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More thoughts on Laws of Karma


Gita3

 


I have been asked several times if this verse relates to determinism. My blog Fate, Free Will, and the Laws of Karma discusses the concept in great details. While this present material may be read as a stand-alone blog, it is best read in continuation to the previous blog.

 

Most humbly, I wish to state that this verse DOES NOT relate or dictate determinism at all. It simply states that the so-called good effect or bad effect is not a judgement. It is not a reward or punishment system maintained by a supreme authority such as God. The good or bad effect produced by good or bad Karma is purely and simply a natural phenomenon governed by natural laws that act automatically, with complete justice.

If God has anything to do with it, then God must also act according to this natural law. God is also not free, so to say. In Bhagwad Gita, God speaks thusly:

na me parthasti kartavyam trishu lokeshu kimchana
nanavaptamavaptavyam varta eva cha karmani
yadi hyaham na varteyam jatu karmanyatandritah
mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah
utsideyurime loka na kuryam karma chedaham
samkarasya cha karta syamupahanyamimah prajah

Bhagwad Gita Chap3, verses 22,23,24

 

(There is nothing in the three worlds, O Arjuna, that should be done by Me, nor is there anything unattained that I should attain; yet I engage Myself in action. For, if I did not engage Myself in action unwearied, men would in every way follow My path O Arjuna. If I did not perform action, these worlds would perish and I should be the creator of confusion .....)

 

Note: In Hinduism, the word "tribhuvan" or three worlds is symbolically used to mean the "universe".

God would not change this natural path because of his like or dislike of a particular person, the cause and effect law of karma is universal.


Another important implication of this verse is that the good and bad referred to here are not defined by any code or law created by human being unless such a code or law follows the natural path (please refer to my blog Dynamics of Ethical Survival for a detailed discussion of this statement).

 

This law of Karma, or cause and effect, is so powerful that it governs everything in the universe (except the one who is Enlightened).

 

Upon Enlightenment (or Moksha/nirvana/liberation, please read my blog Liberation (Moksha) - the Hindu concept for details), the round of cause and effect loses its significance, just as Samsara, or the round of birth and death, ceases with Enlightenment.

 

Since basic nature transcends all duality and is ultimate, there is no one to receive the effect, whether it is good or bad, and no one to whom any effect can apply.

 

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