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Hindus believes in reincarnation. What determines the state of an individual in the next existence is karma which refers to the actions undertaken by the body and the mind.

In order to achieve good karma it is important to live life according to dharma. This involves doing what is right for the individual, the family, the community and also for the universe itself.

Dharma is like a cosmic norm and if one goes against the norm it can result in bad karma. So, dharma affects the future according to the karma accumulated. Therefore, one's dharmic path in the next life is determined by their past karma. Read Full Article

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Comments
July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(1) Ravi says:

Although this is correct, I have a daunting question all the time. If karma decides the state of an individual, what is the role of God? Do prayers have an effect at all?

July 28, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(2) SK says:

Yes, God does consider prayers. The role of God is (1) to oversee creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe, (2) to oversee our actions, with possible intervention if necessary, (3) to ensure justice through the laws of karma, and (4) to consider our prayers.

Prayer to God for forgiveness from sin will also be answered without violation of the law of karma. If true remorse is felt for the error committed, and one makes an effort not to commit the mistake again, the prayer for forgiveness will be answered in the form of mitigation of suffering and a more proper state of mind, taking into account that the remorse felt by the sinner is part of the suffering.

If the prayer is for a desired future result, the prayer will still be answered without a violation of the law of karma. Of course, one should not expect the desired result will magically happen without action. The purpose of prayer is to focus our attention towards God, who will help steer us in the right direction for our prayers to be answered with assistance, possibly in the form of more favorable circumstances or improved abilities or a better state of mind for the tasks at hand. If done with true faith and intensity and for the right reasons, the prayers will be answered.

Of course, as with all religious ideas, this has been debated, but this is a commonly accepted view of God and prayer among Hindus.

July 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm
(3) SK says:

And of course the Bhakti schools all state that prayer has the additional positive side effect of bringing oneself closer to God and to moksha, as stated in the Gita.

July 29, 2009 at 5:41 am
(4) Rajendar Menen says:

Hundreds of millions of Indians lead such desperate lives. Is it due to bad karma?

August 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(5) SK says:

Quite possibly. It isn’t just Indians – hundreds of millions of people worldwide are suffering. But don’t forget that there are also many, Indians and others, who are living well.

August 11, 2009 at 2:55 am
(6) kd gupta says:

your suggestions pl.

August 11, 2009 at 3:09 am
(7) kdgupta says:

pl. comment

August 15, 2009 at 5:05 am
(8) ssharma says:

anything i do easy works or any easy process for anything became difficult and late.is it due to my karma?

October 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm
(9) Hensel says:

Ideology of Karma is a belief thing of Hindus. Scientifically they are correct about cause and effect.
But if one factors God / Love we cannot have that clear concept. BG 2 47 says, no matter what we do the result is not guaranteed, a given action not necessarily gives the exact reaction.

August 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm
(10) Alicia says:

Does Hinduism teach that all suffering, without exception, is due to one’s karma?

September 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm
(11) DM says:

This Karma business sounds like a way to blame the victim. You don’t have sufficient food and your husband beats you? You must have been a jerk in a previous life.

The only think worse that that is Abrahamic religious mythology, where a psychopathic god metes out suffering capriciously and arbitrarily. Ask Job about that — the monster in effect killed Job’s entire family, and made amends by replacing it with new people, as if nothing happened. And then there was the Great Flood, where the alleged god killed practically everyone and everything.

September 19, 2012 at 2:22 am
(12) Alicia says:

Is all suffering due to karma?

April 30, 2013 at 7:40 am
(13) K.C.Das says:

Believe in GOOD KARMA is not a bad idea . It is like believing in reincarnation to do GOOD KARMA. If you forget all these, just think of doing something, anything that is good, that will help somebody- anybody, any sober minded person agree that, that is good. Believing in Karma, then believing in reincarnation , then believing in GOD or something are all the same. If it makes someone happy, do it . We don’t know where from we came ( although our DNA is likely to be originated in Africa ?) and where we are going to go ( reincarnation is a big question).

April 30, 2013 at 8:38 am
(14) Rohit Kanji says:

Doctrine of Karma simply says that you will reap the fruit of your actions either in this life or future lives. One still has the freedom act and employ this freedom to do good things or bad things, smart things or stupid things. Because you have this freedom to act, you can commit horrific acts.

Doctrine of karma is all about personal freedom to act with a corresponding personal accountability. A good analogy is your bank account. You cannot blame the empty bank account for your poverty. You cannot blame the empty bank account for your suffering. Saving and spending are your choices.

Abrahamic religions offer the alternative of a God sitting in judgment or making moral laws. They offer sin as the measure. The Bible clearly says that where there are no Biblical laws, there can be no violations and hence no sins. If there are Biblical laws, violation of those laws is sin. You have only one life and one faces the reward or punishment in after-life. Raises all kinds of issues – can there be morals without God speaking of them? Are moral laws absolute and inviolable? Even the Catholic Church recognized the problem and has revised some of the Biblical laws. For example, just War theory is a human “amendment” to God’s law not to kill.

April 30, 2013 at 11:11 am
(15) kurra says:

Yes. Karma is the root cause of all results or situations . Hence doing good Karma will definitely result in good results in due course of time. Just like whatever you sow you are likely to reap.

May 2, 2013 at 6:47 am
(16) Jay says:

Yes, karma is just the cause and effect principle. Do good and the results are favorable as well. But, it is not always easy since our ego prevents us from doing the best possible action if it interferes with our personal goal. Jiddu Krishnamurti used to say that if we are all aware of the repercussions of our action, the world will be utopian and all will be virtuous.. If we could follow the ideal of dharmic action, we will have bliss and a clear conscience. This is the goal worth pursuing and only God’s grace can make us act diligently and sincerely at all times. Best of luck to all of us!

May 2, 2013 at 9:29 am
(17) Rama Rao K says:

The theory of Karma is simply hogwash. Any pinhead could see through this game. May be it was relevant in primitive times to keep some order in the society. Imagine even today many people consider diseases as part of the karma borne out of their actions of a previous birth! With the invention of microscope, we now understand that all infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms and not by Karma.
Imagine a murderer claiming immunity from prosecution because he himself was the victim (of being murdered) in his previous birth and that the murdered was reaping the fruit of his karma in this birth!

May 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm
(18) sushila says:

I simply live my life by a core set of values based on my religion, culture, personality and everyday common sense. The biggest factor I believe is to be constant and not to be deviated from this path.

Whilst being a Hindu, due to circumstances, I never really knew much of Hinduism. By this I mean read the Gita, know the rituals and the stories etc. There was always the sense of Spirit in my life. When young, this was truly frightening. I had no guidance or talked to my parents or anyone. In my thirties, I had an episode of literally speaking in tongues. I had no concept of what I was saying but it made perfect sense. I had never thought or explored these ideas. Not know where it was coming from but still speaking with complete and utter conviction.

Long story short:
I didn’t understand many of Hinduism’s concepts and didn’t know if I believed in reincarnation. I simply wanted to be a good person and live life as the best person that I could be. I ardently commenced my spiritual practice convinced that whatever I needed to know would be revealed. I did not have to know it all to commence. Bad things happen. But that is Life. Have a cry or yell, get over it and keep moving forward.

With time, many cues came. Many quite inexplicable. The biggest lesson was one of awareness – to bring my complete attention and every fibre of my being to whatever I was engaged in wholeheartedly ensuring the perfection of the task at hand. The results I gave to God. The next lesson was to practice this consistently in everything daily.

Many amazing things have happened. My focus still remains the same – to be the best person that I can be. It makes perfect sense. You don’t have to be rich or beautiful or educated or privileged. You simply have to want to and be prepared to follow this thought no matter what. You have the right and can be the best person that you want to be. You choose!

May 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm
(19) Manju says:

According to Hinduism nothing happens in this world without the knowledge of God.But why sometimes people commit mistakes or sins?

July 14, 2013 at 10:15 am
(20) T says:

Manju – because God does not control us, he guides us, so we will make mistakes to learn, and sins are a type of mistake.

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