Q30. Is there a judgment?
Sikhism accepts the theory of Karma: That man is punished or rewarded according to his actions. Man's actions in this world will bear witness at the time of judgment. The messengers of the god of death, Yama, takes the individual to the god of justice, Dharam Raj, who is very strict like a moneylender. The scribes of Chitra and Gupta who have written out the account are called forth to present the balance-sheet of his actions. What does the balance-sheet show? It contains a record of good and evil deeds.
The god of justice cannot be bribed or influenced. He is strict and impartial and exacts a clear account. Certain faiths affirm that their prophets will plead for their followers in the court of justice. Sikhism does not accept this idea. Man is responsible for his own actions and cannot escape punishment through the intervention of a spiritual leader.
Perhaps the Gurus borrowed the old Puranic machinery of Dharam Raj and Chitra Gupta to impress on the minds of people the need for righteous and noble actions. Guru Nanak says: "According to one's action, one gets near to or distant from God". Elsewhere, the Guru affirms that the judgment. on man's actions determines the next birth or form for the individual's soul. The best action in the world is to meditate on 'The Name'. This alone can earn salvation or freedom from metempsychosis.
The law of Karma is inexorable. Man's life is a series of actions. According to Sikhism, "Conduct is the paper, mind the inkpot; the good and the bad (virtue and vice) are both recorded thereon." Man sows the wind and yet expects that no whirlwind will follow. Man's choice of action will determine his future and next life. However by repentance, prayer and love, man earns God's grace which neutralizes his previous Karma. There is no accounting of Karma, for one who surrenders himself to God. The true Sikh in a spirit of dedication and resignation invokes His grace and mercy, thereby inducing God to exercise his prerogative of admitting an erstwhile erring but now repentant soul, to His kingdom.