What exactly is karma?

The headline question is often only asked when people really start thinking about what karma is. Because we all know it, or at least we think we know it, but when you ask for an explanation, many people can’t say it. Below we explain what karma exactly is and how it works. To believe or not to believe?


The literal meaning of the word karma (a Sanskrit word) is action and it is therefore not without reason that we often talk about karma: the law of cause and effect. We find the basis of karma in Buddhism and Hinduism.
Simply put, everything we do/think/say has a cause, which then has an effect (this refers to vipaka). This may manifest itself much later, but somewhere you encounter the consequence again and you know that it is the result of something you may have done, omitted, said or thought much earlier. However, it is not the case that cause and effect is always immediately visible or even tangible and, according to religions, chance spreads over several lives.

How does it work?

Karma works from everything we do with the body, the mind and what we say. Theosophy has introduced karma more in the West and it is suddenly being applied more practically. Some simple examples:

  • If you are active in sports in your youth, your body will develop differently than if you do not exercise. A good foundation is laid, so to speak. This can help you in adult life, for example with recovery of the body after an illness or accident.
  • Successfully completing your studies gives you a better chance of getting a good job when you grow up. If it is also a study that is very close to you and that you are passionate about, persevering in adult life is a lot easier and the chance of a full and happy life in all respects is greater.
  • Acting based on trust will ultimately create an environment worthy of trust. Which does not alter the fact that you will also encounter unreliable people on your path. Then straightening your back is all the more important.

Or the proverbs that are an extension of this, such as:

  • Who likes a hole for someone else, because in it himself.
  • Boontje comes for his wages.
  • Whoever rebounds the ball can expect it back.

It is typical that the proverbs often start from a negative perspective.

Positive or negative!

The above seems somewhat black and white, but it is the basic idea. You sow something by doing something, saying something, thinking and that goes along with you, as it were (think of it as maturing in your head, often not even consciously). At some point, sowing results in something growing. It goes without saying that this can be both positive and negative. Positive if you consciously cause happiness and negative if you consciously cause pain and misery (for others). By the way, it is strange to talk about right and wrong in this case, but it is only a choice of words to make it clear. It has nothing to do with punishment in any form, but something that you cause yourself.

Source: Dieter G, Pixabay

And then…
The next question could simply be whether you should experience what caused you? Well, more and more people also see life as a learning experience. Development as a person continues throughout all these years and it is good to learn from your mistakes to prevent recurrence. But also to enjoy the beautiful things that you have sown earlier and will be harvested automatically at some point.
That does not alter the fact that things can always get stuck, things that you have not been able to do anything with in practice. Meditation can be a way to clear disturbed emotions. You clean the mind, so to speak. Does this sound hazy? Perhaps, but meditation is actually not blurry at all, because we often already do it without knowing it. When purifying the mind you can think for yourself that you no longer want something, you decide not to do or do that thing anymore. say what hurts people or causes misery. There is no harm in having regrets, because what was the added value of hurting other people. In a quiet moment you give your mind space to think and make the decision. Think through the process and act accordingly.

Karma the boomerang?

It is logical that some people will experience that someone who abuses power, is cruel or treats people and animals disrespectfully, still seems happy. In that case the karmic story is not correct. However, if you delve into karma you know that it does not mean that today’s earthly life is bad. Reincarnation is part of religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism and extends karma over several lifetimes.


Believe or not believe, karma or no karma if your nature is good and you do good meets you good. And that is such a proverb that thinks from the good.

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