Know Your Karma

Karma can be literally translated as work or deed. The effects of the deeds in one life have a profound impact on the afterlife. Karma determines what body one would acquire in the next life. Samsara is the tedious, ever-rolling cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Hindus seek liberation from this endless cycle. This can be achieved by studying the scriptures and adhering to their guidelines.

One’s karmic history is carried through all of one’s births. Karma is the total of our actions and their consequences throughout the cycle of birth and death. One’s karma is created by three things:

  • Feeling or Desire
  • Recognition or Knowing
  • Willingness to do an action

The law of karma is also accepted in Jainism and Buddhism. It gives accountability to one’s actions in every birth.

Three Types of Karma

  • Sanchita Karma:

    This is the karma accumulated in previous births.

  • Prarabdha Karma:

    This is the part of one’s karma, that fashions one’s current birth. It cannot be changed and has to be endured, even by liberated saints.

  • Agami or Kriyamani Karma:

    is one’s present accumulated karma, that will impact future births. Good karma in this birth can ensure a better lot in the forthcoming birth.

One’s accumulated karma can be changed by good thoughts and actions. Therefore, a Hindu is motivated to lead an ethical and moral life, as it would lead to a better future. The law of karma also gives him/her the courage to endure any present hardships.


ore Types of Karma

  • Nitya Karma:

    This is the result of one’s daily actions and duties.

  • Naimittika Karma:

    This signifies one’s duty for any special occasion or periodic occurrence. It also means one’s duty to one’s family and community.

  • Kamya Karma:

    This signifies attaining a specific desire by praying to a deity or cosmic power.

  • Nishiddha Karma:

    This occurs when one performs heinous or immoral acts.

  • Prayaschitha Karma:

    Finally, this karma happens when one repents for one’s actions.

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