Chakra Discussions

Response to Adultery

by Gaurav Mittal

Posted November 24, 2004

According to law of karma, we get reaction (karma) for our actions. We have general of idea of our actions and the resultant good or bad karma which we will receive. It is very difficult to quantify or measure the degree of good or bad karma. Different scriptures may also vary on good or bad karma. For example, Christian or Islamic literatures may allow killing of animals whereas Vedic literatures may not. Even some interpretations of Vedic literature may allow killing animals. Really, better way to act is to act on basis of our realizations or conscience than basing our faith on a particular literature. For example, I don't eat meat because I don't want to kill animals to satisfy my taste buds. I can get nutritious food without inflicting miseries on animals. The reason of eating meat is compassion towards animals. I personally don't care about karma of eating meat. This is a side comment for this article. Instead of calculating what kind of karma one gets of each action, try to lead life on the basis of good moral principles e.g. do unto others what you want them to do to you, compassion etc.

Why adultery is wrong? In Vedic tradition, man could marry many women. There are different kind of marriages. One way allowed marriage is Rakshasi Vivah. In that marriage, boy and girl agree to get married and they get married without any ritual. Will it be adulterous if one man does rakshasi vivah to many girls? Most probably not in terms of Vedic tradition. But it will be in present circumstances.

Instead of trying to find definition of adultery and then trying to find what kind of karma one will get of adultery, another way is to base it on simple moral principles.

Almost all the spiritual traditions accept truthfulness as very important principle of life. Our modern society also accepts value of truthfulness. Vedas start with simple statements like "satyam vad" which means "be truthful". Valmiki Ramayana is full of statements made by Lord Rama Himself about importance of truthfulness. Truthfullness is one extremely important principle taught by Lord Rama. We can easily say that if we are not truthful, we incur negative karma.

Sex desire is very difficult to control. We may indulge in adultery. What is in our hands is to be truthful about our actions! We should be able to accept our adulterous acts and tell them to the persons concerned e.g. spouse etc. If we act in such a way, then karma for adultery will be minimized. Basically, we should try to lead a truthful life as much as possible. That will please Lord Rama most and that is very important part of bhakti.

In summary, one should try to lead truthful life as much as possible. If we are trying to find the bad karma adultery brings, we accept adultery as something undesired. It is better to be truthful and accept our mistakes and take actions so that we don't commit them again.