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All that we say and do in life have the potential to mitigate our suffering or amplify it. As they say, people get what they give. The choices we make lead to corresponding outcomes in the future.
When we’re doing good deeds, we’re setting ourselves up for a positive life. Do horrible deeds and there will be unpleasant consequences waiting at some point in the future. This principle of cause and effect is called Karma.
The Origins of Karma
The law of karma is one of the central doctrines in many spiritual traditions—Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism to name a few. It is the notion that everything in life happens as a result of past actions.
Back in the day, these ancient religious sects debated whether humankind’s life was predetermined or shaped by free will. Some argued that people are incapable of changing their life, while those who believed in karma argued that people have free will and have the capacity to change the course of their life through their actions.
Fate isn’t set in stone but merely the product of an individual’s actions. It is the law of karma that gained ground through the teachings of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
Although karma is at the heart of Indian religions, their views vary.
The Meaning of Karma
Karma pertains to intentional thoughts and actions. It is an energy every single person generates at any given moment. It’s the consequence of past actions, but it’s also the opportunity for healing.
In Hinduism, karma and reincarnation are determined by a person’s past life. Hindus believe that people’s karma depends on the intentions of their thoughts and actions. Their karma shapes the course of their lives.
Jains believe that karma has physical particles around the universe. People attract these karmic substances depending on the intentions of their actions, thoughts, and words. Like Hindus, Jains believe that souls are trapped in an endless cycle of rebirth in the temporal world.
Sikhs, on the other hand, believe that people can’t liberate themselves from this cycle of rebirth by their own free will. Only God can do that. But like other religious sects, Sikhism teaches that the law of karma influences the quality of one’s current life.
Unlike the rest, Buddhism doesn’t see karma as good or bad. For Buddhists, karma is simply the result of the actions that people have done throughout their lifetime.
No matter the religion, karma can teach us a lesson about life. When we fully understand the law of karma, we can learn how to control their actions and even reactions. We gain the power to respond in a positive manner, no matter the situation we are in.
Understanding the Law of Karma
Learning how to be mindful of our habits, urges, and impulses enables us to lead a better life. By understanding the importance of our actions, its origins and consequences, we can prevent committing mindless acts. Instead, we can be more active in reshaping our life the way we want it.
Qualities such as anger, harmony, happiness, and discontent are all seeds that we sow and nurture in our minds. Depending on what a person nurtures, these seeds eventually sprout into flowers or wither. Living with mindfulness enables us to choose which flowers to nurture and which ones to avoid.
No one has complete control of what happens in the world, but we can always control our response to what goes on around us. Certainly, this is quite challenging especially when we feel that they have been wronged or treated poorly.
But opening ourselves to greater kindness and compassion helps us understand the law of karma better. We can improve our karma and free ourselves from a never-ending cycle of hurt and loss only when we become more aware of the present moment. When we are more mindful of our actions, we can use karma as a guiding force for personal and spiritual development.
Whether or not you believe in these religions, there’s no harm in abiding by the principles of karma. Understanding the law of karma can significantly improve your life one action at a time.
Here are some of the best karma quotes that will enlighten your life:
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” – Wayne W. Dyer
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
“When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.” – Confucius
“Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can’t get away with screwing people over your whole life, I don’t care who you are. What goes around comes around. That’s how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.” – Jessica Brody, The Karma Club
“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.” – Daisaku Ikeda
“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.” – Kurt Cobain
“Karma bides it’s time. You will always have to watch out. Karma is unforgiving and always gets payback.” – Benjamin Bayani
“You cannot do harm to someone because someone has done harm to you. You will pay just like they will.” – Ericka Williams
“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” – John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
“I was in the biggest breakdown of my life when I stopped crying long enough to let the words of my epiphany really sink in. That whore, karma, had finally made her way around, and had just bitch-slapped me right across the face. The realization only made me cry harder.” – Jennifer Salaiz
“Give up your selfishness, and you shall find peace; like water mingling with water, you shall merge in absorption.” – Sri Guru Granth Sahib
“Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence.” – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
“Whatever we do lays a seed in our deepest consciousness, and one day that seed will grow.” – Sakyong Mipham
“It is impossible to build one’s own happiness on the unhappiness of others. This perspective is at the heart of Buddhist teachings.” – Daisaku Ikeda
“Is Fate getting what you deserve, or deserving what you get?” – Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts
“The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.” – Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods
“Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it.” – Sakyong Mipham
“There is always a day of reckoning. The good among the great understand that every choice we make adds to the strength or weakness of our spirits—ourselves, or to use an old fashioned word for the same idea, our souls. That is every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.” – Donald Van de Mark, The Good Among the Great
“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank
“If a householder moulds himself according to the circumstances just like nature moulds Herself according to seasons and performs his Karma then only shall he acquire happiness.” – Rig Veda
“Oh Lestat, you deserved everything that’s ever happened to you. You better not die. You might actually go to hell.” – Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat
“Those who pray for your downfall are concentrating negative thoughts towards you, without taking cognizance of the slippery ground in which they are standing, which could lead to their downfall.” – Michael Bassey Johnson
“I must have killed a lot of cows in a past life for Karma to hate me this much.” – Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits
“Dear Karma, I really hate you right now, you made your point.” – Ottilie Weber, Family Ties
“Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.” – Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“I’m not a believer in predetermined fates, being rewarded for one’s efforts. I’m not a believer in karma. The reason why I try to be a good person is because I think it’s the right thing to do. If I commit fewer bad acts there will be fewer bad acts, maybe other people will join in committing fewer bad acts, and in time there will be fewer and fewer of them.” – Daniel Handler
“It’s already bad. I’m honestly not sure how much worse it’s going to get.” Notice that I didn’t say couldn’t get worse. It can always get worse. I know this. And thus I refuse to tempt fate. Superstitious – probably. But magic exists. So does karma, and karma can be a bitch.” – Cat Adams, Blood Song
“It is your karma to fight evil. It doesn’t matter if the people that evil is being committed against don’t fight back. It doesn’t matter if the entire world chooses to look the other way. Always remember this. You don’t live with the consequences of other people’s karma. You live with the consequences of your own.” – Amish Tripathi, The Secret of the Nagas
“Strange things conspire when one tries to cheat fate” – Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune
“But, mark my words; someday she’ll get what’s coming to her. Karma’s a bigger bitch than she is.” – Kathleen Brooks
“I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good.” – Sandra Bullock
“This is your karma. You do not understand now, but you will understand later. The source of pain is within your own larger expression of being.” – H. Raven Rose, Shadow Selves: Double Happiness
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, The 11 Karmic Spaces
“Manipulation, fueled with good intent, can be a blessing. But when used wickedly, it is the beginning of a magician’s karmic calamity.” – T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise
“Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in.” – Ashly Lorenzana
“Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.” – Dalai Lama XIV
“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.” – Edith Wharton
“As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.” – Sri Guru Granth Sahib
“Karma is a tricky thing. To serve Karma, one must repay good Karma to others. To serve Karma well, one must sometimes deliver bad Karma where it is due.” – M.R. Mathias
“You cannot control the results, only your actions.” – Allan Lokos, Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living
“Every action has equal and opposite reaction. This is law of the universe and spares none. Wrong done and injustice inflicted is paid back in the same coin. No one has escaped justice of the universe. It is only a matter of time.” – Anil Sinha
“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” – David Mitchell
“A boomerang returns back to the person who throws it. But first, while moving in a circle, it hits its target. So does gossip.” – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
“When you plant a seed of love, it is you that blossoms.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, The 11 Karmic Spaces
“Treat other people’s home as you want them to respect yours because what goes around comes around.” – Ana Monnar
“Love your neighbor, even the ones who do not show you the same courtesy. You can’t expect to receive love if you’re selective and not really willing to give it. What you put into the world, you will indeed get back, even if it’s not from the person you’re expecting it to be.” – Alexandra Elle, Words from a Wanderer
“The working out of cause and effect is eternal. You are part of this rising and falling that never ends, and only by riding the wave can you ensure that the waves don’t drown you. The ego takes everything personally, leaving no room for higher guidance or purpose. If you can, realize that a cosmic plan is unfolding and appreciate the incredibly woven tapestry for what it is, a design of unparalleled marvel.” – Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets
“Someday people will ask me what is the key to my success…and I will simply say, ‘good Karma.’” – K. Crumley
“Michael said. ‘But here’s something for you to think about, at least. What goes around comes around. And sometimes you get what’s coming around.’ He paused for a moment, frowning faintly, pursing his lips. ‘And sometimes you are what’s coming around.’” – Jim Butcher, Grave Peril
“You must acknowledge and experience this part of the universe. Karma is intricate, too vast. You would, with your limited human senses, consider it too unfair. But you have tools to really, truly love. Loving the children is very important. But love everyone as you would love your children.” – Kuan Yin
“Karma, ahhh. We sow what we reap… We reap what we sow! We reap what we sow. The law of cause and effect. And we are all under this law.” – Nina Hagen
“I would never disrespect any man, woman, chick or child out there. We’re all the same. What goes around comes around, and karma kicks us all in the butt in the end of the day.” – Angie Stone
“Karma is not just about the troubles, but also about surmounting them.” – Rick Springfield
“If your actions were to boomerang back on you instantly, would you still act the same? Doing to others an act you’d rather not have done to you reveals a powerful internal conflict.” – Alexandra Katehakis
“If karma doesn’t catch up, God will surely pick up the slack.” – Anthony Liccione
“I never kill insects. If I see ants or spiders in the room, I pick them up and take them outside. Karma is everything.” – Holly Valance
“To experience what isn’t, love what is.” – Eric Micha’el Leventhal
“I want revenge, but I don’t want to screw up my karma.” – Susane Colasanti, Take Me There
“You made your own bed, and now curse others for putting you there.” – Wesley Chu, The Lives of Tao
“Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
“This misfortune you find is of your own manufacture. Keep hold of what you have, it will harm no other, for hatred comes home to the hand that chose it.” – Simon Armitage, The Death of King Arthur
“Don’t worry, eventually everything falls into its rightful place.” – Fakeer Ishavardas
“We all have our special sills. They don’t make us better or worse than each other. Just different” – Jennifer Estep, Karma Girl
“Many believe in karma but I take it to a whole different level.” – Alexandria Vincent R.
“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.” – Thích Nh?t H?nh
“The sad thing is, I was discovering that you almost have to make a joke of being good to strangers. Up and down the country, these people doing their good deeds were doubtless being seen as slightly eccentric, when in reality and in an ideal world they should be deemed the most normal people of all.” – Danny Wallace, Join Me!
“As long as karma exists, the world changes. There will always be karma to be taken care of” – Nina Hagen
“Birth is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward.” – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
“Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward. It exists as part of our holographic universe’s binary or dualistic operating system only to teach us responsibility for our creations – and all things we experience are our creations.” – Sol Luckman
“When someone has a strong intuitive connection, Buddhism suggests that it’s because of karma, some past connection.” – Richard Gere
“But this was what happened when you didn’t want to visit and confront the past: the past starts visiting and confronting you.” – Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park
“You have to appreciate where you have come from to know who you are in the present and whom you would like to be in the future.” – Truth Devour, Unrequited
“Karma is a cruel mistress.” – Kelley York, Hushed
“When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.” – Harold Kushner
“I believe in fate and I believe that things happen for a reason but I don’t think that there’s a high power, necessarily. I believe in karma very much though.” – Amy Winehouse
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins
“Without the existence of people to acknowledge or dispute your greatness, your greatness is irrelevant. You are because they are. Without them, no matter how they treat you, you would not exist. Treat all the world as if you owe it your gratitude, because even the cruel and heartless define who you are.” – Jayleigh Cape
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer
“Karma is a balance sheet of life which debits and credit all your deeds. Which is audited by our creator and actions are based on what we accumulated in it.” – Abhysheq Shukla
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. – Buddha
“Good things could happen to not so bad people.” – Mike Gayle, My Legendary Girlfriend
“The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” – Frederick Buechner
“Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself.” – Ben Mikaelsen, Touching Spirit Bear
“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.” – Peyton Conway March
“Don’t wait for a better world. Start now to create a world of harmony and peace. It is up to you, and it always has been. You may even find the solution at the end of your fork.” – Sharon Gannon, Yoga and Vegetarianism
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The core practice of magic is: The execution of a willed intent to create change in the material world, which either defies, hastens or purifies the consequences of natural cause and effect.” – Zeena Schreck
“Don’t send me flowers when I’m dead. If you like me, send them while I’m alive.” – Brian Clough
“Now everything that you do is written in red or black in Angel Gabriel’s book. Not for everyone is this record kept, but only for those who have taken a position of responsibility. There is a Law of Sins, and if you do not fulfill all your obligations, you will pay.” – G.I. Gurdjieff
“Life ends with a snap of small bones, a head cracked from its stem, and a spirit unmoored…” – Sarah Kernochan, Jane Was Here
“Karma is a bitch.” – V.K. Springs
“Claiming to love self, but willingly default to cheating at the first sign of trouble is nothing short of playing yourself. Your ego may feel avenged – temporarily – but your heart and soul, the true self, will suffer the long term affects of karma’s justifiable sting.” – T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise
“When kindness is your compass, you will find guidance to the right path in this life and the next.” – Stewart Stafford
“We don’t find love, love finds us. What you put out into the universe will find its way back to you.” – Raneem Kayyali
“I know what it’s like to have secrets. Ones that are way traumatic. Ones that are so awful you can’t tell anybody, even though you’re dying to. So I’m not going to talk about this with anyone. It’s the right thing to do. Karma and all.” – Susane Colasanti, Take Me There
“Teaching yoga itself is great karma yoga, because it reconnects people to the source.” – Amit Ray, Yoga The Science of Well-Being
“The only spiritual currency one has in the afterlife is amassed in the form of light, in that, the amount you have depends on the weight of your words and deeds in the living. Conscience is everything. Conscience is what connects us to the truth and light of the highest power source of all. God. The cosmic heart of the universe.” – Suzy Kassem
“If thinking should precede acting, then acting must succeed thinking.” – Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
“Have you completely made up for all the bad things you’ve done? No. But you keep adding to the good things column. That’s all any of us can do.” – Rick Riordan, The Tyrant’s Tomb
“I forgave you simply for the fact that Karma won’t.” – Nitya Prakash
“Even he himself, a moment later, was aghast at the curse that he had just spewed: it wasn’t his words… Maybe it was Karma who had sat upon his tongue, and put her curse on the family through him. Maybe it was Karma who had used him as an instrument to do the inevitable. Maybe it was Karma! Maybe!” – Anurag Shrivastava, The Web of Karma
“I believe in karma, I know you will never really be happy and that makes me very happy. It’s time for you to call your stalking monkeys in from the barn before I drop a house on you! Be gone!” – Tracy Malone
“Pathological liars call a situation a ‘misunderstanding’ most especially when their deceptions return to them as karmic whirlwind.” – Angelica Hopes
“A meditative mind gathers no Karma.” – Saroj Aryal
“The laws of Karma state that our soul is constantly influenced by our karma as it passes from one life to another. We are what our ‘accumulated actions’—Sanchita karmas—are. What we do, we become. Hence we are the masters of our destiny as by changing our actions, we can change our destiny for not only this life but also future ones.” – Awdhesh Singh, Myths are Real, Reality is a Myth
“A thousand years of tears can only be voluntarily avoided.” – Donna Goddard, Faith
“It is okay to fight for someone who loves you, but it is not okay to fight with someone to love you.” – Abhinav Mishra, The Unfortunates
“To get carried away by a thought is the state of a sentient being. Rather than that, recognize your basic state as being the essence, nature and capacity that are the three kayas of the buddhas. Remain in uncontrived naturalness for short moments, repeated many times.” – Tulku Urgyen, As It Is, Volume II
“According to the karma of past actions, one’s destiny unfolds, even though everyone wants to be so lucky.” – Sri Guru Grant Sahib
“Some people will come in your life and leave as they wish, just like you’re doing the same in someone else’s life.” – Nitya Prakash
“If you give a good thing to the world, then over time your karma will be good, and you’ll receive good.” – Russell Simmons
“There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone.” – Sylvester Stallone
“I believe in Karma. If the good is sown, the good is collected. When positive things are made, that returns well.” – Yannick Noah
“Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant will result in happiness. If we act non-virtuously, suffering results.” – Saying Lipham
“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” – Tryon Edwards
“There are the waves and there is the wind, seen and unseen forces. Everyone has these same elements in their lives, the seen and unseen, karma and free will.” – Kuna Yin
“Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.” – Bohidharma