2

Good karma yields positive results, while bad karma leads to negative outcomes. Consequently, our experiences are shaped by our karma, prompting curiosity about the role of God in this process.

  1. Can a person solely concentrate on cultivating good karma while disregarding God?

  2. If the response to the 1st question is "NO," then what is the connection between karma, God, and the resulting consequences?

  3. Why doesn't God force or motivate everyone to engage solely in good karma?

1
  • You don't really need god if you find the laws of Karma self-evident. This is why Ashtavakra Gita and Advaita Vedanta exist.
    – user29449
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 5:00

5 Answers 5

1

The role of GOD is to be the judge and the jury of your karma.

0

Thought provoking 3 questions:

   ACTIONS LEAD TO BONDAGE

There is an indirect answer only: Kriyaa is seen good by more persons, the same kriyaa is seen bad by some more persons. There are lots of examples in world.

Kriyaa s lead to Karma ending in good or bad either as convincing/against Supreme governing souls (PARAMAATMAA).

        WAVERING MIND

Those with wavering mind turn dictators(may be of any religion/community), try by their actions to overpower others by force or repetitive or noisy torture cannot realise God. For them God is of no use.

   FOLLOWERS OF VARNAASHRAMAA

Hence, to surrender our Karmas to God irrespective of bad or good(based on people groups), God is required. If Karma is good God accepts our souls. If Karma is bad one has to repeat life stories till he/she reaches liberation. These are called cycles of testimony in an ocean: SAMSAARA SAAGARA which is far better than DEMONAIC HELL & BHOOTA LOKAA.

0

There are certain schools of philosophy that exist within Hinduism that refute the idea of eternal, self-caused, creator God.

For example certain samakhya school philosophers propounded following arguments:

  1. If the existence of karma is assumed, the proposition of God as a moral governor of the universe is unnecessary. For, if God enforces the consequences of actions then he can do so without karma. If however, he is assumed to be within the law of karma, then karma itself would be the giver of consequences and there would be no need of a God.

  2. Even if karma is denied, God still cannot be the enforcer of consequences. Because the motives of an enforcer God would be either egoistic or altruistic. Now, God's motives cannot be assumed to be altruistic because an altruistic God would not create a world so full of suffering. If his motives are assumed to be egoistic, then God must be thought to have desire, as agency or authority cannot be established in the absence of desire. However, assuming that God has desire would contradict God's eternal freedom which necessitates no compulsion in actions. Moreover, desire, according to Samkhya, is an attribute of prakṛti and cannot be thought to grow in God. The testimony of the Vedas, according to Samkhya, also confirms this notion.

  3. Despite arguments to the contrary, if God is still assumed to contain unfulfilled desires, this would cause him to suffer pain and other similar human experiences. Such a worldly God would be no better than Samkhya's notion of higher self.

  4. Furthermore, there is no proof of the existence of God. He is not the object of perception, there exists no general proposition that can prove him by inference and the testimony of the Vedas speaks of prakṛti as the origin of the world, not God.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya#:~:text=If%20the%20existence,world%2C%20not%20God.

A lot of texts on Samakhya philosophy - such as Yoga Sutras of Patanjali do refer to the Ishvara, but they don't mean them in terms of the dualistic philosophy of someone who is a great being - creator, organizer, or destroyer. Rather, they see them as an abstract representation of someone (a special Purusha!) who is a supreme ruler (or enforcer of karma), untouched by misery, actions and desires (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: 1.24).

The end goal of Purusha is being realized as self (Samakhya Philosophy uses Purusha-Prakriti for such), hence Ishvara being realized as self.


In contrast, Adi Shankara's Advaitic philosophy has different views on this. They believe Ishvara is an enforcer of the laws of karma.

Karma is insentient and short-lived, and cannot therefore be expected to bestow the fruits of actions at a future time according to one’s deserts. We do not see any insentient thing bestow fruits on those who worship it. Therefore it is only from the Lord, who is worshipped through actions, that their results proceed.

This is clear from Shankara's commentary of Brahma Sutras III.2, 38, 41.


In contrast to all the above, certain Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta of pre-Shankara's era, do NOT believe in laws of karma. Breaking the bondage of karma is termed as: liberation or nirvana.

For laws of Karma to exist - good karma, as well as bad karma must also exist or there must be a distinction, so as to prove/disprove them.

Right and wrong, pleasure and pain, exist in mind only. They are not your concern. You neither do nor enjoy. You are free.

~ Ashtavakra Gita 1.6

They further deny the existence of prarabdha karma which is considered most inescapable [karma from previous birth, yielding fruits in this birth].

28-29(a). So when he knows the eternal substratum of everything and all the universe becomes (therefore) void (to him), where then is Prarabdha to him, the body being a part of the world ? Therefore the word Prarabdha is accepted to enlighten the ignorant (only).

~ Nada Bindu Upanishad

Where is the unfolding of karma? Where is liberation in life, or even liberation at death? There is only One.

~ Ashtavakra Gita (20.4)


In dualistic schools of thought, God or Ishvara is thought of as a supreme being who is the cause of Maya and also the dispenser of fruits of action, also the one who maintains the law of karma.

The ultimate goal of dualistic schools is to get over the effects of the material world and karma (both good and bad), by focusing their bhakti on Ishvara or God, hence breaking the laws of karma for them and bringing liberation. Apart from that, Ishvara is also known to reduce the intensity of karma when a devotee is absorbed in bhakti. This is evident from:

BG 3.9: Work must be done as a yajna to the Supreme Lord; otherwise, work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, for the satisfaction of God, perform your prescribed duties, without being attached to the results.

~ Bhagavad Gita (3.9) The bhakti to Ishvara, helps the devotee to cease bondage to the material world and, hence get liberated from the material world.


In other schools of philosophy like - Jainism and Buddhism too accept laws of karma evident at multiple places without having Ishvara or God.

0

Can a person solely concentrate on cultivating good karma while disregarding God?

If a person is not interested in moksha then yes he can solely concentrate on good karma.

Karma can lead only to impermanent realm

One should understand that all the heavenly realms attained hereafter as a result of Karma performed now, are likewise impermanent. These heavenly regions are all relative like the principalities of petty chieftains, equalled by many and excelled by others, and all are liable to destruction alike in the end.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana XI.3.20

If the response to the 1st question is "NO," then what is the connection between karma, God, and the resulting consequences?

The response is 'yes' for a person who is not interested in moksha. The response is 'no' for a person interested in moksha. Moksha needs purification of heart.

Mind causes both bondage and liberation

It is the view of wise men that the mind is the cause of both the bondage and liberation of embodied beings. If the mind is attached to the gunas of Prakriti and their products, it leads to bondage; but when it begins to feel delight and attraction for the Lord (Purusha), it leads to liberation. When the mind is freed from the impurities of lust and greed generated by the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, it attains to purity and rests in equanimity, being unaffected by pleasure or pain. Then the Jiva, endowed with knowledge, renunciation and devotion, experiences in truth the Supreme Spirit transcending Nature (Prakriti) – Kevala (untouched by anything), eternal, self-effulgent, subtle, indivisible and unconcerned – as well as Prakriti with all its binding power destroyed.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana III.25.15-18

Yoga practiced to purify the mind

For the attainment of mental purity, spiritual aspirants (Yogins) perform action devoid of attachment, with their body, mind, intellect or even merely with the senses.

Gita 5.11

A person who wants purification of heart can take help of God by practicing Bhakti Yoga or try to follow the path of vichar or self-enquiry by following the path of Jnana Yoga.

Why doesn't God force or motivate everyone to engage solely in good karma?

God doesn't normally interfere in the events of the universe.

The Lord does not normally interfere in the working of the universe although it is run by His power

At the end of a cosmic cycle, O son of Kunti! All beings resolve into Nature (Prakrti), which is My own, and at the beginning of a new one (after the period of dissolution or Pralaya is over), I bring them out again.

Gita 9.7

Resorting to Prakrti, Nature, which is My own Power, I send forth again and again this multitude of beings that are without any freedom, owing to Nature’s sway over them.

Gita 9.8

These activities do not in any way bind Me, because I remain detached like one unconcerned in their midst.

Gita 9.9

Under My direction and control, Nature brings out this mighty universe of living and non-living beings. Thus does the wheel of this world revolve.

Gita 9.10

3
  • Can you please references to : "f a person is not interested in moksha then yes he can solely concentrate on good karma."
    – user29449
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 5:54
  • 1
    I have already given the Bhagavata Purana reference that says that Karma leads to impermanent realm (and not moksha). Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 7:03
  • Okay, the error was on my side. I misread the quotes with bold ones and thought it wasn't with citations. The answer seems complete and I'm reversing the vote. Sorry.
    – user29449
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 7:13
0

God has no hand in giving you the results of your good and bad Karma. If you are a Bhakti oriented person, you want to do good Karma and offer it to God. You should do that, not to please God, but to do Niskam Marmayoga (meaning - Karma that joins you to God). If you are a Gyan oriented Hindu, you do not need belief in any God.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .