Selections from THE ABSOLUTE LAW OF KARMA by PANDIT SHRIRAM SHARMA ACHARYA
There is a saying in the scriptures that the factors responsible for mental-physical agonies and natural disasters (Daivik-Daihik-Bhautik Dukha) are self-generated. We often come across phenomena, which appear quite contradictory to the known laws of nature, creating doubts about the impartiality of divine justice. For instance, an honest, duty conscious, morally superior person is suddenly struck with a great misfortune in life as though he/she was being punished by God for a great sin. On the other hand, we find persons engaged in worst type of corrupt practices living in peace and prosperity. An idler wins a jackpot or inherits a fortune from unexpected quarters, whereas a hard working intelligent person is found suffering endlessly for want of basic necessities. One person achieves great success with little effort, whereas another does not succeed in spite of his best efforts. Such phenomena are popularly ascribed to the role of the fate (prarbdh, bhagya, etc). Similarly, unprecedented natural calamities like famine, epidemics, tornadoes, deluge, and damage by lightning and earthquake and ‘untimely death’ are commonly attributed to the ‘Will of God’ and known as predestination (bhagya). Such unexpected happenings as financial loss, accidents, sudden mental/physical disability and physical separation from a dear one are also attributed to fate.
Such unexpected adversities are rare, but they do occur in life. At times, they leave such deep imprints on the psyche, that it is not possible to ignore them. Those who are not familiar with the mysteries of divine justice become very much perplexed by such phenomena and form opinions, which are extremely dangerous for life. Many become resentful towards God, blame and abuse Him for an unjust injustice. A few even become atheists, considering the futility of worshiping God who does not respond to prayers in distress, despite their prolonged adherences to religiosity. Then there is a class of devotees who serve the saints and worship deities in expectation of some material gains. However, it they are visited with some unfavourable phenomena coincidentally, their adoration changes to contempt or disbelief.
There are quite a few “Believers” in this world who correlate people, places and things with good and bad luck. Such superstitions have caused extreme miseries to innocent persons. The root cause for such irrational behaviour is the belief that whatever come to pass is predestined by God and the beings created by Him have absolutely no role in shaping their own destiny. Quite a few persons in this world forsake their responsibility in the mistaken belief that the gain and loss being predestined, there is no necessity of personal effort. They mistakenly believe that they cannot change the Will of God who is supposed to have programmed their life beforehand. We often hear expression like – “Whatever is destined cannot be changed” or “Who can change the fate predestined by God?” or “It was the Will of God”. As a matter of fact man uses such expressions when he finds himself helpless, disturbed and confused while undergoing adversity.
In the absence of an understandable cause, the agitated mind finds a scapegoat in the Divine Will. Nevertheless, such outbursts do have an advantage. They help in releasing the stress of the disturbed mind, which would have otherwise done incalculable harm to the person concerned. There are however many mature persons who shirk their responsibility of self-effort to meet a given challenge under the pretext of inexorability of Divine Will. Because of their influence, the less knowledgeable younger persons around them too begin to feel helpless and despaired because of the so-called “inevitability of fate”.
Readers would appreciate how ignorance of the real causes of unexpected calamities creates ridiculous concepts, which distort and vitiate the value-system of life.
Since times immemorial, man has been attempting to correlate human activities with events of life over which he has no control. Research in deeper spirituality has discovered ways and means to find answers to such problems of life.