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What exactly is Karma


By Melissa Donaldson - 5/13/2013

Buddha statue
  Photo Credit: r.classen / Shutterstock.com

One of the most important teachings to come from the Buddha during his lifetime was karma. Throughout the ages every master has strove to teach their students the basic concept of this huge and life altering form of evolution. To this day many masters even claim that the true magnitude of karma is yet unknown and is different, special, and unique for every individual incarnated today. When first studying Buddhism this is a term you will come across almost in every text or written work completed by master and students. Here are just a few highlights that you may see initially when you take up the study of karma and what you might want to delve into a little farther.

Incarnation

Karma is an idea that is based up on the notion of reincarnation. Buddhism is not the only practice that mentions this theory but the Buddha taught that souls reincarnate into the world of Samsara or rather where we are cognizant and living now. Samsara is said to be a place that we drift and learn and live as a result of our constant choices throughout lifetimes. As far as Buddhism is concerned we have a hand in choosing our parents and roles to a certain degree in the next lifetime we are coming into at any given time.

Meaning of Karma

To be quite precise the Pali word Karma means action or to do. Basically this translates into our actions shape our futures and our pasts. Since there is no time only a concept invented by man Buddhist see this action as a never ending circle of constant action and doing that results in our next challenge in our next lifetime. What we say, do, feel, think, and express are all contributing factors to our Karma and can at any point in time give us great joy, a great lesson, or bring us great sorrow. It is up to us how we view what comes to us and what we do with what we are given.

Causes

Karma is the result of cause and effect. We cause something to happen in our lives or the lives of another and we reap what we sow in every sense of the phrase. If we cross the path of someone and think badly about them that action is revisited upon us at some point as well. This applies to something as little as wishing someone didn't win an award to something as large as a murder or other crime committed against your fellow man. Karma is not evil or discriminating. It's very simple and has no agenda it's only an extension of ourselves and how we react to the universe.

So remember when you think about cutting someone off at a stoplight or you're wondering what it might be like to take this or that away from someone, you will be revisited in kind at some point. Karma also works through positive means as well. Give and you receive. Basically that old saying that you were taught in Sunday school, "Do unto others as you wish to be done by" makes a lot more sense now doesn't it?


 








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