From Eternal Wisdom- Upadenshamritam Volume 2
The Secret of Karma
The return trip to the ashram in the van was a good occasion for satsang with Mother. A brahmachari asked, "Amma, is it unavoidable that we have to suffer for every mistake we've made?"
Mother: "We have to accept punishment even for small mistakes. Even Bishma * had to suffer the consequences of his mistakes.
(Bishma was the grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas. He was a great warrior with great wisdom. Though his sympathies were with the Pandavas, because of an oath he had made, he took the side of the Kaurvas in the Mahabharata war.)
Br: "What did he do wrong? How was he punished?"
Mother: " He just stood there and watched while Draupadi was being disrobed, didn't he?
Though he knew that Duroyodhana and his brothers would never listen to reason, he should at least have reminded them of their dharma. But he didn't. He just kept quiet. He should have advised those evildoers about their dharma, regardless of whether or mot his counsel would be heeded. Because he didn't utter a word against them he became a partner in their wicked deed.
It was because of this he later had to lie on the bed of arrows.
"Watching a unrighteous act that you know is against dharma, while keeping your mouth shut, is the greatest form of unrighteousness. That is the conduct of a coward, not a person of courage. Let no one who commits such a sin think they can escape. Hell is meant for people like that."
Br: "But isn't it God who makes us do both right and wrong?
Mother: "Son, that is true for someone who is convinced that everything is God's work. In that case , we should be able to see that everything is given to us by God, both when we enjoy the fruits of our good actions and when we suffer the punishment for our mistakes.
"God isn't responsible for our mistakes-we are. Say that a doctor prescribes for us a bodybuilding tonic. He tells us how much to take and how often. If we ignore his instructions and drink the whole bottle at once, and if our health is ruined as result, what is the point of blaming the doctor? Similarly, if we drive carelessly and than have an accident, can we blame the gasoline? How, then, can we blame God for the problems that are caused by our ignorance? God has made it perfectly clear to us how we should live on this earth. It is useless to blame Him for the consequences of our not having followed His instructions."