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Fifty Shades of Karma

Fifty Shades of Karma

Karma is one of the central features of Hinduism. It is also common to all the faiths that originated in India. The idea of karma is deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people of the Indian subcontinent and influences their religious outlook, behavior, attitude, and relationships. On the positive side, it makes that responsible for their lives and actions and accept their fate as a consequence of their own actions. On the negative side, it makes them vulnerable to superstition and self defeating behaviors. The following are 50 most important beliefs, ideas or concepts associated with the doctrine or karma in Hinduism. Although every effort has been made to avoid repetition, due to the complexity of certain ideas, you may find them more than once. You may use them for contemplation or further exploration.

  1. Karma means any mental, verbal, or physical action one performs.
  2. The concept of karma is peculiar to the religions of Indian origin.
  3. Literally, karma means that which you perform with hands or with any organ in the body.
  4. Philosophically, karma means desire ridden selfish actions.
  5. Willful inaction or avoidance or actions also qualifies as karma
  6. The consequences of karma are called the fruit of karma
  7. The doctrine of karma is mentioned in the Vedas which declare that good actions lead to peace and happiness and evil actions to suffering and sin
  8. As the cumulative consequence of all actions karma also means fate.
  9. Karma binds the souls to samsara or the cycle of births and deaths
  10. Desire is the root of karma. Sinful karma arises from selfish desire-ridden actions
  11. The law of karma is universal and inescapable even for gods
  12. Karma is viewed in Hinduism both as an effect and as an impurity
  13. Repetitive actions lead to attraction and aversion and attachments
  14. All beings from the highest to the lowest have karmas
  15. Plants and animals earn karma by serving their purpose and being useful to others
  16. Action performed without desires is known as nishkama karma
  17. For the purpose of creation, god himself engages in karma
  18. Actions performed to fulfill desires are known as kamyakarma
  19. Actions performed as part of daily routine are known as nitya karmas.
  20. All Vedic rituals are collectively known as karma kanda
  21. Knowledge of karma kanda constitutes lower knowledge
  22. God is the source of all actions. He is the real doer
  23. Since he is the source all actions and their fruit should be offered to god only
  24. Karma is responsible for suffering and rebirth
  25. The basis of karma is dharma
  26. Karma is continuous. Hence, unexhausted karma is carried forward to next birth.
  27. Karma is of different types, spent, unspent, currently accumulation and currently bearing fruit.
  28. Karma arises from doership and ownership of actions and things.
  29. Tolerating evil or aiding and abetting others in evil actions produce sinful karma
  30. People who commit mortal sins through grave actions fall down into darkest hells.
  31. The fruit of karma accompanies the soul to the next birth and determines its destiny.
  32. Karma cannot not be renounced. However, desires can be renounced.
  33. True renunciation is the renunciation of desire for the fruit of ones actions
  34. Nishkama karma does not bind people
  35. Karmaphala sanyasi also do not bind
  36. Karma sanyasi yoga means performing actions without desires as a sacrifice to god.
  37. People whose karma is not exhausted go the ancestral world upon death and return after exhausting their karma
  38. People whose karma is fully resolved to the immortal world of brahman upon death and never return.
  39. All desire ridden actions are induced by the triple gunas namely sattva, rajas, and tamas.
  40. The solution to karma is neither action nor inaction nor avoiding actions.
  41. One should never give upon obligatory actions but only desire for their fruit.
  42. A guru may neutralize the sinful karma of his disciples to help them on the path
  43. God can intervene and neutralize the karma of his dearest devotees and grant them liberation
  44. Karma is responsible for relationship and interactions with others.
  45. Apart from individual karma, collective karma also plays and important role.
  46. You keep interacting with certain people until you settle the karmic balance.
  47. The purpose of karma is to teach lessons and facilitate self purification and self transformation
  48. Knowingly or unknowingly you may become responsible for the karma of others
  49. Habitual actions an predominant desires become latent impressions in the mind
  50. Willful negligence of obligatory duties leads to sinful karma.

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