Consider this notion should reflect your truth. There is only heaven. When death comes to anyone, to some it comes as an angel of mercy. Release from a life well lived and properly ended. For others, death comes as the avatar of a life squandered. A horrific demon off to drag them away from the chance they blew.
Veneration of cows is not what people actually think it is. In India, they are resistant to consuming cattle for the same reason Christians are resistant to scrapping their crosses to be used for other purposes. The cow is seen as a living embodiment of one of their almost universal principles, ahimsa, or harmlessness. To kill that symbol seems psycho in their culture. Also, traditional brahminical diet was somewhat like that of the Celtic druid, they sought to create minimal disturbance in the world. So they would not eat chicken, but would eat eggs. They would not eat cattle, but would drink milk. Indians do actually drink milk even now.
Was it thought that you accumulated bad karma from these things? Not by consumption alone, but if in your consumption you caused imbalance, then yes. They felt if in your consumption you did damage, then yes you would accumulate bad karma, and that bad karma would cause Indra to not send rain, and Agni to burn your field or home.
Imbalance of the elements? Yes. Karma was also the source of disease. Euphoria was considered a disease as much as any pain was. Madness was seen as arising from poor karma.
Was personal karma seen to influence events? Yes, but the idea of personal karma as separate? Well, no. They didn’t see it that way, and this is why the caste system arose. The untouchables were not seen as evil sinners, but were seen as living in bad karma. By being overly involved with them, then their karma would become yours. The transcendent caste being the monks. While you were in one of the “house holding” castes, you had to keep to your tier of society.
Since the wheel is turning there’s no point to interfere with other’s karma? Yes, and the child of a monk was not considered of the caste of their parent. You could be born into the monk caste, and the child of a monk could marry into a “higher” caste.
That’s strange. Strange, but true. The monk was sort of karma neutral, and one of the noble caste could fall from it as by devotion one could rise from the poorer castes. The Buddha spoke against the caste system, because he saw it as a meaningless distraction. The meritocracy was a form of attachment that he saw as corrupting more than helping. He didn’t speak against karma, he spoke against attachment to karmic place. So he was in a sense a heretic, even without denying the terms and ideas his people used. He didn’t say the Gods were false. He denied the context of the peoples worship, but did not deny that people felt moved to worship, nor did he say they should not.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.