The concept of ‘pre-ordination’ adhered to by a few orthodox theologians, holds that God settles and fixes the destiny of a man even before he is born into the world. This is neither logical, nor tenable. It makes man a puppet, a thing of straw, and, what is worse, it makes God partial, whimsical, unfair and unjust. Man’s freedom of choice, his sense of moral responsibility and his independence are all nullified. Why should God make some of us rich, powerful and successful, while some of us are condemned to poverty, illness and despair? Why should we punish thieves and cheats and murderers if they are pre-ordained to be as such, and are not responsible for their own actions?
Questions like these — and many more — will remain unanswered if we accept the theory of pre-ordination. On the other hand, the doctrine of karma is lucid and clear: everyone reaps the fruits of his or her own actions. We can make or mar our destiny by our thoughts and actions. We are free agents; we are blessed with free will. We are free to choose between the two alternatives of good and evil, at every step, every turn of life.
The doctrine of karma is thus essentially one of hope and encouragement. It is the best motivation we can have for right thinking, right action and right living. If only we understood this law in its fullness, our lives would be beautiful indeed! We would learn the virtues of peace and contentment. We would bear the burdens of life with patience and acceptance. People would rejoice even in suffering.
God has created a universe of beauty, fullness, happiness and harmony. Each one of us is a child of God. God wishes each one of us to be happy, healthy, prosperous, successful and to enjoy all the good things he has created. We deny ourselves these bounties, only because of our karma. Change your karma and you will change the conditions in which you live!
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader
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