Is Intention behind the action important or the impact after the action crucial?
A quick answer would be impact, since outcome is the deciding factor for success. But when we think a little deeper we realize that just judging by “impact” is superficial, isolated and falls short.
It is our intentions that define honourable or dishonourable actions. If you gave a party after a success, if the intention was to revel in the joy with those close to you, it is honourable. If the intention was to show off your superiority or your wealth or your possessions, it becomes dishonourable.
Krishna in Mahabharata says of his use of deceit during the war, “What they are doing is adharma; what we are doing is also adharma, but we are doing it with an intention of establishing dharma.” It is not a question of right and wrong. It is a question of purpose.
When blinded by wrong intention, our actions are misguided as we pitting our self against another, and frustration and suffering inevitably result.
Here is where the inscrutable Karma Theory steps in. Sometimes misinterpreted as a powerless fate subject to sin and divine judgment… and mostly a simple cause and effect what you send out, in any form, will come back to you.
We need to weigh and consider the consequences of our intentions, not only for ourself, but on others in the world around us. But rather than look outward I prefer to interpret the Karma theory as an emphasis on personal responsibility.
When our acts of body, speech, or mind are motivated by malicious intentions such as greed and hatred, the more negative and toxic we become, and the more we suffer, no matter what “success” accrues to us externally. The reverse is also true: intentions of empathy and wisdom shape us into calmer, stronger and positive individuals who are less swayed by suffering, even in the face of difficulties.
So subject each thought that powers actions to mindful scrutiny and act intentionally with a positive energy and watch the magic begin!