[Advaita-l] Why karma phala-s are not instantaneous

Greg Goode goode at dpw.com
Tue Aug 26 07:45:51 CDT 2003


Providing a satisfying answer to a question often depends on ascertaining the hidden assumptions or objections behind the question.  Since I don't know either one in the case of your friend, I can suggest this:

Reductio ad absurdum - if the fruits of the karma were instantaneous, they would be absolutely simultaneous with the act itself.  And it would make no sense that this were the fruit of the act.  That's incoherent.  Even one millisecond of lag time beyond the act, there's already *not* instantaneity.  So what your friend is actually asking for is a *shorter* time lag between the act and its fruit.  That's like asking for more money.

Your friend's question also assumes that he is 100% successfully able to pick out the particular fruits of a particular action.  That's quite presumptuous, and sort of a slot-machine view of the workings of karma.  Is he willing to read more in the matter?

Hari OM!


At 01:07 PM 8/26/2003 +0100, bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:

>praNAm prabhujis
>Hare Krishna
>This is a question asked by my friend.  I request help from learned members
>of this group.
>why one has to *wait* to reap the fruit of his karma no
>matter it is good or bad!!!  For example, if someone cuts another's hand,
>he should be punished *immediately* according to karma phala nyAya.  One
>should not wait many janmAs or many years to reap the fruit of his *pApa /
>kArya-s*.  If the karma phala is immediate, my friend thinks there will be
>crimes, no cheating in the world due to *fear* of instant *shocks* &
>*returns* from the karma being carried out.  In addition, why one has to
>carry prarabda karma & suffer coz. of it in subsequent janma-s, when swarga
>& naraka are there to exhaust our punya/paapa karya phala.
>I tried to answer him through prarabda karma, sanchita karma theories etc.
>I've given him example that even a plant takes its own time to grow, we
>cannot expect result immediately etc. Since he is not an atheist, finally I
>had to take shelter under bhagavad iccha / leela etc.  I could not answer
>his questions convincingly from his level of understanding.  I donot want
>to drag him to the advaita zone with loukika & pAramArtika views :-))
>Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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