If you are forced to fight an enemy and you kill somebody, do you get any bad karma?

Sri Chinmoy: It all depends on what kind of war it is. If it is a war between good forces and bad forces, between divine forces and undivine forces, like in the Mahabharata, that is one thing. In that war, the divine people took the side of Lord Krishna, and the undivine people were those who stood against him. Those who fought for Lord Krishna were carrying out the Will of the Supreme. So if they killed someone, they did not suffer any bad consequences. And if they were killed while fighting for this divine cause, immediately they were taken to a higher world.

But today there is so much fighting that is against God's Will. These wars are caused by differences of opinion or because one country wants to increase its territory. Countries are fighting because they want to show their supremacy or because they feel that their policies are good whereas someone else's policies are bad. They want only to aggrandise their ego or show that they are stronger. If you fight in this kind of war and kill people, even if your government forces you to, you will have to suffer the consequences. And if you are killed fighting in this kind of war, you will not necessarily go to Heaven.

If your country is attacked and you are forced to fight, definitely you have to defend your country. If you are fighting against the ignorance of some undivine people, if you are fighting some human beings who have become hostile forces and you know it is God's Will that you fight, then you are doing the right thing and there will be no bad consequences. But people do not know what God's Will is, and so many modern-day wars are not divine. Just because you are forced by the government to fight an undivine war, there is no certainty, no guarantee, no assurance that you will go to a higher world if you are killed, or that you will not suffer from the laws of karma for killing others. Just because you or your government do not know what God's Will is does not mean that you will escape punishment for your deeds.