My roommate’s parents were both born in Indian (she was born in the United States) so she sat down with me in my apartment and explained some folklore that she learned from her parents. Her relationship to the folklore isn’t necessarily that she truly believes in it, but that’s an important part of her culture.
“We believe, or like, in general, not like I’m a crazy person…bad things happen to you because you’re paying for deeds that happened from your previous life/your previous birth. And so, shit happens now because you did something bad in a previous life. It’s also like karma.”
Q: Is karma related to reincarnation?
“Karma means you pay for every deed. So, this is a form of karma.”
Q: What would be an example of karma?
“Well, the way we interpreted it was when my dad got sick, it was because in a prior life or a prior form he had done something bad and this was… he was paying for it now.”
Q: How widespread is this belief?
“Pretty universal in Hinduism”
Q: Where did you first learn about karma?
“From my parents. It was one of those principles I grew up with. So, it was like, don’t be mean to people, because it’s going to come back and bite you. What goes around comes around. That’s how it started, because when you’re little you’re like ‘What is reincarnation, I don’t know’ And then when you learn about reincarnation…it’s applied on a larger scale