Doctrine of Karma – Law of Compensation

Suppose our life begins each morn­ing and lasts for twenty-four hours. If we disconnect the life of today from the past of yesterday and of the future of tomorrow, and judge each day by its results, we shall find very poor compensation for our daily labor.

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न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा इति मां योभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स वध्यते — Actions do not bind Me, nor have I any longing for the result of action. Whoever knows Me thus is not fettered by action. — Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 4, 14.

Abhedananda

As every effect must have a cause, every consequence must have an antecedent, so also there must be equal balance between a cause and its effect, between an antecedent and a consequence. A cause must always produce an effect of similar nature both in quality and quan­tity and a reaction must be similar to action. The forces of nature operate neither for profit nor for loss but for a perfect balance or harmony. If there be a surging of a high wave in the ocean there must be a deep hollow at its sides. It produces what we understand by the word compensation.

There cannot be bargaining in the realm of nature. What you wish to get, you must have to pay for it first, in thought, word and deed. Some­thing cannot be obtained for nothing. In our daily life when we seek for a bargain either in buying or selling we forget this law and make many mistakes and suffer or repent in the end.

Whatever we suffer physically or mentally may appear to be unjust, may make us feel that we do not deserve it, but when we trace its cause and compare with it, we find that it is perfectly right and a just compensation. We cannot judge a thing correctly if we do not connect the effects with their antecedents. The causes determine the nature of the effect, the ante­cedents their consequences. But the processes of this law in connection with the affairs of our lives are extremely intricate and they generally involve a cycle of beginning, growth and maturity. This cycle may take a short or a long period of time to complete itself. A man may reap the result of compensation for his works either in this life or after death in another incarnation, just as now we are reaping the results of the works of our previous lives. If we deny preexistence and reincarnation of the soul and admit that the physical birth is the beginning of our life and by death ends all, then the chain of cause and sequence will be broken abru­ptly and the process of compensation will be unexpectedly interrupted by death. Then, there will be no compensation for the wicked who commit crimes and apparently enjoy all the blessings of life; nor for the virtuous who perform good unselfish works and do not get any return whatever during their life-time.

So long as we look upon our individual lives as isolated events beginning with the birth of the body and ending with its death, we shall not find correct explana­tion of anything but will see injustice and wrong at every step.

But when we connect our present lives with our past, and our future, and standing upon the broad platform of eternal life that is, past and future life, if we look at our present we shall see justice and compensation at every step. Our present is the resultant of our past, and our future will be the resultant of our present thoughts and deeds. Suppose our life begins each morn­ing and lasts for twenty-four hours. If we disconnect the life of today from the past of yesterday and of the future of tomorrow, and judge each day by its results, we shall find very poor compensation for our daily labor.

The law of compensation covers the whole chain of our individual lives. The broader the basis of reckoning there is, the more perfect is the compensation.

(..To be continued, 3rd of a seven part series).

Author: Jyoti

Old-time Wikipedian, audio recording artist, graphic designer, professional programmer, and a blogger.

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