2018-12-05 00:24:07 UTC
The law of karma is a natural law, and just like any other natural
law, like the law of gravity, for instance, it works whether you
believe in it or not. It is a direct observable fact that people
either suffer or enjoy according to their activities.
What distinguishes the law of karma from other natural laws is that
whereas the physical laws work only on gross matter, the law of karma
works on the subtle level - its the natural law guiding the subtle or
psychic aspects of nature. Its the law of the mind.
Is the law of karma backed by science? Im not sure, I doubt there is
any scientific research dealing with karma. Is the law of karma backed
by reason? Absolutely. In fact, karma is the only reasonable
explanation of why people are born differently, and why people suffer
and enjoy differently.
Also, it would be easy enough to make a scientific experiment that
would verify karma.
Make two control groups of , say, 10 people. One group is made up of
vegetarians the other is made up of meat-eaters. Now monitor the
happiness and distress that befall each group over a period of 5
years, and a clear picture will emerge. Are there scientists today who
would make such an experiment? I highly doubt it. But that says more
about the state of the world than it says anything about karma.
The law of karma dictates that people create their own destinies
according to their actions - how they behave and treat other living
entities. Or, like it says in the Bible - as you sow you shall reap.
Note, how this statement from the Bible does not make sense without
reincarnation. We reap right from our very birth - we reap a certain
family, gender, nationality, abilities etc. When would we have sown
that if not in an earlier life?
So the law of karma can be understood properly only in connection with
reincarnation. When seen in terms of many lives, the law of karma
makes sense, explaining why some people are born rich while others are
If bad things happen to good people in this life, its a reaction to
bad things they did in a previous life. Similarly, if bad people are
seen to enjoy a happy life, they are enjoying the karmic reactions of
pious activities performed in a previous life.
Someone might object - do you really mean to say that when a person is
born ugly, this is his or her own fault? How is that fair?
According to the law of karma, our actions in this life - how we
behave, how we treat other living entities - will determine our next
In contrast to this we have the material conception of things -
whether I am born into a nice, caring, wealthy family, with good looks
and good education, or I get born to a junkie mother and an abusive
father; whether I am born as the king of Arabia or I'm born in Syria
into a family on the run from bombings and war - it is all just up to
good or bad luck.
So which is more fair - that I am the maker of my own destiny, or that
my destiny is up to good or bad luck? Think about it.
--but, but if you believe in karma, if you believe that people create
their own destinies, that will make you uncaring and without
compassion, you will be indifferent to the plight of others, because
when you see a person suffer, you will know it's his own fault and you
will think that he just gets what he deserves.
Lets examine the logic behind this idea for a minute. So you are
saying, that if I know the reason behind someone's suffering, if I
know that the person created his own suffering by his own actions,
that will make me less compassionate towards him? And if I think it's
all just random chance, how people suffer or enjoy, that will make me
a more compassionate and caring person?
How does this make sense?
Say, a doctor tells Mr. Olsen - don't smoke three packs of cigarettes
a day, you will get lung cancer. Then 10 years later Mr. Olsen is
diagnosed with cancer. Does, the doctor then tell Mr. Olsen - I told
you so, it's your own fault, now, get out of my office. Or will the
doctor still feel sorry for the man and try to help him? What do you
Or a mother tells her child, don't stick your hand in the fire, you
will burn yourself, and then the child goes and does just that -
sticks his hand in fire. Then, when the child comes running to his
mother, crying - I burned myself, it hurts.
Will the mother be tender-hearted towards her child and try to comfort
him/her? Or will she say - I told you so, now stop your whining.
It makes absolutely no sense to say that knowing the law of karma
makes a person more uncaring and discompassionate than if a person
believes it's just random chance. It's like saying that knowledge
makes a person less compassionate, and a person in ignorance is more
If you say, everything is ultimately random chance, what you're really
saying is that you don't know the reason behind it. You are professing
ignorance and trying to make that into some kind of noble reasoning.
Let me give you a practical example. According to Manu-samhita,
someone who kills a cow will have to take birth as a cow and be killed
in the same way, as many times as there are hairs on the cow's body.
So I know that all the cows being slaughtered in modern society, used
to be people who killed cows. Do I feel less sorry for the cows
standing in line in the slaughter house, waiting to be killed? Nope. I
still feel sorry for them. I'm still a vegetarian because I don't want
to support this senseless mass-murder on animals.
Even though I act as the instrument of another's karma, I still have
to suffer or enjoy the karmic reactions. Thus karma is an endless
cycle that binds us to the material world, life after life
I know for a fact that even though I know the law of karma and how it
works, it doesn't make me feel less sorry for the suffering people of
the world. In fact, knowing that people are ultimately the makers of
their own destinies puts me in a better position to help them, rather
than if I think, - too bad, it's just chance.
How can you guard yourself or others against chance? The answer is,
One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities,
who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego,
who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always
satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with
determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me - such a devotee
of Mine is very dear to Me. Bg 12.13-14