An exclusive interview with Mr. Chaganti V.K.Maithreya, author of The Law of Karma- A Theosophical View. This is a book about the theoretical and conceptual framework of the law of karma and related concepts. Mr. Maithreya talks about the real meaning behind karma, what it stands for and how its acknowledgement can create a humungous impact on one’s life.
Naqiyah: Can you tell us a little about your book?
Mr. Maithreya: The book is based on an Eastern concept called Karma. But this same truth is there in other religions as well. For example, Hinduism, Jainism and Bhuddism to some extent even Sikhism, all of them have this same teaching but there are only elements of the teaching in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The whole concept is that we say Bhagvan or Allah either rewards or punishes us, but how does he operate? He or she operates through a law and that law is known as Karma.
If you’re a good person, eventually good things will happen to you. If you’re a bad person, bad things will happen to you. There’s no point in saying ‘I donated a lot of money to the place of worship so that makes me God’s favorite.’ The fact that you committed a crime cannot be washed away. You reap as you sow and you face the law of retribution. So, do good things and your future will be happy.
Every action you do sets off a Karmic reaction. Suppose you make a statement saying ‘I am a Muslim,’ then all the plus and minus points that come with it are involved with you.
A common misunderstanding amongst many religions is the concept of Heaven, Hell and reincarnation. For example, some people are born in a family that’s well off and some are not. But what have they done to deserve less than us? Which means it has come from somewhere. There has been a cause at some point earlier on and this is the result of that cause. There are three types of Karma, something might affect you directly and then something might affect you indirectly.
Every circumstance is an opportunity. You can either use it wisely, or you can abuse it. It is a very important choice to make. If you make the choice of doing something harmful, then you’re causing your own bad karma. After making that choice, there’s no point in wondering how you can do good because you won’t possess the means to do it and that is your own fault.
So, this is what Karma is all about. Whenever that force (God or whatever power you may call it) operates, it is only for the balance of justice. This force doesn’t see the wealth or status of a man; it only sees the deeds. And one thing, the All Merciful God never cheats. He or she knows the law.
N: Do you think your readers need to have prior knowledge about the basic understanding of Karma before reading this book?
M: No, you don’t need to know anything. In fact, there are certain parts of the book that are very simple to understand. It is almost a ‘Karma for dummies’ kind of book. There are certain parts which are a bit more complex but none of it was invented by me…you will see that the quotation marks in the book are infinite in number. It is research-based and includes a lot of knowledge from theosophists of the early days who have studied all the religions. Some of the quotes are by Annie Besant who gives a very neutral point of view. It is an extremely simple concept and definitely doesn’t require prior knowledge about the law. It is a small book which is easily readable.
N: What, if any, obstacles did you face while writing the book?
M: To be honest, I did not face many obstacles. This idea and concept had been on my mind for a long time before I wrote the book. Towards the end of August 2015, I gave talks on Karma and Nirvana in Spain, Portugal, Germany and in Belgium. That is when I had put together a lot of ideas. It took me a few weeks to compile these ideas and put them together in a book.
N: Did your personal belief in the law of Karma inspire you to write the book?
M: I wouldn’t call it a belief. As the author of the book I would say you can completely reject the law of Karma. Why should one be good for the sake of the law or for the sake of rewards? One should be good for the sake of being good. Are you a good human being or not? Period. Karma should not be a source of fear that forces you to do good. Do what you want as long as you know what you do has consequences. That is my belief.
N: What is your writing process like?
M: I have two levels of writing anything; whether it is a speech or a book. The first one is I have a file called ‘notes.’ Let’s say I’m talking about the concept of Samyama which includes Dharana – complete focus or concentration, Dhyana – meditation or contemplation and Samadhi – divine union. So, every time I come across the word Samyama, it will go in my ‘notes’ folder. Secondly, whatever new ideas come along the way will be added to that folder from which a chapter will be written. Due to this habit, I don’t need to carry around papers every time I’m giving a speech. I remember and have a better understanding of things quite clearly.
N: Did you ever face a writer’s block, if yes, how did you overcome it?
M: There are times when you’re forced to give an article on a deadline and you have to write no matter what, but creativity is not something that can be forced out of you, it happens when it happens and it often depends on one’s mood. So, I think writer’s block is something that happens when the mood is not right. As long as you have the ability to come up with ideas, you cannot face writer’s block. It just comes down to the mood and ability. You run out of ideas when you’re not in the mood.
The only way to overcome it is motivation which sometimes comes in the form of a deadline!
N: As a writer, what do you expect your readers to gain out of this book?
M: I want it to be transformative. If you read my book, appreciate it, but you continue to do whatever you want, it means that I have failed. I expect the person to completely change and transform. I am not saying they should become a Yogi or something, but at least they should start questioning their actions.
Always remember that nobody is born a terrorist. We all have God and devil within us. It is only the question of choices. The more you think of wrong ideas, God’s presence will go away. Therefore, you must understand that you are the devil and you are the angel. Let us not think it is an imaginary fight happening in some other world, no, it is happening within us. The law of Karma decides how much of that divine or the devil will operate through us.
You choose your own path! If God is omnipotent and omnipresent it means he is in you and you’re in him! So, where is the question of him punishing you? You’re separating yourself from the divine. Therefore, Karma has everything to do with merging yourself with that consciousness. I intend for my book to help people understand all these things. It has to be transformative.
N: As a reader, which book inspires you?
M: I have read a number of books on all religions so I can’t name one. I’d say philosophy, religion and the interface between religion and science is what interests me the most. All of this is also related to theosophy. So, theosophy and theosophical books have been a huge source of inspiration, particularly the early literature of H.P. Blavatsky.
N: Are you planning to write anything else?
M: There is one conversation I had with a famous author. We had a 7-hour conversation which has been recorded and transcribed. I am waiting to see it as a book. It is called Theosophy, Krishnamurthy and transformation. The book is ready but it has to be edited.
Another project I’m working on is a book called The wisdom of the Matrix. It is a big concept by itself and is really interesting. I also started quite a few pages of a book called Will you risk transformation? If you want to really transform yourself, you must kill the animal within you. Do you have the faith and patience to change completely? Real yogis who go towards the path of liberation have just enough to sustain themselves for the rest of the week but what makes them make this sacrifice is their faith in the paradigm shift. My book will give an insight on that. These are the projects that I’m currently working on.
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By Naqiyah Hasan