In this piece, Grail teachings about karma will be examined in the light of the Bible, history and logic. Since fate and karma were bracketed together, it would be necessary to first define both words:
Karma: The belief that good and bad experiences in this life are the sum result of deeds done in both the current and previous lives. The word “karma” is a Sanskrit word that primarily means “action” (Ancient History Encyclopedia).
Fate: The view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. Hence, fatalism can refer to an attitude of resignation in the face of some future events which are thought to be inevitable (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
My quotes are taken from Vol. 2, chapter 2 of In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message by Oskar Ernst Bernhardt.
A Law which lies in the entire Creation from its earliest beginning, which has been inseparably interwoven with the great, never-ceasing evolution as an essential part of creating itself, and of development … it supports and animates the mighty Universe, and promotes continual movement, an eternal giving and taking!
On the one hand, Oskar asserts that the law of karma is “eternal” (i.e. has no beginning) yet on the other, he says it has been from creation’s “earliest beginning.”
According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, the idea of karma first appears in the oldest Hindu text the Rigveda (c. 1500 BC).
Centuries later, some Hindu scholars attached a deal of meaning to it in the Upanishads text (c. 800-300 BC). They devised the concept of karma to resolve the conflict between the righteousness of God and the suffering and evil in the world, and justify their belief in transmigration or reincarnation.
They envisaged life on earth as a “balance sheet” where unforeseen calamities and rewards can be blamed on demerits and merits of past lives respectively.
But here is its fatal flaw: we were created by God. We neither have a past life nor are we coming back to this world after death. This is a hard brick of reality: “It is appointed to man to die once” (Heb. 9:27). There’s no “eternal giving and taking.”
The so-called law of karma neither alleviates evil nor fosters development. One only needs to measure the collective progress of nations that have held to this belief for centuries to confirm this.
Plainly and simply, and yet so aptly, the Great Bringer of Truth Jesus Christ has already expressed it: “What a man sows that shall he reap.”
Here, Abdrushin appeals to the Bible, but this is a fallacious appeal. This needs to be properly distinguished because even Christians can unknowingly conflate karma with the biblical concept of sowing and reaping.
Here is the full context of the Bible verse:
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9).
a) There is a difference in meaning. Karma is from the Sanskrit word meaning “deeds, works or actions.” This term has evolved in its meaning; 100 years ago, it was understood to simply mean “making.”
It teaches that the quality of a person’s successive lifetime is dependent on his accrued karma, whether good or bad.
On the other hand, to “sow” (Strong #2232) means to “bear, conceive seed, set with or yield” and to “reap” (Strong #7114b) simply means “to harvest.”
Sowing and reaping is a law that shows that our choices can affect our lives on earth and eternal destination.
b) Karma originated from Hinduism – a false religion that has no connection to the God of the Bible.
In most Asian religions, karma is used to rationalize the concept of death and rebirth. It’s based on the illusion that whatever we experience on earth is based on what we did in our previous lives, so we have to keep returning to earth to work it off until man is released from the endless cycle of reincarnation.
In the Bible, however, sowing and reaping is never predicated on the myth of reincarnation or transmigration. When a person lives by his sinful nature he will reap the harvest of destruction and when lives by the Spirit of God, he will gain eternal life.
A promiscuous lifestyle may lead to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and emotional distress.
A lazy, carefree and wasteful living can result in poverty, failure and debt. This is not “karma”; it’s the result of sinful and wrong actions.
c) Karma obfuscates or denies the reality of sin; hence its definition of good and bad is skewed. For example, the Grail message encourages sexual gratification as a path to increased (occult) power.
But the Bible shows that it’s folly to talk about reaping eternal life when one sows to the flesh (Rom. 1:29-32; 1 Cor. 5:9-11).
Christians are commanded to yield to the Holy Spirit and exhibit His fruit (love, joy, kindness etc.). It is the Spirit of God who empowers Christians from within to walk in victory over sin.
d) In karma, there is no mercy or forgiveness; each person must suffer the consequences of all his thoughts, words and deeds. His/her current life is the result of what weighed most heavily from his/her karmic past.
But in biblical sowing and reaping, there is forgiveness, mercy and restoration. This is rooted in the love of God. He causes the sun to shine on both good and evil people (Matt. 5:45).
Regardless of what we have done, when we accept Christ – who has paid the penalty of sin – into our lives, He cleanses our sins and He gives us a new life (2 Cor. 5:17).
Thus in the mighty machinery of the Universe there are many things which contribute to how man “fares” but there is nothing to which man has not himself first given first cause. He furnishes the threads out of which in the untiring loom of life the cloak he has to wear is made.
In the blind machinery of karma, whatever thing has happened to you is what you deserve. So, if a building collapses and kills many people, it was their karma.
If an entire family is gruesomely assassinated, that’s their karma. If an entire population is infected with Meningitis, it’s their karma.
This line of reasoning ignores the fact that accidents do happen and they can be random. It omits the simple fact that the innocent do suffer. Because we live in a fallen world impacted by sin, good and bad happens to all of us, whether we are believers or non-believers.
While some calamities are man-made and from the devil, in this world, some events happen for which their causes are not readily evident.
A generous man can be deserted by those he helped while a wicked man can have many helpers.
A chaste woman may not conceive whereas one that had aborted several times before readily conceives.
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong. Why? “Time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
A building collapse can be due to faulty construction. An entire family can be victim of wrongful murder target. An entire population may lack the necessary vaccines to prevent an infection. They didn’t give a first cause to their tragedy.
Why does Abdrushin’s universe/god enjoy punishing people for what was never their fault? Why does it fashion an evil cloak for people and blame them for furnishing its threads?
What do you call a man who maims his servants and then scourges them for not being good acrobats? I wouldn’t treat even my dog in such a cruel, despicable manner. But in the Grail message, we see a “pulsating universe” that lacks the sense of a good dog keeper.
Many are alarmed at this and afraid of what they still have to expect from the past through the reaction in accordance with these Laws. But such are unnecessary worries for those who are in earnest about the good volition; for in the self-acting laws also lies at the same time the certain guarantee of mercy and forgiveness.
I think the first question one should be asking is who is the author of these laws? Those laws didn’t create themselves.
Every law necessitates a lawgiver and in the case of such an unjust, illogical and unbiblical law as karma, we can easily conclude that it was made up by some people with a very warped perception of reality, justice and ethics.
Mercy and forgiveness don’t exist in a vacuum either. They exist in conjunction with other qualities. One also needs to ask how karma and fate – which confer a fixed script on humanity – guarantee mercy and forgiveness, and on what basis are they offered or received.
You see, karma is a doctrine of self-salvation. It says that by doing acts of good will, charity and offering meritorious service to mankind you can store up goodness for yourself and “atone” for your bad karma. But the truth is: no amount of our good works can purchase God’s forgiveness and mercy.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight” (Rom. 3:20). When man’s good works and the penalty of sin are placed side by side, man’s eternal doomed is guaranteed.
No man can “work off” the debt of sin and God’s justice necessitates that sin be judged. But God in His love has offered His forgiveness through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God’s love, mercy and justice work together. Man has a choice in his eternal destination: to either accept or reject His offer of forgiveness. That is the ultimate meaning of sowing and reaping.
Through the continuing good volition in every thought and deed, a constant reinforcement also flows retroactively from the homogeneous source of power, so that the good become more firmly established in man himself, emerges from him, and first of all forms accordingly the ethereal surrounding that envelopes him like a protective covering … Now when evil reactions from the past return to this man to be redeemed, they slide off the purity of his surrounding or covering, and are thus deflected from him.
Here the reader is confronted with a whole aggregation of metaphysical concepts. Few paragraphs earlier, Abdrushin wrote that when his disciples put a thought, word or deed into the world, “it has within it power, and therefore life, which continues to develop and work in the desired direction. How it will affect the person for whom it is intended depends entirely on the psychic condition of the one concerned to whom it may thereby bring either much or little harm…”
The occult indoctrination has crawled out completely. These are the concepts that underpin witchcraft rites of raising and directing demonic powers towards someone else. Note that Wiccans also adhere to a karmic 3-fold law when casting their spells.
Initially, they wax philosophical, talking about karma and fate, but once you go a bit deeper, they start to introduce you to powers, vibrations and “ethereal surroundings” and the karmic law that supposedly underlie them. Of course, don’t expect them to disclose the real source of that power or use the ugly “o” word: occult.
He later writes that “the actual inner man to whom the returning radiations [of past bad karma] are adjusted has also become much more refined and lighter through the continuous striving for the good volition.”
Every false religion/cult that adheres to karma, believes that when bad karma are completely paid off after centuries of rebirths, the soul is finally released and no longer reincarnates. There’s no agreement on this.
Some teach that the soul ultimately gains unity with Brahman; some teach that it attains nirvana; some say it spiritually evolves to become an “ascended master” or spirit guide. That inevitably leads to contacting the spirit realm, which I will discuss later in this series.
In conclusion, karma and fate are based on myths and fantasies which condition those who believe in them to have a grossly distorted perception of reality. Karma is a work-based system that leads people to reject the truth of the Bible, the perfect, saving work of Christ on the cross as well as the reality of sin, heaven and hell.
While Christianity has the testimony of Jesus Christ who died, rose on the third day and is alive forevermore, the Grail message fails to present us a single evidence of a person whose karmic burden was lighter or has reincarnated – not even Abdrushin himself! Yet the “cross bearers” have blind faith in his writings.