We may forget gravity, but gravity won’t forget us
Suppose an intoxicated person forgets about gravity and steps off a ten-story building. Gravity won’t forget them; it will act and put them out of action.
Just as the law of gravity is universal and inexorable, so are various other laws that govern the behavior of matter and the interaction of material objects. Indeed, science has discovered that laws govern the universe at every level from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Yet we think, unscientifically, that consciousness is an exception to the scientifically-demonstrated, law-abiding nature of nature. We think that actions of conscious beings – our own actions – are exempt from any accountability except for whatever moral standards we decide individually or legal standards we decide collectively.
Gita wisdom stresses that such conceptions of moral relativism are hallucinatory. Our actions are governed by stringent laws known as the laws of karma. Whatever goes around does come around; we all have to incur the consequences of our actions.
What about people who seem to enjoy immoral indulgences? They are foolhardy, like falling people who don’t look at the ground towards which they are crashing, Even if they feel thrilled at their rapid descent through the air, their thrill will last only till they hit the ground.
What about people who seem to not be getting any consequences? They are like people who have risen to great height, that is, they have done a lot of good karma. Despite their present immoral actions, they may not hit the ground for quite some time. But hit they will, in due course. And when they hit, it won’t be a pretty sight. The Bhagavad-gita (16.07) characterizes as demonic those who decide their dos and don’ts without considering consequences.
Understanding that karma won’t forget us even if we forget karma, we can choose our actions carefully.
Think it over:
- How are we unscientific in thinking about the accountability of our actions?
- How are people enjoying immoral pleasures foolhardy?
- How do some immoral people enjoy immorally without getting any consequences?
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