Third law of Motion and Karma Theory

Contributed by M K Subramanian

We have already dealt with first two Laws of Motion and related those to Karma theory. We have also interpreted them with stories from Purana. Now let us turn to the Third Law. The Law states

“To Every action there is equal and opposite reaction”.

At the outset one may shudder at the thought: “Will all ‘good’ actions result in ‘bad’ results?” No. That’s not what it means. ‘Reaction’ is not ‘Result’. ‘Reaction signifies ‘resistance’. So the import of the Law is: One may have to encounter and overcome great deal of ‘resistance before eventual ‘good’ results.

A jet plane has to overcome Velocity of the wind blowing against it for a smooth take off!

Critical Mass is a socio-dynamic term to describe the existence of sufficient momentum in a social system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth. Illustratively, Mahatma Gandhi must have been mentally prepared for the humiliating experience of being thrown out the train in South Africa in the initial days of protest against the British discrimination against the black. When more people joined him, his movement gained momentum. Once the critical Mass was attained the momentum became self-sustaining, The Britishers were, eventually, thrown out of our country! So there is a great deal of hardship to be confronted/suffered before the attainment of the Critical Mass.

In relation to Karma theory, as applicable to an individual, we have already said ‘Mass’ represents that portion of the past ‘Karma’, which has not fructified. They generate ‘Swabhava’ or innate tendencies. [If a person succumbs to them he would be affected by ‘Fate’.] These tendencies resist change of attitude and prevent a person from taking positive action to overcome ‘Fate’. Two things are required to reach the desired destination. Firstly, the person must be willingness to ‘change’. This we shall call ‘attitudinal change’. Secondly, the person must carry enough force of conviction and make tireless effort to defeat and obliterate all impediments that may come his way. Then that person will overcome ‘Fate’ to realize his ‘Destiny’!

Harishchandra was a well known ruler who is remembered for upholding ‘Truth’. He is not famous because every other person in his country was a liar! He is remembered because he had the courage of conviction to uphold Truth despite dire consequence. As detailed in the story, he lost his kingdom, wife and was not even able to cremate his dead son. A single utterance of falsehood would have saved him from suffering the terrible series of hardships. But he stoically and patiently endured them. Sage Vishwamithra was putting Harishchandra’s conviction to test by deliberately causing terrible encounters in his life. He also allured Harishchandra with tempting offers. He could have regained the kingdom by uttering a lie. But he stuck to truth. It must have been difficult, initially, for Harishchandra also. But when sufficient momentum was gained by his firm resolve to adhere to his stated position on truth, it gave him requisite strength to bear all upheavals. Then the critical mass so attained turned the tides. Vishwamithra was stifled. Vishwamithra gave up his evil design to persecute Harishchandra! [For good order it must be said that Vishvamithra’s action was only to make known the greatness of Harishchandra and not for any personal gains]

Harischandra regained his kingdom, wife and also the son who he thought was dead. All the past agonies suffered looked like mere delusions. By his own actions (Karma) and stoic adherence to Truth Harishchandra trampled over his ‘Fate’ to realize his ‘Destiny’.
This is a series of Articles on Hindu karma Theory by M K Subramanian. Refer [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][UR Here][10]

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