There seems to be some distinction needed when referring to what karma is exactly.
Some seem to say that the idea of a 'cosmic payback' is merely coincidence. I thought I'd gather a bit of info on what karma is exactly....
Karmic law is basically a form of cause and effect. (Regardless of eastern or western philosophy.)
The word Karma means 'to act' or 'to act intentionally or withhold action intentionally' (to be more specific)
In Sanskrit karma means "volitional action that is undertaken deliberately or knowingly"
According to the ways of life chosen by a person, their karma can be classified into three kinds:
The satvik karma- which is without attachment, selfless and for the benefit of others
The rajasik karma- which is selfish where the focus is on gains for oneself
The tamasik karma- which is undertaken without heed to consequences, and is supremely selfish and savage.
Swami Sivananda, of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh classifies karma into three kinds, on the basis of action and reaction:
Prarabdha (so much of past actions as has given rise to the present birth)
Sanchita (the balance of past actions that will give rise to future births - the storehouse of accumulated actions)
Agami or Kriyamana (acts being done in the present life)
Many Western cultures have notions similar to karma, as demonstrated in the phrase 'what goes around comes around' The concepts of reaping what you sow from Galatians 6:7, violence begets violence and 'live by the sword, die by the sword' are Christian expressions similar to karma. Some observers have compared the action of karma to Western notions of sin and judgment by God or gods, while others understand karma as an inherent principle of the universe without the intervention of any supernatural being. In Hinduism, God does play a role and is seen as a dispenser of karma. (See Karma in Hinduism for more details.) The non-interventionist view is that of Buddhism and Jainism. The secular Western view is that of a deterministic universe.
(there are some good responses in this ^ one)
What is your take on Karma? How does it work? Is it 'divine intervention' on your behalf?
Do you have anything to add, or any 'corrections' to the info provided?
My spin on Karma?
It's the word used by people who wish an equalization for being burnt by another but lack the resolve or means to seek retribution.
It is also used by those that see an injustice preyed upon a third party that they can do absolutely nothing about but attempt to balance the wrong with the rational of an eventual reckoning.
It is an extension of the "give what you get" or "What goes around, comes around."
As my old biker pals used to say, "Paybacks a bitch m***********."; although there's seldom a real payback, hence the construct of Karma fixing it up for you.
my definition of karma: Karma is nothing but a word until you give it power by belief. Without belief, it is nothing but just that, a word.
when someone talks about 'karma' to you, how do you perceive their meaning?
Do you use the word karma? (if so, How do you mean it when you use it?)
i perceive it as a self fulfilling prophecy. Believe in something enough and it may come true, especially with energy work (magic).
I do not use the word as it is not a part of my belief. Though i know many people that believe in the idea, and others just throw it around casually in the sense of the saying "Karma will catch up to them or karmas a bitch". I do not buy into this. Relying on "karma" just leaves space open for anything to happen then attaching a meaning to it as it must have been because of karma. if that makes sense.
I am a resident and native of California, and a friend of many a New Age religious (crystallophiles, Neopagans, Satanists, the works), and when they talk about 'karma' i presume that they are referring to a cosmic law of retribution or justice whereby their notion that the cosmos is officiated or ruled by a moral authority affords it the ability to track and compensate their behaviour by providing reward and punishment, either in this life or in some supposed other life to which they will be admitted.
I rarely use the word karma and when i do i mean it in 3 different ways; the first two circumstancial and the last pervasive:
1) in response to hearing what appears to be a just compensation for an individual's reprehensible or admirable behaviour, i may express my reaction that it seems like 'karma';
2) in evaluation of the means by which certain principles are presumed to work in a *cosmic* sense but are carried out via *social* vectors of influence (i connect this with the 3-Fold, or 10-Fold Law of Return) and suppose that 'what comes around goes around' relates to ordinary human compensatory reactions to learning about an individual's heinous or admirable acts;
3) in an analysis of human consciousness, its qualitative character, and optimized experience, the operation of identification whereby 'I am doing this', 'I did that', and 'I will do that' is substantially different than being completely imbued IN experience, and that 'action' (attributed dramatic role, as compared to participatory consciousness) emphasizes ego and tends to corrupt equanimity or composure in calm satiety. it is *this* 'action' by the mind (the choice to identify with the doer, the once-doer, the to-doer) that is by my understanding to what karma best is related, and this leads to the problems of emergent self-disruption by self-consciousness, a 're-birth' in a cognitive and present-centered sense. THIS is what i believe karma actually is, supportably and substantially, and how i presume that it is best understood, presented within the most profound Buddhist contexts, and applied toward optimized experience.
Well, myself, I am a firm believer that whatever you put out to the universe comes back to you. I believe it comes back in a way that will make you learn the most and not necessarily in the same form you put out. I believe that there has to be some kind of consequences to your actions otherwise we would all be out of control and kill each other.. well, maybe not that extreme but I think you know what I mean.
I do agree that karma can be viewed by some as retribution without them having to lift a hand to do anything. Seems to me that no one ever gets punished if people keep saying to themselves, "well ONE day they will get popped by someone". I know a man personally that keeps getting away with things because everyone keeps passing the bill off thinking the next person will get him.
I guess the definition of karma (if they believe in it) is different to everyone.
I believe that there has to be some kind of consequences to your actions otherwise we would all be out of control and kill each other..
Wow. I'm really glad you have your idea of karma to keep you in check. Me, I don't need any such carrot and stick ideology to behave like a half-way decent human being.
Ritalin-Bunny already covered my feelings on this subject.
I see what you are saying about making an action and getting a reaction be it positive or negative. But what do you think if someone does you wrong (cheats on you, steals money from you.. something that's caused you or your loved ones a lot of pain be it physical or emotional or both). Do you believe that it will come back to them in a way that hurts them? do you think you should do something back to hurt them? what's your thought on that?
Yes, it makes sense. It's pretty much how I see it as well. I thought we would be of the same mind about it and I see now that you elaborated more, that I was right to think so. I was trying to explain it in my own way but your way of explaining it was better.
Gaudior, I have read through you and Angelfire's comments and now karma makes less sense to me then it did before I read them. So if you don't mind I'm going to ask a couple of questions, ok?
So if I understand you correctly, karma is the energy you build up from an action? If you build up what people would call bad energy or karma that it will come back on you by hurting you and the same goes for if you build up good energy or karma, is that what your saying?
Now in your bee nest anology you have instant reaction. But in your robber anology it was delayed. Why is that? If you push energy, it instantly moves and what ever direction it moves something else moves instantly. There is no delay. So how can it be Karma that caused the robber to be caught if the cops were not there instantly to get him. Wouldn't it just be good police work in catching the robber. The same goes for your anology about someone being mean repeatedly to someone else. Why the delay to another incarnation?
Sorry if I am being a pain, but I really do want to understand your concept of karma.
If I get this wrong, let me know ok.
So if I understand your concept then you or someone in your home did something at sometime that made you a target of a theif? This is based on the anology of your home getting robbed. Or possibly karma was using you to repay the previous deeds of the theif? But if you didn't do anything to deserve being robbed wouldn't that make karma give you undue karma, just to apply due karma to the theif? Does that make any kind of sence, I sure hope so.
Kixs it very well could be that a past life was the reason for this theft!
Made up back story....:
The theif in the last life was the victim. Gaudior was the theif in the last life. The reason for the theft was 'unjust', but a 'barrier/protection spell' was in place by Gaudior. The karma would be (temporarily) blocked... but karma has an eternity of patience.... so Gaudior goes into the next incarnation.... the spell wears thin.... the 'theif' (reincarnated as well) is now out for retribution. The theif tries to rob Gaudiors home.... gets away with it the first time... The karma has now been served for the past life...... NOW this theif has gotten a taste of 'easy money' and goes in for another time.... this time gets caught.... karma served in this life for that (new) theft....
^does that story help explain a little more clearly?