Does God play a role in assigning karmas in an individual’s life?
If He does then karma can be classified as fate or a predetermined destiny. In that case, our freedom to create events is either restricted or controlled. The divine intervention and direction both in its predestined agenda and in producing consequence discourage an autonomous approach to undertake an action.
But, according to Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hindu studies, only the result or harvest of action is governed by Him based on the merits and demerits of the activity. The outcome of action may be instant or delayed. This rebound could be anytime during the life span of an individual. Or, for those who believe in reincarnation, the next life can experience the karmic reaction.
As per this theology whereas God is responsible for the selection and the delivery of rewards, the principal responsibility to create an event and executing it lies with an individual.
NEWTON’S LAW OF MOTION
In contrast, arguing about the total release of karma from divinity, the Mimamsa school unequivocally rejects the involvement of the Supreme. Known for its philosophies based on hermeneutics, meaning critical interpretation, the Mimamsa is a pioneer Hindu thought of realism and is a forerunner to Vedanta.
Mimamsa argues the causation is natural. And it is sufficient to induce the ultimate result. Accordingly, it is a futile exercise to engage divinity to initiate the cause and determine its outcome.
The ancient Mimamsa school of thought finds common ground and relevancy in contemporary Hindu thought on the concept of karma. Moreover, it identifies its logical relationship with science.
Newton’s law of motion that every action leads to a reaction, is an application of the law of Karma. There is karma going on in an atom, molecule, and nature. As a matter of fact, the entire universe is in a state of karma.
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I appreciate this interesting post. I have a keen interest in this topic and if I may add my two cents to this – from whatever little I know, it appears that God too is subject to Karma. Shri Vishnu had to accept Vrinda’s curse (Jalandhar’s wife) and turn into stone is just one which springs to mind – or perhaps He was leading by example.
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Thanks for liking the post. I don’t know about the anecdote you have mentioned, but here I can elaborate little bit more on the subject of Karma from my book Hinduism beyond rituals, customs and traditions:
“Karma or karm basically represents action, deed or work. It is an act of doing something. And that involves two more factors, the doer and the result(s) of work performed. Together these three factors constitute a karma which starts with a verb and ends in a noun. So karma is not merely an action but implies its rebounding influence as well.
A cause is created as a first event followed by another event which is the effect. The sequence is called causation. This cause and effect or action and reaction are generated by our thoughts and our performing actions, or those actions instructed to us by others. In short everything one thinks about and does to create a cause and effect is karma.
Karma and consciousness find a meaningful relationship in Hinduism”.
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