What do you have to say about the law of karma?
I have very little to say about it – but it will still take two and a half hours!
The law of karma, in the first place, is not a law. That word gives it an aroma as if it is something scientific, like the law of gravitation. It is merely a hope, not a law at all.
It has been hoped for centuries that if you do good you will attain to good results. It is a human hope in existence which is absolutely neutral. If you look at nature, there are laws – the whole of science is nothing but discovery of those laws – but science has not come even close to detecting anything like the law of karma. Yes, it is certain that any action is going to bring certain reactions, but the law of karma is hoping for much more.
If you simply say any action is bound to produce some reactions, it is possible to have scientific support for it. But man is hoping for much more. He is asking that a good action inevitably brings a good consequence with it, and the same with a bad action. Now, there are many things implied in this.
First, What is good?
Each society defines good according to itself.
What is good to a Jew is not good to a Jaina; what is good to a Christian is not good to a Confucian. Not only that, what is good in one culture is bad in another culture.
A law has to be universal. For example, if you heat water to one hundred degrees centigrade, it will evaporate – in Tibet, in Russia, in America, even in Oregon. In Oregon it will be a little puzzled, but all the same at one hundred degrees water will evaporate.
A law has to be universal if it is a scientific law. If it is a law created by people themselves, by creating a constitution, a legal system, then it is nothing to do with science and nothing to do with existence. Then it is applicable only within the society that creates it. It is arbitrary, artificial. You can change it – and laws do go on changing. Something that was legal yesterday is illegal today; what is illegal today, tomorrow may become legal. These are man-made laws.