Aside Dharma, there is another important term in Buddhism, Karma. Karma is the term that most of the Buddhist monks all around the globe knows and what it means. Karma can be simply described as the law of cause and effect. But there is much deeper meaning to Karma than it seems. Basically saying, Karma is the action or law of moral causation. Karma cannot simply be explained since it carries the weight of original Buddha’s teachings and whole teachings related to Karma haven’t been translated in The English language.
“I declare, O Bhikkhus, the volition is Karma. Having willed one acts by body, speech, and thought.”- Lord BuddhaIn Buddhism, it is believed that Karma acts in loops with multiple feedbacks. The actions or karma of the past and present can influence the present and actions of the present can influence not only future but present also. But early Hindu schools of India believed that Karma acts on a linear path and operates in the straight lines. The actions of the past influence the present and the actions of present influence the futures. However, the early Buddhist Karma is non-linear and quite complex to be truly understood.
When one knowledge seeker asked Lord Buddha about the cause and reason of all the pain and suffering as well as death, old age, the reason for poverty and rich, good or bad, Lord Buddha reply was this:
“All living things have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is karma that differentiates beings into low and high states. ”Karma is the phenomena that connect one from all actions of present, past, and future. Buddha taught that one is totally the reason of what one is, one will not absolutely of who one is. In order to truly understand the meaning of how Karma works, one must have total faith and devotion to Lord Buddha and his teachings such as Noble Eightfold path, Noble Four Truths and other Buddhist doctrines.
Cause of KarmaBasically speaking, one action is the cause of one’s karma. If one have done a good deed then good karma will be bestowed upon him and if one have done bad deeds then bad karma will be bestowed upon him. Ignorance is considered as the chief cause of Karma. Not knowing things as they truly are, is the cause of all the karma one is bestowed upon. Another root cause of Karma is ally craving and it is considered as the cause that is associated with ignorance.
Who you are true, where is one from, these questions are not necessarily important when it comes to Karma. What truly matters is what one’s mind is doing at the present. If one is from low caste or poor, it doesn’t mean that he has bad karma and if one is from high caste or rich, it doesn’t mean that he has good karma.