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WHAT IS THE CAUSE & EFFECT THEORY OF KARMA IN HINDUISM ?


THE CAUSE & EFFECT THEORY;--

As God's force of gravity shapes cosmic order, karma shapes experiential order. In Hinduism, more particularly the Dharmaśāstras, Karma is a principle in which "cause and effect are as inseparably linked in the moral sphere as assumed in the physical sphere by science.

A good action has its reward and a bad action leads to retribution. If the bad actions do not yield their consequences in this life, the soul begins another existence and in the new environment undergoes suffering for its past deeds".

Thus it is important to understand that karma does not go away, one must either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of his past actions. ACCORDING TO UPNISHAD ;----

04 POINTS;- 1-The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states, "According as a man acts and according as he believes so will he be; a man of meritorious acts will be meritorious, a man of evil deeds sinful. He becomes pure by pure deeds and evil by evil deeds.

2-And here they say that person consists of desires. An as is his desire so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deeds he does that he will reap". The doctrine of karma dates from ancient times and besides this , mentioned in Chandogya Upanishad, Markandeya Purana and many others;-- "some human beings enter the womb in order to have an embodied existence; others go into inorganic matter (the stump of a tree and the like) according to their deeds and according to their knowledge" 3-More extensively discussed is the consequences of karma in relation to sin. "Karmavipaka means the ripening (or fruition) of evil actions or sins. This fruition takes three forms, as stated in the Yogasutra i.e., jati (birth as a worm or animal), ayuh (life i.e. living for a short period) such as five or ten years) and bhoga experiencing the torments of Hell". 4-Here is a passage from Svetasvatara Upanishad illustrating this concept ;----- 4-1-Two birds of beautiful plumage ; inseparable friends ;live on the same tree. Of these two one eats the sweet fruit while the other looks on without eating. In his commentary, the first bird represents the individual soul, while the second represents Brahman or God.

4-2-The soul is essentially a reflection of Brahman. The tree represents the body. The soul identifies itself with the body, reaps the fruits of its actions, and undergoes rebirth. The Lord alone stands as an eternal witness, ever contented, and does not eat, for he is the director of both the eater and the eaten. ACCORDING TO BHAGAVAD GEETA;---

07 POINTS;- The concept of karma first appears strongly in the Bhagavad Gita.The topic of karma is mentioned in the Puranas.the theistic side of Vedanta,the creator Ishvara rules over the world through the law of karma. In Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna said-------- 1- “Perform work that will give benefit of all (divine sacrifice), otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for the happiness of all, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.” – Bhagavad-Gita 2-All men are forced to act helplessly according to their impulses; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment. 3-Established in yoga ( harmony and tranquility) and perform action (karma) 4-The subject of karma is very complex and very hard to understand. 5-One who is, however, taking pleasure in the self, who is illuminated in the self, who rejoices in and is satisfied with the self only, fully satiated–for him there is no karma or duty. 6-Even if one is the most sinful of all sinners, yet one shall cross over the ocean of sin by the raft of Self knowledge alone. 7-The enlightened person sees inaction in action, action in inaction. ACCORDING TO BRAHMA SUTRAS ;------

05 POINTS;- 1-In a commentary to Brahma Sutras , a Vedantic text, Adi Sankara, an Indian philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta, argues that the original karmic actions themselves cannot bring about the proper results .. 2-Individual souls are responsible for their own fate; God is merely the dispenser and witness with reference to the merit and demerit of souls.

3-Neither can super sensuous, non-intelligent qualities like adrsta—an unseen force being the metaphysical link between work and its result by themselves mediate the appropriate, justly deserved pleasure and pain. The fruits, according to him, then, must be administered through the action of a conscious agent, namely, a supreme being (Ishvara).

4-In a commentary to Brahma Sutras , a Vedantic text, 'God is free from charges of partiality and cruelty which are brought against him because of social inequality, fate, and universal suffering in the world' The position of God with respect to karma can be explained through the analogy (similarity )of rain.

5-Although rain can be said to bring about the growth of rice, barley and other plants, the differences in various species is due to the diverse potentialities lying hidden in the respective seeds. Thus, differences between classes of beings are due to different merits belonging to individual souls.God metes rewards and punishments only in consideration of the specific actions of beings. ACCORDING TO DVAITA THEORY ;-

07 POINTS;- 1-Madhva, the founder of the Dvaita school, another sub-school of Vedanta, on the other hand, believes that there must be a root cause for variations in karma even if karma is accepted as having no beginning and being the cause of the problem of evil.

2-Since jivas have different kinds of karma, from good to bad, all must not have started with same type of karma from the beginning of time. Thus, Madhva concludes that the jivas (souls) are not God's creation as in the Christian doctrine, but are rather entities co-existent with Vishnu, although under His absolute control. Souls are thus dependent on Him in their pristine nature and in all transformations that they may undergo. 3-According to Madhva, God, although He has control, does not interfere with Man's free will; although He is omnipotent, that does not mean that He engages in extraordinary feats. Rather, God enforces a rule of law and, in accordance with the just deserts of jivas, gives them freedom to follow their own nature.

4-Thus, God functions as the sanctioner or as the divine accountant, and accordingly jivas are free to work according to their innate nature and their accumulated karma, good and bad. Since God acts as the sanctioner, the ultimate power for everything comes from God and the jiva only utilizes that power, according to his/her innate nature.

5-However, like Shankara's interpretation of the Brahma Sutras as mentioned earlier, Madhva, agrees that the rewards and punishments bestowed by God are regulated by Him in accordance with the good and sinful deeds performed by them, and He does so of out of His own will to keep himself firm in justice and he cannot be controlled in His actions by karma of human beings nor can He be accused of partiality or cruelty to anyone. 6-Madhva view by illustrating the doctrine with this analogy: the power in a factory comes from the powerhouse (God), but the various cogs (jivas) move in a direction in which they are set. Thus he concludes that no charge of partiality and cruelty can be brought against God. The jiva is the actor and also the enjoyer of the fruits of his/her own actions. 7-Madhva differed significantly from traditional Hindu beliefs, owing to his concept of eternal damnation. For example, he divides souls into three classes:--- 1-One class of souls which qualify for liberation (Mukti-yogyas), 2-Another subject to eternal rebirth or eternal transmigration (Nitya-sansarins), 3-Third class that is eventually condemned to eternal hell or Andhatamas (Tamo-yogyas). ACCORDING TO SHAIVISM ;-

02 POINTS; 1-Of Shaivism, the concept of karma in Hinduism by distinguishing it from that of Buddhism and Jainism, which do not require the existence of an external being like God. In their beliefs, just as a calf among a large number of cows can find its mother at suckling time, so also does karma find the specific individual it needs to attach to and come to fruition.

2-However, theistic Hindus posit that karma, unlike the calf, is an unintelligent entity.Hence, karma cannot locate the appropriate person by itself. An intelligent Supreme Being with perfect wisdom and power (Shiva, for example) is necessary to make karma attach to the appropriate individual. In such sense, God is the Divine Accountant. ACCORDING TO VAISHNAVAS ;-

02 POINTS;--- 1-In Bhagavata Purana, Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, exhorts Kansa to refrain from killing his wife, Devaki, the mother of Krishna, by stating that death is certain for those who are born and when the body returns to the five elements, the soul leaves the body and helplessly obtains another form in accordance with the laws of karma, citing passages from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

2-Moreover, he adds and states that the soul materializes into an appropriate body whatever the state of the mind one remembers at the time of death; i.e., at the time of the death, the soul and its subtle body of mind, intelligence and ego, is projected into the womb of a creature, human or non-human that can provide a gross body that is most suitable for the dominant state of the mind of the particular person at the time of death;

Note that this passage is similar in meaning as Bhagavad Gita, .......SHIVOHAM......