Understanding Karmic Law : Not an eye for an eye!

This blog posts main goal is to simplify a somewhat complex  and mis-understood Karmic law.  The system of Karma, gives us a greater insight into the workings of freewill and fate, and therefore give us an understanding of pre-determination and fortune. The Guru Granth Sahib says, “According to one’s desires, one’s condition is determined” (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, p.1342), and “That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done by one’s own free will” (Guru Angad Dev Ji, p.787).

Karmic - factos

This hymn shows that pre-determination of a person’s destiny comes from what the desires of the mind are, which may be good or bad. The hymn also shows us that good deeds can only be free, otherwise they could not be called good. A further clarification of this comes from Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Master who says, “According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.” Therefore, whether someone is destined to attain God-consciousness is a question of them desiring God instead of worldly attachment, and sowing the seeds of good actions, which has consequences of reaping good fruits.

Key actualities:

  • Karmic law is not the same as Newton’s Law (Physics)
    • Not like Eye for an Eye
    • Or Action & reaction
  • Governed by Divine Intelligence –  Atma in its journey to become Parmatma
  • It’s key focus in expanding ones consciousness and spiritual existence
    • Divine design to help shape and evolve your spiritual journey
  • Judgement is stored in the Subconscious mind and dispensed based on intent of actions

Every person is guided by divine intelligence who inevitably directs your spiritual evolution through Karmic justice to mould your state into a an expanding consciousness.

In Sikh doctrine, atma is considered to be of the nature of pure resplendent consciousness : “man turi joti sarupu hai apna mulu pachhanu” :  0 my Self ! you are of the nature of light; do recognize your origin (GG, 441). `Light` here signifies consciousness.


The spiritual evolution is dished out by your  atma based on your Good or Bad (sanskara) impressions. This is not like the blind law of physics:blindlaw

  • Its not based on Scientific mechanical principals
  • Blind law has no intelligence
  • Has no capacity to judge
  • Is unable to analyse and adjust responses
  • All laws of Matter are Blind Laws (Equal and opposite reaction)
  • Does not robotically hand out punishment and reward i.e.:
    • Eye for a eye
    • Tooth for a tooth
    • I steal something and someone will steel from me
    • I kill in this life and therefore will be killed in the next lift
    • I give £10 to charity and the universe will compensate me £10 back in the future
  • This is not KARMIC LAW whose job is merely enforce a debit-credit style of accounting of deeds like a balance sheet.

If we consider the manner in which Karmic Justice unfolds with a simple example :

Whilst playing Joe mistakenly hits a passer-by in the head whilst playing football.

footballkarmic law

Joe’s carelessness will leave a subtle impression (Sanskara) in his mind. We subconsciously draw a conclusion which is stored in the sub-conscience mind.


In this scenario the conscious mind tracks the outer sensory elements of the mind, all things that are tied to your identity that make Joe (Ego). Whilst the sub-conscience mind stores all past to present life impressions (Sanskaras) that are good or bad.


Your Atma (Soul/ Divine intelligence) is :

  • Constant and uninterrupted witness to all deeds
  • Privy to innermost thoughts, feelings and intentions
  • Our own soul judges our deeds
  • Our Atma / Soul decides karmic reward/punishment

The divine intelligence engages good and bad impressions (Sanskaras) made in your sub-conscience mind. In general Good impressions help reduce your ego and lift the vale on ignorance and expand your spiritual journey. Whereas Bad impressions increase your EGO and your karmic debt, hence delaying your spiritual evolution.

The Atma (Divine intelligence) takes these impressions and maps out a journey that shapes your spiritualism. When people say bad or good things are happening to me your Atma (Divine Intelligence is using these experiences to help form your spiritual character. In essence the divine intelligence (Atma) is fuelling your spiritual development as mentor that designs a route to help form you to your higher self.

  • The atma (Soul) determines the amount of punishment required to be imposed to erase the deposit of bad sanskaras (Impressions) in the subconscious mind
  • Soul weights the severity of action by taking into account circumstances, feelings & intention
  • Then decides the magnitude and duration of punishment to enforce.
  • Depending on what the atma (Soul/divine intelligence) judges there will be 2 paths to severity depending on weak or Strong

Extract from Jap ji Sahib (Sikh daily Prayer (Nitnem))


Why does reducing ego help

The word “ego” is often equated with “false self”, that image of yourself created by yourself, which you accept as your permanent core, and which you serve as if it truly has an objective existence. In many religions, this ego is seen as the core of ignorance. It is accepted as the root cause of most of our delusions and suffering.

How do you get rid of this ego, this false sense of self, which can control your actions so extensively? Maybe I should have first asked if it is at all possible to eliminate something which seems to be such an inherent part of the human being. Is human life without some kind of ego possible? This question may be irrelevant, because being totally without an ego is an extreme condition that hardly exists. A better formulation is probably to ask if a reduction of the ego will be beneficial to your spiritual development.

Some useful tips on how to reduce ego

• Rather than teaching others, learn from them.
• By remaining in a state ‘I do not know anything’ the ego reduces. Such a state helps us to be in learning mode as one feels like asking God / others before doing something.
• Offering the doer ship of all actions to God helps in reducing ego.
• Should not have thoughts like an action or seva (service) is done because ‘I did it’. Doing your actions without expectation helps to reduce Ego.
• As devotion increases, the ego reduces.
• Observe the merits in others and the ego reduces automatically.
• The thought “I do not have ego”, also creates an ego at a subtle level.
• By serving others, you can reduce ego.
• Offering, expressing gratitude and praying reduces ego.
• Reducing selfishness at the Physical, Speech, Mental level, reduces ego.
• Reduction in awareness of the physical body reduces ego.
• The reduction in defects in us reduces ego.
• Not having reactions, not interfering, not complaining reduces ego.
• Comparison with the vastness of the universe reduces ego.
• As the attitude to listen increases, the ego reduces.
• Be compassionate
• Don’t be afraid to pay the price

The reward for wrestling the ego is tremendous. It has been given many names: Enlightenment, Bodhi, Satori, Nirvana, Heaven. The reward is peace and equanimity, and tremendous infinite spiritually expansion.

Yet the lure of reward carries its own dangers. If you should for one moment work to reduce your ego for the sake of personal reward, you will pervert everything you have set out to do, for you will then be serving none other than the very ego you are supposed to destroy. You will have fallen for the most cunning disguise of the ego – that of a permanent “soul” which you have to serve so that it can get all kinds of “spiritual” rewards, like an eternal life in heaven.

Many who “dedicate their lives” to truth or a cause or religion in fact work for their own rewards. You recognize them easily by their inflated egos, and their ignorance of their own self-righteousness, arrogance and vanity.

“ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ” (Mani jeetai jagu jeetu, sggs 6) are very popular and often quoted words from the Gurbani, which essentially indicates that if you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world.

Why is it necessary to conquer the instinctive mind and realize Mool? The worldly (Mayaic, conditioned…) mind is clever at counting, but worse at paying attention to what really counts!! The Gurbani tells us:

  • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without subduing the mind, Bhagti cannot be practiced (sggs 1277).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can “Hari” (Mool, Source…) be realized? (sggs 665).
  • ਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਰੈ ॥: Naa manu marai na Maya marai (sggs 1342).

However, the Gurbani declares that a very “rare” one (the Gurmukh, Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) knows how to conquer or annihilate the deluded mind:

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind (sggs 665).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧੦॥੧॥: Nanak gurmukhi boojhai ko sabadu veechaari (sggs 842).


Your thoughts, intent and actions lead to impact on your karmic account. The Atma (Divine inteligence ) shapes the vessell to a spiritual form, where it creates ‘experiences’ based on your karmic actions which are stored in your sub-conscience mind.   These karmic actions recorded and diminished as you address the balance through your journey.

The body is the field of karma in this age; whatever you plant, you shall harvest.(SGGS p78) and By the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.(SGGS p2)

The karmic response is never an eye for an eye action. The atma always offers offers room for correction of mistakes. The re-occurance of same actions tend to hold strong bad sanskara.

The Atma’s role is to develop in you higher divine degrees of tolerance, empathy, love and forgiveness. With a view to obtaining and expanding your conscienceless.  The atama will pull you into situations to develop key qualities to help you develop higher.

If Joe kicked the football with no intent to hit a pedestrian and took every caution then Joe will receive a weak impression with no karmic punishment, unless Joe repeats the same mistake which will mean a stronger impression will remain and will be given an opportunity to have room for correction of mistakes.

Key takeaways

  • Working of law of karma is complex
  • Entire process of karmic justice takes place subconsciously and conscience mind is not aware of it
  • Not a blind law like science
  • Is governed and guided by an underlining divine intelligence which accurately analyses the circumstances feelings and intentions which drove a persons actions and only then charts out an appropriate karmic response.
  • The divine intelligence that is our own soul, atma, the constant and uninterrupted witness to all our actions good and bad.
  • It is our own soul that judges our deeds.
  • The soul uses the law of karma to guide us to spiritual attainment or mukti.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image