Question: Do our actions on earth affect our life after we die?

Sri Chinmoy: After we die there is a law of karma. Now, if we do something wrong here, we have to know that either today or tomorrow, either in the physical world or in the inner world, we will receive the result of it. "As you sow, so shall you reap." It is unavoidable. If I constantly steal, one day I shall be caught and put into jail. Today after stealing, I may not get caught; but if I continue to steal, I shall be caught one day. Then, if I do something good, if I pray, if I meditate, if I do good things, divine things, regularly, there too I will get the result of them. It is absolutely true, "As you sow, so shall you reap." The law of karma cannot easily be nullified. It can be nullified only when the Divine Grace descends. I am ignorant, and I have done a few things wrong, or many things wrong, so what happens? If I cry to God for forgiveness, for His compassion, then naturally His compassion will dawn on me. If I sincerely cry, then God has the power to nullify the law of karma, the law of action and reaction. It is by God's Grace that we can nullify it. But if God's Grace does not descend on the individual who has committed a great mistake, a Himalayan blunder, naturally he has to pay the penalty for his misdeeds. There is no escape. There is no such thing as escape. I cannot go on doing something undivine and feel that God, the Cosmic Law, will forgive me. No. But, if I have done something wrong, and I really have repentance, if I really don't do it again, if I shed bitter tears and if God sees a soulful cry within my heart, naturally He will forgive me. He will also give me the necessary strength not to commit the same mistake again.

So, for one who does not aspire, who does not want God's forgiveness or God's compassion to overcome the teeming ignorance that he unconsciously cherishes, I wish to say the law of karma is always binding; it will coil around him like a snake. But, if he is really sincere, genuine and aspiring, and he wants to be free from the meshes of ignorance, then naturally he will not do wrong things to start with. He will only do things that are divine, things that are motivated by a divine Will from within. At that time he will know that the law of karma cannot bind him because he is doing everything according to the dictates of his soul, his inner being. The soul will not ask him to do anything wrong. It is the physical, it is the vital, it is the mind in us that unfortunately compel us or instigate us to say and do the wrong things. The soul will never ask us to do anything wrong. On the contrary, the soul will inspire us to say the right thing, to do the right thing and to grow into the right thing. The law of karma will bind us at the point when we are wallowing constantly in the mire of ignorance. This is not our first, and this cannot be our last incarnation. When we come back in our next incarnation, naturally we have to start our journey according to the result that is destined. If I have done many things wrong, I cannot expect to realise the Highest truth in my next incarnation. But, if God's Grace is there, we can easily nullify the results of all our wrong actions.