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The law of Karma

CHENNAI, MARCH 29. The early Greeks and Chinese wrote in their travelogues: ``The Hindus never told a lie. When a Hindu went out he left his house open, with valuables inside, for he trusted everybody.'' However, life is a far cry from such pristine ways these days, since each individual appears to be driven by selfish consideration. If only a person were to get rid of all unnecessary tensions, focusing instead only on doing his duty without expectations and also reposing faith in God, he will experience true joy which needs no shackles for fear of theft. We can put our trust in God and work on the assumption that sincerity and faith will be proved as gateways to God, said Swami Gnanananda Sarasvathi in a lecture. Each of us arrives in this world with the net result of our good and bad acts from previous births, a tally that only the individual is responsible for. One should consider the duty — towards family, friends, society — as unpaid debts and work at repaying the same by dint of living virtuously. Every obstacle to remaining good is a test since jumping over each hurdle strengthens a person's soul. One may wonder if any great harm will befall one if duty were to be spurned since it is an unwelcome burden. Scriptures state that such negligence will make a person ineligible to receive any grace or help from God. On the other hand, work undertaken strengthens the mind and the latent resolve to better one's spiritual lot. Devotion to our duty is the highest form of devotion to God. He who faces adversity with resolve, surrendering to the will of the mighty, will find that he is the ultimate victor. This is the Law of Karma, what a person does comes back to him with hundred-fold intensity. The Law of Karma is the very foundation of our Sanathana Dharma. On this is founded the theory of rebirth also.

According to our Prarabdha Karma, good and bad will keep on coming. Whatever is fated, whatever is in store for us will happen. But there are certain things which we must ask for the strength of mind, the strength of character, because there are forces in man which can overcome him, even if he wants to do good. It is for this reason that one is advised to overcome his lower nature. The Bhagavad Gita says that all pleasures that are Dharmic are allowed to men and women — Grahastha or Brahmachari. There is no ban on that, but only on Adharma; on Asathya; on Himsa Scholars state that the law of Karma is very powerful in its operation. It is inexorable. ``As thou soweth, so shalt thou reap.''

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