What is karma?
We explain what karma is and its definition according to dharmic religions. His relationship with reincarnation and anantarika-karma.
What is karma?
Karma is, within popular culture, a concept related to destiny . For some Eastern religions it is purely and exclusively related to an action that derives from the acts of people . It is a central and foundational belief of several Eastern doctrines.
The concept of karma is an expression that comes from Sanskrit and is used by dharmic religions (Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism and Sikhism). Translated into Spanish and accepted by the main Eastern religions, it means fact or action that the human being preserves from past lives and that will serve to foster a completely useful learning for future reincarnations.
According to Eastern beliefs, karma is formed from incarnation to incarnation , and indicates what each human being must learn during each of his reincarnations. Therefore, if an individual makes bad decisions during a lifetime, this will be reflected in future lives, so that he has the possibility to learn about those decisions and make the right ones. On the other hand, if the decisions made during a lifetime were positive and caused a learning in the human being, you will enjoy everything that, in addition to getting and learning, caused good vibrations of energy circulating in the universe.
Karma according to dharmic religions
As we said before, this concept is part of several dharmic doctrines, which find in that concept an explanation for many events in the life of human beings. The basis of the concept is the same, but Buddhism and Hinduism are still faced by a different meaning of the law of karma.
- In Buddhism , karma can be explained as a natural inertia . This means that it does not work as a reward or magic stimulus, but as a common and natural response to the decisions made before.
- In Hinduism , karma is explained as a law of action and reaction. This is quite similar to the idea we have of karma and which runs as an almost accepted definition in our popular culture . According to the Hinduists, Yama Rash will judge us at the end of our incarnation, according to subsequent decisions and subsequent actions that we have recorded in the Book of Life. Then, we will receive in response to these actions, appropriate reactions.
- In Jainism , karma not only refers to the cause for which reincarnation is performed, but it is also a broader concept about something dark that is introduced into the soul in order to affect the original and pure qualities.
Although the different dharmic doctrines have the same Indian origin and are based on practically the same principles and beliefs, they cannot all agree on a single common definition.
Reincarnation and karma
As we explained in the previous paragraphs, karma prepares the individual to face subsequent reincarnations in a more comfortable way and, perhaps, with more tools.
Reincarnation , according to Eastern religions, consists in the transfer of the soul from one body to another body, at the end of a life. The human being, through reincarnations, acquires and achieves learning processes that provoke a constant transformation and that collaborate with the state of inner wisdom.
Karma: divine justice
In some ways, karma is the way Eastern doctrines found to explain things that were happening . If the Divine God is just, then they did not find an answer for the bad things that happened to the good people. Karma was, then, the easiest and most complex way to explain that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.
In addition and because karma, that is the result of our actions, accumulates from incarnation to incarnation, we need to pay it in many “installments.” The good and the bad will be collected in different lives , because it would be impossible to see all the results, good and bad, in one life.
According to Buddhism, these are five cardinal sins (maximum Buddhist offenses) that, in the case of being committed, karma would cause an immediate catastrophe. These are: parricide (father’s murder); matricide (mother’s murder); murder of an enlightened being (an Arhat); shed the blood of a buddha priest; or provoke a division among the community of Buddhist monks.
In conclusion, our idea of karma or popular belief has something to do with the real concept of karma, although not in the whole concept. Now, then, you will know that you must take advantage of everything that life puts before you, whether good or bad , because of all that you will be able to extract a learning process that, in case of positive decision making , will be a glorious learning, which It will make sense of all suffering and of any process that has left us with something as a lesson that, in case of negative decisions, will accumulate for the next reincarnation, making our life, perhaps, a real ordeal.