Home #AtoZChallenge Karma Theory

Karma Theory

by Vidya Sury April 12, 2013 22 comments
Karma Theory Do good

Remember I referred to the Karma Theory in my post about the Bhagavad Gita? Well, today is Day 11 of the #AtoZChallenge and we are at the letter K. I was going to write about Kindness, one of my favorite practices. Then I remembered the Karma Theory, which was playing on my mind, and I decided to write about it.


Feel like reading a post on Kindness in real life? Here it is: A Shower of Kindness

The Karma Theory


To me, the Karma theory can be summed up  in one line:

As you sow, so shall you reap


What goes around comes back around

The Hindu scriptures refer to the karma theory frequently in the context of desire being the root cause of all our suffering. (Did you just feel you’ve heard this before? Buddhism refers to this too!). We are cautioned against any action inspired by our desires. Also, the karma theory is impartial and includes every being, regardless of status – and that includes the Gods.

So – we can broadly refer to Karma as “action”

We have to face the consequences (good or bad) of our actions (good or bad). Duh!

Karma Theory

Source: Facebook.com

The basis of the karma theory is around cause and action. Our actions are responsible for our karmic consequences. So does it mean that by inaction we can resolve the problem? No. Non-action is not the answer, since according to karma, we cannot live in a vacuum. So maybe it looks like we’re doing nothing, but we’re living beings and are busy breathing and thinking as all those other activities like digestion, blood circulation, etc. happen inside us. All this counts as action.

The point is, action, per se, is not the problem. What is crucial is the attitude with which we do something…and the context. It follows from this that good actions may not always result in good results. Am I making sense? On the battlefield, killing is bravery whereas on the street, killing someone is a crime. So it all depends on why we do something, and in what context.

If our action is the result of ego and focused on the result, it leads to suffering and we get embroiled in the vicious cycle of life and death.

The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes this.

What is the answer?

Happily the Bhagavad Gita also has the answer: Letting go of outcomes and focusing on duty.

So – if you believe in the karma theory does it mean you are pessimistic?

No. Those who truly believe in the karma theory tend to lead a responsible life, taking ownership of their life and actions and their outcomes.

They will not:

  • Crib
  • Pass the buck
  • Play the blame game
  • Expect others to bail them out
  • Act like victims of their circumstances
  • Victimize others

A believer of the karma theory will find solutions to the problem rather than complain and blame someone else.

Instead, they become:

  • More sensitive
  • More mindful
  • More ethical
  • More positive
  • More optimistic
  • More likely to heed their conscience
  • More focused on doing good
  • Aware that the past is past and the present matters

So – whatever we experience is a result of our “Karma” – our actions. And for what doesn’t work out – the Karma theory is a nice cushion.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts on the Karma Theory?

Good Karma

The Letter K is also for Ken Wert, a dear friend and blogger and founder of “Meant to be Happy“. Ever insightful, he presents his wisdom with a good dose of humor.  It is my good Karma that I know him.  I’ve had the honor of having him guest post here. Please visit his blog. Inspiration guaranteed.


Today, I recommend

Laxmi’s blog  K is for Kiddo
Pallavi’s blog – K is for Kindly Keep Quiet

Pheno Menon’s blog – K is for Kite in the Sky


“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.

My brain and my heart are my temples;

my philosophy is kindness. ” Dalai Lama



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Pheno Menon April 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

Thanks for your recommendation. This reminds me of the age old “Karm kar phal ki chinta mat kar” 🙂

Pheno Menon recently posted…Kite in the sky #atozchallenge

Ruchira April 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

I loved your Post.I like the way you have used bullet points to explain such a complex phenomenon so effectively. I am reading the Geeta these days and am still on Chapter 4. I agree with what you say about the Karma theory. We do reap as we sow. Not only with our actions but also with our thoughts. So our thoughts along with out actions need to be positive and good.
Ruchira recently posted…K is for Khaadi !

afshan April 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Dont have much knowledge on theory as such but what ever U told makes sense. we keep hearing them but never really lay emphasis on every thing !
WE reap as we sow – thats true true and VERY true
afshan recently posted…“K” for “Khaled Hosseini”

Naina April 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Vidya, you won’t believe I was also to write on Karma!! And now I realise I would not have done justice to the idea. You are brilliant!
Naina recently posted…Jalebi – A twisted rounded sweetness!!

Suzy April 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

You summed it up very well Vidya. I love that quote by the Dalai Lama.
I wrote a post on time and karma a long time ago. My thoughts on this are at http://suzysomedaysomewhere.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/time-and-karma.html
Suzy recently posted…UBC 12 – AtoZ – Koala, Kangaroo and Kiwi

Sulekha April 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I believe in the Karma Theory. The best way to go about doing good is to just do without thinking about the results or consequences. No selfish motives, no expectations.Just doing our duty with sincerity.
Your positive posts are very uplifting, thanks.

Meena Menon April 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

But why do bad things happen to good people? A q i hv never been able to ns
Meena Menon recently posted…Book Review: Hammer of Eden by Ken Follett

Corinne Rodrigues April 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I do believe in the Karma theory – and no, like you said, it is not fatalistic at all.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Kalaripayattu

Priya Sreeram April 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm

what you sow, so shall u reap- I firmly believe in that. But there are times when I argue with my hubby that inspite of whatever good we do we get sucked in to more bad things- his theory is it is the result of our past lives karma. My question is I only know my present life and is responsible for this life’s karma;what responsibility do I have of any(if any) previous lives? what do you think vidya – would love to hear your views

Nandana April 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I do believe in Karma theory, what goes around does come around.

Tweaking Dalai’s lines
“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.
Everyone has a conscience, there is no need for scriptures.
my philosophy is – what you give comes right back – kindness or rudeness, so play it safe 😉 ” Nandana
Nandana recently posted…Kudpan Valley and Prathapghad Fort Trek – Hydventura

My Inner Chick April 12, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Powerful))) Message.

I believe every word.

My Inner Chick recently posted…For Kay On Your Birthday

Debbie April 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

Good job Vidya. What goes around comes around. I too believe in the Karma Theory. As they say, “Do unto other what you want done to you.”

This is why it is so important to forgive. If you hold onto things and not forgive they control you and you can not get out from underneather there grip.
Thank for the reminder.
Debbie recently posted…How To Ask For Help (Even If It Scares The Crap Out Of You!)

Roshni April 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

I love the whole concept. What goes around comes around. I love the idea of passing it forward…doing selfless acts of kindness without expecting anything in return!
Roshni recently posted…Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: K is for…

Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy April 13, 2013 at 4:09 am

I love you, Vidya! Thank you so much for your kind words and friendship. They both mean a lot to me.

I am a believer in ultimate justice, that peoples’ just rewards will be eventually meted out.

It would actually be difficult for me in a world with so much injustice if I didn’t believe in some sort of Karma. Good has to be rewarded and acts of evil repaid as well in some way and in some measure. Otherwise, there is too much arbitrary, senseless and recompensed ugliness out there.

So not only do I believe there is justice in the concept, without something akin to Karma operating int he universe, my happiness would be to one degree or another, dimmed and compromised.

Thank you for yet another stellar post, Vidya! You are amazing. Not only are you writing a post a day, you are writing high quality posts each day. I couldn’t do that.

Elle April 13, 2013 at 4:42 am

How do you do this Vidya. A post a day is a phenom. In in awe of you kiddo.
I think the idea that we reap what we sow makes perfect sense…just as in nature…we can’t plant wheat seeds and get corn…and we can’t plant good and receive the opposite.

Love Elle.
Elle recently posted…How Affirmations Become Breakthroughs.

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar April 13, 2013 at 7:59 am

What a detailed explanation. It really helped me understand the meaning and the significance of karma. I think few people do.
Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar recently posted…L is for . . . Love

Laxmi Chundi Addanki April 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

Vidya, as always, your writings read so clearly. Loads of thanks for the recommendation – Honored. Laxmi

Chandra Senan April 14, 2013 at 2:24 am

Pretty good interpretation of Karma and well articulated as usual, Vidya. However, I have a few points to raise.

1. As humans supposedly represent the apex of the animal kingdom (although why this should be the case is debatable) someone doing bad things and accruing bad karma could regress and assume a ‘lower’ lifeform, whatever that might be. Where does the transmigrating soul stay in the meantime and what is the timespan between departing one lifeform and assuming another?

2. Should a human reappear as another animal in a future birth, one would have to accept that this animal lifeform (whatever it is) also has a soul and is also subject to the same Karmic laws.

3. Do animals slaughtered by humans accrue good Karma points and therefore move up the scale and conversely, do people who kill animals (and other people) accrue negative points and move down the ladder?

4. Could this be the reason why there are more humans on the planet now than ever before – the fact that so many supposedly lower lifeforms are being butchered and these very lifeforms have moved up the ladder as a consequence and assumed human forms in their next births?

Chandra Senan
Literati Publishing

Vishnu April 15, 2013 at 2:36 am

Thanks for your insights here Vidya on Karma. I was going to take a year to write about many of the topics you’re covering here in 30 days:)

And I can link to your article for each of these topics I’m going to write about – one of them being karma.

The Gita has the best understanding and explanation of karma. We can’t control the past or the future. All we can do is focus on the present and be sensitive to the consequences of our actions. Also, non-attachment to action will allow us to focus on the tasks at hand.

Thank you for this article.

Sandra Pawula April 19, 2013 at 1:41 am

Hi Vidya,

Yes, I do believe in karma. It can be tricky because we can’t always see the direct results of our actions. Sometimes we can, but sometimes the effect comes much later. But, generally, it makes sense to me. I don’t want anyone to suffer so why would I engage in harmful actions?
Sandra Pawula recently posted…How to Master the Art of Quiet Time Off

Sebastian Aiden Daniels May 14, 2013 at 7:49 am

I loved the simple yet thorough explanation of karma that you present. I believe in some form of karma. I believe that our actions in each moment determine what our future moments hold. So if I do good now then my future moment will probably be good too and same with doing bad. I like the idea of letting go of expectations.


Vidya Sury May 14, 2013 at 8:40 am

🙂 Thanks for your comment, Sebastian. While reading your post yesterday, somehow I thought of the Karma Theory. There is nothing that has come home to me more strongly than the fact that what goes around must come around.

There are advantages to positive thinking and action 🙂

Thanks again and have a great day!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Mother’s Day Tribute to My Mom


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