Cause-effect relation is an every day experience. When you study well, you get to score good marks. When you work hard, you go up the career easily. When you care for others, others too care for you. …. all theories are based some Cause-effect relation and these help us live our lives easier. Analysis and theorizing of our daily life experiences has been foundation for human progress.
Karma siddhanta, or often its common interpretations, tends to run against this conventional wisdom. Karma siddhanta is interpreted to indicate futility of any Karma. That is, you have right only on the action; not on its result (Karmanyevadhikarasthe, Ma Phaleshu Kadachana).
This has been pretty confusing to me for long. Modern science has been founded on analysis of cause-effect relation with cycles of experimentation, observation, and theorizing. Most of self-development approach also has been built on this foundation. For instance, second habit of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to ‘begin with the end in mind’. All project management approaches also highlight importance of goal and tracking progress towards the goal. To deny every cause-effect relation as an illusion is to deny the very foundation of our daily experience. I do not believe in a theory that cannot stand scrutiny in the light of our daily experiences. Denial of daily experiences, hiding behind some dogmatic theories, is nothing but bigotry and they cannot be excuse for inaction or incompetence
Interestingly, none of the popular exponents (eg. Swami Vivekananda, Osho, etc why even Lord Krishna himself) of Karma Siddhanta were neither inactive nor in favor of in action. I believe, it is the small differentiation in the interpretation that makes all the differences. What is illusion (Maya) is not world that we see nor our daily experience an illusion. Perceptions from our daily experiences are creations of mind, not an existence in reality. For instance, delay of a flight may be a reality but bad taste it leaves in mind is the illusion (Maya). Holding on too much to such perception (big or small) create more problems that the happening.
It is fine to theorize about cause-effect relation in appreciation of the fact that all factors of the relation is not known to us. For instance, every earthquake in Indian Ocean of magnitude above 6 does not lead to Tsunami (Thank God!). Good work is not always appreciated and working hard does not always lead to progress in career. It is fine to dispassionately theorize and continuously refine our experimentation and theories. Immature theories, wrong expectations, consequent disappointments and knee-jerk reactions are at root of the problems
Advise is not inaction. Advise is, action knowing well results may not be as expected, and that is quite fine as well. Again, more that the result, your perception of result as good and bad is damaging. Your actions should be guided by dispassionate assessment; a truly scientific analysis!