Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Web-of-Rebirths: The 'Karma' Principle of Indian Philosophy

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Web-of-Rebirths: The 'Karma' Principle of Indian Philosophy

Article excerpt

Byline: Sravanti. Sanivarapu

Background: We often use concepts of philosophy in psychiatric practice. From theories to therapies - Maslow's hierarchy of needs[1] to Frankl's logotherapy,[2] from Graham and Stephen's concepts of applied philosophy of mind[3] to neurobiology of spirituality,[4] there is a fine overlap between the two disciplines. Various questions are arising as to - what philosophy can do for psychiatry and 'Philosophy and Psychiatry' is developing into an exclusive interdisciplinary field. The role of 'karma' principle of Indian philosophy in positive psychology has also been well elucidated.[5] Often the first question posed in an attempt to realize self is - “Who am I?” and a flurry of other questions follow next “Why am I here?”, “What is the purpose of my life?”, and so on. The doctrine of 'karma', which explains individual's actions as determinants of one's fate, also governs the path to salvation.[6] The cycle of rebirths and the need to break free from it has been elaborated using a painting, titled 'Web of rebirths'.

Web-of-rebirths: In the picture, the fine outline of a human figure in the background of spider-web of numerous projections signifying rebirths is of the man who is the root cause of it - like a spider weaving the web but eventually getting caught up in it.[INLINE:1]

Have you ever pondered over what the ultimate goal of life is? The only reason we are in this world is to grow and evolve at a soul level. This stands true for each and every one of us as human beings on this planet. Other species lack the insight. They are not the ones to be blamed. It is the law of nature.

If we spend time analyzing our deeds and ourselves, we realize that we could have acted in a more 'humane' way on many occasions. …

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