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Law of Compensation

by Swami Sivananda

The law of compensation operates everywhere in Nature's phenomena. The seed breaks and a big tree appears from the seed. The tree comes out in accordance with the law of compensation. Fuel burns and is destroyed. But there is heat in accordance with the law of compensation. Many articles are cooked in the fire on account of the heat. If there is extreme heat in Bezwada, there is extreme cold in Mt. Kailas or Uttarkasi in the Himalayas. This is the law of compensation. If there are ten scoundrels in a place, there are two Sattvic souls to bring compensation. If there is flood-tide at Puri, there is an ebb-tide at Waltair. This is the law of compensation. If there is day in India there is night in America. Peace follows a war and vice versa. Water becomes steam and the steam makes the engine move. The sulphuric acid in a jar of a battery is consumed but there is electricity produced in the bulb. You get light. This is the law of compensation. The law of compensation operates in the mental plane also.

Every effect has a cause. Every consequence has an antecedent. There must be perfect balance between the cause and effect, between the antecedent and consequence. The law of compensation keeps up the balance, and establishes peace, concord, equilibrium, harmony and justice in Nature. Think deeply. Reflect and cogitate. You will notice that this law of compensation is operating beautifully everywhere in the phenomena of Nature. It is inexorable and relentless. No one can defy this immutable and irresistible law. If you do an evil act, you will reap a bad fruit in compensation.

Sometimes a man complains: "God is unjust. I have always been a truthful man. I never do any wrong to anybody. I am always serving humanity. Yet I have this terrible disease, asthma." This is incorrect and unreasonable. You will have to connect the effect with the cause always. Whatever you suffer from may appear to be unjust. You may think that you do not deserve it at all. But if you try to find out the cause of this suffering, you will doubtless find that it is perfectly right and a just compensation. Then you will have satisfaction. Just try in a few cases. Then you will have no room for complaint or lamentation. You will understand the beautiful working of the law of compensation. The affairs of our lives are so very intricate and complicated that we find it difficult to trace the cause of the present suffering. Though we are not able to trace the cause, though we are not able to understand the working of the law, yet the cause is there. Our intellect is so feeble that it is not able to grasp the antecedent or cause of a suffering or event.

A man may reap the fruit of compensation for his action either in this life or in the next. If we deny pre-existence and rebirth and take into consideration that life begins with this birth only and ends completely with the death of the body and there is nothing more, then it will be no compensation for the virtuous man who has done noble actions and for the wicked man who has done crimes. The chain of cause and effect, antecedent and consequence, will be broken abruptly. There will be terrible injustice everywhere. This cannot be. If you connect your present life with the past and the future lives, and then judge the present life from the standpoint of eternal life, then there will be perfect justice. Then there will be perfect compensation.

Your present life has direct connection with the past and the future. There is perfect continuity of life all throughout, though you take several bodies. There is one common thread that runs through the whole soul-life of countless births. The life of the individual soul (Jivatma) consists of countless earthly lives. There is intimate connection between the past, present and future and the law of compensation operates with perfect justice and harmony. The physical body may change but the events and the law of compensation continue all throughout. Just as the daily life of a man has connection with the life of yesterday and the life of tomorrow, so also one period of earthly life has intimate bearing with the previous and future lives. Then only will there be perfect justice and compensation.

If you take an individual life as an isolated event that begins with the birth of the physical body and terminates with its death, you cannot find any correct explanation or solution for the affairs of life. You will be groping in darkness and despair. If the virtuous man who has not done any evil act in this birth suffers, this is due to some wrong act that he may have committed in his previous birth. He will have his compensation in his next birth. If the wicked man who daily does many evil actions apparently enjoys in this birth, this is due to some good Karma he must have done in his previous birth. He will have compensation in his next birth. He will reap the fruits of his evil actions in his next birth. He will suffer in the next birth. The law of compensation is inexorable and relentless.

Your present life is nothing when compared with the whole soul-life. It is momentary. It is a mere fragment. Whenever you want to find out the cause or antecedent for anything, you will have to go deep into the affairs of the eternal soul-life. Then alone will there be perfect balance between the cause and the effect, between the antecedent and consequence. You will have to judge from a broad view of the eternal soul-life. The law of compensation embraces a wide range of the whole soul-life. Life does not end with the disintegration of this physical body alone. There is reincarnation. There have been countless previous lives also. You will have to take into consideration the widest view of the life of the soul. Then the line is quite clear. Then you will find a perfect, satisfactory solution for all the intricate and complicated affairs of life. Then there will be no room for grumbling or lamentation or misapprehension.

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