The Eternal Law of Karma or Causation

The laws of Karma and reincarnation are inseparably connected with the soul’s state of bondage when it is associated with mind and matter. The term ‘Karma’ means both work and its result, manifest or unmanifest. The doctrine has nothing to do with fatalism or inactivity. Rightly understood, it means that each act done must bear its fruit, good or bad, according to its nature. Karma has its objective result and also its reaction on the mind of the doer.

Believing in this cosmic law, the Hindu holds that his present state is the result of his past actions, physical and mental, and that his future is moulded by his present strivings. As such, the law of Karma is the greatest incentive to self-effort. It does not make man subject to the fiat of a whimsical God, but urges him to be the architect of his own fate and invests him with full responsibility for his actions. It asks him to reconcile himself to his present lot, eithout unnecessarily worrying himself with affairs over which he has little or no control. It inspires him at the same time to put forth fresh efforts for improving his future as much as possible.

Whatever might be the mistaken notions about it among those who, avoiding moral and spiritual struggles, take shelter in the doctrine of salvation, Karma in its true import includes both destiny and self-effort, and of these the latter is the most important factor in life.

One of the Hindu scriptures says, “Know that destiny is the result of one’s own action acquired in another bodily existence. Hence the wise man calls one’s effort superior. So even adverse destiny is vanquished by the heroic efforts of people exerting themselves in auspicious actions.” (Matsya Purana)

————- Swami Yatiswarananda in “The Life Divine”

  • nytanaya 11.AUGUST.2017

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