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Understanding Karma

Updated on February 9, 2013

When I was a youth attending Catholic school I would continually vex the nuns by asking questions they would answer only as “It’s a mystery of faith.” Even at an early age that answer just didn’t cut it for me. Therefore, when I was able to do my own research I began searching for my own answers to these questions:

What is the cause of the inequality that exists among mankind?

Why should one person be brought up in the lap of luxury, surrounded by wealth and talent, and another in absolute poverty with little hope for a decent future?

Why should one person be a mental prodigy, and another retarded?

Why should one person be born with saintly characteristics and another with criminal tendencies?

Why should some be linguistic, artistic, mathematically inclined, or musical from the very cradle?

Why do some have to go through life blind, deaf, or deformed, and others in relative health?

Why should some be blessed, and others cursed from their births?

After reading literally hundreds of books on the paranormal, what did I find that answered all these questions? KARMA. The philosophical explanation of karma can differ slightly between various religions, however the general concept is basically the same. Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala. Through reincarnation karma extends through one's present life and all past and future lives, as well. The accumulated karmic tendencies, inherited in the course of previous lives, at times play a far greater role than the hereditary parental cells and genes in the formation of both physical and mental characteristics in present and future lives. How Karma Works

A line of dominoes helps to illustrate Karma. Each domino set up in a line seems an individual, but tip the individual at one end of the line and the others will eventually fall in reaction. The domino at the end of the line does not immediately feel the repercussion of the drop of the first domino, but eventually the course of the first will affect the last. The decision to push the first domino over can be considered the karma (action). The action (karma) or cause is linked to the effect. In other words, every deed, good or bad, will eventually have an impact in the future. As an example, if you were a racist in a past life, you might choose to come back as a Jew or a black man or woman to learn how racism affects one’s life and to atone for your former attitude. Karma is not necessarily a punishment, but a choice on the soul’s part to make up for former wrong deeds. And since the soul must experience everything in its total life journey, you will experience rich and poor, male and female, health and infirmity, a long life and a short one. So, it is a waste of energy to be envious of anyone, as everyone has to eventually experience everything. The concept of Karma can be traced back to the early Upanishads (Hindu scriptures that do not belong to any particular period of Sanskrit literature: the oldest, such as the Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads, date to around the middle of the first millennium BCE. All living creatures are responsible for their karma — their actions and the effects of their actions. Even in the Christian tradition Essenian and later Rosicrucian schools teach Karma as the "Law of Cause and Consequence/Effect." Christ preached a Karmaic concept when he gave his disciples the parable about reaping what you sow. Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” In other words, the wrongs you do will come back to you, as will the good deeds.

Keep in mind that every decision you make in life will have a consequence that will have to eventually be dealt with, in this life or the next. No one ever gets away with anything, which is a comforting thought. It is also a thought to keep in mind when you think someone has gotten away with something and you might want to purpitrate your own revenge… because if you do, then you will become the person who will not get away with a wrong doing.

In conclusion—there is no conclusion… we all recycle, just as the leaves on the trees do every fall and spring. The world would be a much more peaceful place if everyone in it realized that Karma is a fact of life and sooner or later, we all have to atone for the wrong we do to others.


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