Karma and Grace


How do karma and grace relate to one another? Initially, it would seem that karma and grace are opposing principles in the universe. After all, karma is law, and grace is the suspension of law in what some people call a miracle.

If we look a little deeper, however, we arrive at some interesting and suggestive considerations. First, although grace assuredly is the supernatural suspension of ordinary cause and effect- a miracle, in other words- karma, too is pretty miraculous when pondered.

What is karma? It is the consequence of action according to universal law. This makes rational sense, but discovering how karma is able to operate in the universe boggles the mind. In this respect, karma is as mysterious as grace; only its approximate predictable trajectory is more able to be anticipated.

So, karma and grace are mysterious; are miraculous; are seemingly inscrutable.

Is this any wonder when we are dealing with the majesty of God’s engineering handiwork of creation?

At this point, we have established that karma and grace are each worthy of reverence as supernatural operations. What we can benefit from at this point is the consideration of how these two principles differ, and how we can choose to relate to them.

Karma as a Law

Karma as a law can seem like a rather rigid concept. This may be so. It’s possible that karma is rigid. It’s possible that it’s in some ways analogous to a credit card debt that burdens one. Yet it’s also possible that karma is able to be transcended. This is not necessarily to say that karma can be avoided or denied. But due to the majestic benefit of grace, it is possible for karma- the taskmaster of legal stipulation- to be dissolved or at least de-emphasized. How can this be? Let us reflect.

It so happens in universal unfoldment that from time to time certain critical nexus points arrive. What is an example of such a juncture? To continue with a banking analogy, we can look at the precarious financial condition of certain systemically integrated banks in the twenty-first century. Some of these banks could simply fail. Were this to happen, it could conceivably happen that one’s indebtedness incurred through such banks would suddenly diminish if not cease to exist altogether. What an enormous relief this would be. It also would not seem to be tremendously probable at all. But nonetheless, it could happen. This would be an example of a manifestation of a kind of grace.

To apply this metaphor of grace relative to karma in our own lives, we can arrive at a picture of a way of being that requests and petitions grace as a preferential mechanism for dealing with karma. Of course, there is no guarantee that this intention will work. But it theoretically could work. And the literature of metaphysics is full of examples of the demonstrable relationship between human intention and the world that results from this intention. It is no stretch or unrealistic expectation to say that people can choose to lessen their karmic burden by requesting grace from universal directions. Although this petitionary work- what some people call prayer- is by no means easy in all cases, it is effective. And for those preferring to experience grace super-abundantly, and karma minimally, it is prayerful intention and entreaty that drives the engine of karmic dissolution and gratuitous serendipity as humanity proceeds in its approach to its creator.


Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Help Free Tibet

I have been a Buddhist for about 5 years now, and I am an activist to free the people of Tibet who have been tortured by the Chinese since 1950. ... Read More

Buddhism Bhagavad Gita

In this paper I will attempt to compare and contrast the two works, “What the Buddha Taught”, which is based on the Pali texts of Tipitaka, and the “Bhagavad-Gita-The Song ... Read More

Soka Gakkai International Young Womens Division

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist organization based on the principals of Nichiren Buddhism.  SGI is a global organization with over 12 million practitioners in 192 countries around ... Read More

Tibet China

Dressed in an orange and red robe, a bald man with glasses who refers to himself as the Dalai Lama actively seeks worldwide support from politicians to alleviate the cultural ... Read More