Paapaaya Para Peedanam
‘Paapa’ and ‘Punya’ are two notions which Karma-minded people are brought up with. Punya means a worthy deed for which the returns shall be pleasant and Paapa is the opposite. The typical timeframe for fructification of Paapa or Punya is middle to long run. Often Punya is understood clearly by seekers who perceive any activity of ‘helping others’ as Punya. On the other hand, the notion of Paapa is not very clear to people, and hence there often is unintended negative Karma creation. Compared to Punya, the actions that create Paapa can have a wider zone and scope. The seeker’s path is slippery and Paapa happens routinely.
As entities, we create Karma from three perspectives. These three dimensions are Body, Speech, and Thought. In a different order tradition presents it as ‘Manasaa Vaacha Karmana’, meaning mental (thought), spoken (speech), and action (physical) levels respectively. To be classified as ‘Authentic living’, we have the framework of ‘tri-karana-shuddhi’, meaning one has to conduct self in such a manner that one’s thoughts, speech, and actions converge and synchronize. No deviation at any stage can be seen and there may be no need for any ‘guesstimate’ about what shall be the next stage. This may be an ideal world of simple moves, the least transaction costs, and having ‘Simplicity as the Strategy’!
As one conducts oneself through ‘Manasaa Vaacha Karmana’, one can accumulate Paapa through each of these means. Karmana (action-based) Paapas are simple for us to identify and appreciate. Physically harming, causing damage, and stealing come under this ‘action sin’ category. Vachasaa (speech-based) Paapas are also easier to recognize and feel. People often abuse others, spread fallacies about others, and damage the chances of others through ‘wrong referencing’, all these come under the category of ‘verbal sins’. Difficult to notice and even guess by others are the Manasaa (thought-level) Paapas. The reason is simple; unlike the first two categories, Manasaa Paapas are not outwardly exhibited. Wishing damage to others, cursing silently, and feeling happy when others lose/fail/suffer, all come under the category of ‘thought sins’.
As seekers, we need to be aware of these three Paapa possibilities, know the pitfalls, be cautious, and finally avoid these completely. Then life becomes ‘light’!