Friday, July 1, 2011


I walked past a disabled man the other day who was rattling along in his motorized wheelchair with the brand name emblazoned on the back in big letters: KARMA.

Since karma is the supposed moral law of cause and effect whereby the sum of a person's actions is carried forward from one life to the next, I wondered what the makers of the wheelchair had in mind. A little joke?

Or do they really believe that their clients - at least those of them who were born disabled - are paying for evil deeds committed in previous lives?


  1. What an unfortunate choice of names for a wheelchair company! I wonder what they were thinking?

  2. Funny thing is, the brand has apparently been successful. It certainly does create a reaction, different no doubt for believers and non-believers in reincarnation.

    This highlights a serious point. Generally Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions are seen as benign. The Dalai Lama is a darling of the Western media. But some Hindu and Buddhist beliefs have a nasty side to them.

  3. A friend of mine likes to point out that no religion is without its blemishes or dangers -- it's just a matter of getting up close enough to see them. He's not allergic to religions, either.

    Whenever he mentions that to me, I'm put in mind of Huston Smith's remark that for centuries, popular Taoism was little more than a funeral racket.

  4. I looked up their website. They also sell a wheelchair brand SOMA.

    Soma was supposedly a ritual drink associated with the Vedas and with Zoroastrianism. In the Vedas, Soma is a god, a drink and a plant from which the drink was made. It is supposed to make us immortal. Useful stuff! Maybe it counteracts the effects of Karma?

  5. They certainly have great ambitions - but perhaps they should invest more in language training. From the website: "How wide our visions and how open our minds are direct how great our enterprise can be."