Do mentally ill persons get karma for their actions?

Do mentally ill persons get karma for their actions?

A devotee asked like this:

“What if a mentally disturbed/ill person tortures family members, specially his bhabhi – elder brother’s wife (new girl in the home).
will this added to his bad karma or not as he is mentally ill.
should we face this suffering, consider it as our bad karma result.”


No. Not at all.

Karma is only for the activities done willfully.

Innocent activities do not add karma. Though even some innocent acts add karma, they will be forgiven.


See, the animals, birds, insects and many other living beings are not subject to karma though they kill and eat for their livelihood.

Here, in your question, you have also mentioned as “mentally disturbed person”. Mentally disturbed persons may have stable thinking and planning capacity.

They will go to the job, work and earn. But, they might have been just disturbed mentally to some extent.

These are small defects that do not affect the analytical skills of that person.

(Can Psychological issues cause extremity in devotional practices? How to deal with that? READ HERE!)

In some cases, ie, in Mentally retarded or challenged persons, they can not think, plan and act accordingly.

They may act without any plans.

Some violent patients may even kill someone else in the family.

Such mentally challenged or mentally ill patients add no karma for their actions.

Not only that, those children who have not attained the age of 13 do not add larma for their acts because they do not know which is right and which is wrong. They are not punished with serious punishments.

(Will chanting by mentally challenged persons be heard by Krishna? READ HERE!)

Karma acts only for willful activities done by normal human being.

Otherwise, all other acts – even small acts by a normal person will add karma for him.

For example, even killing of a cockroach by a normal person will add to his karma.

It is expected that we should catch a cockroach using a cloth and leave that somewhere else (Not in the houses of others).

(Will devotion to Krishna correct psychological issues like Depression? How? READ HERE!)

Killing of poisonous snakes are forgivable, though it is also karma.

Even killing a plant for food is karmic. However, these karma for essential activities of man are forgivable.

But, killing of animal for food is unforgivable karma for normal humans.

Thus, Purpose and motive is very important in the matter of karma.

Since mentally retarded or challenged or ill persons can not have any motives for their activities, mentally ill persons don’t get karma for their actions.

If a ‘mentally retarded person by birth’ dies, he will be given very good next birth to continue his karmic or devotional activities as chosen by him based on the karma basket of previous births in which he was mentally normal. Though he was mentally ill in this birth, his past karma accounts will still be pending that will be cleared in his next birth(s).

This is the system.


Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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