Karma: How Karma is believed to be in different religions


Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami

Karma basically means an action, work or deeds. It can also be referred as principle where actions and intent of an individual influence the future of individual. There has a lot of belief in different religion and culture from every part of the world that good works and deeds lead to good karma and happiness whereas one's bad action and bad deeds leads to future sufferings and bad karma. The concept of karma was originally from ancient India, but is also believed in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Taoism.

Karma in Hinduism

The people in Hindu especially from India and Nepal have a different concept of Karma. In Hinduism, karma literally refers to the universal principle of action and reaction, cause and effect, and believes it rules all the consciousness. Many Hindu people believe that it's a free will to create our own destinies. In accordance with Hindu Vedas, if we foster goodness, then we will get goodness in return and if we foster evil, then we will get evil in return. Hindu Vedas are large texts which originate in ancient India, which constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and oldest scripture of Hinduism said to create of one of the Trinity God, Brahma.

In Hindu culture, people from Nepal and India are said to produce karma in four ways:

  1. Through their thoughts
  2. Through their words
  3. Through actions that they perform
  4. Through actions that others perform under their instructions

Karma in Buddhism

There are basically two concepts of Buddhism; Karma, and Karmaphala. These two concepts explain how our actions and deeds keeps us tied to rebirth in Samsara whereas the Buddhist path explained in the Noble Eightfold Path explain the way out of samsara. Samsara literally means cyclic existence or continuous movement.

Why Buddhist people believe in Karma?


If we ignore the karma, then eventually we will be creating the problem for ourselves.

In Buddha Teachings :

"Do not think a small sin will not return in your future lives.

Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container,

The little sins that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you.

Do not think a small virtue will not return in your future lives.

Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container,

The little virtues that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you."

The above teaching explains a nature of reality, everything is interrelated and only exists as a small part of Karma and its effect on our lives.

Karma in Jainism

The people in India follow Jainism, which was taught by the twenty-four propagators of faith also known as tirthankaras. Unlike Hindu people who believe Karma purely as a law of nature, Jains believe Karma as clay to pot with reference to the soul. They believe that they can control Karma by their effort, knowledge and discipline. They believe that cruel, selfish actions will lead to heavy Karma making the soul down whereas suffering taken willingly will help to lighten the soul. Jains don't believe in the Supreme Being, creator, or Sustainer of the universe thus no world-soul and they have to aid themselves in their endeavors.

Karma in Sikhism

Karma in the Sikh Scripture is explained as:

"The body in the field of Karma in this age; whatever you plant, you shall harvest and by the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. By His Grace, The Gate of Liberation is found."

The Sikh people are found prominently in Punjab region of India, but Sikh community is found in every existing continent, especially in Canada too. Sikhism believes that everything is done under Supreme Command or Hukam. Sikh people believe in two kinds of Karma; Dukrit Karma and Sukrit Karma. Dukrit karma means to think against superior command and Sukrit Karma means the opposite or rather to walk in Hukam.

In every religion, karma basically means the reaction that was created due to one's action. People may have different ways to undo the reaction but at last Karma always judge people in this life or after life.

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