If you have been following the news recently you must have read about the scandals in Britain with the Members of Parliament being exposed for fraudulent expense claims. In fact, in the world scheme of things, the faults are fairly mild; comparing to other countries, MPs claiming some expenses for home improvements shows the good state of British politics in that something this (relatively) minor can cause a furor when so much of the world is governed by kickbacks and corruption.
Are the British MPs bad people ? They probably don’t think so. Many of them have worked hard in a job that is probably one of the most unstable careers there is going. Many of them have made a real effort to be good representatives of the people.
The recent exposures are not really the Kammic result, but we can compare to Kamma.
- Kamma literally means ‘action’. Primarily action with intention.
- ‘Vipaka Kamma’ means the kammic results of action. Primarily with regard to rebirth.
With kamma you never know when the results are going to show themselves. And when they do there is no chance to argue your case. The effects will manifest despite your protestations. There is no judge with whom to lodge an appeal.
The politicians consider themselves good people. They consider themselves hardworking. If they take a bit, they probably feel justified. After all, isn’t everyone else doing the same? Is it not part of the job ? Just a few perks to offset all the hard work you put in right ? Once you retire from politics (which can happen at any time in that trade) you can concentrate on your good deeds…..
Then suddenly the spotlight is on and your previous actions brought to light.
This is what happens with Kamma. You think you are getting away with it. A few drinks, a few lies …. but if the spotlight were on you are you clean ? If you knew someone who can read your mind, would you be ashamed of any of the things they might find in there.
Of course, none of us is really clean and pure. We all have actions we undertake intentionally that we justify to ourselves. Just getting away with them for so long is no kind of get-out-clasue when the kamma catches up to bite our backsides.