Regardless of the origins of the law of karma, one has to evaluate it logically. The Ancients had no idea of logic or the scientific method. They were primitive people though Hinduism portrays them as spiritual geniuses. Hinduism has offered no evidence over the centuries that the law actually works. There are no samples of human populations studied. There are no observations, inferences and conclusions that would convince modern-day people. The Law of Karma, like other aspects of the religion, had to be accepted on the alleged authority of the Brahmins alone, and not because it was found to be true. There was no choice since the brahmins were in charge, and they were supported by the rulers. The modern propagators of the law of karma should know that the people of the present are way more literate than those in pre-literate India, wherefrom this law came. They should know that intelligent people won't believe anything just because the uppermost caste (the Brahmins) says so. They are holier than nobody else, even though they purport to be intermediaries between man and God. They propagate the saying that the saints and sages were INSPIRED, in order to justify their leadership status. As a Hindu, you are supposed to accept this law with blind faith, accept that the Law Of Karma was installed by God as the mechanism for ordering earth's populations, and bow to God's rulership. No doubt, millions of poor Hindus have been kicking themselves for being bad in their past lives, and flocking to Hindu priestcraft for help with methods for overturning the destinies of suffering laid out for them by alleged bad actions in past lives, and by the malefic planets. No doubt, they had misgivings about this law, but these were usually shelved whenever the latest Hindu emissary asserted that the Law is perfectly correct, and that it was fully operational. The lower castes questioned the preponderance of bad happenings in their lives but were no doubt placated with the retort that this is the Age of Kali. Of course,the subservient lower castes acquiesced to the power of the upper castes in the face of their high-handedness and power, and not because they believed that the latter had an alleged surplus of good upper-caste karma. It is as if Brahmin priests were covering up for Brahmin-supported rulers by putting God as the cause of material wealth and material poverty, and not the ruling class themselves!
Basically, Hindus say that you are born in a certain family in a certain environment because of your past karma. In this situation, you will be able to work out past karmas in terms of rewards, suffering and opportunities for spiritual growth. While alive you will commit karma by doing, inaction, intentions and by modes of thinking ie positive or negative. Their theory of present existence and future reincarnation is based on karma, and they say that the kind of life you are having now can only be explained in terms of past karma, and by new karma made in this life. Future lives will be explained the same way. But because life is full of suffering, the big enemy is the cycle of births and deaths, and it is karma which binds you to it. To escape it, one has to reduce one's karma, and there is no better way to reduce it than by dedicating the actions or its fruits to God, or by doing action in a state of surrender to God. One can also do karmas that target Moksha or salvation and so 'spiritualise' one's actions so they can become not-binding. This 'spiritualising' of one's life is taken to extremes in Hinduism. They give practices/rituals for every hour, for every day, for every week, for every month, and for every year of this life. Every activity has a prescribed ritual. And they give rituals to be performed by relatives for you at death, and in the years after your death. Being the performers of major rituals, the Brahmins made for themselves a necessary role in your life, even after you are dead!
So Hinduism says that in this life, you reap the fruits of the karmas you did in your past life, and the fruits of karmas done in this life. It says that it is impossible not to do karma, and until all karmas, good and bad, are expired, you cannot gain salvation, which is your only escape from the cycle of births and deaths. Basically, the Brahmins are saying blame yourself if you are reaping good or bad karma.You did it to yourself. If you did nothing in this life to reap bad things (or good things), you must have done it in your past life. While the upper castes reveled in this justification for their wealth and power, the majority who were poor and suffering had no reason to rejoice. Throughout history, rulers have increased their wealth by conquering weaker tribes and kingdoms. This is being done now! The lower castes benefited least from these exploits because it was the Kshatriya or military caste which took part in these forays, and took the spoils of war. So, it was war not past or present good karma which made the upper classes wealthy. The Brahmins 'law of karma' hid the fact that there was little or no economic trickle-down to the lower castes from the upper castes. The rulers seemed to disavow any responsibility for them. The Brahmins also implied that the lower castes had failed in this life because they had not done any present good deeds for which good fruits were currently due. Suffering Indians with no prospects must have lived in a state of complete suppression. Imprisoned by the caste system, socio-economic mobility was impossible for the lower classes. Even today, with nothing or no-one to turn to, in many cases, there is no choice but to resort to sorcery, suicide, menial jobs, corruption, prostitution, crime, homelessness, female infanticide and other ways of coping. For many, the choice was to either be hopeless or worship God along the lines indicated by the Brahmins to attract God's blessings. Were it not for the coming of post-colonial Governments and the rise of development economics, India would have been stuck with Brahmin religious analysis, and not be able to move forward past that into things like the Green Revolution, Industrialisation and Technological development. The Indian Government accepted the responsibility for the development of the people (allbeit pervaded by favoritism): a task disowned by the previous millenia of rulers who prospered mostly by war but told the lower castes to blame themselves for their poverty. The truth is that the Brahmins lied. You are not the cause of your condition in this life because you are born in a matrix which is already owned and administered by others. The present economic status of any man has nothing to do with his past life. Nobody knows why a soul incarnates in a particular womb, in a particular family, and in a particular place. It is not good karma that causes birth in a rich family because the alleged 'goodness' that underlies 'good' karma is absolutely missing from the lives of the rich.
Religion uses psychological manipulation. What the religious bigwigs do is put people down by accusing them of original sin, of being fooled/seduced by MAYA, of not doing spiritual practice (whether it is rituals, worship, devotion, Yoga etc), and for having desires. You are programmed to accept a tarnished self-image, then you struggle to achieve that ideal image they claim is what you should be like. They want you to subscribe to their views of God, and to strive to be close to him using methodologies laid down by them. So even though they tell you that you are a spark of God with the qualities of Satchitananda (Knowledge, awareness and bliss), they insist that MAYA and bad karma has stolen this away. Then they tell you that you have to do worship/devotion, rituals and other spiritual practices to recover your soul status or connection with God, but give you no clues as to how to restore your Satchitananda qualities directly. If you do your religious duties but get no fruits, they say you're doing them imperfectly, or you do not have God's blessings, or any good luck. Of course, they advise that to get salvation, you must do action without attachment to the fruits because you have no control over the fruits. You should also dedicate it all to God. Millenia of worship and rituals have proved those methodologies to be barren. As the advice, so the results. The religious bigwigs give themselves their authority (God gave them no authority) by claims of purity. They used this claim to fabricate knowledge and program people with it, as if this is the knowledge God wants us to have. We cannot evade them because they are the upper class, colluding with the rulers. Are their various faulty diagnoses deliberate or just wild guesses? The ancient Brahmins did not bother to separate desires from needs and wants, like economics has done. They erred in making you feel that to need something is to desire it. The conclusion obviously is that needs are wrong. Human needs are must-have items, not simply desires to be controlled and curbed. Belief in, and faith in God, however, does give people hope. The feeling of having the most powerful being in the universe in your corner does give you hope and confidence. The deception lies in what you must do to attract God's help, and in the things they claim God does for people. The deception is that they hid the existence of the dark side within. They gave you nothing to fight it with since their methodologies cannot do this. So, you Satchitananda nature remains covered up by darkside consciousness. They hid the fact that the rulers have charge of the material condition of the ruled, not God. They hid the fact that the rulers felt no economic responsibility for the lower castes! How can God be the cause of material benefits, either directly or through any law he created to administer to man's material condition? God had no access to the ruler's coffers, the equivalent of the central banks of today.
There are many problems with the Hindu version of karma. It tells you that thoughts and intentions produce karma. Who produces thoughts and intentions within? It can either be the soul or the dark side. Yogis accept that it is the 'mind' that is noisy, and needs to be quieted down. That 'mind' is actually the dark side within. So who actually gets awarded the karma? Is it the soul or the dark side? Or, is it the non-existent 'one-being-in-a-body' entity that religion helped create and popularise? It must be the dark side since it produces those 'noises' that one calls thoughts, not the soul. The soul does 'thinking' too! Usually, there is some structure to that thinking in the form of inductive or deductive logic. The soul is deliberate in its thinking or introspection. Soul's thoughts do not happen, neither do they 'pester' it. There is a conscious decision to think. There is concentration, a certain level of transcendence of the physical, and perhaps a flow of information that is inspiration or intuition. There is a thread of logic that ends in conclusions. This is the essence of meditative introspection. Is it soul's 'thinking' that creates karma that is binding? How does one work out knowledge? Why then, did God give a brain for soul's use? If the intention is data processing, understanding something or simply decision-making, how could soul's thoughts be put in a negative light? Considering that it is the dark side which uses cunning to plot and prey, and thoughts are used to hoodwink the soul, the bad karmas belong to it. Evil is its nature. Will it be punished? How? The one-being-in-a-body does not exist, and so cannot produce any karma or reap any fruits, good or bad. So, even the self-images of past-life-sinner or seperated-from-God are lies. The problem with religion and its fabricated knowledge and laws is that when they are applied they are found to be barren lies, and they lead people who observe them to waste their lives. The desire for the fruit of one's actions is said to be 'binding' you to the wheel of births and deaths. So you are supposed to do actions but have a 'don't-care' attitude about the fruits. So why do things on earth if not for the fruits? Is eating for the fruit of health wrong? Is working for wages to provide for your needs, and that of your family, wrong? This concocted religious paradigm is basically telling the masses that you are sinking deeper by doing the right thing!
Then they invent nonsense like having equanimity in the face of opposites, eg heat and cold. Man was put here to take care of his body, among other things. If it's too hot, your body conveys this to you. Since you cannot produce cooling from within, you get a fan or an air conditioner. If it is cold, you get a heater or other heat source. You have to adapt for survival, not produce equanimity of mind. The human body tolerates a range of temperatures, beyond which continued exposure gives death. So what equanimity must one have in the face of the opposites of heat and cold? What about the opposites of poverty and wealth? What balance or equanimity is possible when your brain cells are starving for nutrition? The primitive people who wrote these things into the lyrics of Krishna did not understand the crisis condition of human poverty, and thought that it was simply the opposite of wealth, and should be mentally balanced out! The Gita speaks of action but Krishna fails to attribute bad actions to the dark side within and righteous action to the soul. Here is one translation of a key verse from the Bhagavad Gita: 'You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction'. Today, there are so many actions that are done in which the fruits/outcomes are known, assured or expected, and if there are no fruits to come, the action simply won't be done. The soul is already detached. That is it's nature. The dark side it is which is helplessly attached. That is it's nature. Do they want the soul to ignore the body and its needs? Wouldn't it be more to the point to say that souls should pursue those fruits which knowledge says is good for it, and not pursue those fruits which are detrimental to itself or its body? As for the darkside, they are constantly seeking fruits and know how to prey and collude to get them. No teaching that is non-predatory makes sense to them. The writer of the Mahabharat was not a live witness or note-taker at the exposition of the Bhagavad Gita. He claimed divine vision and inspiration. It is strange how the God Krishna believes in the 'one-being-in-a-body' theory, and delivers all his enlightenment on the science of action for Salvation to that mythical being, taking the form of Arjuna. Would a God not know how he structured his creation?
The writer of the Bhagavad Gita clearly did not understand how actions on earth are 'causes' that produce fruits or consequences. The darksiders care for fruits, but do not care how they are obtained, or who they hurt. The good or soul people do actions but keep monitoring its' unfolding to ensure that no untoward consequences arise. Humans do agriculture for the produce that never fails to come, once the requirements for growth are met. Humans don't cultivate unless produce is expected! People work for wages, have sex for pleasure and children, travel to get from one place to another, eat for the nutrition that food contains, drink alcohol and use drugs to get high, shop for merchandise etc etc. In this world, fruits are assured for every action. These fruits are wanted or desired, and come without fail with intelligent action. The Gita says that the doer is not entitled to the fruits or has no control over the fruits. This is not true of our world. Living life here is not like gambling in which there is no surety about getting the fruits when the appropriate action is done. It is not like doing everything right for a desired goal and for some reason or another it fails to arrive. Why present consequences or effects in such an 'iffy' light? Is it to keep maintaining the mirage that God is in the fruit-giving business? Maybe they were covering up for the real scenario at the time: that the upper castes were the first choice for receiving fruits, and if there were no fruits left over, the lower castes had to do without any! No trickledown! Were they trying to say that your fruits could be snatched away by the darkside society (as is done now), even when intelligent logical action is properly executed? The teachings on karma from the Bhagavad Gita are useless to human beings in the present time, if at all. Medicines are taken so that one recovers from illness, or in order to prevent it. Food is eaten to maintain the health of the body. What is actually at work is the law of cause and effect, which is not the Hindu law of karma but actually the methodology of science and logic. Brahmin theories pushed on people as knowledge is based on authority not factual logic. Today you expect the fruits of action to accrue unless someone intercepts it, thereby preventing you from getting it. This is called stealing, and law enforcement deals with the culprits. In cases of gambling, risky investments, improper planning and plan execution, unforeseen or unexpected occurrences, the fruits anticipated may not forthcoming. Human beings in the 21st century know what risky actions and what safe actions are.
Hindu scholars, saints and sages lied while composing their tomes but pretended God-inspiration. Does past karma really determine the circumstances of one's birth? There is no evidence for that. Building a religion based on cumulative lies from the past does not obviate the proof requirement. No one really knows which souls come into which wombs, and why a particular womb is chosen by a soul, if it has a choice. Karma is a very neat explanation, but unless there are time travelers, there is no way of proving that it is true. It is a fabrication that pretends to be verified knowledge. The world has over 7 billion people. Are they being reincarnated according to past karma or are they newly incarnating souls? When were they last incarnated? Astrology gives convenient answers to support the past karma paradigm, but it is not truth. If there are new incarnations without past lives, how are they allocated to wombs? The Law of Karma is just a convenient truth for the benefit of the well-to-do or ruling families, who get to claim that they really did good deeds in their past lives. All the dynastic misdeeds in the accumulation of material plenty over the centuries remain swept under the carpet. Using the law of karma, elite superiority is not only monetary but spiritual as well! But people are not fooled since if you examine the spirituality of the wealthy, you will find a lot of public relations (Yajnas, feeding the poor etc) but very little that indicates that those are soul people and not darksiders! In fact, our rulers appear to be devoid of wisdom and virtue! The womb selection process, as already stated, is still unknown,despite what religion may say. People born into wealthy families are deliberately trained in elite culture. They receive the training for continuing the bloodline, and they acquire the family methodology and know-how for preserving the dynastic wealth, while extending it. Such people turn out to be very materialistic and lacking in human virtues. British India had the beginnings of a more fluid caste system, as education and business gave a way out of the limitations of caste. Not too long ago, the Corporations outsourced to India. Money is going to those who used education and training to get a niche in the expanding capitalist system. It is cause and effect being played out, with action in the face of opportunity bearing fruit. And, there is nothing wrong with seeking or expecting fruit which increases your chance of survival. In helping others to survive, the fruits come without asking: the joy comes in the helping, and in seeing a lessening of suffering. Doing good is a blow to your dark side because you deprive it of an opportunity to do evil.