Dharma and Karma

Today I was watching a Kannada Program on TV which was about Culture, Philosophy and ‘Dharma’ (These days I have started liking such programs – a sign of maturity or that of age catching up with me?) It was in ‘Question and Answer’ format with people phoning in with their questions which were being answered by a learned man.

One lady had an interesting question. She told that her father followed all that is prescribed by the ‘Dharma’ and led a pious life. But he suffered a lot from cancer and deceases at the end. She wanted to know whether one reaps the benefit from leading a pious life in this life or in the next life. She got an answer which on these lines: Leading a pious life will add to our account of good deeds (‘Punya’) but many a times we will not be able to draw from that account. But those good deeds will definitely result in good things.

This answer, I felt, was not complete. May be it would have been better if the answer had elaborated the fact that leading a disciplined and pious life makes one better prepared to face the turbulence in one’s life with confidence and helps in leading a happy life. This is the real and tangible (!) Reward one gets by leading a disciplined and pious life. And one gets the rewards in this life itself and need not wait for afterlife! But the greater reward is the love and regards of the near and dear ones which cannot be measured but can only be experienced. Yes, that daughter who was phoning in with the question did love her father immensely and it was evident in her voice!

This was in sharp contrast with the reality show episode (on a celebrity Kannada and multi-lingual actor) I had seen a few days earlier in which he said that he learnt what are all the things one should not do from his father!

Any thoughts?

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