India is my karmabhoomi

Magical Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, by photographer Andrew Adams

Magical Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, by photographer Andrew Adams

Karmabhoomi: the land of your destiny

I came across this most excellent word while reading Maximum City by Suketu Mehta. The book is about Bombay (Mumbai) and the word is used by a (real) character, a 17-year-old poet who lives on the footpath. He left his village to live hard in sin city because Bombay inspires him. He’s a gentle soul living a brutal life and finding beauty in the daily struggles of a bursting megalopolis.

“Why do you live here,” Suketu understandably wonders. “Because this is my karmabhoomi,” our hero replies. “The land of my destiny.”

I know exactly how he feels. Except he has more courage than me. I feel that India is the land of my karmabhoomi – but I have not yet left my comfortable life in the middle-class bubble of North America to go and live my destiny.

I have traveled quite a lot, in Europe, North America and Asia, and lived in Japan, but it wasn’t until I went to India that I felt a deep, instinctive and irrational affinity that I now identify as finding my soul culture. I felt at home there. It doesn’t make any sense, but there it is.

And now a large portion of every day is spent longing, planning, scheming and dreaming about going back to India. My karmabhoomi.

I would love to know what others think about this idea of soul culture; if others have felt that mysterious connection.

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One Response to India is my karmabhoomi

  1. vinod November 11, 2008 at 2:38 am #

    strange are the ways of karma. Read more about karma on

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