“Ille Draw Ille Bahumana” (Instant Draw, Immediate Prize) shouted a street gambler. Yes, the betting is such game that one can place the stakes and win or lose in an instant. Many ask why is Karma not so? Why one has to wait for the next birth to experience the fruit of those karmas done now.
I am not an expert in Karma Siddhanta, but I can say I am a sincere student trying to comprehend the intricacies of Karma. As far as I understand Karma which we do now is called Agami Karma (Action yet to fructify) and a part of it is Kriyamana Karma. This Kriyamana Karma is somewhat similar to that instant draw immediate prize gamble. Say for instant, in a street brawl if one person hits another person, that person hits him back and the account is settled.
Every action is not so, just like different seeds take different time duration to sprout the actions yield results in a similar way. Every action that we do is like a seed sown. A few grains harvest after two or three months while some fruit seeds produce fruits after twenty years and some seeds may even take hundred years to fructify. One thing is for sure that the seed will fructify and we cannot escape the result.
One may say, “I don’t want this fruit, I don’t like it.” But inevitably he has to relish be it sweet, bitter or sour. The seed of a sweet fruit will produce a sweet fruit to relish, a seed of bitter fruit will produce a bitter fruit and a seed of sour fruit will give a sour fruit, this is law of nature. A good karma yield sweet karma phala while evil karma harvests a bitter karma phala. But one thing is certain the different types of karma seed have different time durations after which they fructify.
Why do different actions stretch reactions for different time durations???
This mechanism of Karma is very well explained in an incidence in Mahabharata:
The deadly war comes to an end with the mace duel between Bhima and Prince Duryodhana who was hiding in the lake Dwaipayana. Having lost all his sons Dhritharashtra was very much depressed. Failing to understand how his sons who were 100 in number and had 11 akshohini sena were defeated by Pandavas who ever mere five and had only 7 akshohini sena, he was confused.
He asked Sri Krishna the reason. Sri Krishna told the dejected king, “It is all your Prarabdha Karma Phala.” Dhritharashtra unable to control his tears he asked Krishna, “I had hundred sons and now not even one is alive, why?”
Sri Krishna who could view the past lives of the King replied, “About Fifty lifetimes ago you were a hunter. One day while hunting you tried to catch a bird in your net. As soon as you threw the net the bird flew away, frustrated you burnt down the nest of that bird which had 100 babies. The male bird watched the scene helpless in agony. Since you were the cause for that male bird to feel the pain of seeing the death of its 100 babies, you had to bear the pain of seeing your hundred sons die.”
Dhritharashtra who listened with dismay asked, “Ok, but why did I have to wait for fifty lifetimes?”
Krishna answered, “You were accumulating punya phala (pious credits) during the last fifty lifetimes to get a hundred sons because that requires a lot of punya. Then you got the reaction for the papa (sin) that you have done fifty lifetimes ago.”
The way in which the action and reaction work is very complex. It is very difficult or near impossible to know the intricacies of Karma. Sri Krishna tells this to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita (4.17), He says “The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is.”
Absolute is called “Karma Phala Datta” (Benefactor of Karma Phala) He knows best which reaction has to be given at what time in what condition. Therefore, some reaction may come in this lifetime, some in the next and some in a distant future lifetime.