‘Simple facts about Karma’
Why not action-reaction in one life?
Somebody may ask, “Why should I suffer now for my actions in a previous life? Why so much delay?”
Different seeds fructify after different time durations. Grains harvest after two or three months, some fruit seeds produce fruits after twenty years and some seeds may even take hundred years to fructify.
Every action that we do is like a seed sown. The seed will fructify and we cannot escape the result.
One may say, “I don’t like this fruit, I don’t want it.” But one will be forced to eat the fruit, even if it is thorny.
The reactions will come, but different types of karma seeds (actions) have different time durations after which they fructify.
Why do different actions give reactions after different time durations? To understand this, let’s probe deeper into the mechanism of karma, as is illustrated through an incident from the Mahabharata.
After the Kurukshetra war, Dhritrarashtra asked Krishna, “I had hundred sons and all of them were killed in the war. Why?
Krishna replied, “Fifty lifetimes ago, you were a hunter. While hunting, you tried to shoot a male bird, but it flew away. In anger, you ruthlessly slaughtered the hundred baby birds that were there in the nest. The father-bird had to watch in helpless agony. Because you caused that father-bird the pain of seeing the death of his hundreds sons, you too had to bear the pain of your hundred sons dying.
Dhritarastra said, “Ok, but why did I have to wait for fifty lifetimes?”
Krishna answered, “You were accumulating punya (pious credits) during the last fifty lifetimes to get a hundred sons because that requires a lot of punya. Then you got the reaction for the papa (sin) that you have done fifty lifetimes ago.”
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (4.17) gahana karmano gatih, that the way in which action and reaction works is very complex. God knows best which reaction has to be given at what time in what condition. Therefore, some reaction may come in this lifetime, some in the next and some in a distant future lifetime.
There is a saying, “The mills of God grind slow but they grind exceedingly fine.” So, every single action will be accounted for, sooner or later.
The Srimad Bhagavatam gives the example: if we have a cowshed with thousand calves and if we leave a mother cow there, she will easily find out where her calf is among those thousands. She has this mystical ability.
Similarly, our karma will find us among the millions of people on this planet. There may be thousands of people going on the road but only one of them meets with an accident. It is not by chance, it’s by karma.
Thus, the law of karma works exceedingly fine; it may be slow to act, but no one can escape.🙏