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Understanding the Law of Karma and its Implications

Mar 26th, 2022 | 2 Min Read
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Category: Question & Answer


Language: English

What is the Law of Karma?

We get what we deserve, which is God's law of karma. Humans are free to perform karmas by their choice, but they are not free to determine the results of their actions. The results are bestowed by the Almighty, based on numerous factors—our efforts, destiny, God's will, others' efforts, the cumulative karmas of the people involved, the place and situation, etc.

There is a famous statement: "Without the will of God, not even a leaf can move." If God is the doer of everything, including our actions, then why does the law of karma exist?

If God were the doer of all our deeds, they would be perfect without any mistakes since the supreme power can never make a blunder. But our innumerable errors imply that we are doing things of our own free will. If God were the doer, we would not have to bear any karmic reactions to our actions. God would either bear karmic results on His own or forgive Himself.

If we are part of the Supreme who is all-good, then why do we commit mistakes? Why is there crime in the world? 

As a drop in the ocean possesses many of the qualities of the sea, similarly, we souls are also fragments of the Almighty. God is supremely independent. Hence, as His tiny parts, we also possess free will, i.e., freedom to choose our actions. We have the option to either choose God or the world. The problem is that we have utilized our independence to turn away from God towards Maya. Consequently, the illusory energy, Maya, has overcome us & put us in ignorance. It is because of the covering of ignorance that we make mistakes. 

If we have free will, then what is 'Destiny'? 

Destiny is not something that descends from the heavens or in horoscopes. The actions we performed in our past lives created our present destiny, known as prārabdh karma. But at every moment, we also have the freedom to act as per our will, known as kriyamāṇ karma. The prārabdh is predetermined, but kriyamāṇ is not predetermined. We created our present life destiny through our actions in past births. If we acted by exercising our free will in any past life, then we can do so in our present life.

Can performing good deeds free me from the cycle of karma and its fruits?

While performing good deeds is beneficial, they still keep us bound to the cycle of karma. The highest we can attain is the celestial abodes through pious actions. To break the cycle of karmic reactions, the Bhagavad Gita illustrates a superior principle of working—the Science of Karm Yog. Lord Krishna inspires Arjun to keep performing his duties as an offering to the divine without attachment to the results. Consecrating all works for the pleasure of God is the way to attain liberation from the cycle of karma.