“Law of Cause and Effect” is also known as “Law of Entitlement”, “Law of Karma” or “Law of Consequence”.
Since many people were farmers in the past, this law was stated in simpler terms, such as, “As you sow, you reap”. This statement makes the “Law of karma” more discernible, understandable and concrete.
The statement “As you sow, you reap”, points out two important inherent secrets. One is, harvesting takes some time. In other words, reaping does not happen immediately! Many times, we expect that after sowing a seed, it must sprout and come up quickly. We must recognize that every seed has a different gestation period. Second inherent secret is regarding multiplication. What you reap is multiplied. Why would a farmer sow a seed, if only one seed would come back? Hence, the manifested universe has a process of multiplication. When you sow a papaya seed, you get many papaya fruits. Similarly, when you plant a mango seed, you get many mango fruits. The lag times for both the trees are different. Also, the multiplication factors are different.
The inability to understand lag time is an unrealistic expectation. As a result, people complain that in spite of doing certain objectionable deeds, somebody is enjoying a comfortable life. Also, in spite of many noble feats, someone is facing vicissitudes in life. What a person sows will definitely show up, but with some lag time. Sometimes, in one physical life you may not probably see the reaping. It may go to next life. That is the reason why some people are born in certain conditions based on their previous actions, either good or bad. “Law of karma” is accurate. It is very complex to know when it manifests. There are many variables; however, it is exact!
We have come for a purpose; either you propel yourself by your own force, move yourself at the required pace, or get hit by “Law of karma”. You are supposed to move from the human to the superhuman kingdom; this is the evolutionary process. “Law of karma” is not fatalistic. It is an instrument of evolution.
Where do you sow?
One more important factor to be considered is, “where you sow?” When you sow a seed in a fertile soil, you will get more returns. Thus, you must find out “what is fertile soil?” If you use your money to throw a party, make people enjoy and happy, it is good. However, the same money when used, for example, to help someone in urgent need of some medical treatment, the reaping is more, compared to just treating some friends.
You must validate as to what is fertile soil? Contributing to those who are in need is fertile soil; healing those who are really sick is fertile soil; addressing the need of other people is fertile soil; contributing to spiritual projects is fertile soil; motivating and helping people to move forward in the spiritual direction is fertile soil. Fulfilling karmic obligation to parents, Spiritual Teachers and those who contributed or are contributing to us including workers is a fertile soil.
How do you sow?
While performing karma or sowing, use your capabilities and your time optimally. That is a mature type of honesty. If your capability is not being utilized, and is being wasted, it is dishonesty! It is not that you do not cause any trouble to anyone or that you are truthful, to claim yourself to be honest. A good person is not known by not doing bad; a good person is known by what good he has manifested!
Many times, we wonder, “What should I do in this situation?” or “What should I not do?” From “Law of karma” arises an important corollary, known as, “the Golden Rule”. It has two components:
1. “Do or Yang Golden Rule” – Do to others, what you want others to do to you.
2. “Don’t or Yin Golden Rule”- Do not do to others, what you do not want others to do to you.
Why should you practice the “Yang Golden Rule”? It must be grasped that when you do a good deed, it comes back to you and also in abundance. It is taught in many religions in different forms.
Sometimes, we ignore extending help. Someone has a certain need, but we do not address it, even if we can. Ponder upon this: if you are in need of help, what is your expectation? If you are hungry, what do you look forward to? For someone to help or give you food? Similarly, if someone is hungry, you must feed them. In simple terms, “Do to others, what you want others to do to you”. This has to be comprehended and realized deeply. In the same manner, if you desire knowledge, share knowledge. If you want good health, then heal others. If you wish for forgiveness, forgive others. If you need prosperity, do at least 10% to 15% tithing regularly every month.
How to use or apply the “Yin Golden Rule”? It states, “Do not do to others, what you do not want others to do to you.” That is to say, if you do not want to be cheated, do not cheat others; if you do not want to be criticized, then do not be exacting at others, or avoid being judgmental and putting excessive pressure on others.
It is in giving that you receive! If you stop giving, you stop receiving. Giving and receiving is a cycle. For example, a person with emphysema is not able to exhale, therefore, he is not able to inhale. Likewise, some people have financial emphysema. They keep on craving more. At some stage, the receiving stops, it reverses!
Receiving is also important. If you exhale, you must inhale. If you do not inhale, you cannot exhale. If you do not receive, you cannot give! Some people do not want to receive. Hence, their ability to give gets minimized. Do not break the cycle. It is in giving you receive. It is in receiving, you are able to give!
Some people quote spiritual texts which state, “Do nishkama karma”. Nishkama karma literally means do not expect the fruits for your action. Let us contemplate: if you are working in a company, would you say that you don’t want salary? Salary is the fruit of your month’s toil. Would you renounce it based on some spiritual text? You have your family to take care of, you have certain responsibilities, how can you do that? Nishkama karma has been misunderstood. You sow in order to get crop and when it’s the harvesting time, you cannot say that you won’t take it. It is foolish! Of course, when you get the crop, you can share something from it, you can reinvest some of it for future sowing, save some and use a part of it. Thus, you can tithe or give to others, about 10%; reinvest or save about 30% and may enjoy the remaining.
Then, what is the meaning of nishkama karma? Sometimes when you sow, you cannot reap it. The crop is destroyed may be because of natural calamities, drought, floods, etc. If you do not get the result of your sowing, do not stop sowing, do not give up! For example, Edison did not make bulb in one shot. But he did not give up. He made multiple attempts. Someone exclaimed to him after he succeeded, “After so many failures you achieved success!” For which Edison replied, “They were not failures, each of those were steps towards making the bulb”. That’s a positive attitude and nishkama karma. Accordingly, if you do not get the desired result, do not get dejected and sad; continue and modify your efforts with zeal and enthusiasm. That is pronounced as nishkama karma.
As long as the manifested universe is there at the physical, emotional and mental levels; and your bodies are present in this manifested universe, you are subject to “Law of Karma”! In order to achieve nirvana, you must transcend this cycle of cause and effect.
The other aspect of “Law of Karma” is, whatever you waste will be taken away from you. You cannot reap what you did not sow. If you want to reap something in plenty, you have to sow it in plenty too. If you sow sparingly, you receive sparingly. Not much multiplication will be there. The Lord’s Prayer specifies, “As I give and share generously and abundantly, I shall inherit the kingdom. Thy kingdom come.” That is to say, His kingdom comes.
The future is dynamic, it is in your hand. What you sow is what you reap! We shall discuss about freewill and destiny at another time in more detail.
Buddha Padmasambhava had said that if you want to know your past, see your present condition. If you want to know your future, see your present actions! “Law of karma” is exact. It is complex though. It is like “Law of gravity”; it is precise. It is a Divine law. Let us understand this law and utilize it for accelerating our evolutionary process, accomplishing our purposes and creating a better future.
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