“Karma is a b*tch!”. We’ve all heard the expression. Almost everyone understands that karma is a spiritual and religious concept that means “what goes around, comes around”.
Many people believe in karma and some people don’t. Is karma truly universal? Is there any scientific proof that makes the concept of karma true? Does karma have anything to do with religion?
Some say your every action will produce consequences, creating a ripple in the universe. Some people also believe that it is the invisible power that teaches every person that your life today is just a reflection of your past and that you create your own destiny.
What Is Karma?
Karma means deed, action or work, but it also refers to the spiritual belief of cause and effect where any intent or actions of a person influences the future of that person. Karma’s origins can be traced back to ancient India. Many people believe that karma is an unbreakable law of the universe and that you deserve everything that happens to you, either good or bad and that you created your happiness or your misery.
It’s also a key concept in Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and many other religions.
Karma in Hinduism. Hindus believe that people are reborn into another life after the present one and the idea of karma states that a person’s action in the present life will determine their quality of life in reincarnation. When people start their present life, karma will accumulate based on a person’s actions. When people die, they will enter the process called samsara and will be reborn into another life.
Karma in Jainism. All Jains believe that any action, words and thoughts attract karma and that a person’s karma will determine the quality of life they have today. Karma in this belief is a physical substance that is present throughout the universe. The soul (jiva), carries karma around from one life to another until people remove them or until it expires after they have caused intended harm or any negative action. Jains seek liberation by freeing themselves from the reincarnation cycle by ridding all karma that is attached to the jiva. They can do this by following the Jainism vows and living in the right mental state. To them, bad karma attracts bad karma, so, if someone commits any negative acts they are likely to commit more. For them, Karma exists on its own and no deity is controlling it.
Karma in Buddhism. Same with Hindu and Jain ideas, Buddhists believe that karma can affect this life and can carry over into the next life. Any action from past lives affect the state of the present life. To a Buddhist, karma is a natural order of things. It’s not a reward or punishment from a deity or a god.
Karma in Christianity. It is suggested that karma is almost the same as the concept of sin. Christianity also teaches morals like “what you reap is what you sow” found in Galatian’s 6:7 and “live by the sword, die by the sword” found in Matthew 26:52. But most Bible scholars consider these concepts of the last judgement different from karma because karma is an ongoing process and happens on a daily basis in a person’s life, while the last judgment is a one time review of a person at the end of their lives when they reach the gates of heaven.
Karma in Islam. According to Muslim scholars, in Islam, everything that a Muslim does to others is judged by Allah and you will get it back in a good way or the other, unlike in other Eastern beliefs. To Muslims, karma is an ancient Indian belief in which some unseen system keeps a running total of a person’s deeds throughout multiple lifetimes and which is used to determine a person’s status, caste and wisdom in each stage of reincarnation. The one who makes records of all actions and deeds and informs all Muslims of them and create the results is the Creator Allah. “And whoever does a speck of good [in life], will see it [on the Day of Judgement]. And whoever does a speck of evil, will see it.” [Qur’an 100:7-8]. Muslims believe that it’s not the deeds, but the mercy and justice of Allah that determines the fate of each person.
Karma and Atheism. Atheists don’t believe in karma in a religious sense, but they do believe in cause and effect and an outcome which is completely under the control of the person doing the action. It can also be seen through probability where probability is defined as a measure of likeliness that an event or action will happen. Many atheists might believe in some form of karma, that everything happens for a reason but that reason hasn’t been proven to be spiritual or mystical.
So therefore, for an atheist, people just invented karma. Karma is a desired result that is determined by some outside force that takes care of a problem for people while posing as a spiritual force. For atheists, karma is about feeling good or comfortable rather than accepting the hard truth that sometimes, people get what they deserve and sometimes they don’t. If people value truth over superstition, only then people can learn more about how to actually avoid or solve these problems in the future. As long as people have perspective that determined by the mathematical theory of probability, there is no reason to think that karma truly exist.
The Four Classifications Of Karma
Karma can be classified into 4 types:
1. Reproductive Karma
When the present form dies or perishes, another form which is neither same, nor absolutely different will take its place. This is according to the potential thought-vibration that is generated at the moment of death because the karmic force propels the life force that still survives. This last thought is the reproductive karma which determines the quality of life of a person in birth.
2. Supportive Karma
This is neither good nor bad. This type of karma maintains or assists the action of the reproductive karma in the course of a person’s lifetime. Immediately after birth and until the time of death, this type of karma will step forward to support the reproductive karma. A moral supportive karma will assist in providing wealth, health and happiness to the person being born with a moral supportive karma. The opposite, an immoral supportive karma will assist in giving pain, sorrow, fear etc to the person being born with an immoral reproductive karma.
3. The Counteractive Karma
This karma tends to interrupt and weaken reproductive karma. For example, a person that was born with a good reproductive karma may be subject to different ailments, thus it prevents this person from enjoying the blissful results of the good actions made.
4. Destructive Karma
According to the law of karma, the potential reproductive karma energy can be nullified by a powerful opposing karma of the past that seeks an opportunity and operates unexpectedly. This action is called the destructive karma which is more effective as compared to the previous two because it destroys the whole force. A destructive karma can be either good or bad.
The Laws Of Karma
Many people believe that karma is a natural law and the currency of life. And with the currency of karmic actions, people purchase and create all life experiences. According to the theory of karma, everyone has a cupboard full of personal karmas, cultural karmas and the karmas that involve the entire human race. The life everyone is experiencing is a mesh of all your karmas interacting with one another like the lines on your hand or thumbprint.
One way to understand the karmic laws is to watch how karma manifests within you and around you.
1. The Universal Law – What You Sow Is What You Reap
The law of cause and effect. The accepted universal law and it explains simply that a person’s thoughts and actions have consequences, either good or bad. If you desire war, you will get war. If you desire peace, prosperity, harmony and others, you should be willing to act accordingly to fulfill it.
2. The Law Of Creation – What You Desire Comes Through Participation
This can also be stated as the law of creation. Any life that anyone sees was created by a person’s intentions. Because humans are one with the universe, the intentions determine the evolution of creation. What people surround themselves with will be part of them and it is the human race’s responsibility to ensure that these surroundings are conductive to one’s desires.
3. The Humility Law – The Refusal To Accept What Is Will Still Be What Is
A bit confusing at first, but to put it simply, acceptance is a near-universal virtue in many belief systems. People must accept the present circumstances in order to change them. If, for example, you focus on the negative instead on making changes to address the negative things, you’re committing to a zero-sum result.
4. The Growth Law – Growth is Above Any Circumstance
The only thing that a person has control over is themselves. Any subsequent inaction or action of motive will result in either positive or negative circumstances in life. Plus any true change will happen when a person makes a commitment to change what is in their heart.
5. The Responsibility Law – One’s Lives are of Their Own Doing and Nothing Else
When there is trouble in a person’s life, there will be internal turbulence. If a person wants to change their life, they must change their mindset and their surroundings.
6. The Law Of Connection – Everything in the Universe is Connected, Both Small and Large
A person’s past and future are all connected and as such, a person must put in work to change these connections if that person wants a different result. There are no first, intermediate or last steps required in accomplishing something that a person desires. All steps are required to fulfill everything.
7. The Focus Law – One Cannot Direct Attention Beyond a Single Task
This is related to a person’s spiritual growth where a person should not have any negative thoughts or actions. To have spiritual growth, all the negative things should be thrown out the window and direct full attention to achieve any desired tasks.
8. The Law of Giving and Hospitality – Showing Your Selflessness Shows Your True Intentions
To make it simple to understand, what a person claims to believe must manifest in their actions. Selflessness is a virtue only if a person is accommodating something other than themselves. Spiritual growth will be truly possible if a person is without a selfish nature.
9. The Law Of Change – History Repeats Itself Unless it is Changed
If you want to influence your past, a conscious commitment to change isrequired. History will continue along an unconstructive path unless positive energies and actions direct it elsewhere.
10. Here and Now – The Present Is What Everyone Has
If you look back with regrets and move forward aimlessly, you rob yourself of a present opportunity. Any past thoughts and patterns of behavior will negate the present probability of advancing yourself.
11. Patience and reward – Nothing of Value Is Created Without a Patient Mindset
In this law, patience is a virtue. Any rewards or results are claimed only through persistence, focus and patience. Rewards are not the end result of it, but the lasting happiness is from the knowledge of doing what is needed in the rightful anticipation of a reward that is well and truly earned.
12. The Law of Inspiration and Significance – The best reward is One That Contributes To Everything or The Whole
This means that the end result will have little value if it leaves little or nothing behind. Intentions and energy are essential components that can determine the significance of the end result.
Do you believe in karma? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments!