I definitely think karma is a reality and I also think that it is a divine reality but I also think it is misunderstood by some of us. Yes, to any action there is a reaction and what comes up must go down but these karmic effects are not that obvious as they might seem in my opinion. Some for example believe that if one is violent at some point in life will generate a violence karma and that he will suffer sometime in the future of violence or even in a future life. I, however, don't think that karma works that way and if "we have served apples to others we are going to receive apples by other in the future".
In my opinion if one has had a violent behavior at some point in time he will have to suffer in the future but not necessarily in a violent way. His crush might leave him and he will suffer for years and get depressed for that, or he will develop some sort of disease and suffer from it or who know what other type of sufferings he will have to get through, so I do believe that karma is more "homogeneous" in its way of affecting people than "heterogeneous". A collection of deeds and habits might generate a set of actions upon someone that is totally different and non related of what that person did to generate that karma.
Now, if we are to take into account reincarnation also and the fact that the soul or the human consciousness might live in multiple bodies through multiple lives until it reaches its final goal then the things get even more ambiguous and hard to grasp and understand. To take again the example of a violent person it might happen that by the end of his life that person would live a normal life and he won't suffer that much as "he should" according to a basic understanding of karma, so what happens? Has that person "solved" everything before dying and paid for anything he did. It might or it might not...
So if reincarnation really exists and I tend to believe it does than such a person might get reincarnated in a future life as a person with a handicap for example or as an abused child or who knows what other type of sufferings he might have to "taste" for his deeds from his past life. Also no one can prove though neither the existence of reincarnation nhore its nonexistence so it is only true in the belief of each of us. I somehow tend to believe it and also tend to believe that this karma that we are talking about "follows" the human soul through multiple lives and even generates to some extent the destiny of the lives.
Now, talking about destiny we can call it a synonym for karma or karma's fruits but is it our whole life predestined and we're only living a script or we have the power of will and choose everything about us? In this regard I believe that we have both of them combined in a divine mix. We have a destiny or a karmic determined scenario for our life but blended with multiple key moments of pure decision over our lives and the ability to change that karma. Now,writing the comment I realized that I only gave example of bad karma by now and it might seem that this is how I see it but it's actually not and here is the trick. In my opinion karma is the sum of everything one lives (deeds, thoughts, feelings, intentions) and by everything I refer to the good, the bad and the insignificant also. Everything.
My personal understanding regarding karma is simple I would say. I see it as a very complex divine mathematical formula that combines almost endless factors generated by a soul/consciousness and uses impossible to grasp by the human mind calculation methods that always lead to the perfect result whether we like it or not or whether we consider it God's will or devil's temptation. That result might be bad or good, beautiful or ugly in our eyes, but ultimately it is perfect. That's how I see it.
Glad to have been able to answer your question and hope you will find my answer insightful. It is definitely a great question for this Saturday evening. Have a nice weekend!
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I'm a strong believer of Karma. What ever good or bad action that we do in our life is definitely going to come back to us in a way. If we are doing lots of good deeds, it will reach to us in the form of good and if we are doing bad things to someone, it is going to be tracked and reflect on us someday when we don't really expect it to happen. Science also provides a good explanation to this theory and they name it as Cause and Effect theory. Karma theory is very common in religions that originated from Hinduism and people who follow Hinduism mostly believes in Karma theory.
People usually relate Karma with fate. That is a good comparison. Fate is something that comes as the outcome of Karma we do. If we do some bad deeds, it can revert back on us and when it happens people call it fate. They will not be able to justify why bad things are happening. Ultimately they say that it is because of fate. There are both acceptance theories as well as contradictions to this concept. I strongly believe that Karma is recorded somewhere and that recording can also be manipulated as fate and based on the Karma recordings a person has, his fate is determined. It is also thought provoking if we dive deep to understand if someone can completely go away from Karma. If something like that happens, they will not be bound to this world at all. But will we still use the term fate for them saying that their fate was to end up like that?
Karma beyond birth and death
According to Hinduism Karma is not fixed for a single birth. The journey of Human being are beyond birth and death. We might have taken several births before and we might even take several births after this life but the actions we do (good or bad) in all the birth gets accumulated and is shown as effect. Someone would have been a great person in the current birth and would have always thought good for others. But the things that happen for him will be completely opposite and he will end up in a situation where he will have to suffer a lot. Scholars say that the reason for this is because of the deeds he would have done during his previous births. When we die our Karma still remains the same and we will be pushed to our next life along with Karma. It is believed that the birth death cycle ends only if we lose all our Karma.
Karma and Science
Today even modern science accepts the Karma theory. The reason is because it is closely related to cause and effect theory. Science provides lots of technical explanation to cause and effect theory which you and browse and understand. Similarly science also believe in the law that effect action has an equal and opposite reaction. In a way both these findings from Science can be closely related with Karma theory because it is also saying the same thing but in a different manner. Obviously science will not be able to talk about the beyond birth and death concepts and all. To some extent it can be easily understood with the help of science and its findings.
Is it good or bad?
I don't know if this is a natural system that originated automatically or someone created this system. I'm not going to debate on that as well. But as far as I know I see a lot of significance in this Karma theory. People who strongly believe in Karma theory don't take life for granted easily. When they are forced to do any bad things, they take a moment to think about the effect of doing bad things. If they have an option to avoid doing it, they go for it because they don't really wish to accumulate their bad karma. People are a bit afraid to do bad things to others. In some of the countries this is very common. They just to take the justice side all the time instead of spreading negativity.
This creates both self motivation as well as positive attitude in people. They think multiple times before doing something. Some of the Saints in India, even refrain from accumulating good deeds as well. The monks who know that the actual path towards salvation is to get rid of both Good Karma as well as Bad Karma, work towards a state where no Karma is generated for them at all. That state is also known as the Samadhi state and it is not easily accessible for everyone. But once a person reaches that state, the worldly things will not affect the person.
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Being raised catholic and practicing no religion now, I do not believe in Karma, but I find the meaning it has acquired in my culture fascinating.
By definition, Karma, as understood in Hinduism and Buddhism, is “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences” (OED).
As some commentators here have elaborated, whatever good or bad we do comes back to us when we least expect it. Except for the idea of reincarnation implied here, this principle of cause and effect does not differ much from some tenants of Christianity. I personally do not see any empirical correlation between cause and effect. I think randomness, common sense, and actions (or the lack of it) end up determining the outcome. We can see daily lots of instances of good people doing good deeds and suffering some kind of setback. By the same token we can see lots of bad people doing bad things and not getting immediate punishment that would suggests some kind of divine power doing justice. Of course, bad people do bad things and put themselves in constant risks. That bad things end up happening to them is more than expected, and yet, many make it into old age without many scratches. I do not see it as a consolation that that evil doer will get his in some other life, where he may be reborn into a bull and will be torture at bullfights.
I respect whoever wants to believe in that definition of Karma, though. I think that any belief that deters people from doing evil is a good belief. Of course, I’d rather do good because it makes me feel good than because it guarantees me some afterlife reward. I’d rather avoid doing evil for how despicable I find it than because I fear the punishment it may bring on to me either in this life or in another.
In any case, in Venezuela people use the term Karma very lightly, as in “What a karma with you”, when someone is pestering someone else. Or, “this is a karma I am carrying”, meaning that that person has to deal with undesirable people or work. So, karma for us is simply a burden, something or someone who haunt us or makes our lives miserable.
You reap what you sow.
Maybe not outright directly. Though somewhere, sooner or later...
For me, karma is like a law of cause and effect. But it is important to point out that it is a spiritual interpretation of it. Which makes me much less categorical. Moreover, even scientists are unable to accurately assess the effects of each cause. It's a law and we simply know that every act has consequences. Fortunately, because otherwise life would be very sad.
Neither is relativity taken into account. Indeed, what is accepted as good in some cultures can be considered bad in others.
This is a belief and it comes from the East. To believe in it or not is a choice and for my part I do not adhere to it.
For example, in the Buddhist tradition, karma is associated with the acts of this life, but also of earlier ones. We know it from a positive point of view, but it sometimes gives rise, in the opposite direction, to abominations rarely mentioned. Especially in the case of a birth disability it is common to criminalize harmful acts of previous lives. And there, for having experienced it in an original land of Tantric Buddhism, there is no more compassion that holds. In the same way, homosexuality is considered as a disease, the cause of which would be due to an earlier life of debauchery.
I think we all know that our actions have consequences. But for my part, I know the reality: there is only now.
Some people say karma is a "b*tch" and I can make it sure tho hahaha. But I'm not calling it's karma. I'm a moslem. Me religion said that, if you're doing something wrong, then the reply of what you're doing is gonna be bad. And if you're doing a good thing, the reply is also a good thing. Even when you can't see it clearly. Because a good reply is appear in many forms. Named it, money, health, happiness, avoided by accident, and many more. I've experience it my self many times.
For example. So that time, I was have no money left. Except 10.000 rupiahs, and it still like 3 days more until my mom send me, my monthly money. I was clueless how to get through this 3 days. Then I remember my prophet say, about giving to other who in need, and God will help you during your hard time. I don't know what to, so I close my eye's, and let that last money I have to someone. I'm done with it, and move on. But still hope somehow someway I can get out from this money problem. So in the afternoon, apparently my uncle call me to his house, help him to set up his new kind of home theater. After I'm done, he thanks me for that. And give me money about 100.000 rupiahs. I'm stone-cold can't believe what happened. At the day I just let go 10.000 rupiahs, and then in the afternoon it get back with 100.000 rupiahs. I laughing to myself that time, thinking God is kidding with me, while be grateful for him. It's up to you, whether you believe or not, since it's my own experience.
Some people would say that's was a good karma. But it's up to you whatever you want to call it. Just make sure, that at least, do something good everyday. You'll need it.
@Sayee, Unfortunately many people hold the wrong understanding of Concept of KARMA. But in my opinion in simplified terms we can say one thing that is, late or early whatever actions we do, it will be return to us with equal essence means, if you do good then today or tomorrow you will reiceve good but if you do bad then vice versa. So, it's really important to spread goodness and kindness because KARMA is watching everything.
Wishing you an great day and stay blessed. 🙂
I think it's an excuse to be shitty to those who are less fortunate.
Much like a concept of reincarnation, Karma implies that People who bad thing happen to, deserve it in some way.
It's fine if you have a more possitive vision.
I'm just very critical of metaphysical concepts.
Karma in my opinion :
Doing good ---> you will get the good
Doing bad ---> you will get the bad
So karma is a form of revenge (in the world, or after we die) of whatever we do.