What is Karma?

What is Karma?

Karma in Sanskrit means "action", it generally denotes the cycle of cause and effect. 


Karma = action


We have often heard about "what goes around comes around" which means each action has an equal and opposite reaction.


These sayings have been common since long but is there any truth to them?


It is often said that the kind of seeds we sow will determine the quality of the crop harvested.


According to spirituality, we as souls need to bear the fruits of our doings as per God's design. 


Karma is the experiences shaped by our own actions. 


The deeper understanding of karma depends upon our identity as spiritual beings (souls) spirited by supreme power.


In this lifetime, we are constantly paying off our karmic debts to balance out our karma.


Karma is not physical, it is spiritual, and the process wherein we are held accountable for our creations in everyday lives through our body, feelings, relationships, circumstances, thoughts, and experiences till we come to know ourselves and others as divine beings.


Like the law of gravity, karma is so basic we often don't even notice it. - Sakyong Mipham


Law of gravity in the the physical world =  Law of karma in the spiritual world


If we have imbalanced karmic debts i.e. consciousness, we are presented the same lessons time and again in the lifetime till the next until we reach the value and wisdom.


Karma is the consequence of our past deeds and the opportunity to heal and balance in the present. 


If you believe in spirituality, working out karma and learning lessons to seek a healthy relationship with God is a smart approach.


It is believed that karma determines life experiences based on this philosophy of karma, it is divided into three kinds of karma: the past karma, the present karma and the future karma.


3 kinds of Karma


  1. Sanchita

Sanchita means "gathered" - The accumulated unresolved actions from the past which are subject to fruition.


  1. Prarabdha

Prarabdha means "begun", it is the actions already manifesting that we do in the present and its reactions in the present that can’t be avoided.


  1. Agami

Agami means "not yet come" that would take effect in the future. It is the future consequence of the actions performed in the present moment.


What is good karma and bad karma?


Good karma leads to happiness while negative karma leads to unhappiness.


Good karmas are the good things we do in life that give us good results in terms of material benefits or advance spiritually.


As per the law of nature, when you do good things to others good things come back to you.


Sometimes we expect praise in exchange for our good karma, in this way we get attached to the results and thus become unhappy, that's called karma.


If we remain unattached to the results, we become free from the bondage of karma.


Unlike bad deeds which are done with the intention to harm others is termed as bad karma.


The 12 Laws of Karma


When you live in accordance with the 12 distinct laws of karma, you increase the likelihood for good things to happen in your life i.e. you create good karmas.


Read below to know each of these laws in more detail.


  1. The Great Law

The law of cause and effect, it means the energy and thoughts we put out is also what we will receive. For example if you want love in your life, then be loving.


  1. The Law of Creation

Change your life by taking action which means that we are one with the universe so we have the power to create our ideality. We need to be actively involved in our lives to fulfil our desires.


  1. The Law of Humility

Law of humility is that we need to accept things in order to change them. For example, if we keep blaming others for our actions, we are out of step with reality and couldn't make the shifts we need.


We need to make use of self-reflection in the law of humility.


  1. The Law of Growth

It relates to self-growth, changing yourself before you can change your environment - it is a message that you need to change yourself before you expect it of the world around you.


  1. The Law of Responsibility

The Law of Responsibility means we are responsible for what happens in our lives, whether good or bad.


It teaches us to treat others in a way we want us to be treated by them and take ownership of the good or bad things we create.


  1. The Law of Connection

This law is based on the principle that past, present, and future are closely connected. 


Everything you've experienced influences the next thing and so on.


It guides us to control our present and future to clear the bad energy from the past.


  1. The Law of Focus

It says that one can not follow two things at the same time. The inclination to do everything at once affects our productivity and performance.


If we have several goals to accomplish at once, we won't be able to focus, which leads to negativity.


To have a better life we need to focus on one thing at a time, with this we are less likely to be distracted by feelings of anger and resentment and stay focused on high values such as love and peace.


  1. The Law of Giving and Hospitality

This law teaches that if you believe in something to be true, you will be called upon someday in life to demonstrate your faith in that truth. 


For example, if you do charity because you want to help people and not because you want to earn their appreciation.


  1. The Law of Here and Now

This law is all about being in the present moment and appreciating it. 


It encourages you to accept the truth of your reality and don't look back in the past or into the future.


The concept of here and now advises you can’t be in the present when you look back. If you cling too hard to the past you will stick to old behavior patterns and lose the present energy.


  1. The Law of Change

According to this law, if you experience history repeating itself over and over again nudging you to learn a lesson and act differently to evolve to stop the vicious cycle. 


The past repeats itself until we take a new path to create a better future and better version of yourself.


  1. The Law of Patience and Reward

According to The Law of Patience and Reward principle, if we remain consistent in our karmic deeds then the joy of reward will come in its own time.


For example, let's assume if you have two goals out of which one is short-term and the other one is long-term such as promotion being a long-term goal and reading a book be a short term goal. 


After accomplishment, the promotion being a long-term goal gives more joy than the short term one.


The reward is great when the sacrifice is big and you have invested more time and effort.



  1. The Law of Significance and Inspiration

The law of significance and inspiration advises us that whatever energy we put in something is what we get back.


In other words the more good contributions you make to the world around you, the more positivity you attract back in your life.


Whenever you help others around you, these actions inspire similar behavior and draws more positive energy in your life.


Neutralizing the Negative Karma through meditation


Meditation brings self-control and a sense of detachment. 


When you become free from expectations, guilt, shame, grief that freedom leads to self-realization and knowing your higher self comes only through meditation.


"Karma is dynamic". As humans, we have the ability to clear bad impressions (negative karma) and fear through meditation and spiritual practices.


How does meditation burns karma


In the deepest meditations such as "samadhi" which means detachment from all things, there's no action or reaction.


Where the objective is to stay even, not having much from the past and not building too much for the future. 


Mindfulness is to remain in the current moment and to see it fully. When we meditate, we enter a space of deep stillness or ‘no-mind’ state.


Karma is something associated with the physical world but once we transcend the mind, we are the non dual space where karma ceases to exist.


By achieving a higher sense of consciousness through meditation, karma starts to dissolve instantly and thus the mind, body and spirit gets purified. 


Sitting in meditation for a longer time lets you clear your mind, balance out your karma and be at peace with your life.




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