From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


change ((action)) to action and ((reaction)) to reaction — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:541:4500:1760:218:8BFF:FE74:FE4F (talkcontribs)

 Done DRAGON BOOSTER 15:52, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Karma: "It's all her own fault."[edit]

Who thought hamfisting an image of a starving child with this caption under it into a theological discussion was tasteful? Frankly for a protected article that's just embarrassing. It's a gross misrepresentation of the subject and should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:5B0:42C0:D7C8:10E8:B151:7D91:E14 (talk) 01:47, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Removed. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Abecedare (talk) 01:52, 21 March 2019 (UTC)


@Abecedare: I don't know why it is soapboxing. Karma proponents believe that the poor are poor because they deserve to be poor, the crippled are crippled because they deserve to be crippled, the starving are starving because they deserve to be starving. It is a fairly well accepted idea in Hinduism and various sorts of New Age beliefs (including Blavatskyan Theosophy and Anthroposophy). You see, the rub about Mother Theresa helping the ill and dying in India wasn't conversion to Christianity, no, she was ruining their karma by helping them. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:00, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

@Tgeorgescu: If you wish to add to the article's discussion of that critique you are welcome to do so with proper sourcing and attribution. Using the image of a particular starving child and a glib caption instead, is as clear an example of soapboxing as I recall coming across. Abecedare (talk) 22:19, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
@Abecedare: {{quote|When Mother Teresa first began ministering to the sick and the dying of Calcutta, she and her Sisters of Mercy were often beaten and resisted by Hindus who believed that a diseased man withering away in a gutter was fulfilling his ''karma'' and must not be helped. He must suffer and perhaps die unaided because this was what it meant to fulfill ''karma''.<ref name="Mansfield2011">{{cite book|first=Stephen|last=Mansfield|title=Where Has Oprah Taken Us?: The Religious Influence of the World's Most Famous Woman|url=|date=10 October 2011|publisher=Thomas Nelson|isbn=978-1-59555-415-4|page=89}}</ref>|Stephen Mansfield}} Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:35, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
I have removed the poorly sourced redflag claim you inserted into the article. I would AGF but given that you are an experienced editor, right now I am finding it difficult to distinguish your contributions to this article from trolling. Pinging @Joshua Jonathan and Ms Sarah Welch: for a second opinion. Abecedare (talk) 16:13, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
The quote seems to be taken out of context. Mansfield is writing about TM, and argues taht the meaning of karma has been altered in the west. The quote illustrates an argument Manfield makes, namely that karma must take its course, and may not be interfered with. He then argues that religious Hindus oppose charity for the extreme poor, because they have to fulfill their karma. So, you can't take that quote out of that context, c.q. the argument Mansfield makes. And for that argument, the idea that (some) Hindus believe that karma must take its course, no matter what, I'd like to see the sources of Mansfield. There must be better sources. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 17:44, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't know about other sources, however, this is what my professor Bart van Heerikhuizen told us during his course. Anyway, I was an Anthroposophist, and the view about the handicapped was: ok, it's their own fault, but we are prepared to help them evolve. So, I would leave out the part with "no help should be offered", but it is certainly true that karma means that poverty, disease, hunger, etc., are one's own fault (due to bad deeds in a past life). Rudolf Steiner has books about that, but directly citing him has been deemed original research by the Arbitration Committee. That karma means "the sufferance you have is due to your bad deeds in a past life" isn't controversial. See WP:BLUE. Karma is a brilliant theological explanation for "Why are some born rich and some born poor?" and "Why do people suffer?". Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:22, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu: Your additions were soap indeed. The "Oprah"-titled source you mention is not the quality of peer-reviewed scholarship we must use here. I concur with JJ and Abecedare. In ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain texts, Karma neither means nor implies "poverty, disease, hunger, etc., are one's own fault". Please see the English translations of Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita etc (1500 to 2500 years old) if you wish to know their ancient views – partly correct and partly flawed – as to what causes diseases, hunger etc. For this and other wikipedia articles, we must seek and stick to summarizing what the vast majority of peer-reviewed scholarly sources are stating. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 01:47, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, then my professor was wrong. He stated that helping the poor is a Western concern, which the Hindus do not share, because they believe in karma. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:28, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Tgeorgescu: Their oldest scripture, the Rig Veda in hymn 10.117, teaches helping the poor, the hungry, any stranger who seeks/needs help. Dāna is a key ethical and karma empowering premise in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, and their texts – both Indian and those written outside India – discussed and championed charity and helping all humans in need of help, even animals and birds and all creatures that suffer (dukkha) in any form. Now, let us keep this talk page focused on this article please, per our WP:TALK guidelines, and avoid WP:FORUM-y discussions. Your cooperation is requested. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 03:12, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

I don't doubt there are people who take such a pessimistic view in karma; and, indeed, Ramana Maharshi also had comparable views. But there is indeed also karuna, and the Congress Party. Multiple perspectives exist. By the way, I never knew that Anthroposophists blamed handicaps on past wrong-doing. I only knew this stance 'there is a human soul beyond the handicap; reach that soul'. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 03:58, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
+1. Religious premises and ideas always draw a diversity of interpretations. For example, a Christian pastor in South Africa named Daniel François Malan – with a masters in Philosophy and a doctorate in Divinity – interpreted Jesus Christ's teachings to be supporting apartheid (racial segregation) and all the social discriminations that blighted the South African history and modern humanity. Malan's interpretations of Christianity did not end in his sermons, he entered politics, became the prime minister and is credited with enacting and enforcing the racial discrimination template that we remember now as the apartheid. For more, see e.g. Robert Vosloo's article in Routledge Companion to Christianity in Africa. In Christianity-related articles, and in a mainstream article about a concept in Asian religions such as this, we need to carefully focus and summarize the mainstream and what the vast majority of scholarship is stating, not the minority or fringe interpretations/opinions/fiction/blogs/etc. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 12:25, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

Definition in lead is incorrect[edit]

The lead says that the "intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect)." This isn't so, nor is what the source says (the Encyclopedia Britannica I gather) - karma has no effect in an individual's present life, it's purely an influence on future rebirth.PiCo (talk) 23:04, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

PiCo: The lead looks like a reasonable summary to me. I checked the Britannica article you mention, and it states "future" in the generic sense. The article never says "has no effect on present life", or "purely an influence on future rebirth". The Britannica article mentions "future births", and given how central rebirth and cyclic existence is to Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and other traditions of Indian religions, this is something to be expected. Future includes future in the present life and future lives post-rebirth. For more, please see the Stephen Phillips book on this topic published by Columbia Univ Press, and other scholarly sources that cover the topic in greater depth. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:07, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I got the impression from that sentence fragment I quoted that the lead was restricting the effects of karma to an individual's present life, without reference to rebirth. I believe that karma in fact refers exclusively to future rebirths, not this present life. Todd Lewis in Kevin Trainor's edited volume "Buddhism" says that Hindu reincarnation "asserts that those born in the highest varna deserve their status owing to their superior karma, the accumulated merit derived from their deeds and behaviour in past lives" - there's a paraphrase at the bottom of this page in a different book by Trainor. Gombrich in "The World of Buddhism" defines Hindu karma as "ritual action", in Buddhism as "Morally significant action" (action taken with moral intention). The EB and the other sources used in the first line of the article are correct but inadequate - karma is tied to reincarnation and only has meaning as a process governing rebirth. Do you have the full title of the Stephen Phillips book you mention?PiCo (talk) 06:38, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
PiCo: It is never a good idea to use passing mentions or comments of a concept in one religion, in a book dedicated to another religion, that too in a different context, to make sweeping claims and conclusions about that concept in the other religion. In this case, you are referring to a chapter on "class and hierarchy" in a book titled Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide to draw sweeping conclusions about the concept of karma in Hinduism (if you want to learn about class and hierarchy in Buddhism, Trainor's chapter is a source, but also see other sources such as chapter 8 of Richard Gombrich's Buddhist Precept & Practice for NPOV). The topic of karma in Hinduism has numerous scholarly publications, just go to your local university library or do a search on jstor / google scholar / etc and read some of the numerous scholarly publications out there. Just like Britannica, I checked Trainor and I do not find support for "future life only" in Trainor either. If you insist, please identify the page number and please quote the sentences from the appropriate RS on this talk page. Stephen Phillips book is titled, Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 11:58, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 April 2019[edit]

Please add "Distinguish" hatnote template for "Kama". (talk) 04:48, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. -- Dane talk 03:35, 18 April 2019 (UTC)