavourably as:
x – c = y
These people face hardships even when they constantly do good deeds and never hurt anyone. Looking at people whose life is a series of unfortunate events, we feel that they deserve better. We think life is unfair.
Whatever our life’s formula is, we can always do good deeds to obtain good luck. We can be virtuous. We can try to make someone happy every day by what we do or what we say. We can volunteer for a good cause. We can identify and weed out our negative intentions. Everything that we do adds up.
Thiruvalluvar gives a beautiful definition of virtue:
மனத்துக்கண் மாசிலன் ஆதல் அனைத்தறன்
ஆகுல நீர பிற
This kural means that virtue is having a spotless mind. If a person does not have a pure heart, anything else they do is vain and only for pretence.
Consider a person who doesn’t have the means to donate to the poor. They wish to serve people at least by volunteering for some tasks which do not require a donation of money. Since they also live from paycheck to paycheck, they cannot spare time away from their work to help out the underprivileged. Such people are still virtuous, even if they can’t find ways to actually make a difference in other people’s lives.
Consider a person who volunteers for a cause just to brag about it and/or create a good image of themselves in public. Karma does not give them much brownie points though they helped someone. If they harboured negative emotions like jealousy, pride, greed or vengeance, they are not completely virtuous. No matter what good deeds they do, their negative thoughts will consume the benefits of their deeds.
To be happy and successful, the basic thing we need is to be virtuous and have a clear conscience. The formula is very simple indeed. If we get this right, life will shower us with good fortune. After all, as we sow, so shall we reap.