Law Of Karma – In Gita Verse 18.13 O mighty-armed Arjuna, according to the Vedānta there are five causes for the accomplishment of all action. Now learn of these from Me.

From the next verse Krishna will be sharing with us accomplishment of all the action. So first let’s understand what the Law Of Karma is.

It exists only for the unconscious man. The law of karma exists only for the unconscious man; for the conscious man there exists no law of karma. It is really unconsciousness that makes you suffer. If you do something unconsciously then you will suffer, then karma will be created. ‘Karma’ means unconscious action. If you do something consciously, fully alert, no karma is created. If your act is total, spontaneous, it is finished at that moment. It is atomic, it is not a continuity. It leaves no traces behind. That’s why an enlightened man is unpredictable. Only an unenlightened man is predictable because he moves unconsciously, in a routine way, mechanically. There are no surprises in his life. Somebody loves you, and you love him. Somebody hates you, and you hate him. Somebody comes and praises you and you feel very expanded like a balloon. That’s why people use buttering so much – praising others helps.

In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 15.16, I wrote – Seeking is the beginning of getting out of the law of karma. Because seeking is the beginning of awakening. Seeking is your effort to go out of the rut in which you have lived for many lives.

Karma is a scientific law: the law of action. Whatsoever you do has its intrinsic reward or punishment. When you are angry, it is not that you will suffer in your next life. When you are angry, WHILE you are angry, you are suffering; there is no need for another life to give you punishment. While you are angry you are in a fire, you are poisoning your whole body, you are poisoning your whole system. Anger is poison. It may hurt the other, it may not – it depends on the other – but it is going to hurt you, certainly. If you insult a buddha it is not going to hurt him, but before you can insult a buddha you will have to go through much inner turmoil.

This is what in the East has been called the law of karma, the law of action. If your action follows the ultimate law, you will be attaining more and more bliss. If you go against it, immediately you will fall into suffering. There is no one like a grand manager deciding everybody’s actions, who is doing wrong and who is doing good, and who is to be sent to heaven and who is to be thrown into hell – there is no one. With every movement you create your heaven and your hell. If you follow the ultimate law, you are creating heaven for yourself moment to moment. If you go astray, if you go against the law, you are creating hell, not the law.

To me, certainly each action has its result, but not somewhere far away in a future life. The action and the result are continuous, they are part of one process. Do you think sowing the seed and reaping the crop are separate? It is one process. What begins in sowing the seed, grows, and one day the one seed has become thousands of seeds. That’s what you call your crop. It is the same seed which has exploded into thousands of seeds. No death is intervening, no afterlife is needed; it is a continuum. So the one thing to be remembered is: in my vision of life, yes, every action is bound to have some consequences, but they will not be somewhere else, you will have them here and now. Most probably you will get them almost simultaneously. When you are kind to someone, don’t you feel a certain joy? A certain peace? A certain meaningfulness? Don’t you feel that you are content with what you have done? There is a kind of deep satisfaction. Have you ever felt that contentment when you are angry, when you are boiling with anger, when you hurt somebody, when you are mad with rage? Have you ever felt a peace, a silence descending in you? No, it is impossible. You will certainly feel something, but it will be a sadness that you again acted like a fool, that again you have done the same stupid thing that you decided again and again not to do. You will feel a tremendous unworthiness in yourself. You will feel that you are not a man but a machine, because you don’t respond, you react. A man may have done something, and you reacted. That man had the key in his hands, and you just danced according to his desire; he had power over you. When somebody abuses you and you start fighting, what does it mean? It means that you don’t have any capacity not to react.

Unless others drop dead, you don’t feel alive. Unless others are in misery, you don’t feel happy. But how can you feel happy when others are unhappy, and how can you feel alive really when others are dead? We exist together. And sometimes you may be the cause of many people’s misery. Then you are earning karma. You may not have directly hit them; you may not have been violent to them. Subtle is the law: You need not be a murderer, but if simply you infect people by your misery, you are participating in it; you are creating misery. And you are responsible for it, and you will have to pay for it. Very subtle is the mechanism!.

Everybody goes on playing the game of being unhappy. You want to be happy, but unless you cut the investment in unhappiness you cannot be happy. And happiness is not somebody else’s responsibility towards you, remember. Nobody else can make you happy. It is your own growth, your own awareness, your own moving energy – higher and higher – that gives you bliss. But you have to understand the deep-down unconscious mechanism – that you talk about happiness but you desire unhappiness. That’s why…. And whatsoever you want happens! This world is really a magic place. If you want unhappiness it will happen, if you want happiness it will happen – because you are the deciding factor; you are the base of all that happens to you. This is the whole law of karma: whatsoever you want, you do, and it happens. If you are unhappy it is because you want it.

Patanjali says, ‘Actions are just like dreams. The whole world is nothing but a big stage, and the whole life is nothing but a drama. You did it because you were unaware. If you had been aware, there would be no problem.’ Now become aware, and bring the energy of awareness to your past. It will bum the whole past: pain and pleasure will both disappear, good and bad will both disappear. And when both disappear, when you transcend the duality of good and bad, you are liberated. Then there is neither pleasure nor pain. Then there comes a silence, a profound silence. In this silence arises a new phenomenon, satchitananda. In that silence, in that profound silence, truth happens to you, consciousness happens to you, bliss happens to you.

Right Karma is Karma from which silence arises, bliss happens. Unless, from your Karma bliss is not the outcome then you will remain untouched by Krishna’s Law Of Karma.


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