What is Karma?

  1. Sanchita — Sanchita karma is our accumulated unresolved past actions and karma from previous lives waiting to come to fruition in the current life. Sanchita is responsible for the body and circumstances you currently find yourself in.
  2. Prarabdha — This is our current action and intention. While Sanchita karma has left an impression on our life, the intentions and actions of our current life can be used to balance or enhance Sanchita karma, and create a karmic impression on our future lives.
  3. Agami — As you act to resolve past karma, you inevitably create new karma that may go unresolved in the present lifetime and be carried over into the next. The future outcome of your present behaviour is known as Agami karma.
  1. Karma is certain and unfailing — Without fail or falter, positive actions of the mind, body and spirit will generate positive results — whether they are in this life or the next. Similarly, negative actions will always lead to negative outcomes. It is impossible to generate peace and harmony through negative acts and intentions.
  2. Karma increases and expands — Our actions plant karmic seeds that can manifest in results greater than the cause itself. According to professor of Buddhist studies Yangsi Rinpoche, the increasing nature of karma means that “even a very small negative action can bring forth a tremendous negative effect”. Much in the same way, small acts of virtue can create powerful positive effects. It is for this reason we must work to purify ourselves of even the smallest negative actions.
  3. No results come without cause — Karma is specific, and outcomes cannot be born from inactivity. An experience is always the result of a cause, and when we find ourselves in puzzling or unexpected circumstances, some of this may be attributed to the actions of our past rebirths. One does not meet with something without first creating the karmic conditions for it to happen.
  4. Karma cannot be lost or wasted — Our karma is fixed and definite, and the karmic result of our past or present intentions and actions is inescapable. Karmic seeds may lie dormant within us for a long time, but they will never be lost — karma may operate as an unseen factor across multiple lifetimes, and only manifest when the right conditions arise.

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