America’s Karma: Good or Bad?


PY has written that America has good karma. Indeed many of our founders were very enlightened (Jefferson, Franklin, Paine) & progressive in their ideas during our countries formation. But have we amassed negative karma when we displaced & killed millions of indigenous people, by our military policies of preemptive war in the Middle East, creation of a casino financial system (the rich stealing from the working class), environmental destruction, human rights violations, etc? Will the US survive?

—Pam , US


That’s a good question. I’ll mostly quote from Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda on this, since they have both addressed this question so specifically.

Nations do have karma, and because no nation is perfect, there will always be a mixture of good and bad past actions resulting in good and bad karma. The question then is whether the karmic scales of a particular nation are weighted heavily on the good or bad side.

Regarding America, Yogananda once said:

I have often said that America cannot lose in the long run, if her enemies attack her, because her karma is basically very good, despite a few wrong things she has done. The karma of her present enemies, by contrast, is bad, and they shall have to pay for it.

He was referring to the time after World War II, but the principle remains the same — if a country has a great deal more good karma than another, it will prevail in a war between the two countries.

Swami Kriyananda writes that Yogananda also addressed America’s materialistic tendency and how that might have to be worked out:

America, he said, has acquired far more good karma than bad. This country will, in the end, prove invincible. For, as the Indian Scriptures say, “Yata dharma, tata jaya – where there is righteousness, there is victory.”

But Americans as a whole must enter the struggle more consciously on the spiritual side, otherwise they will face purification through great suffering. The coming depression will serve the deeper purpose of freeing Americans from excessive dedication to materialism.

Yogananda often spoke about a coming depression that would be far worse than the one in 1929. Swami Kriyananda, who heard Yogananda frequently speaking about a future economic depression, has recently been saying that we might well be seeing the beginning of those times.

On an individual level, I think it’s helpful to heed Swami Kriyananda’s advice on how to respond to some of the issues you raise. After the 9/11 attacks against the U.S., he said:

No country is perfect, but there is much more good than bad karma in America, as Master himself said. As he also promised, God will watch over us, and will be able to do so ever more fully if we cling consciously and lovingly to Him.