What is karma?

What is karma?

In today's article, we are going to talk about one of the most important concepts of Eastern philosophies, what is karma. And, although much has been said about this concept, the truth is that it is not clear what does it mean and what does it imply.


  • 1 What is Karma and what is its origin?
  • 2 The karma symbol and its meaning
  • 3 The types of karma
  • 4 The laws of karma

What is Karma and what is its origin?

According to various religions and Eastern philosophies, such as Hinduism or the buddhism, karma is an energy that envelops all reality, and that behaves like a sort of metaphysical justification mechanism.

The basic idea is that karma takes care that the moral actions that are carried out have a return of the same type towards those who have done them. Thus, a positive action has a positive return, while a negative action has a negative return.

This does not mean that if you steal someone, they will steal from you, but that you will receive similar damage. For example, you may have robbed someone of a small amount of money, so karma will take care of you becoming slightly ill. If you have stolen a lot, maybe your illness is more serious.

It should be mentioned that the fact that this cosmic force exists does not necessarily imply the existence of any god. In the case of Hinduism, for example, it is. But, in the case of Buddhism, this cosmic compensation mechanism is natural.

The karma symbol and its meaning

The karma symbol is an endless knot. It is a cultural motif that is commonly found in Asia. The infinite knot symbolizes the interconnection between causes and effects, a karmic cycle that continues eternally. This same infinite knot is the one in the center of the Buddhist prayer wheel.

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The types of karma

Karma has traditionally been separated into three different types of karma, which are the following:

  1. Prarabdha karma: This is an automatic karma, which happens at the same time the action is taking place. For example, the automatic satisfaction that is felt in helping those who need it, or the negative feeling that is suffered when someone is harmed.
  2. Sanchita karma: This second karma refers to the negative or positive memories that remain in our mind after having performed a good or a bad action. For example, the pain of not having made a declaration of love, or the joy of remembering the happy face of someone you helped.
  3. Agami karma: Finally, there is karma that refers to the effects that we will have in the future by an action of the present. For example, when you have done someone wrong, they turn against you in the future because nobody wants to relate to you.

The laws of karma

The above is the basic karma core, but the truth is a much deeper concept, which refers to the fact that we are responsible for the consequences and effects of the decisions we have made.

To understand karma in all its depth, we must talk about its twelve laws:

  1. Essential law: As you do, you will receive. It is the basic law explained above, and for which it is convenient to do good and not evil.
  2. Law of generativity: The human being is part of life, and life is creation. The mission of the human being is to create his life.
  3. Humility law: Thanking what you have allows you to grow morally and intellectually. However, being arrogant leads to meanness.
  4. Liability Law: We are responsible for the things that happen to us, according to the decisions made in the past (or in the present).
  5. Connection law: Each act, however inconsequential it may seem, is connected to the whole, and has effects.
  6. Development law: Our life is a constant flow, and that implies change. You have to adapt to the changes and grow with them.
  7. Targeting Law: Knowledge is acquired step by step. You have to focus on the stage where you are in one moment, without wishing to reach the next.
  8. Law of generosity: Living in a mental state of generosity and respect makes our lives better.
  9. Law of the present: Thinking about the past is a way to destroy the present and the future. We must let go of the past to focus on what is happening to us.
  10. Law of change: Changing the decisions made is vitally important so that mistakes made are not repeated.
  11. Law of Patience: Making patience a fundamental value of life is fundamental, since the fruits that are collected after a lot of work taste better.
  12. Law of inspiration: The more effort, energy and value we dedicate to our day-to-day life, the better results we will obtain, and the greater merit our victories will have.

As you can see, karma is a bit more complicated this idea of ​​"if you do good, it turns you and good, and if you do evil, it turns you into evil." I hope these explanations have been useful to you and it has been clear to you what is karma.

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