The Broader Implications Of Karma and Consequence

When we look at Karma through the lens of perspective, we can see that our usual interpretation of Karma and its effects, focused solely on its impact on our own lives or the most part, is just as faulty as our too narrow view of the role of the individual. Karma and consequence are not solely individual. Just as we are connected to both the universal manifestation through oneness, and our soul is part and parcel of the Eternal manifesting here, so Karma also takes on the aspect of acting on the individual and universal levels. We can find the meaning of karmic consequence not solely in its impact on our limited personality and limited life, but on the lives of others and the entire universal existence.

Sri Aurobindo describes the interaction thus: “At present we fix too much on the particular will and act of the moment and a particular consequence in a given time. But the particular only receives its value by all of which it is a part, all from which it comes, all to which it moves. We fix too much also on the externalities of karma and consequence, this good or that bad action and result of action. But the real consequence which the soul is after is a growth in the manifestation of its being, an enlarging of its range and action of power, its comprehension of delight of being, its delight of creation and self-creation, and not only its own but the same things in others with which its greater becoming and joy are one. Karma and consequence draw their meaning from their value to the soul; they are steps by which it moves towards the perfection of its manifested nature. And even when this object is won, our action need not cease, for it will keep its value and be a greater force of help for all these others with whom in self we are one.”

This opens the door to individual implications to the function of karma in the manifestation as well as universal impacts, and an ever-progressing development, both for the individual and the world within which he acts.

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section I, Chapter 10, Karma, Will and Consequence, pp. 90-91,