the law which regulates the doctrine of karma is based on the principle of “cause and effect”. the saying “as you sow so you reap” present the whole doctrine in a nut-shell. every action, whether mental, vocal or physical, is a sowing of the “seed”, or in the technical language of jaina philosophy the engendering of karma. in the act of sowing the seed or engendering the karma, the soul has the choice of acting or retaining fromaction, but once the seed is sown or karma engendered, its freedom is replaced by an inevitable liability to bear its consequences. this is what constitutes the bondage of soul. karma, therefore, is a kind of force, which compels the soul to bear the consequences of its right or wrong actions, and this force originates in the very action itself, which is performed by the soul and at the very moment of its performance.
we are basically made up of cells. every cell has a nucleus and cytoplasm. nucleus has chromosomes. each chromosome has many genes. genes are made up of dna molecules. our vital activities are governed by the genes. no two persons are similar in their genetic constitution. we work differently because of our difference in genetic constitution. the activities of genes are governed by the environment. it is the environment which modifies the expression of genes of the individual. therefore if a “bad” individual is put up in “good” environment, his bad activities (papa karma) will be reduced to some extent and vice-versa, so the role of environment is equally important for the “papa karma” and “punya karma” activities of the individuals.
the doctrine of karma conceives karma as constituting a very fine kind of matter aggregates. all living beings of world contain the same genetic codes. this research work brings forth the possibilities that the individual pudgalas (karmic particles or karma vargas) i.e. the karma create genes. genes and karma both determine the life cycle and inheritance of all living beings. genetic science says, “we are what because of our genes. tirthankaras have said since very beginning “we are what because of our karmas”. genes not only bear the genetic traits of their parents but these also represent the karma performed by individual. karma body possibly controls the activities of the genes. with this research work i arrived at the conclusion that karmas are the cause and genes are their effect (fruits). karmas direct, instruct, motivate genetic codes and genes to function and mutate accordingly.
author : prof. (dr.) sohan raj tater
former vice chancellor, singhania university