Law of Action and Reaction
In Jap Ji: A Perspective the author says:
When God fashioned the creation, he also established a universal system of laws to govern it. It is here that Guru Nanak explains the most important aspect of this system. He says that both righteous and sinful actions, both good and bad deeds, are not mere figments of the imagination but rather are a concrete reality.
In this world of actions and consequences, nothing happens without cause or without reason; nothing comes about by accident or coincidence. Whatever takes place here is either the consequence of a previous action or is a new action which will bring forth a new consequence. The creation is the land of absolute justice, absolute fairness. Except for the consequence of a committed action, there can neither be an award bestowed nor a punishment given. If we do not know the cause of an outcome, it does not mean that the outcome is without reason. Whatever actions an individual commits are imprinted on the mind. They remain with the individual forever. To face the consequences of his actions, an individual has to return to the creation time and time again, and thus remain tied to the wheel of transmigration.
The higher the distance from which a person falls the greater the impact. This law will not change because of a person’s ignorance. One is bound to get hurt whether one jumps from a ten-story building intentionally or falls from that height accidentally. Similarly, one has to face the consequences of an action; it is immaterial whether the action is committed consciously or unconsciously. When Guru Nanak states, “On reaching there, O Nanak, all is revealed,” he explains that those who do not believe in this law of action and consequence find out the truth when they reach the court of the lord of justice. Guru Nanak cautions us that non-belief in the law of action and consequence does not give one a reprieve from it. The universal laws apply equally and consistently to every individual. He says:
Intemperate pleasures result in pain;
over-indulgence leads to disease and ultimate decay.
Without end is the suffering caused by such pleasures,
and without submission to God’s will
one must keep revolving in transmigration.
In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Maharaj Charan Singh says more on this subject in response to a question from a disciple about clearing karmas:
How do we account for our karmas? All karmas have association with the mind, and the mind is slave of the senses, so, being slave of the senses, it collects dross. The soul has already taken the company of the mind. So all these karmas have become the master. The soul has become the slave, and the slave has no option but to dance to the tune of the master. Due to these karmas, which have become our master, the soul dances from one flesh to another, from one body to another. Unless the soul becomes master in the house, it cannot get free from the clutches of the mind and become one with the Father. Since the mind is fond of pleasure, unless the mind gets better pleasure than the sensual pleasures, the mind refuses to leave the sensual pleasures. And that better pleasure the Lord has kept within every one of us at the eye centre, which has been referred to by different mystics by different names, as you all know.
So unless we withdraw the mind to the eye centre and it comes in touch with that divine melody within and we taste that nectar, that better pleasure within, the mind refuses to leave the senses. With that better pleasure, with the taste of that nectar, slowly and slowly the mind starts leaving all the sensual pleasures and has its direction towards its own origin, that is, Trikuti. When the mind reaches Trikuti, the soul automatically gets release from the mind. The knot between soul and mind has been untied. Now the soul is whole; the soul is free; the soul shines. Now the soul is no longer under the sway of the mind. Now soul is the master, and the mind has become the slave.
You can say you have burnt all the karmas, you have destroyed all the karmas, or you have risen above the karmas. You can use any phrase. It is immaterial. You have accounted for all the karmas, Caesar has been given his due. But until the soul leaves the mind, our karmic account is not cleared at all. Only then does the soul shine and merge back into the Lord. So this process helps us to untie this knot of soul and mind.