“The law of karma is the notion that all of life is governed by a system of cause and effect, action and reaction, in which your deeds have corresponding effects on the future.” 
What is Karma?
The concept of Karma has been used in spiritual philosophy for thousands of years. The word karma refers to past or present intentional actions (thoughts, words, and deeds) and to the results that are shaped by the quality of the intention behind those actions. Good deeds create good karma and evil deeds create bad karma. Karma's effect can manifest immediately, later in life, or after multiple lifetimes. Karma is the sum total of our acts both in the present and in preceding lives.
“Every human being has their karma, whether we know about it or not. We have a direct influence on how karma will show up in all our life. Even at every single moment, it is our inner state that does affect the way how karma will fulfill itself.” If you are born, you have to perform karma. No one lives without doing karma. Karma is not fate or predestination, it is spontaneous. Understanding karma can give us a fresh perspective on our most compelling relationships, our daily life, and habits. However, Karma is not meant to be a punishment or a reward.
The Law of Karma
The “law of karma” is a fundamental natural law through which we create vastly different realities to govern our lives. A person’s individual and collective actions determine the nature of his or her existence in the present or in future life. When we think, speak, or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly. By avoiding those actions that lead to suffering (both for ourselves and others), we will experience greater happiness now and a purer form of happiness in the future. As you sow, so shall you also reap. This is the law of karma.
How does Karma Work?
Just as gravity is a law of the physical world, karma is a law of the spiritual world. Each of our actions, whether good or bad, carries a consequence. All major events in our life are countable, e.g., the family that we are born into, to whom we get married, etc. The law of karma holds us responsible for our actions and, more precisely, for the intention of our actions. Every positive deed generates a ‘reward’; while every negative deed results in a ‘punishment or sin’ which we subsequently need to repay by enduring happiness or unhappiness. This responsibility exists within the context of an individual soul's relationship with God. When one deliberately disobeys the will of God, karma is accrued.
We carry karma forward through time within a given lifetime or, as some believe, from one lifetime to the next. Once accrued, the balancing action of karma plays out in our everyday lives through our bodies, thoughts, feelings, relationships, circumstances, and experiences. Most religions include some sort of impetus for good social behavior.
How Does Karma Affect Your Life?
When you perform an action, it creates a memory that generates a desire and, in turn, leads you to perform another action. Karmic memories and desires determine how you live.
On a larger scale, karma determines where a person will be reborn and their status in their next life. Good karma can result in being born in one of the heavenly realms. Bad karma can cause rebirth as an animal, or torment in hell. Every person is responsible for what they say, act, and think, so each person's karma is entirely his or her own. Whatever you show by your actions come back to you.
If you have bad karma that you were born with or have accumulated over the course of your life, then you can’t just replace it with good karma. No amount of “good” actions will remove negative karma. However, you can reduce the intensity of the negative karma by setting your intention very clearly and targeting the negative karma through spiritual practices, meditation, unselfish charity, and giving. Through these actions, you have a chance to impact your destiny.
Karma is the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny through thoughts, words, and deeds. If our actions are virtuous karmic results will be positive. If our actions are unvirtuous, the results will be negative. Positive results include happiness, love, good fortune, and opportunities; while negative results include various forms of suffering, including diseases, poverty, etc. Reflecting on the Law of Karma in the moral sphere encourages us to renounce unvirtuous actions and acquire virtuous actions. Karma is, simultaneously, the consequence of past actions and the opportunity for healing and balancing in the present. Our choices also determine the quality of new Karma being accrued to be released as future events in your life.
Understanding karma enables us to live in harmony with the people and conditions that we encounter in daily life and helps us to improve the quality of our lives as well. For example, if you want to be successful, then genuinely help others. If you want to heal something in your own life, help others to heal.
When you find true purpose in life your actions will become spontaneously correct and you will never create bad Karma. Whether you believe in karma or not, it is affecting you and its principles can help you live a better life. Make conscious choices to influence your Karma to soften the intensity of situations resulting from returning Karma.
Darshan Goswami has more than 40 years of experience in the energy field. He worked as a Project Manager for Renewable Energy, Micro-grid, and Smart Grid projects at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in Pittsburgh. Earlier, he retired as Chief (Head) of Renewable Energy from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. Mr. Goswami is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) with a passion and commitment to promote, develop, and deploy Renewable Energy and the Hydrogen Economy. In dedication to his life serving humanity and poor people, the author supports the India Foundation for Children Education and Care, Inc. (http://www.ifcare.org/).
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