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Karma: what exactly is it?

Karma: what exactly is it?

January 22, 2022

Thousands of years ago, when the first philosophical questions began to be reflected in scriptures, these concerns were not as concrete as we usually do today.

The thinkers of antiquity tried to answer very metaphysical and general questions, such as: what is the energy that guides in a coordinated way everything that happens in nature?

The concept of karma, born in Asia , is based on the idea that reality is articulated through a law of retribution according to which what is given in a moral sense is obtained.

What is karma?

In various Eastern religions and philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, Karma is an energy that surrounds everything and that makes the moral actions that are carried out have a return of the same style towards the person who has done them. That is, it is a kind of mechanism of metaphysical compensation.


For example, if someone harms someone, he does not have to be a victim of the mistreatment of another person but karma will be responsible for making the consequences of this action also negative and its intensity is a proportion similar to that of bad that has been done.

Somehow, the idea of ​​karma introduces the idea of ​​justice in the functioning of the world . A justice that is imposed without we have to do anything for it. According to some currents of belief, karma is put into practice by divinities, while for other non-theistic religions like Buddhism there is no god that operates this energy, but this form stops from reality, just like those mechanisms that are described by the natural laws discovered scientifically.


Actions and consequences

The whole idea of ​​karma is based on the belief that the consequences of our actions always correspond to the moral value that these have . That is to say, that everything bad and everything good that we do will come back to us in the form of consequences of the same value as the actions issued.

In addition, the actions that produce a certain karma are not only movements. For most Eastern philosophies and religions that have adopted this concept, thoughts also cost.

The origin of the concept

Etymologically, "karma" means "action" or "doing" . That is why it has not always been used with the metaphysical and religious meaning to which we are accustomed in the West.

It is believed that the first mention of karma as a concept related to retribution appeared in Hindu sacred texts in the second century BC. C. Specifically, appears named in the book Chāndogya Upaniṣad , written in Sanskrit.


Due to its antiquity and the influence that Hindu cultures have had throughout history, the idea of ​​karma has been adopted by several Asian societies and has merged with religions born in the south of the continent.

The types of karma

Traditionally, it has been considered that there are three types of karma. They are the following.

1. Prarabdha karma

The karma that makes itself felt at the time when the action is being taken . For example, when you lie to a person, nerves cause you to speak in a fluent way and nerves and shame appear.

2. Sanchita karma

The memories that have remained in our mind and they have an effect on our future actions . For example, the sadness that does not have declined to someone and that makes the next time we fall in love do not give up to express what it feels.

3. Agami karma

The effect that an action of the present will have in the future . For example, binge eating given over several weeks will make you feel worse during the next few months.

The moral value of retribution

These three types of karma are different facets of the same seen from different temporal perspectives. The Sanchita karma of the past produces the Prarabdha karma in the present, which generates the Agami karma in the times to come.

The three, as a whole, form a sequence of causes and effects whose effects we can not control . However, according to the way of thinking that uses the idea of ​​karma, we can choose whether to do good or evil, that is, two types of cause-effect chains with a different moral value for ourselves and for others.

Oriental philosophies and psychology

Both karma and other concepts from Asia, such as Yin and Yang and meditation based on religious rituals, have become fashionable in certain forms of alternative therapy. However, we must bear in mind that these ideas they only make sense in a frame of beliefs without empirical foundation and that, therefore, it can not be said that taking karma into account will allow us to make life better for us. The concept of karma is not and can not be reinforced by scientific discoveries.

It is true that the fact of believing in karma causes us to experience reality in another way (as happens with any new belief we adopt), but neither can we know if this change will be worse or better.


HOW KARMA WORKS explained by Hans Wilhelm (January 2022).


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