What is Karma ?
Karma means “action”. It comes from the Sanskrit root “ kree” meaning “to do”. Karma is a word meaning the result of a person’s actions as well as the actions themselves. It is a term about the cycle of cause and effect.
According to Buddhism, Hinduism and other philosophies, what happens to a person, happens because they caused it with their actions. Life itself is of independent origination. All things are interdependently interrelated. Karma is what comes back to you in return, based on things you do or have done in your life.
According to Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Karma yoga is the spiritual practice of “selfless action performed for the benefit of others”. In Bhagvad Gita Lord Krishna also quoted ”No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come. ”
The four types of karma :-
The Sanskrit word “karma”, literally translated, means action. It comes from the root “kri”, meaning, to act. Karma refers to actions or deeds, in the past, present and future. Karma includes physical as well as mental or psychological acts.
In the yoga world, there are three types of karma.
These are the accumulated works and actions that you have completed in the past. These cannot be changed but can only wait to come into fruition. This is the vast accumulation of karma that encompasses our countless past lifetimes. This comprises every action that you have ever made in your past and present lives.
Prarabdha is that portion of the past karma that is responsible for the present. These are the ripe and fructuous actions and reactions. The things that you did in the past make you what you are today. It cannot be avoided or changed, but only exhausted by being experienced.
Agami Karma is the Karma we are creating for ourselves right here in the current moment. It is the action that we create and the choices we make right now, as we live this present lifetime.
Kariyaman karma is the karma we do in the present. Of these that bear fruits there are two types of fruits- one in the form of circumstances (favourable and adverse) and second type of fruit is the impressions in our inner self.
These were the four types of karma that find their mention in Bhagwat geeta and upnishads. We all create some or the other type of karma of which we’ll have to suffer the consequences. However, it is not mandatory that you will have to suffer all of it.
The benefits of understanding Karma are that it discourages one from performing unwholesome actions as it will bring about suffering. Instead, it encourages one to perform goodness and kindness, in order to bring happiness as their fruit.
By taking full responsibility for our thoughts and actions, we create our reality. Everything we think or do right now create the kind of future that is related to those thoughts and actions