Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Oct 15 08:34:41 CDT 2001

On Thu, 11 Oct 2001, Prasad Balasubramanian wrote:

> Namasthe,
> In a bad deed done to one by the other - Does the Karma count of the first
> (whos doing the bad deed) increase   always  (because hes doing a bad deed)
> OR His (bad) Karma count does not go up as  He is doing what hes supposed to
> do (in return to Purva Jenma Karma equation between these two had to be
> solved) ?  How do we know whose count is going up or coming down ? Is there
> any standard way with which we can find this out ?

Karma is defined as any kind of intentional action.  (Thus things like
blinking, sleeping etc which are instinctual do not count.)  From the
viewpoint of Advaita Vedanta, all karma is bad because it requires
duality, the notion that "I am the doer."  The goal of Advaita Vedanta is
Naishkarmya or non-action which is achieved by vairagya etc.  As a
pragmatic consideration, Advaita Vedanta realizes that not everyone can
immediately take sannyasa and for such people some karma is necessary.  In
that sense only, it is possible to talk about good and bad karma.  we can
say an action is good if it helps towards the goal of reducing karma.

In your example, the person who is doing the bad deed cannot use the
excuse "I am supposed to do it."  Karma involves intention and that is
fully under ones control.  Even Asuras like Bali and Prahlad are counted
amongst the greatest bhaktas of the Lord despite living in the depths of
Hell.  Our past lives give certain dispositions yes, but our viveka shakti
gives us the power to break free.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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