What is karma? | Hinduism Buddhism

Karma, a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to “action”, is a central concept in some Eastern religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.

Although its specifics are different depending on the religion, karma generally refers to the cycle of cause and effect – every action taken by a person will affect him at some point in the future. This rule also applies to the thoughts and words of a person, as well as to the actions that other people take under the instructions of that person.

Today people use the word karma in a way that is not quite consistent with its traditional meaning. For example, karma is often misused to refer to luck, fate, or fate. Karma is also misused to explain sudden difficulties.

With karma, the same causes produce the same effects; that is, a good action will lead to a future beneficial effect, while a bad action will lead to a future harmful effect.

Karma is not only about the relationship between actions and consequences, but also about the moral reasons or intentions behind actions, according to a 1988 article in the journal Philosophy East and West. So if someone does a good deed for the wrong reasons – making a charitable donation to impress a potential lover, for example – the action could still be immoral and produce bad karma.

It is important to note that karma is enveloped by the concept of reincarnation or rebirth, in which a person is born into a new human (or non-human) body after death. The effects of an action can therefore be felt by a person in a future life, and the good or bad fortune that someone experiences can be the result of actions performed in past lives.

Moreover, the karmic sum of a person will decide what form he will take in the next life.

There are a number of Western religious (and non-religious) expressions that are similar to karma, including “what happens comes back” and “violence begets violence”.

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