What is Karma?
Karma is the spiritual principle that says that the sum of one’s good deeds and bad deeds determine the outcome of their future. For example, if someone lives a righteous life of charity, love, and compassion, then that person’s future and future lives will be far more peaceful and abundant than what they are currently experiencing. If someone has done bad deeds without doing anything to repent or repay those bad deeds, then their existence will continue to get worse and their next life will be plagued by harsh circumstances and calamities.
Does Karma Exist?
The answer to that question depends on your religious and spiritual background. This topic has been debated over the centuries, with no satisfying conclusion. Certain religions and faiths believe that karma is the main law of the universe. Others are skeptical and see no evidence that it exists. This article serves to show which belief systems believe in karma and which ones don't. This article is not set out to prove that either side is right; this is simply an article to educate. Without further ado, let’s dive in to find out what each major belief system thinks about karma.
Does Karma Exist in Science?
Science rarely finds any evidence to support various religious and spiritual claims. Therefore, it is no surprise that science can find no evidence for the existence of karma. Those who follow science tend to not see any patterns or coincidences that would support the existence of karma. However, there are a few arguments to that. First, science is not designed to prove the existence of spiritual and religious phenomenon. For example, there really is no scientific way to prove whether or not God exists. The same goes for karma. Although science cannot prove that karma is a force that controls our existence, it also cannot disprove karma’s existence. Nevertheless, scientists and other skeptics tend to not believe in the existence of karma. Although they have no proof that it doesn’t exist, they still choose to believe that it doesn’t.
Does Karma Exist in the Bible?
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Considering Christianity is one of the biggest religions in the world, it is natural to wonder if the Bible says anything about karma. The idea of karma stems from the idea of reincarnation, which is a belief that originated from Hindu and Buddhism traditions. Christians rarely believe in the idea of reincarnation, as there is no proof in the Bible that reincarnation exists. Many Bible verses state that humans die only once and that the afterlife is either in the form of heaven or hell. There is nothing about reincarnation or karma stated in the Bible. Therefore, since reincarnation is absent from Christian thinking, Christians generally do not believe in karma. However, it is worth noting that although the Bible doesn’t outright talk about karma, it does talk about it indirectly. When someone has acted wrongly their entire life, one way or another, God punishes them for their deeds. They can either be plagued with calamities and illness during their life or sent to hell when they die. In other words, when people do bad things, bad things happen to them. When people are good, they are rewarded. When looking at it in that perspective, it sounds like the Bible is talking about karma in different speech. It's just that in this case, God is in charge of the punishments and rewards, instead of it being a mechanism of cause and effect. However, many Christians would not agree with that viewpoint so it’s best to say that the Bible does not talk about karma.
What Does Hinduism Say About Karma?
On the second day of Navaratri, Maa Brahmacharini – a manifestation of Maa Durga is worshipped. The form of Maa Brahmacharini is extremely radiant and majestic. Maa signifies love and loyalty, wisdom and knowledge. She holds a rosary in her hight hand and a Kamandal in her left hand. She wears Rudraksha. The word “Brahm” refers to Tapa (penance) – Her name means “one who performs Tapa (penance)”.... Chant this Mantra to seek Maa' s divine blessings - या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ ब्रह्मचारिणी रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।। दधाना कर पद्माभ्याम अक्षमाला कमण्डलू। देवी प्रसीदतु मई ब्रह्मचारिण्यनुत्तमा।। 🕉Promote Hinduism Worldwide🕉 Like, Follow and Share 👉@bharathunmain #maa #brahmcharini #maabrahmacharini #brahmacharinimaa #secondday #navratra #garba #prayer #joy #sweets #keepfast #spiritual #hindu #hinduism #india #bharat
Hinduism is one of the main religions that have spread the beliefs of karma all around the world. Hindus believe in karma as it was defined in the beginning of this article. Good deeds lead to more rewards and bad deeds lead to a life of suffering. Hindus believe that your karma not only affects you in the material world, but also the spiritual realm. In Hinduism, karma goes beyond just whether your next life will be easy or hard. It can also determine your status on Earth. For example, good karma may cause you to reincarnate as a human again, and possibly at the top of society. Bad karma would cause you to reincarnate at the lowest levels of society or even as an animal. In Hinduism, karma is a law. It is automatic and not controlled by any god. It is the way the Universe operates, and no one can interfere. Unlike in Christianity, where you can pray to God for mercy and forgiveness, such acts don’t do much in Hinduism. If you have been struck by many calamities during this life, and you feel you don’t deserve it, it may be because of your deeds in a previous lifetime. For example, you may be married to someone who turned out to be a cheater. Even though you may not have done anything to deserve this treatment during this lifetime, you may have done something in a past lifetime to attract a cheater in this life. The only way to stop any pattern of bad karma is by continuing to be good throughout this lifetime. Only then, may you have a better life the next time you reincarnate.
What Does Buddhism Teach About Karma?
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In Buddhism, karma is created by the intention of an action, not the act itself. For example, maybe you are helping out your elderly relative who can no longer take care of herself. If you are helping her because you love her and want to be there for her, then you will generate good karma. If you are doing it simply because you want to be in her will when she passes, this will generate bad karma. Furthermore, good karma is differentiated from bad karma by how much one’s deeds contributed to the well-bring of others. In Buddhism, you will continue to be reborn on Earth until you follow the Buddhist path, reach enlightenment, and resolve the bad karma you have created. Whereas in Hinduism there was no end to the cycle, Buddhism states that there is an end to reincarnation and gives instructions on how to get there.
Does Karma Exist in Islam?
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As with Christianity, there is no belief in karma in Islam. Islam focuses on the “reap what you sow” belief. As with Christianity, it sounds similar to karma but isn’t. In this belief, good deeds get rewards while bad deeds are punished. However, this isn’t by some universal law of karma. This is by Allah, the God of Islam. As with Christianity, Allah is the supreme being that determines the fate of each human. A person who has committed crimes but repented and asked Allah for mercy may be spared. Another human who commits the same bad acts but does not pray to Allah may be punished. The belief of karma in Indian religions makes it sound like a law of cause an effect. In Islam (and Christianity), your salvation is on the whim of your God, not a neutral mechanism. Both systems can be freeing or frightening depending on who you are and what you believe.
What are New Age Beliefs on Karma?
New Age spiritualists tend to have diverse views. So it is safe to say that not every New Age guru is going to believe in karma. However, there is a very popular belief in this community of reincarnation and past lives. It is common for New Age followers to try to discover past lives in order to get answers and healing in this life. However, a common belief, which differentiates itself from eastern religions, is that karma is not separated into good or bad. Karma is like a debt. If you have harmful thoughts, words, or actions, then you will not be able to ascend into higher realms. There is no good karma to balance out the bad. Your point on Earth is to try to repay your “debt” by being kind and selfless. As with eastern religions, karma is simply a cause and effect mechanism, instead of a God being in charge of who will ascend and who won’t. There is no being (not even God, Spirit, whatever you choose to call it) who can interfere with karma and the other universal laws. This is just how the Universe works. The promising side to the New Age belief is that as soon as you recognize your problems as karma for a past deed, you can immediately go about repaying the debt and healing your karma. There are some New Age followers who don’t specifically use the term “karma.” However, there are other laws in this belief system that imply that karma is still a belief. Primarily, there are two laws that seem to mimic the karma system. The first law is the Law of Cause and Effect. This is simply karma but with a fancier title. Your deeds create reactions throughout the universe that will come back to you. If you are good and loving, you have more love, abundance and other good things in your life. If you do bad deeds and are selfish, you are more likely to experience bad luck and calamities. The other law is more famous. It is called the Law of Attraction. Many people know about this law because of all the spiritual teachers who claim that you can get more abundance by focusing positively on what you want. However, the law goes deeper than that. Every thought, belief, action, and word you speak will affect your reality in some way. If you are negative and cruel, then negative things will happen to you. If you are positive and kind, then great things will happen to you. It’s not exactly a law of karma, but it works in a similar way. As with Buddhism, you have the chance to change your habits so that you can stop the karma and live a great life. You also have the chance to ascend into other realms and dimensions and stop the cycle of reincarnation.
How Does One Create Good Karma?
If you are still reading this, then chances are that you somewhat believe in karma and want to know more. In fact, you are probably interested in learning how to start creating good karma and make up for anything bad you might have done in the past. Luckily, across all religions and faiths that believe in karma, there are similar steps to creating good karma. Here are a few things you can do to generate good karma.
Love and Forgive Yourself
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The most important step for generating good karma is to forgive yourself of all your wrongs and begin to love yourself. Without forgiveness and love, you will have no inspiration to become a better person. Also, karma is a physical and external manifestation of how you feel inside. If you feel crummy and hate yourself, you will probably treat others in the same way, which will only create bad karma. That is why it is so important to love and forgive yourself. All humans make mistakes, and we all do bad and selfless things every once in a while. There is no reason to beat yourself up for those past mistakes. The best way to make up for them is forgiving yourself, which will give you the freedom and motivation to focus on loving others. People who love and forgive themselves, tend to be happier, more positive, and more willing to show love and compassion for others. This leads us to the next tip.
Love and Forgive Others
It’s not only important to love yourself, but others as well. Many religions believe that loving others is crucial to reaching enlightenment or connecting with God (or whatever the goal of the religion is). Forgiveness is a key ingredient in many popular religions and is preached all around the world. Holding grudges and resentment only creates hostility, which leads to thoughts and actions that create bad karma. For example, let’s say you were in a relationship with a cheater. It’s understandable that what they did hurt and wounded you. However, if you let those wounds fester, you will only be making things worse for yourself. By resenting the cheater, you create negative energy and the possibility of doing something that will create bad karma. In fact, even resenting the person and wishing ill will on them will create bad karma! Forgiveness and love are the healing keys you need to avoid and heal karma. Not only will forgiveness heal the shattered bits of the past relationship, but it will also heal the karma that may have been created during the relationship and during the period of resentment.
Be Kind and Compassionate
Now that you have forgiven others and chose to love them, it is time to put that love into action. No matter how others treat you, remember to be as kind as possible and have compassion for them. Just like you, they are humans who make mistakes and don’t always understand the long-reaching effects of those mistakes. They are also wounded, just like you, by other people who were hurtful and by the effects of bad karma from previous lifetimes. In other words, they are also suffering. Compassion reminds you that many people are still suffering. When feeling compassion, you will have the energy and inspiration to be loving and kind to everyone you meet.
The core of bad deeds come from being selfish. For example, if you focus solely on your desires and don’t care about your partner or keeping a steady relationship, then you are more likely to become a cheater and ruin the relationship. If you care about others, including your partner, you are less likely to become a cheater and will either have a healthy and strong relationship or end the relationship in a mature manner. Therefore, being selfless is a key element to generating good karma. In all the religions and belief systems that have been mentioned, they all believe that the Universe is governed by beings of love. Therefore, love for others is a huge part in being a good person. The selfish person is not seen as “good” and therefore generates bad karma for not caring about others. This doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself or let others walk all over you. This just means that you stop focusing so much on your needs over others and are willing to help others who are in need.
Since there is no way to actually prove or disprove the existence of karma, “Does karma exist?” is solely a rhetorical question. Those who live very spiritual lives may wholeheartedly believe in karma and see signs of it everywhere they go. Skeptics will not see any proof of karma, usually requiring scientific evidence that does not exist. Furthermore, if there are any events that happen in their life that a spiritual person would call karma, they may just call it coincidence. However, whether you believe in karma or not, by being a good person and doing good deeds, you are still creating a much better life. Those who are selfless and loving are much happier than those who are selfish. You don't need a Bible or a scientific theory to prove it. Therefore, no matter what your beliefs on karma, choose to be kind and loving to all.