Written By Tresmoongoddess
Everyone has heard of Karma before. This natural law has expanded beyond the beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism into Western culture. But, do our beliefs about what Karma is, actually align with the law that is practiced by its religion of origin? In this post I will discuss the misconceptions about Karma as well as the definition of what Karma is based on the Buddhists and Hindus.
So, let’s talk about what Karma is NOT!
Many people believe that Karma is some sort of retribution, an “eye for an eye” type of deal. You do something bad and in return something bad happens to you. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard, “She will get what’s coming to her!” or, “I’ll let Karma deal with it.” from people seemingly taking the high road in a situation when they have been wronged by someone. While Karma IS the result of someone’s actions, it doesn’t quite work that way.
Well Goddess, what IS Karma then?
I am glad that you asked! The word Karma is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to the English word action, and is used by Eastern religions including Buddhism and Hinduism. The overall premise of Karma is one of cause and effect. Every action that you do will have an effect on your life in the future. So, yes, Karma is something that happens to you, but the most important part of Karma is not the action, but the WHY behind the action.
The WHY is often the part Western culture leaves off when thinking about Karma. But, the WHY is what causes Karma to happen in the first place. The WHY causes the effect in the cause and effect of Karma. Karma doesn’t just look at a person’s actions. It looks at the person’s intentions.
Let’s say someone robs a store. They aren’t going to be robbed in the future just because they did this crime. Karma looks at the reason that they robbed the store. Were they trying to feed their family and didn’t have the financial means, or, were they just doing it for some type of gang initiation? The person who did it trying to feed their family may actually have good Karma come to them because their intentions were good, whereas the person who did it for gang initiation may have bad Karma come to them because their intentions were bad.
The WHY in the law of Karma is why people who are seemingly horrible people and do really fucked up things never have bad things happen to them. It is also why people who are seemingly really good people may always be down on their luck. So, while Karma IS an action, it is NOT about someone’s actions, but rather their intentions.
Now that we know what Karma is, let’s talk about HOW Karma works.
Karma is not something instantaneous. A person’s Karma can take hours, days, months, years, or even lifetimes to occur. It really just depends on how out of balance a person is. The ultimate goal of Karma is to seek, restore, and maintain balance. This idea of balance is why a lot of Western culture believes that Karma is about “an eye for an eye”. But, that’s not how Karma maintains balance.
Think about Karma as a bank. People can accrue good debt such as a home that appreciates in value that can pay out later in life as it appreciates, or they can accrue bad debt such as credit card interest, and bank fees from over-drafting their accounts. The Karma bank either pays out the appreciation or collects the interest and fees. Some fees hit quick such as an overdraft fee and others may occur over a time period such as paying interests on a car loan. How big the fee is and how hard it is felt depends on how much money (good Karma) a person has saved in their account. Karma is constantly looking at the account of a person’s intentions to make sure that their account is balanced, and it pays out and collects as necessary.
I hope that this helps you to better understand what Karma is and how it works!
You can send me any comments on Twitter at @tresmoongoddess 🙂