Towards understanding Hindu Culture, Rituals and Traditions Part Thirteen : KARMA (Understanding Organisational Karma)

(In this part, we take a look at Organisational Karma, even though it is far removed from the original concept of Karma, since almost everybody today is working in an organization, and is affected by organizational karma)

A chandelier represents a collection of lights – like in collective karma – alone, it gives a different light, and collectively, the intensity and colour are different…..

(“In an hierarchy, every employee tends to RISE to his level of INCOMPETENCE” – Peter Principle. The Peter Principle offers an additional perspective in understanding organizational Karma.)

Organisational Karma is of two types – One, the individual portion of the Collective Organisational Karma that the person carries, and two, the individual’s karma that he/she relegates to the collective organizational Karma. Either way, the collective organizational Karma affects individual Karma, and Individual Karma affects the collective organizational karma. The way an individual moves up in an organization is largely determined by the ability of the person to carry more Karma. The capacity of the individual to carry a part of the organizational karma determines where and in which position he/she works.

Similar to the Peter Principle, the organizational karma too, decides where we are, at any point of time – This is the reason why, some people, despite their academic brilliance may not get the kind of breaks in their vocation whereas some others may overtake even CEOs – We often term it as their good luck or destiny. Often these persons who rise very fast in the organizational hierarchy may just be having very good individual karma which is strong enough to take “on” the organizational Karma.

We may find many instances where one person may get one lucky break after another – and someone else, on the verge of even heading an organization, may lose the chance and someone, totally not in the race thus far, may overtake him/her. These inexplicable situations can best be understood by understanding organizational karma.

What one does for the organization, is returned to him/her in their other spheres of life. For example, a person who uses his organization to earn bribes, finds that he is betrayed by his loved relative or friend in his personal life at some point of time. Similarly, a person who tries to uplift his/her organization sincerely without expecting anything in return, also gets a similar favour from his friends or family. In other words, the organizational karma affects a person’s personal karma by the way he/she functions in the organization.

Not only does the place of work, but also the position of work, is determined by karma. Organisational karma determines the rise and fall of a person. Leaders who use their armies to conquer land/countries and who deliberately create war fall prey to the organizational karma they create. People in business and various other vocations who use illegal means to garner wealth using their organization fall prey to the same karmic effects. Often these people may be carrying the burden of their organizational Karma on themselves and their families. For example, an automobile manufacturer who manufactures defective vehicles that kills people in accidents would be carrying the bad karma of the persons who lost their lives using the vehicle – like this, the list is endless, to the responsibility of karma in various professions, vocations or jobs.

Every decision that a person takes in an organization, carries good or bad karma depending on various factors – and that, consequently affects his/her individual karma. Very few persons are able to match their individual karmic tastes to their organizations and vice versa. The very fact that a person may be working in an organization not suited for him/her itself may be his/her karmic fate. Sometimes, individual karma may totally not match with the organizational karma – in which case, a change in organization may sort out matters.

Organisational karma and mass karma are similar – the only difference is that in organizational karma, all the persons are working for an organization whereas in Mass Karma, various different types of individual karmas get linked to one major mass karmic reason. The Tsunami that occurred on 26th December 2004 in the Indian Ocean that killed more than 2,30,000 people  has a common mass karmic link. Stories abound of many people who escaped the Tsunami of 2004 – Most of them, would not have come under the mass karma link. Again, there are many stories of how people travelled for a long distance from areas totally unaffected, to the seashore just on that day, and got killed. These unfortunate people were attracted to the seashore by virtue of their mass karma.

Organisational Karma affects the health of the organization, and the persons heading the organization. Often, a change in organizational leadership can effect karmic changes in the organization itself. Persons of similar individual karma get attracted to an organization and their collective karma forms the organizational karma. This collective organizational karma keeps accumulating persons or individuals with similar karmic leanings. This is the reason why some persons would be unable to get a job anywhere except in a particular industry/area/sector/organization. The fact that organizational karma attracts people of similar karma is well known among hiring agents and recruiters.

Karma is all about teaching lessons of life. So, if a person gets the learning he/she needs, then, the karmic effect may simply drop off.

(To be continued….)

Mass Karma – the thread that links different lives

Some years back, I was traveling in Train No.6602 Mangalore – Chennai Mail when the train plunged into the Kadalundi river near Calicut, killing 52 persons. Even though I miraculously escaped, I could never sleep in peace for months/years thereafter. Many times I woke up with nightmares of the scenes I had witnessed during the accident. Even though I had no time to think while helping the many passengers in the heavy rain at that time, I also happened to witness many a heart wrenching scene. There was this young couple whose one and a half year old child had drowned. Then there was this Gulf returned youth who was visiting his parents after many years in the gulf – His relatives were asking as to why they had to wait for so many years to receive him at the airport just some hours back, only to see him die in that accident. Then there was this colleague of mine, Shri Gangadaran, who gave lunch to me that very afternoon – and in the evening, he was dead. Like this, there were many stories which I found very moving and touching.

I often wondered – Why should persons who have no connection at all with someone else, die together in a tragedy? I also heard of a story where some passenger, who was booked to travel by this train, was delayed heavily by some strange events at a temple – he was cursing his fate that he was wasting his hard earned money by not boarding the train and the next day, he saw the news and was relieved that he lost only money and not his life.

But all this, had set me thinking on the lines of Karma – I could understand individual karma where something happens to a person because of his past karma. But it took me quite some time to understand that the individual karma of many persons can combine to produce mass karma – and similar individual karmas somehow get together.

It was then, that I realized that almost everything in this world can be explained through the Law of Karma. Even a person who “heads” an organization carries the load of organizational Karma – and he/she also transmits his/her Karma to the organization, and vice versa.

The good and bad karma need not necessarily reflect the present personality – for example, a very evil person may experience a lot of good things even after doing evil because he/she may have a very good Karma from the past – and a very good person may suffer a lot because of previous bad karma – so the present personality is rendered irrelevant unless a person reaches a point in his/her life where the good karma equals bad – I believe such points are achieved by every individual – and such points in one’s life are some of the best periods – for marriage, new job, death of a relative, for a new venture, for remolding life, for a transfer, etc.

Karma guides various individuals in various time/space spheres – and at some place, one’s individual karma may overlap another – when this happens, mass karma is attracted. A group of individuals, who otherwise would have never traveled by Mangalore – Chennai mail, came together by the power of Karma – they traveled together by the power of Karma – their collective mass karma acted upon the various factor and the tragedy took place when the mass karma assumed the right proportion – Perhaps the place also has karma – the accident could have happened anywhere – why Kadalundi? – The answer lies in the karma that the place carries. (It is said that there is a small circle, with a diameter of about a feet, in a temple in Cannanore, Kerala, that has never seen death – this was a King’s wish which was granted by the Lord ) The combination of an individual’s karma with that of the place, jointly decide the person’s fate. In an accident, a person may die just out of shock, and another, may not die even after terrible physical injuries – according to their individual karma.

Since Mass Karma attracts individual karma of similar individuals, not only tragedies, prevention also can be attributed to mass karma. We have come across many averted disasters where the mass karma must have been very strong in preventing a disaster.

When 9/11 took place, even though it was a terrorist attack, there were reports of people who were saved by a second in the 9/11 disaster – again, perhaps, karma at work.

But such karma can only be explained by rebirth and theories of rebirth and reincarnation. It is believed that Napoleon, who vowed that he would destroy England, did exactly that when he was reborn as Churchill – it was during Churchill’s regime that the sun set over the British Empire when many English colonies gained freedom. Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda has said that Judas, who betrayed Lord Jesus, was reborn many times before he became a great saint many centuries after the advent of Jesus Christ.

Theories of Karma and Re-incarnation give hope to a suffering world – we can seek solace in such hopes that our next life on this earth will be better, by living righteously in this life, and that our karma will one day, save us….