The Law of Karma is actually is the Law of Cause and Effect. It is a law that relates to your fate and actions, and it is an unbreakable rule of the cosmos.

Karma is a Sanskrit word which basically translates to action. “What goes around comes around”, or “as you sow, so shall you reap”, are the underlying building blocks of karma.

There are many beliefs and different views and ideas about karma. Many people do not even agree that it exists. Allow me to analyze the concept for you. Again, if you’re in a hurry, feel free to rush down to my conclusion.

The Hindu and Buddhist religions both believe in karma. In the Hindu religion, karma influences how you are born in your next life. You can be born in lower life forms such as an animal, plant, or insect. You could even be born into a lower caste system. It works the opposite way as well and can cause you to be reborn in a higher form even as a demigod or superhuman. Buddhists have a different take on karma. The Buddha rejected the notion of a soul but accepted some notion of rebirth. Buddha says that even though there is no soul the personalities of a being could recombine and continue from one lifetime to another. He uses the example of a flame going from one candle to another or the wind on blades of grass.

To understand karma first it needs to be defined. Karma can be described as a form of cause and effect. The dictionary defines karma as a sum of person’s actions in one of his successive states of existence, viewed as deciding his fate for the next. In Sanskrit karma is defined as the volitional action that is undertaken deliberately or knowingly. This also fits together as self-determination and a strong willpower to abstain from inactivity. Karma also separates human beings from other creatures in the world. Karma is a notion that constantly proves the Newton theory of every action creating an equal and opposite reaction. Every time we do something we create a cause and in time will produce its corresponding reaction. It is the personality of the human that causes either negative or positive karma. Karma could be caused by both the physical and mental aspects of the body, regardless of, if it brings achievement now or in the future. Karma cannot be affected by the natural reflexes of the body. “A person is responsible for his or her own karma”(Karma and Reincarnation, 2010). In other words, it is up to a person to give themselves good karma and move to a higher form in the next life or their doing for bad karma and devolving to a lower form. There are three types of karma savtik karma, rajasik karma, tamasik karma. Savtik karma is without attachment, selfless and for the benefit of others. Rajasik karma is selfish where ones focus is on one’s gains to oneself. Tamasik karma is undertaken without regard to consequences and is supremely selfish and savage.

The ancient yogis have assigned three categories to karma. These are sanchita, prarabdha, and kriyamana. The first category, sanchita, is the sum total of past karma yet to be resolved. Prarabdha, the second category, is the portion of sanchita being experienced in the present life. The third category, kriyamana, is the karma you are currently creating. It is important to understand that past negative karma can be altered into a smoother, easier state through the loving, heart-chakra nature, through dharma and sadhana. If you live religiously well you will create positive karma for the future and soften negative karma of the past.

“Karma operates not only individually but also in ever-enlarging circles of group karma where we participate in some karma of multiple souls” (Karma and Reincarnation, 2010 ). So if we unconditionally love as individuals or groups we will be loved in return. The individuals and groups that act maliciously toward us create their own karmic creation. The people who affect our karma are also living through past karmic experiences and simultaneously creating future karma. Many people believe in the principle of karma but don’t apply it to their daily life or life’s peak experiences. They cry during times of personal crisis asking why God did this or asking what they did to deserve this. “While God is the creator and sustainer of the cosmic law of karma, He does not dispense individual karma”(Karma and Reincarnation, 2010). He doesn’t give one person cancer while making another person an Olympic gold medalist. “We create our own experiences”(Subhamoy, 2010). We really exercise our soul’s powers of creation. Karma is our best spiritual teacher. “We spiritually learn and grow as our actions return to us to be resolved and dissolved”(Karma and Reincarnation, 2010). There is no good or bad karma; there is the only self-created experience that presents for spiritual advancement. Only when karma is wisely harnessed can the mind become still enough to experience its own subconscious depths. “Karma is also misunderstood as fate”(Karma in Hinduism, 2010). Something that is predetermined and unchangeable decreed many ages ago by some external force. Karma is neither predetermined or fate. Each soul has free will and its only limit is karma.

During our multiple lifetimes on earth, we experience a remarkable variety of life patterns. We exist as male and female, princesses and presidents, paupers and pirates, tribal and scientists, as murderers and healers, as atheists and eventually God-Realized sages. We take many bodies, races, religions, faiths, and philosophies on our journey to spiritual enlightenment gaining more knowledge and evolutionary experience.

I think this is a very good belief and most religions believe in it in one form. “Christianity has the golden rule”(Subhamoy, 2010). Most religions have some type of karmic belief although they may not come right out and say it. Karma seems to really be about living your life in a good way. Be kind to others, treat people with respect and help them. Nothing really confused me. I did a lot of research on karma, however, I did learn a lot. I didn’t know the different types of karma or how the belief in karma differed from the Hindu and Buddhist religions. I found it was very logical. Everyone believes in karma in some form. People say don’t do something bad or wrong because it will come back around and get you in the end. I find it appealing because everyone wants to believe that when someone hurts you in some way, that, they will have something bad happen to them later on.

My mother, quoting in a simple manner, says that it is just a way of life; some way to live with being good to everyone. She doesn’t necessarily believe that something bad will happen but just that, it is how you should live your life by being a good person. This is an acceptable answer to me. It helps to explain why possibly some bad things happen to someone and that they should react positively to what happened.

I only mean to conclude by saying that kindness is a language. It works miracles and comes back to you tenfold. Do good even when no one is watching. It makes us human and ultimately works like a “give and take law.”

What goes around, comes around.

We all believe in karmic laws, just name and think to suit our direction.

You may not be aware of it, but your thoughts and actions are so powerful that they carry energy. What you think and do echoes through time and throughout eternity. And, because our lives are interlinked, what you do and the intentions of your actions, good or bad, will eventually come back to you in this lifetime. In other words, what you do now will indirectly shape your future. This is how karma affects your life.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

The seed of your thoughts planted today will bear a fruit in near course of time, eventually being bitter or sweet.

If it’s a free will granted to us by a superior power, use it to your well-being. Everyone will agree in due time. Or at least learn.

—–Have hope.Keep faith—–

Copyright © | September’17 | Aishwarya Shah

78 thoughts on “Karma

    1. Yes, I’m glad you asked. The first one was inspired from the idea of a dream catcher. The sun in middle surrounded by the moon conveys to live by the sun and love by the moon. It’s just something creative addition to the regular meaning of a dream catcher. Also, it symbolizes that every act (in this case an eclipse) has a specific reason. And the last image was drawn from the “as you sow so shall you reap” phrase. When you dig into your heart and plant seeds of your intentions or thoughts, likewise will be the result from it. 👍

      1. Wow. Now thats dope! Lol very creative I wish someone can come up with drawings to describe my writings cause I sure as hell can’t draw lol. Good work

  1. I don’t agree with the concept of Karma at all. Hebrews 9:27 NKJV says,
    “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”
    I only skimmed the article so correct if I’m wrong, but the whole idea of coming back in another life to live it over again if you did something wrong in your “past” life doesn’t make sense. Please know that I don’t disrespect anyone who believes this, but it is my strong opinion (with Biblical back-up) that it is a comfort measure belief that tries to assure the believer in Karma that it’s ok if you mess up because you can just try again next time. God is very clear that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of humanity to bring us back into relationship with Him. There’s coming a time when we will have to answer the question, “what did you do with Jesus?” Did you accept Him as your Saviour or not? You won’t get a second chance when that time comes.
    Think about it.

    1. BUt my friend, and I really mean this has no disrespect to you or yours. You must live a good life, what you call a Good Christian Life to enable you to get into Heaven, thus you should have the concept of “What you sow, you reap” or Karma.

      1. The Christian life does not start with “living a good life”. It starts with Jesus and that is why we live a good life. I agree that we need to live God loves, treat each other with respect, etc but I don’t do it to get to Heaven, I do it because I want. I don’t it to say, hey look at me, I’m being good. The question you will be asked when you stand before God is not how many
        little old ladies did you help across the street, it’s going

      2. Oops! It’s going to be, “What did you do with Jesus?” My point is that we’re all only going to get one chance at this, not multiple chances, like Karma teaches. The Bible is very clear that you can love a “good life” and still go to hell. Jesus is the only way to the Father, not good works.
        Love you!
        Think about it!

    2. She is talking about the cycle of birth and death because of our karma until we get mukti. You are talking about mukti(liberation). This domain difference causing misunderstanding. Now as far as jesus is concern, jesus always said we are son of god not I am the son god. He is a great devotee of his father, a superior power. In gita we call it bhakti marg as a way to liberation. On the point of karma, if you don’t believe in Pluto it doesn’t mean it cease to exist. Peace my friend

  2. Beautiful article. I do believe in karma enormously. I believe in projecting positive karma so good karma may be returned. Being mean and selfish serves no purpose in my life. Whatever bad things have happened to me I leave it to karma to work it’s thing as I move on with my life. I don’t fully understand everything you wrote but I just received s wonderful lesson and insight on the details and meanings of karma. Thank you for your teaching. May fabulous karma always follow you 😊

  3. Aishwarya, another great post, and I full Believe in Karma, but if only I was aware of what I did within my last life to have this one lol. But in Truth we must all try to do right by others, but we are Human, and thus sometimes we fail in doing what is right and good. I have accepted all which I have done and now I try even more to do what is Right by others and myself.

    Again, thank you.

  4. Karma seems like consequence. So if we are stuck with the same unconscious habitual behaviour over many lifetimes then we suffer the same consequences until we realise what we are doing and change. Thus karma is a teaching tool

  5. Very good explanation of karma and how it’s treated throughout different cultures, I feel I learned a lot that I did not previously know.

  6. A very well written description of karma.

    I don’t follow any religion but i have a strong influence from Buddhism and my yoga practice follows Hindu tradition. Really I’m non dual.
    Karma, my actions today create my future karma. I’m may be in the form of external consequences, but its an inside job. My actions create karma in my thoughts and emotions. I do my best some of the time, and others I mess up. It doesn’t matter because all karma will be resolved – at some point in time. That means I can relax, let go of guilt and shame and slowly move forward.

    Guilt and shame. To resolve karma we need to look at our guilt and shame. Don’t analyse it just gently create a safe space, and welcome shame and guilt in .. when we allow ourselves to feel guilt and shame it stops being the driving force that pushes us out of the moment. Neither can it force us into self hatred and the harmful consequences of.

    Hello guilt, hello shame. Welcome, come sit with me and have a cup of tea.
    I meditate daily and welcome what ever emotions come up. It is not easy to do this. But it’s a life changing meditation.

    Hope you don’t mind the long response.

  7. In the prayer to God lies the karma. Karma means action. From God one seeks to do the right action. Reaction will follow based on the Karma. That is the law of Karma. Harvest the fruit of good action. This is how it works. God may or may not deliver miracles. It is Karma directed by righteous action, which is God in action, steering our lives. More on Karma in my book “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs and traditions”.

  8. Does God play a role in assigning karmas in an individual’s life?
    If He does then a karma can be classified as fate or a predetermined destiny. In that case our freedom to create events is either restricted or controlled. The divine intervention and direction both in its predestined agenda and in producing consequence discourage an autonomous approach to undertake an action.
    But, according to Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hindu studies, only the result or harvest of an action is governed by Him based on the merits and demerits of the activity. The outcome of an action may be instant or delayed. This rebound could be anytime during the life span of an individual. Or, for those who believe in reincarnation, the next life can experience the karmic reaction.
    As per this theology whereas God is responsible in the selection and the delivery of rewards, the principal responsibility to create an event and executing it lies with an individual.
    In contrast, arguing about total release of karma from divinity, the Mimamsa school unequivocally rejects the involvement of the Supreme. Known for its philosophies based on hermeneutics, meaning critical interpretation, the Mimamsa is a pioneer Hindu thought of realism and is forerunner to Vedanta.
    Mimamsa argues the causation is natural. And it is sufficient to induce ultimate result. Accordingly, it is a futile exercise to engage divinity to initiate the cause and determine its outcome.
    The ancient Mimamsa school of thought finds a common ground and relevancy in contemporary Hindu thought on the concept of karma. Moreover, it identifies its logical relationship with science.
    Newton’s law of motion that every action leads to a reaction, is an application of the law of Karma. There is karma going on in an atom, molecule and the nature. As a matter of fact the entire universe is in a state of karma. (Excerpts from Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Trditions)

  9. I’ve read this a few times (sadly I’ve been in a big hurry lately; family deaths), but I’ve enjoyed many of your blog.

    I like this one because it’s been a subject lately because of said deaths. I was asked many times to give a lecture on world view but it was in a Christian based system so I thought I would get some puffed up feathers. Instead I decided to write a piece for Christmas explaining interpretations of death & rebirth. I view Christ as a Buddha so I enjoy debating devout Christians but it’s only fun debate.
    People have been bugging me for over 5 years to start publishing my world view and how I view spirituality but it’s hard to explain all broken up; in a debate I started to teach how to read an astrology birth chart and this specific subject came up because it’s in the wheel along with Karma. In that system there is a soul vibration that is called your ascending sign and this is reborn lifetime after lifetime. Your karma is a south node and the north is your life’s purpose which lies in polar opposite houses and the goal is to perfect a balance of the qualities.
    Example: my south is Pisces and when I was 5 years old I instinctively knew the inner fantasy world of adults was not in touch with reality: adults played the same fantasy games as children and this shaped their perception of reality.

    Too wordy but with family deaths and the subject coming up where I checked if the “soul purposes” of the people were learned just to test the theory next to reading this mixed with nearing constructing the above was a very nice surprise.
    Thank you.

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