Glossary entry for
karma

The word "karma" means action, and the derived meaning is "action, and the appropriate result of action". This concept is very important in Hinduism and Buddhism. As applied to the moral sphere it is the Law of Ethical Causation, through the operation of which a person reaps what he sows; builds his character, makes his destiny, and works out his salvation. Karma also applies to groups of people such as families and nations.

The doctrine of re-birth is an essential corollary to that of karma, the individual coming into physical life with a character and environment resulting from his actions in the past. Current actions will in turn determine future circumstances.

Contributed by Alan Pert, Sydney, Australia

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