Free Press Journal

Karma and the science of its result

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REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
  • If the only child of a couple abandons home due to vairagya (dispassion), then it cannot be adjudged a culprit. If he has the true spirit of vairagya and is willing to devote his life to God for the purpose of attaining greatness, and sublimity in life and is working for the betterment of the society, then he is fulfilling the directions of God and hence, cannot be regarded as a culprit. Those offsprings who enter grhasta asrama (the second among the four asramas, the marital life), but neglect their parents are certainly guilty of committing sin.
  • Those children who disobey the righteous advises and directions of their parents, teachers and the elders, should definitely be punished. It has been an age old vedic practice to punish them by scolding them without any malice.
  • It is absolutely inappropriate to think that a particular good or bad action will never bear any fruits even in the future just because its results are delayed, as every action produces some result and nobody can escape it. God, the bestower of the results of actions, is Omnipresent, Omniscient and always fair. Hence, the results always materialize, in due course of time.
  • Today, a large number of children are being killed even before their birth. It is not a baby’s fault, because the baby was conceived and aborted by the wishes of the parents. Hence, the culprit for abortion will be those who get it done, and those who lend support to this heinous crime. The conceived baby does not have any karmaphala (outcome of actions) for this act. There is neither any provision nor any motivation provided by the Supreme personality for abortion; In fact, it is strictly prohibited.
  • It is a common principle that actions are always performed with some sort of knowledge, because every action is done intentionally and is influenced by the desires to gain happiness or to overcome the miseries in life. Therefore, most of the actions are influenced by knowledge.
  • Actions driven by misconceptions, compulsion and lower level of knowledge too bear their respective results through God, as these actions do produce happiness or sorrows in others.
  • Man can increase or decrease the life span that he has attained because owing to his actions in his previous life, through his present actions. If he acts in a righteous manner with sublime behaviour, then his life span will increase, otherwise it will decrease.
  • Man is reborn after death. He cannot undergo the outcome of all his actions in the present life. Re-birth occurs in order to undergo the fruits of some of the past actions. It is not necessary that the person will again achieve the birth of a human-being. The Jiva may be reborn as a bird or an animal as well. It is not the soul which itself goes into the womb of a mother, but it is the God who installs the soul in the womb of a mother.
  • ‘Sorrows’ are the impediments, pains, dependencies and other such things which a person always wishes to avoid. ‘Pleasure’ on the other hand, refers to independence, fearlessness, cheerfulness and satisfaction, which a person, once having attained it is most reluctant to part with it.
  • A man attains joy by gaining wisdom, intellect, knowledge, by performing righteous actions and through the devotion to God.
  • Almost everything is uncertain in life, and in the world. Only the results of actions, and orders of God are certain.
  • Doing benevolent actions without an eye on any mundane desires expectation of results i.e., niskama karma is the greatest and the most splendid of all actions and its fruit is – attainment of divine bliss even when one is alive and non-recurrence of birth for a period of time when the process of creation and the final deluge do not occur for 36,000 times and always be submerged in bliss and only bliss without contact with even an iota of sufferings. Pure knowledge, pure actions and pure worship are the reasons for this fruit of moksa or emancipation.
  • Everything in life and the world is but uncertain, karma phala (results of actions) and the law laid down by the Supreme Lord, alone are for certain.
  • The result of actions is certain, but its time and manner of manifestation is quite uncertain. The doer has a little knowledge of its results, whereas the Supreme Soul has complete knowledge of the same. Hence, we must determinedly strive to make our actions progressively the best and march towards the state of niskamata (no aspiration for achieving any sort of results from actions).

Seva (Selfless service)

  • The citta (mind) can never become pure without doing selfless service to others. An impure citta is never ideal and therefore unable to experience the Supreme-essence. Hence, one must always seek opportunities to do selfless service.
  • One must perform selfless service to one’s parents, the downtrodden and others.
  • The quantity of our personal happiness in life is not important. Rather, how many people are happy because of us is more important.
  • The following story reflects the same thought: A boy from a village went missing for 3-4 days. Many villagers were searching for him. They made inquiries at all the possible locations, but it was all in vain. The boy’s mother was deeply distressed and suffered from anxiety. Suddenly, somebody covered her eyes with little hands. The mother was able to identify the child by the touch of his hands. She pulled him into her lap and inquired- ‘Where have you been my son! for the last four days? “Mother, there was an epidemic of cholera in the nearby village. The patients needed personal care, therefore I was at their service for the last four days due to which I was not able to inform you” The little boy said with a smile.

The spirit of her son in offering selfless service to the needy overwhelmed the mother, so she said to the son- “Good job, my son! I feel honoured to have a son like you,”

The boy later went on to become Netaji Subhascandra Bose: the great freedom fighter of his motherland ‘Bharata’.


(Excerpted from the book Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Englightened Life, Ideal Nation & Peaceful World by Acharya Balakrishna)