The Law of Karma


Q. If an individual or the masses suffer due to others misdeeds or wrong doings,then how the victims get support of the god? acc. to the divine law?


Divine blessings to you all!

—A, India


Dear Friend,

You have asked a hard question: it is a question asked in every generation by thoughtful, compassionate souls since time immemorial. Many books have been written to address the question of suffering. The great Lord Buddha, confronted with the ills of humanity, vowed to solve the riddle of suffering. He did so through meditation, achieving transcendence; achieving cosmic consciousness.

But first, back to your question. In the New Testament of Jesus Christ, Jesus encounters a “man blind since birth.” Jesus was asked: Who caused this man suffering? His parents or himself? Jesus replied, “Neither but for the glory of God.” Jesus then healed the man.

In the Old Testament, the righteous man of God, Job, was the victim of a wager between God and Satan. Satan predicted that God’s faithful servant, Job, would renounce his faith if Job was afflicted with suffering. Job was tested but proved faithful to God.

What is the cause of man’s suffering (whether as an individual or, as you indicate, as a group)? Are we the cause of our own suffering or are we merely victims? If victims, where is God’s mercy and justice?

In the case of the blind man and in the case of Job, we are taught that sometimes our suffering comes to test our faith and strengthen our resolve to accept all suffering as for “the glory of God” — which is to say the glory of our OWN soul’s perfection, power, and ultimate freedom and transcendence.

But, in the end, whether the devotee sees suffering as coming from God to test his faith, or whether as our own karma, it amounts to the same thing. And what is that?

Life on earth as humans would be intolerable if we did not, each day, depend and assume the truth of the law of cause and effect; action and reaction; in short, the law of karma. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” the Bible says. (Just as gravity operates without regard to our awareness and belief in it, so too the law of karma operates without human sanction or understanding. It is exacting!)

By hard work, right diet, and treating others with respect, we assume we will reap the consequences of our harmonious actions. If we didn’t belief this, life would be intolerable and not worth living. Therefore, we must accept that all that comes to us is ours, no matter how difficult that is to do.

The law of karma is inextricably linked to reincarnation. We cannot usually see the threads of action and reaction that account for our troubles, and our suffering. But reincarnation, linked with the law of karma, helps explain the seeming injustice of human suffering in a way that no other explanation can possible offer.

Group karma, such as the karma of nations or races, is based on actions taken by that group in the past. Those in the group directly affected by group karma either do not have enough good karma to overcome the group’s karma or in a past life participated in the actions which are the cause of present group karma.

In short, we cannot escape the law. Though it is hurtful and indeed inappropriate to express this law to those who have suffered and are grieving, we cannot escape the conclusion that we are, in some mysterious way, the cause of our own suffering. “The past lives of all men are dark with shame,” Swami Sri Yukteswar counseled. “Forget the past. What you do right now can change your karma.”

There is, however, a way out: a shortcut. Our love for God; our self-offering to God of every thought and action; our service of God’s work on this earth; our devotion; our meditation……..the more we live in the consciousness of God’s indwelling and omni-presence, the more karma cannot touch us. If our karma is lose an arm, we might get a scratch. If in fact we DO lose an arm, we may feel no pain or in any case it will not affect us in a deep way. We must live with even-mindedness and cheerfulness, “accepting what comes of itself, let it come.” Faith in the goodness of life and the presence of God as the only reality, leads to ego transcendence and to the bliss state which is above all suffering.

This is the answer; kriya yoga is the “airplane” route to freedom. Learn kriya; love and serve God and Guru and step by step you will overcome all karma by cutting the cord of ego to which karma is tied! Banat, banat, ban jai! Doing, doing, soon done!

Blessings to you, friend,

Nayaswami Hriman