Moral Law Is Not the Sole Significance of the Universal Manifestation

When we consider the law of Karma, the first thought is that it is some kind of moral or ethical framework for the universe. It is much simpler to try to understand our lives and the significance of life itself if we can find a way to boil it down to one dominant concept or principle. The reality, however, is far more complex than such an approach can actually resolve.

Sri Aurobindo comments on this issue: “The universe is not solely an ethical proposition, a problem of the antinomy of the good and the evil; the Spirit of the universe can in no way be imagined as a rigid moralist concerned only with making all things obey the law of moral good, or a stream of tendency towards righteousness attempting, hitherto with only a very poor success, to prevail and rule, or a stern Justicer rewarding and punishing creatures in a world that he has made or has suffered to be full of wickedness and suffering and evil.”

A serious review of the many-sided and multifarious manifestation in the universe makes it patently obvious that there are a variety of goals and principles at work, interacting and in some cases actually appearing to be in conflict with one another. We can even determine a hierarchy which helps us resolve apparent contradictions with the advent of a new power or term that needs to modify and upgrade the action of a prior line of development.

“The law of the world is not this alone that our good brings good to us and our evil brings evil, nor is its sufficient key the ethical-hedonistic rule that our moral good brings to us happiness and success and our moral evil brings to us sorrow and misfortune.”

We need to expand our view and understanding of the development of the universal manifestation to get a true sense of what the real goals and principles are. We can say that the moral and ethical law appears to be one, among a number of other principles, that has a role in the human development. This law, however, is constrained and modified by other principles and powers that need to be taken into account.

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section II, Chapter 13, The Foundation, pg. 114,

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