Before I expound on Law of Karma, here is a story I want you to read.
Once upon a time, there was a scientist called Theordy. He had a theory behind every phenomenon. He was exceptional at logic, trigonometry, and physics. He could solve complex equations in his head, he could look at the shadow of a tall structure and ascertain its height in a matter of seconds, he understood the whys and hows behind the complex workings of things.
One day, he visited his friend who was an artist. His friend showed him his recent works of art, they were beautiful pictures of flora and fauna, of landscapes, of sunrises and sunsets.
Theordy was gripped with awe, with inexplicable joy looking at those paintings. He asked his friend, how could he draw such magnificent paintings, how did he manage to express emotions using lines and colors, that, what was the logic, the scientific basis behind his amazing work?
The artist explained to Theordy that it took him years of practice, that, he simply painted on the canvas the beauty he saw outside, the feelings he felt inside. There was no more logic to it than that. Theordy argued that if one mixed the same quantity of red and yellow, it would produce the same orange every time. He suggested that if one drew straight lines at certain angles, they would always take the same shape.
He gave other intelligent reasons to his friend and ultimately arrived at the conclusion that there must be some theory and logic behind his artwork, explanation, he felt, that was outside the comprehension of the artist.
His friend told him that art was a matter of expression and not an argument, a work of heart and not mathematical calculation, that surely there was some scientific basis but that art always took a different form, beyond equations and logic. Theordy remained unconvinced, and his friend, unmoved.
I am addressing an important subject today: Karma. My inbox is inundated with questions around that, seekers wanting to know about the law of karma, that why did Jews go through the suffering they did, what is the fault of those who die in a natural calamity, why are some children born disabled, why do some die early and so forth. Painful questions. You may want to read about your karmic account and Law of Karma.
I believe in rebirth, and this belief is based on my direct experiences in deep meditative state. Could my experiences be subjective? Of course, they are. All experiences are subjective and interdependent.
I believe in the law of karma and I believe that not even in a million years the slightest of karma is lost.
However, I do not believe in pansophy, an absolute philosophy, I do not believe that one theory could be the answer to everything. If it was all mathematical, nature, earth, planets, the universe would not be what it is today.
Math could not measure the universe, so they labeled it infinite, they discover one particle today and name it God particle, and twenty years later they will discover another entity and they may label it the Supreme God particle or whatever. I do not deny the contribution of science towards material progress, and I am certainly not labeling it good or bad either.
So, the question is not why do bad things happen to good people or the other way, the question is why must there be a universal theory to provide an answer that will fit your frame of understanding, of comprehension, of conditioning?
We are looking for absoluteness, we are looking for absolute proofs, we want just one answer, it feels easy that way. Theordy will keep searching for logic in art. Why must Nature operate on mathematical equations? Consider the following:
Two identical seeds are sowed in the ground. They are nurtured the same way. One sprouts and the other one perishes. Why? The other seed may have perished on its face value, but has it really? The decomposing seed is actually the food for millions of microorganisms, it is making the ground fertile, it is supporting an ecosystem just as ably as the one that sprouted, albeit in a different manner.
Duality arises when we label decomposition of the seed as a failure and sprouting as a success.
I believe in God, in Nature, in that mystical dimension. It is outrageously beautiful and profound. I have experienced it first-hand, that is the basis of my belief. Yes, He can have a form based on your own beliefs; I have seen it multiple times so I believe it.
However, I do not believe that God is up there carving some cunning designs or executing some sinister plans to harm or benefit a certain set of people, that, there is a God who gets upset if you do not follow a certain religion, or that He will grace you with the riches of the world if He is pleased with you.
He would no longer be God if He was partial and biased. I believe in Grace but I do not believe that it is based on the mere performance of rituals or adherence to a certain religion. It may not be without cause-and-effect, it mostly remains a work of art though.
Should we then reject, the law of karma, the karmic law as outdated, outlandish, and fantastical? No. That will be the equal side of foolishness, of short-sightedness. I shall try and elucidate the theory of karmic account and how it applies to individuals in the near future, if not in the next post. But, please do not apply theories of microeconomics to make sense of macro-phenomena. If we persist with any proposition, we will arrive at some conclusion obviously.
The folly is to accept that conclusion just because it offers you consolation, some justification. Theordy’s ability to find an equation in a painting does not mean he has figured out the work of art.
To understand certain aspects, you have to be an artist, to comprehend others, you need to be a scientist. Whether you are drawing landscapes or erecting buildings, just so long you are at peace, you must be doing something noble. How would you lead your life if no one ever told you anything about God or religion or the law of karma?
Imagine that a group of one thousand infants is dropped on another inhabitable planet with provisions and many survive somehow. How would they grow up, what would be their beliefs, their morals, their religion?
I could have expounded on the word of certain scriptures to address your question, I could have offered you some convincing theory, a lofty philosophy, a logical explanation, some fitting thesis, on law of karma, but that is not the way of Swami. I am committed to truth above everything else. I would rather have you ask the right questions through self-inquiry than accept my answers through secondary analysis.
The act of turning inward is the art of breaking free of layers of conditioning, it is the science of understanding one’s true nature, experiencing your primordial state. It helps you transcend the labels. Your realization is going to come from contemplation and not conditioning, reflection and not rituals, practice and not preaching. Whether you are Theordy or the artist, be at peace, be yourself, be fearless.
Understanding without experience is dry and experience without understanding is blind. Go on, discover your own truth! That alone will set you free.