Karma means action, work or deed. It also refers to the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering.
With origins in ancient India, it is a key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Ching Hai and others.
Many events in our lives are destined, beginning from our birth and the family that we are born into. It is the one rule that we cannot escape no matter how hard we try; The rule to endure our destiny. This is what we even call as fate. In the Hindu context, fate or destiny is Karma.
In the law of Karma, every positive deed creates a ‘merit’ while every negative deed creates a ‘demerit’ or a sin. Of course, one has to reap the results of one’s actions. When one does a good deed to others, it is bound to give a positive return (in the form of some happiness), apart from a simple thank you from that person! And when one inflicts harm, it is bound to give negative return in the form of sorrow in some form. It cannot be undone by simply saying ‘I’m Sorry’!
The law of karma is infallible and everlasting. It is something like Newton’s third law of motion, which states, ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’.
Throughout our lives we are either settling an old account of past actions or creating a new one. If the account cannot be settled in this birth it is carried over to the next, thus creating the concept of reincarnation and rebirth. We are not consciously aware of the give-and-take accounts generated in our previous births. This is the root of Karma.