Bill Gates and others: the New Sanyasis?

Clean Karma, Dirty Karma

After publishing Bill Gates’ $600 Billion Challenge (in which I mentioned Warren Buffet’s donation of $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Five Charities Bill Gates Supports, I discovered a new phenomenon. There is in fact a large number of people who are devoting themselves to philantropy after amassing tons of money: Pierre Omidyar, Jeff Skoll, William Draper, Klaus Schwab,Sergy Brin and Larry Page, John Doerr, and many others. While discussing the matter with a friend today, he said (referring to Bill Gates specifically, and by extrapolation to the others) that “because of his bad actions before becoming a philantropist, his karma is already too dirty. Nothing will clean it now.”

I replied that what we are really concerned with is not whether the new philantropists have a clean or dirty karma, whether their hands are clean or dirty, but whether their actions will help change the world, whether they will help alleviate the sufferings of the hungry, the dying, the sick, the homeless and all the vulnerable people of the world. Those people don’t have the privilege of asking about the color or odor of the aid they’re receiving: either they accept or they are doomed.

I thought it would be interesting to publish a lens on the world’s New Sanyasis, and I’m doing it only a few hours after meeting my friend. At a later stage, I will add my thoughts about questions related to fortunes amassed through corruption, crime and organized crime.

Karma and Karmic Law

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, karmais “the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence.”

In Hinduism, the Karmic Law is a law of cause and effect. Whenever we think or do something, we provoke a cause, which in time will bear its corresponding effects. The concept of birth and reincarnation is derived from law.

The karma of a human being is determined by his positive and negative actions.

A person with good karma will have a rewarding life in his next birth, otherwise he will live a lower life form. To achieve good karma in a life, it is necessary to live according to dharma or what is right or godly.

So, is it possible that our New Philantropists have taken their new paths because they have suddenly realized that their karma isn’t good at all, having accumulated tons of money up to now? Because, let us be clear about one thing: a person who possesses much more than what is normally required to live a normal and healthy life is in fact responsible for the fate of other people’s sufferings. Resources and wealth, contrary to what the protagonists of the Law of Attraction believe, are limited, and the unequal distribution and overconcentration
of wealth is one of the major causes of poverty, hunger, homelessness and spread of diseases in the world.

Yes, the philantropists have probably realized that they’ve made many people suffer. Now they are trying to alleviate those sufferings. Are we to tell them: “your karma is bad, you will never be able to clean it” or should we not instead commend them for changing and for taking care of the vulnerable, albeit a bit late?

By changing, they are also provoking other people with bad karma to change. This is what’s going to change the world: a chain reaction from all the persons with bad karma.

If the people with good karma can’t change the world, let those with bad karma do it.

Hat’s off to the people with bad karma who have taken a new direction!

In India many men, including a large number who have fared very well in life, leave all material belongings and sexual attachments upon reaching the autumn of their lives to roam around the country alone or in small groups. They wear a yellow ochre or white robe. Their only possessions are a water pot, an alms bowl, prayer beads and sometimes an extra robe. These people who have taken the vow of poverty will depend on charity for the rest of their lives. They will sleep in temples, huts or caves.

They are the sanyasis of India.

We are now seeing the emergence of a new breed of sanyasis: the New Sanyasis of the Information Age.

I don’t know whether India benefits from it’s sanyasis, whether the abandoned wives lead a miserable life after the departure of the husbands, whether the children, young or old, suffer from the absence of the fathers, but I’m certain of one thing: the New Sanyasis are paving the way to a completely new way of thinking that will change the world.

Bill Gates leaves Microsoft to devote himself to a new career: philantropy.

Warren Buffet donates $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of ebay, quits his job except the chairmanship of the company, to create the Omidyar Network.

William Draper, one of the biggest venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, creates the Draper Richards Foundation.

Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum (Davos), founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

In the footsteps of the New SanyasisDo the followers’ have bad karma too? That doesn’t matter.

Others are not far from following the New Sanyasis in their steps by turning into social activists:

Jeff Skoll, cofounder of ebay, also runs a company which makes socially conscious films: Participant Productions.

The founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, after raising the company to an unprecedented summit, created Google.org. This charity supports social entrepreneurs and has raised more than $1 billion.

John Doerr, the well-known venture capitalist, is the prime mover of an effort to raise $100 million for microcredit loans.

Links to the New Sanyasis and others

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Pierre Omidyar Network
Skoll Foundation
William Draper 
World Economic Forum
John Doerr KPCB Team 
Google.org
Change.org
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Alliance For A New Humanity
The Point
Grameen Foundation
Clinton Global Initiative

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