Karma: What Goes Around, Comes Around
Updated: Apr 6
What goes around comes around. You may be familiar with this phrase, but do you know its source? The concept of “karma” has been around for centuries, originating from ancient religious and philosophical traditions. Although different cultures have various interpretations of the concept, the meaning boils down to the same universal truth: For every action there is a consequence. From a spiritual viewpoint, karma can be seen as a law of spiritual cause and effect.
The word “karma” is derived from Sanskrit, an ancient language originating in India. Its literal translation is “action” or “deed” and is typically associated with the cycle of cause and effect. In other words, the actions that you take in this life have an impact on future lives. For this reason, it’s believed that good deeds will be rewarded while bad deeds will be punished.
Karma is a Buddhist and Hindu concept. For example, Hindu teachings suggest that karma is accumulated over many lifetimes, with the result of one’s actions determining the circumstances of their next life. As such, it’s believed that good or bad karma can influence one’s social, economic, and religious status both in this life and in the afterlife.
Throughout history, karma has been a subject of debate among religious and spiritual leaders. One of the earliest proponents was Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha. In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is enlightenment, which is achieved by eradicating one’s negative karma and becoming liberated from the cycle of rebirth. In other words, karma is seen as an opportunity to develop and refine one’s character, values, and beliefs.
Although the concept of karma is traditionally found within Hindu and Buddhist teachings, it has been adopted by many other cultures around the world. For instance, in the West, karma is often referred to as the “law of attraction,” the idea that one’s thoughts, words, and actions attract positive or negative experiences into their life.
Karma is also a powerful concept in many Native American tribal societies, as well as in Taoism, which is based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Taoism places great emphasis on the idea of “wei wu wei,” or “action through non-action,” whereby individuals are encouraged to act in harmony with the universe instead of striving against it.
Similarly, in Jainism, karma plays an important role in the belief system. Jains believe that karma is the consequence of all physical, mental, and verbal actions throughout one’s life. This karmic residue can have both positive and negative results, reminiscent of the law of cause and effect.
Ultimately, the concept of karma highlights the fact that our choices and actions have consequences, both in this life and beyond. It encourages us to lead an honorable life and to strive for balance and harmony. By living in alignment with our true nature, recognizing the impact of our decisions, and being mindful of our words and deeds, we can work towards freeing ourselves from our karmic cycle and attaining a state of peace and contentment.
Louisa Mastromarino, CEO of Holistic Consortium, is a certified counselor educator, certified psychic/medium, and certified intuitive consultant. She is also a clinical hypnotherapist with over twenty years of experience in the communications and education fields. Louisa has been featured in Careers from the Kitchen Table by Raven Blair Davis and is the author of Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups Go to Washington, D.C., Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups Go to Philadelphia, PA, Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups Go to New York City, and Brizzley Bear Loves Poetry . Visit www.distantholistic.com or email email@example.com for more information or to arrange a private distant consultation. Thank you.
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Karma in Buddhism. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm
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Rinzler, E., (2019). The Meaning of Karma and How it Relates to You. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2018.1519370