Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 24 Jun 2019


How can we say that the karma cycle maintains justice when even innocent infants get abused?

Smt. Bindiya asked: Recently, it was reported that a two-year-old girl was raped. It is impossible for that child to have committed any sin. Yet the child was subjected to suffering. Do such incidents not indicate the failure of the divine administration in maintaining justice? If the child suffered as a result of her sin of the past birth, why was she not punished in hell, before being born on Earth? Punishing her on Earth when she is undoubtedly innocent in this birth, unnecessarily causes people to doubt God's divine administration.

Swami replied: I have explained many times that our observations are always limited and that we lack the knowledge of the total background. When we see a criminal being punished by hanging him to death, we pity the criminal. We feel that the jailor is cruel to execute such a horrible punishment to the criminal. The criminal also acts very very innocent before his hanging, which makes us emotional and sympathetic towards the criminal. We feel like criticizing the administration established on the basis of the constitution. Had you seen that criminal earlier while committing the crimes, you would have killed him right then and there!

It is not a strict rule that all the sins of a soul must be punished only in hell. A separate jail does exist, where convicted criminals are punished as per the order of the court. But it does not mean that there is no prison-like lockup room in the police station itself. A criminal can certainly be held there for a day based on the decision of the police officer before presenting the case to the court. There are certain sins, which can only be punished on Earth in the soul’s next birth. The animal slaughtered by the butcher thinks in its last moments that the butcher should be born as an animal and that it should be born as a butcher in the next birth. This is stated in the scripture as “Maam sah Yathaa…”, which means “As I am being killed by him, so should I kill him in the next birth”. Meat is known as maamsa (maam sah) in Sanskrit, which conveys this idea. The punishment for the sin of killing innocent animals for food, thus, requires the souls to be reborn on Earth. Intense sins and merits yield their corresponding fruits on Earth in this birth itself, as early as possible.

Sometimes, God draws a punishment that the soul was supposed to receive in a future birth and brings it into the present birth. God does this when there is an urgent need to accelerate the process of reformation of a certain soul. It is just like a doctor suddenly making changes to the schedule and doses of medicines to be given to a patient depending on patient’s condition. The baby looks innocent to your eyes, but it has memories of its past sins in its subconscious. The suffering experienced by the soul during its punishment leads, of course, only to a temporary realization.

Note that every sin committed in this world before our eyes does not necessarily have a background of some past birth. In other words, the crime committed by a criminal against a victim in this birth, does not necessarily mean that it is a retaliation of a similar crime committed by the present victim against the present criminal, in some past birth. We need not support the criminal saying that he is, after all, maintaining justice in God’s administration. But whenever a sin occurs, there is a possibility that it might have had a background. It might have been the retaliation of a sin previously committed by the present victim against the present sinner. If the sin is of that type, the sinner escapes punishment on Earth in spite of the most hectic efforts by the victim and the police. Seeing criminals escape in this manner, we immediately criticize God as a bad administrator since we do not realize that the crime was actually a retaliatory crime. Some people even go to the extent of saying that there is no God. But as said before, every crime need not be a retaliatory crime. Only after all our efforts to punish the sinner have failed, are we forced to come to such a conclusion.

Apart from retaliatory sins, we also have fresh sins that are committed which do not have any background from previous births. After all, even the retaliatory crime was a fresh sin in the previous birth. The fresh sin will certainly be punished by God even without any effort from your side. But you must be patient since God gives some time to the sinner to reform. During this time, the sinner is expected to realize, repent and not repeat the sin. The omnipotent God will compensate you for your loss if you patiently give your violator this time to reform. But if you get too emotional in this time interval and criticize your violator and God, your compensation will be withdrawn. In fact, you will unnecessarily have to face punishment for your impatient reaction. Always believe that God is the most excellent administrator. Have patience and remember to leave the revenge to God. His administration will certainly punish the sinner as required. Never take the law in to your hands directly. Never even provoke others to punish your enemy.

Your husband is an advocate and argues on behalf of his clients. I think, he is your client here and hence, you are arguing on his behalf. So you are the advocate of an advocate!