Karma. What is Karma ?. Karma is found within many forms of Indian religion including Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In Sanskrit karma (Pali: kamma ) means ‘action’. It is linked to systems of cause and effect, as well as being a key factor in rebirth.
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“It is ‘intention’ that I call kamma; having willed or formed the intention, one performs acts by the body, speech and mind.”
Translation from Rupert Gethin, Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 120.
(Full text of the Nibbedhika Sutta can be found here)
In later Buddhist Literature we find reference a list of 10 meritorious deeds (Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha25) :
Translation from NaradaMahathera,A Manual of Abhidhamma, (Bangalore: Power Press 1956), vol. I p 241.
Dilemma: If Buddhism does not propagate a soul or self, how is karma meant to get carried over from one existence to the next?
Acts, such as giving the gifts to the Saṅgha, result in good karma if done in with positive attitude (Thailand 2008).
Members of the laity listening to a chanting from the Abhidhamma in Thailand (2008).
A member of the lay community giving a bhikkhu food in Myanmar (2009).