Ramesh Balsekar on Karma

Ramesh explained his concept of Karma in the book ‘Sin and Guilt – monstrosity of mind‘. His ideas on Karma are a logical extrapolation of his basic tenet that there is no personal doership. His chain of reasoning about Karma (which I fully agree with), put briefly, is:

1) He first points out that if all actions are caused by the Divine, rather than individuals, and when thus all events in space and time are the will of the Divine, then the order of cause and effect is not a one-way affair. Rather it is a codependence: A causes B, but for B, the will of the Divine, to be able to happen A must also happen, so in that sense B also causes A. All events are just a huge web of interdependence.

2) Personal Karma could only exist if there would be a personal ‘free will’, which according to the tenet of ‘no personal doership’ there is not. Karma says you reap what you sow; but both historically and in personal experience we see that all too often someone sows and someone else reaps (e.g. an innocent person found guilty); or someone reaps who has not sown anything (e.g. born wealthy, or won the lottery).

3) The theory of Karma, already looking questionable, then proceeds from one life to the next incarnation of that ‘soul’. This allows the theory to explain away our observations in step (2) as ‘it was due to his or her past lives’. But this assertion would require the assumption of personal reincarnation, which Buddha, Dalai Lama and all mainstream Advaita teachers have negated. See my book articles ‘On reincarnation, karma and soap bubbles’ and ‘Take two on reincarnation’.

4) Finally Ramesh again quotes Buddha: Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof. He reiterates that the ego-doer is merely a fiction, and free will an illusion, that there truly is no Robert to suffer because of bad actions by some William. And that we mind-energy-body organisms, created objects within the Manifestation, cannot possibly know the mind, the intentions, of the Creator: Scientists may be able to create conditions like those immediately after the ‘Big Bang’, but could they ever create conditions like those which caused the ‘Big Bang’?!

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