Today’s ‘God and I’ from Dr Subramanian Swamy is a thought- provoking one for me
at my current level of awareness and understanding of Sanathana dharma.
In particular the passage quoted below re-kindles my thought
which I will write as separate posts in future.
“So the strategy for a good life is to do selfless good deeds, and in sufficient numbers to swamp out the inherited bad karmas. Prayers will only allow God to reschedule the good karmas in the timing of enjoying it’s fruit. Hence,
The issues that crop up in my mind on reading this passage are
(1) Does good karma swamp out bad karma done in the past?
Not necessarily and not always - but perhaps it works with ‘inherited’ bad karmas from
But when one does bad karma while also doing good karma,
the bad karma can not be wiped off by the good karma done before.
Hanuman reminds this to Ravana when he was captured by Indrajit and
produced before Ravana in Sundhara khanda.
Also as one goes higher in spiritual plane due to doing of more good karma,
he has to be more responsible for his actions and be careful.
That is, such a person can not and must not consciously or un- consciously do bad karma.
If he does it will be like a slip from a height
and the effect of such bad karma will be phenomenal.
In other words, if a person, who is supposed to know very well the effect of a bad action,
still goes ahead with it, the penalty in terms of resultant karma will be heavy.
That is why smruthis say that even a small mistake done by a Brahmin
( it is said Brahmin because a Brahmin is one who is supposed to know
more of how these laws work) will invite severe punishment,
whereas the same mistake done by others who don’t know, will get them lesser punishment.
(2) As Dr Swamy says, the strategy for good life is of course doing good karma.
In may interaction as an astrologer, I have seen such people
(who are more inclined about doing good karma – being upright and ethical) suffer more!
It appears they ‘burn’ most of their past bad deeds simultaneously through good deeds
so that when they leave their current existence,
the balance sheet will be more of positives which can help them get a much better
and lofty life in the next birth.
Or it could be that they are canceling their balance sheet
and getting released from the birth cycle (attaining moksha)
(3) Dr Swamy says that prayers will allow God to re-time the enjoyment of fruits.
We call this in astrology as ‘god treating with kid-gloves’.
When a bad karma has started giving results (prarabhdha),
the process can not arrested. But prayers to god and
sincere feelings will lessen the impact of the pains and sufferings.
The prayers will either lessen the pains, or strengthen the mind to face boldly
and make one remain less scathed. This is the kid-glove treatment of God.
but not to the timing of receiving the fruit of the same” –
the famous ‘karamani eva adhikaarasthe, maa phalEshu’ beautifully interpreted!!
One interpretation for the timing to be delayed is that
the individual is given some breathing time to add up good karmas
so that the result can be modified. Pariharas and Prayaschithas do play a role.
But there is only one bad deed that does not get modified.
The doer of such a deed has to invariably undergo the full effect of that bad karma.
That bad karma is “sei nandri kolluthal” –
doing harm to the one who has helped you.
This is said in Mahabharatha,
in dharma sastras, in pura naanUru and in Thirukkural
(en nandri kondraarkkum vuivundaam – vuivillai sei nanadri kondra magarku).
It is on this basis, Karna can not be faulted for his allegiance to Kauravas.
God keeps accounts of good and bad karmas
By Dr Subramanian Swamy
The question posed to me is how I relate to God in my daily life. While I have never seen God, at least not yet, I see God’s manifestation in good and bad events. Does God favour some and discriminate against others? After all, some live a life of luxury from birth to death, while others are condemned to eke a livelihood and are miserable till their very end. The former fortunate persons are not particularly virtuous while the latter set is not all of sinful people.
So why there is this difference if God is not playing favourites? The Hindu religion is the only theology which gives an explanation that fits this reality: the Law of Karma.
According to this explanation, well described by
If however one’s lifespan is not long enough, then this accountant ensures that the unspent karmas are transferred with your soul to your next life. There is thus no escape from this Law of Karma. If you are born with an overwhelming surplus balance of good karmas, then you will live a luxurious and happy life. Otherwise you will suffer. A mix of good and bad karmas in your account will mean a life of ups and downs, which one should take cheerfully since there is no escape.
So the strategy for a good life is to do selfless good deeds, and in sufficient numbers to swamp out the inherited bad karmas. Prayers will only allow God to reschedule the good karmas in the timing of enjoying it’s fruit. Hence,
For my sanity, I would need some good news after this series, so I pray knowing fully well that I merely have postponed the scheduled punishment of my accumulated bad karma. For your prayers to be heard you have to visit some of God’s favourite destinations.
— The writer is president of the Janata Party