For every action (force) there is an equal and opposite reaction, states Newton’s Law of motion. I get it. When someone stumbles on a stone, there is an impact force, proportional to the incident force!
This law of Karma – action and reaction in proportion to the action – applies to all and universally. This principle can be extended literally for many other aspects of life: Be good and good will be done for you. Kindness begets kindness. Treat others like you would like to be treated (with the expectation that the reward will be kind and to your liking). As you sow, so you reap, …………..
The Law of Karma as described in the scriptures is more than the law of action and reaction in the world of physics. The LOK is described like this: Every action (Karma) you undertake will have consequences. The consequences may be immediate, cumulative over life time and may even be cumulative beyond this life. I can see the immediate nature of action and response. I can also comprehend their cumulative effect within this life time. To extend beyond that, we also need to believe (or accept) the Principle of Re-incarnation. The POR states that, based on the accumulated nature of your Karma, the positives and the negatives, you are born into a lower or higher species of life at the end of your current life. When the net effect of Karma is Zero (non-existent), you also reach the stage of liberation (immortality (i.e.) no birth or death or no more cycles of life). This application of LOK and POR beyond the current life, reaches into the realm of metaphysical world. I prefer to stay away from the metaphysical aspects of philosophy, reflecting my ambiguity in my mind. But, the recent events and my need to find a rationale in them require me to embrace the LOK and the POR.
Recently, I saw a TV documentary titled, Nature. It was a documentary highlighting the Victoria Falls and the natural scenery that surrounds it. There was a scene where a large eagle, with its broad wing span, was seen soaring majestically high above the ground. The Zambezi river was roaring down well below. In a moment and without notice the eagle dove straight towards the flowing water. Its focus and pin point precision was remarkable. Just like that, the eagle grabbed a good sized fish off the river water with its claws in its two legs. The eagle took off into the sky with the same swift motion as it did diving into the water. The fish was still alive wriggling and trying to find its way out of the firm claw of the eagle. Suddenly the fish was successful, slipped off the legs of the eagle and fell back into the water! The next dive by the eagle, another fish caught in its claws and this time, the fish had no chance and the eagle flew off into the skies with its prey well in its firm grip. One can merely accept both these events as acts of nature. But, is it possible that the first prey escaped since it was destined (according to its Karma) to live longer on this earth, while the second fish found its end, as destined by its Karma? May be the fish that is sure to be eaten by the eagle and its chicks has another life waiting to be pursued according to the principle of re-incarnation?
Then there was a scene where another long beaked sparrow (I am not sure of the name of the species; let us call it a sparrow) also scooped up a fish (this one much smaller than the prey for the eagle) from the river using its long beak and flew straight into its nest, where the few waiting little ones were fed sumptuously! In the next scene, there was a mongoose that quietly sneaked into the nest. One could not see, what happened inside the nest. Was there a fight for survival? Did the mongoose feel attacked? No one knows. But, according to the narrator the mongoose had found its meal for the day! The mother bird flew around the entrance to the nest clearly in panic. Its crying call brought a few more birds of the family and they were all flying around the nest, all in panic as well. But, nothing mattered. The mongoose emerged from the nest and ran away. How can the mother bird rationalize the loss of its loved one, other than as an event destined to happen, according to the LOK? Perhaps the young ones had only so little time left in this life, as they continue their cycles of life according to their Karma and the POR?
Then came the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder case. The unarmed teenager had been killed and his life on this earth cut short. The court system has prevailed and the verdict has been rendered. The person who pulled the trigger, the admitted killer, the defendant has been declared not guilty. Was there a fight for survival between Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman and what was the nature of the fight? No one will really know, just as the case of the chicks and the mongoose. The mongoose cannot speak and Mr. Zimmerman, the defendant has spoken through his attorneys. The chicks and Mr. Trayvon Martin, both cannot speak and both have their life ended much too soon on earth. I am very troubled and unable to accept the verdict. To accept the untimely death of Mr. Martin, I am left with no rational explanation, other than as the effect of the Law of Karma. Perhaps Trayvon was born on this earth to live only for a short period and yet expose our racial and economic prejudices and the inequities in our justice system, however equitable they may seem on the surface? Having discharged his duty, perhaps Mr. Martin has moved on to a higher life in his cycles of life through the Principle of Reincarnation? The grief, pain and suffering of the parents of Mr. Trayvon Martin must be deep. The only way one can offer any glimmer of hope for these parents is through recourse to the LOK and the POR. Otherwise, I do not have any other explanation that can even remotely address the depth of their grief and offer any hope from this tragedy.
As for Mr. Zimmerman, maybe the Law of Karma will catch up with him in this life or in his future life? Since he had killed the young Trayvon intentionally, whatever the reason, by that act alone, he would have acquired immeasurably large negative Karma. The eagle, the sparrow and the mongoose, all kill other living objects merely for their food. The basic tenet of any human being requires saving life and not killing them. If Mr. Zimmerman had killed Trayvon intentionally and in a manner that violates the basic tenets of human beings, his negative Karma will pursue him for a long time. After all nobody is immune from the Laws of Karma or the Principle of Reincarnation – not the fish, eagle, the sparrow, the chicks, the mongoose or Mr. Martin and yes also not Mr. Zimmerman.