Did O.J. Buy Justice?

A lot of people are of the opinion that having a big name and paying out 9 million to lawyers is what got O.J. Simpson his desired verdict. On the other hand, charges of racism and bigotry are said to have influenced the case. What is the verdict of the Vedas, the timeless scriptures handed down from guru to disciple since time immemorial? Every person on earth is not the identity he portrays throughout his one lifetime. We are spiritual persons with a material dress, the body. Death and rebirth are just a change of costume for the eternal soul, who never dies.

So the year long televised trial was just a smattering in time for the soul in the body of O.J., who has lived many, many lifetimes. It won't be recorded in world history. Our kids won't understand the importance we attach to it.

However, there is one mystical force that remembers all the actions and incidents of our lives, though we may not. We can't remember what we were doing in past lives, but the law of karma acts independently of what we know or what we are willing to own up to. Karma is like the card holder who deals out the deck. We play our hand each lifetime.

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes the five most essential composites of the universe: the spirit soul, God, karma, material nature and the time factor. The spirit soul is an eternal part and parcel of God. The material nature and time are created by God for the spirit soul's rehabilitation. Karma is activity and its results which we are suffering or enjoying due to the nature of our action. Suffering and enjoyment in the material nature are unavoidable, but they can be transcended by following the laws of God.

Souls in the material world bide for time with every stop-gap material formula- like little O.J.s everyone certainly tries to hire the best lawyers, stock up the best military weapons, pump up the politicians, consult the doctors, travel agents, beauticians- while the law of karma reigns overall.

Protection is not possible for one who has no sense of the supreme justice.

Getting real justice means to be willing to accept whatever one deserves, not to make complicated adjustments to avoid suffering. A doctor cannot cure all diseases, a lawyer cannot insure that we will get justice, a travel agent may not get us the ideal vacation, a beautician cannot stop the lines destined to mark our face.

These persons may be aids in getting us something, yet ultimately the lot of it is handed us through the agency of material nature. Consider, what free will do we have even in selecting a key lawyer, doctor or politician? O.J. could pay 9 million, but the entire trial actually rested on the laws of material nature. For every one of O.J.'s acts of piety there has been material reward, as surely as for every impious act he may have committed there awaits punishment.

If Mr. Simpson is actually guilty and has not been punished timely, you can expect that his suffering will only be prolonged and multiplied in this lifetime and the next. If he actually did kill two people it is unfortunate that his meeting with the justice of the supreme has been delayed. Punishment, which brings about at least some rectification of character, will not be his to benefit from. It's just not necessarily going to be in this life.

O.J. is experiencing many rewards due to piety which are immense by most people's standards. Yet piety, if not carefully renewed through pious acts, runs out, something like a magazine subscription. A little imprudence, no magazine arrives in your box. Rewards we are presently experiencing can become exhausted at any moment.

Take for example the pious life of the good King Nrga, in Krsna Book, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The king was wealthy due to past pious karma he had performed. As king he was in the habit of giving tens of thousands of cows and other valuable gifts to brahmans, the high priests in Vedic society. What happened? By chance one cow wandered from the herd he had just given into another brahmana's herd.

The brahmana who received the stray cow could understand that he was getting a second-hand gift so he became angry and cursed King Nrga. Later, at the time of his death Nrga was asked by the agents of death what he would like to do first- did he want to enjoy the pious activities of his previous lives or suffer the reaction of his one impious act. He chose the impious reaction to get it over with. He became a lizard for one lizard's life span.

The story of King Nrga helps us see the uselessness of trying to avoid suffering. It shows the uselessness of trying to attain material rewards, too. The transcendental message of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, and also Krsna Book, is to steer clear of karma all together, pious or impious. They teach us to do so by serving God, and going back to the spiritual sky.

Karma is what entangles us and continues the soul's revolving in the cycle of samsara, repeated birth and death. Piety and its rewards are bound to make us inadvertently commit some act of impiety, because that is the nature of this material world which is full of inebrieties. Only pure spiritual activity frees us from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

That is why the International Society for Krsna Consciousness was established. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded a society of temples and devotees dedicated to teaching the transcendental science of devotional service. Srila Prabhupada recommends the chanting of the sacred maha-mantra, which is prescribed in the Vedic literature for this age. Please chant this mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare, Hare, and become aware of the blissful supreme justice. The supreme justice is free, after all.

Vedic Version