Understanding Karma And Its Consequences
“You know what people say about Karma, what goes around comes around.” For most people, Karma is some abstract, illogical law that supposedly dictates how a person becomes what they are today by their past actions. While this definition is certainly understandable, it begs the question: what really is Karma? And what can one do, or at least be guided by, to become a more desirable person?
What Is Karma
Karma is actually a very simple concept. With every thought, word and action we make, we simultaneously sow the seeds of reaction into our life which will produce an effect when the time is ripe. In fact, the word itself, karmic, describes the ethical law of cause and effect: where good actions result in good things happening to you and bad actions leading to bad things happening to you, and vice versa. This is the basis of all religious philosophies, from Christianity to Islam, Hinduism to Buddhism. The underlying premise, however, is that good karma is inherently inevitable and is completely beyond our control.
The original idea came from the Indian philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism. They both believed that bad karma or “re retribution” is an integral part of being born into the world and that if you could learn how to erase bad karma or at least reduce it significantly, you could enhance your life and quality of living substantially.
Both Indian Buddhism and the Hinduism systems of moral behaviour stem from the same root. However, in India, Buddhism, and Hinduism, karma and dharma become much more than mere principles. They are deeply rooted doctrines with profound moral meanings. They are used to explain why things happened the way they do, to help us make better choices in our lives, and to help guide us towards happiness and spiritual enlightenment. They also often describe various techniques for achieving self-actualization.
Karma In Religion
Karma and retribution theology has a long history in both Eastern and Western religions. Most recently, it has become a key part of the Christian religion. The main premise of the Christian doctrine of karma and retribution is that everyone has been given free will to choose good or evil. In addition, everyone has the ability to deliberately choose right and wrong. And, because God is omniscient (knows all things that have been, will be, and will be), this means that he has absolutely perfect knowledge of what people will choose to do, will do, or will not do.
Because God knows what will be, he has the ability to use his entire creation to show people how they are doing wrong and, therefore, must suffer. The Bible teaches that everyone is aware of their actions and choices. However, when someone does something wrong, God uses his other creations such as angels, counsellors, earthly possessions, and even humans to punish that person, as a form of discipline or retribution.
In the Buddhist system, karma and retribution are viewed with much the same way as in the Christian understanding: everyone knows what they are doing is wrong, but there is a person who has been afflicted by that action, and there is a person who is watching them in pain – then that person must make some sort of reparation for the trouble he caused in order to alleviate that suffering and move on to enjoy what they have already done.
If we are suffering in our present life is due to past karma. You might claim that it is unfair as we don’t remember what we did in our past lives. There is this phrase in Buddhism that says: “If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present and if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.”
One interesting aspect of karma and its consequences is that there is apparently no way you can completely eradicate them. Even if you don’t fully understand the relationship between what you are doing now and your future destiny, it is certainly true that your present actions can have a direct effect on your karmic prospects. This is why people who practice religion encourage their readers to practice “pray hard” and “do good.” Practising “good karma” and using “acts of kindness” are just as beneficial to your spiritual development as are “acts of truth” and “charity.”