From Naaladiyar in Old Tamil Poetry:
பல் ஆவுள் உய்த்துவிடினும், குழக் கன்று
வல்லது ஆம், தாய் நாடிக் கோடலை; தொல்லைப்
பழவினையும் அன்ன தகைத்தே, தற் செய்த
கிழவனை நாடிக் கொளற்கு.
“One cannot escape the consequences of his action. Wherever he hides, his bad karma will catch up with him. Like a calf that is let loose among a herd of cows. Though there is a herd of many cows, the calf will zero in on its mother easily. Likewise bad karma will find and attach itself to the man responsible for it.“
The Nāladiyār (Tamil: நாலடியார்) is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature, next only to Thirukkural, composed by Jain monks, belonging to the Patiṉeṇkīḻkaṇakku anthology of Tamil literature. This belongs to the post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Nāladiyār contains 400 poems, each containing four lines. Every poem deals with morals and ethics, extolling righteous behaviour(Wiki).
But what fascinated me most was Nagarjuna’s stress on what my guru referred to as ‘the Killer Time Gap.’ Now Eastern philosophy rests on the twin concepts of karma and reincarnation; since volumes have been written on these concepts, I will simply say here that karma is defined as the movement of the mind (thought) and what it produces in terms of speech and action; the consequences are inevitable and come later—whether a second later, lifetimes down the road, or anywhere in-between. According to Nagarjuna, it is this lethal time gap between our thought, speech and action (karma/doing) and the ensuing results of those actions that is responsible for all the suffering of humanity.
Take the act of killing for instance: If, as I lowered my foot to crush a bug, my own ribs started to break, I’d likely be too terrified of my own well-being to ever kill again, right? Or if, just after I’d stolen ten bucks from you, someone stole a thousand out of my wallet, I might put the action and the consequence together (since they came so close on the heels of each other) and the fear of being punished so quickly and severely might urge me to never ever steal again, right?
Only a few of us are born virtuous; the rest of us are a mix of darkness and light and therefore prey to all the temptations of the world. And yet, unless we are criminally insane or prone to masochism, we would all be perfectly moral if there was no gap between our actions and the consequences of those actions.
Right now (I am writing this post in October 2016) the US Presidential Debate rages on and all sorts of filth relating to the actions of both major candidates is rising up in a tidal wave to hurt not just them, but their families, associates, their respective parties, and all those peripherally involved in this major drama. Now, had either of these two candidates known (at the time they did what they did) that their past sins would rise up to bite them in the butt—too too right in the thick of their fight for a powerful office—would they have blithely gone ahead and done what they did? I think not—it was that killer time gap that allowed both to believe they would ever have to pay the karmic piper—and how wrong they both were.
What we do about this time gap in our own lives? I can only speak for myself. First I forged for myself a strong foundation of reality (known as the “view). In doing so, I digested the meaning of karma so well that in time I became convinced that nothing but nothing goes unrecorded in the vast reservoir of consciousness. This perennial awareness of how reality works now makes me careful in how I think, speak and act; if I make mistakes, as I often do, then I am quick to make amends—to offer an apology or do whatever is necessary to compensate for the hurt or trouble I have caused—for it is said that an amend performed minus the ego is said to wipe out the original bad act. Gradually, as this wisdom seeps into our consciousness, we become organically beautiful people and our happiness and peace quotient rises into the heavens. The beauty of living in such a way is that the whole cosmos benefits.
Source: miraprabhu.wordpress.com and art.thewalters.org
Once there was a king who distributed food and dakshina every morning to the Brahmanas (priests) on pilgrimage visiting his court.
One day, as he was giving out food to the priests, an eagle flew above holding a dead snake in his claws. Out of the mouth of the dead snake fell a drop of poison into the food that the king was distributing.
No one knew or saw this had happened, so the king continued distributing the food.
The Brahmana who accidentally got the poisoned food from the king died. The king felt very sad about it.
One of the servants of Yamaraj (the god of death) whose duty was to distribute karma to the living beings was faced with a problem. On this occasion of the poisoned food given out by the king, he did not know who to give the karma (of causing the Brahmana’s death). His rule-book was silent on eventualities of this kind.
After all, it was not the eagle’s fault that it carried the dead snake in its claws (since this was its food), nor was it the dead snake’s fault, nor was it the king’s fault because he did not know that the poison had fallen into the food.
While the Yamadhoota (the servant of Yamaraj) stood vexed, on the following day, a fresh batch of Brahmanas on pilgrimage headed towards the king‘s court.
On the way they asked a lady for directions to the king’s palace. Pointing to the right direction she cautioned: ‘But, be very careful, the king is known to kill brahmanas!”
The moment the lady faulted the king, the Yamadhoota was immediately relieved. Now he knew he had a rule in his book for the intractable problem on hand.
He gave her the karma of brahmana’s death.
That was for making unjust and untrue allegations against the king.