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Last Updated : Jun 18, 2018 06:27 PM IST | Source:

Moneyshastra with Devdutt Pattanaik: Debt, Equity and Karma - Chapter 1

This video series speaks of the economic heritage of India, both at a macroeconomic and micro-economic level. It will connect various mythological themes with modern ideas related to financial literacy

Moneycontrol Contributor @moneycontrolcom

Devdutt Pattanaik 

Around 2,500 years ago, a very important concept emerges in India. It's called Karma. Karma we think has always been a part of the Indian tradition. In the early Vedic scriptures it's not very clear. Karma basically means performing Yagya. Karma, also refers to a conceptual principle that originated in India, often descriptively called the principle of Karma, sometimes as the Karma theory or the law of Karma. The scholars of the Dharmasatras came up with the idea of Debt. You have debt, when you have birth in this world, in the society you have Rin. And you have to repay debt when you are living in the society before you go to the forest as a hermit. Before you renounce the world, before you become a Shramana, you have to repay debt. And the concept which emerges is Panchamahayagya.

Now what is this concept? It means that, when you are born, you come with a balance sheet of debt. You owe your life with your ancestors and parents. You owe the privileges that you have. You are born in a rich family, you have got privileges whatever family you have come from. That you get food every day. That someone takes care of you. That you have a family name, social position, status wealth and power. You have to repay the debt since it came to you. So now you have to repay the debt to all the people who gave it to you. You have to repay debt to the Rishi's who made your life a civilised cultured lifestyle.

The whole concept is first you make money and then you give back to society. But the traditional Indian concept of Rin was very different. You come in debt. So responsibility comes with birth. The fact that you are born, that you are taken care of by your parents and your family and you are raised, you have to repay the debt. You are part of the economic process from the time you are born. And until you repay your debt to society, you cannot renounce the world. This is a fundamental concept in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
First Published on Jun 18, 2018 05:54 pm
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