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The Law of Karma

A Thorn. a Gold Coin and the Law of Karma

A Swami (holy man) was walking along a path in the forest.


As he went along, he stepped on a thorn. It painfully entered his foot.


He immediately went and sat under a tree to pull out the thorn from his foot.

As he was sitting there, an evil man came walking along the same path.

This man was known as a terrible person, constantly engaged in stealing and lying.

When he came to the very spot where the Swami had gotten the thorn in his foot, the evil man looked down and found a gold coin. Happily he picked it up, put it in his pocket and continued on his way.


The Swami was confused by these events and considered them in his mind as he continued to his Guru's (teacher's) ashram.

When he arrived, he bowed to his Guru and put forth the following question:


“Guruji, I was walking down the forest path on my way here. I stepped on a thorn and went beneath a tree to pull it out.

As I sat there I saw a well known thief and cheat come down the same path.

When he came to the exact point where I had stepped on a thorn, he looked down and found a gold coin.

How could this be? Why is it that I got a thorn in my foot and he got a gold coin?

I have been doing religious practice and living an upright life. He certainly has not.

How could the fruits of our karma be so dramatically different?”


The Guru quietly listened to the story of his disciple and then, without saying a word, passed into deep meditation.

They sat together for an hour and when the Guru came out of meditation he said,

“Swami, because of your past karma in another life, you were supposed to be killed today.


But, because of your good and righteous actions in this life, you have escaped with the prick of a thorn.


The thief, according to his past actions was to become crowned a wealthy king today.


Because of his evil actions in this life, he has gotten only a single gold coin.

The law of karma does not make mistakes.”

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