A Study in Karma


Annie Besant


Published in 1917


Annie Besant

1847 - 1933



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Karma Does Not Crush



Now Karma is the great law of nature, with all that that implies. As we are able to move in the physical universe with security, knowing its laws, so may we move in the mental and moral universes with security also, as we learn their laws.


The majority of people, with regard to their mental and moral defects, are much in the position of a man who should decline to walk upstairs because of the law of gravitation. They sit down helplessly, and say: "That is my nature. I cannot help it." True, it is the manís nature, as he has made it in the past, and it is

"his karma". But by a knowledge of karma he can change his nature, making it other tomorrow than it is today. He is not in the grip of an inevitable destiny, imposed upon him from outside; he is in a world of law, full of natural forces

which he can utilise to bring about the state of things which he desires.


Knowledge and will Ė that is what he needs. He must realize that karma is not a power which crushes, but a statement of conditions out of which invariable results accrue. So long as he lives carelessly, in a happy-go-lucky way, so long will he be like a man floating on a stream, stuck by any passing log, blown

aside by any casual breeze, caught in any chance eddy. This spells failure, misfortune, unhappiness. The law enables him to compass his ends successfully, and places within his reach forces which he can utilise.


He can modify, change, remake on other lines the nature which is the inevitable outcome of his previous desires, thoughts, and actions; that future nature is as inevitable as the present, the result of the conditions which he now deliberately makes. "Habit is second nature," says the proverb, and thought creates habits. Where there is Law, no achievement is impossible, and karma is the guarantee of manís evolution into mental and moral perfection.





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