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On Karma

Nov 14, 2004 11:15 AM
by Anand Gholap

MKR wanted something related to our life. This might be that.

" 35. This is the great lesson taught by science to the present 
generation. Religion has taught it for ages, but dogmatically rather 
than rationally. Science proves that knowledge is the condition of 
freedom, and that only as man knows can he compel. The scientific man 
observes sequences; over and over again he performs his testing 
experiments; he eliminates all that is casual, collateral, 
irrelevant, and slowly, surely, discovers what constitutes an 
invariable causative sequence. Once sure of his facts, he acts with 
indubitable assurance, and nature, without shadow of turning, rewards 
his rational certainty with success.

36. Out 
of this assurance grows "the sublime patience of the investigator". 
Luther Burbank, in California, will sow millions of seeds, select 
some thousands of plants, pair a few hundreds, and patiently march to 
his end; he can trust the laws of nature, and, if he fails, he knows 
that the error lies with him, not with them.

There is a law of nature that masses of matter tend to move towards 
the earth. Shall I then say: "I cannot walk up the stairs; I cannot 
fly in the air"? Nay, there are other laws. I pit against the force 
that holds me on the ground, another force stored in my muscles, and 
I raise my body by means of it. A person with muscles weak from fever 
may have to stay on the ground-floor, helpless; but I break no law 
when I put forth muscular force, and walk upstairs.

38. The 
inviolability of Law does not bind  it frees. It makes Science 
possible, and rationalises human effort. In a lawless universe, 
effort would be futile, reasons would be useless. We should be 
savages, trembling in the grip of forces, strange, incalculable, 
terrible. Imagine a chemist in a laboratory where nitrogen was now 
inert, now explosive, where oxygen vivified today and stifled 
tomorrow! In a lawless universe we should not dare to move, not 
knowing what any action might bring about. We move sagely, surely, 
because of the inviolability of Law.

40. Now 
Karma is the great law of nature, with all that that implies. As we 
are able to move in the physical universe with security, knowing its 
laws, so may we move in the mental and moral universes with security 
also, as we learn their laws. The majority of people, with regard to 
their mental and moral defects, are much in the position of a man who 
should decline to walk upstairs because of the law of gravitation. 
They sit down helplessly, and say: "That is my nature. I cannot help 
it." True, it is the man's nature, as he has made it in the past, and 
it is "his karma". But by a knowledge of karma he can change his 
nature, making it other tomorrow than it is today. He is not in the 
grip of an inevitable destiny, imposed upon him from outside; he is 
in a world of law, full of natural forces which he can utilise to 
bring about the state of things which he desires. Knowledge and will 
that is what he needs. He must realize that karma is not a power 
which crushes, but a statement of conditions out of which invariable 
results accrue. So long as he lives carelessly, in a happy-go-lucky 
way, so long will he be like a man floating on a stream, stuck by any 
passing log, blown aside by any casual breeze, caught in any chance 
eddy. This spells failure, misfortune, unhappiness. The law enables 
him to compass his ends successfully, and places within his reach 
forces which he can utilise. He can modify, change, remake on other 
lines the nature which is the inevitable outcome of his previous 
desires, thoughts, and actions; that future nature is as inevitable 
as the present, the result of the conditions which he now 
deliberately makes. "Habit is second nature," says the proverb, and 
thought creates habits. Where there is Law, no achievement is 
impossible, and karma is the guarantee of man's evolution into mental 
and moral perfection.

42. We 
have now to apply this law to ordinary human life, to apply principle 
to practice. It has been the loss of the intelligible relations 
between eternal principles and transitory events that has rendered 
modern religion so inoperative in common life. A man will clean up 
his backyard when he understands the relation between dirt and 
disease; but he leaves his mental and moral backyards uncleansed, 
because he sees no relation between his mental and moral defects and 
the various ghastly after-death experiences with which he is 
threatened by religions. Hence he either disbelieves the threats and 
goes carelessly on his way, or hopes to escape consequences by some 
artificial compact with the authorities. In either case, he does not 
cleanse his ways. When he realizes that law is as inviolable in the 
mental and moral worlds as in the physical, it may well be hoped that 
he will become as reasonable in the former as he already is in the 

Anand Gholap

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