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What is Karma? What are the rules of Karma?

True Meaning of Karma

Karma simply means action, deed, or work. Karma or Karm is a Sanskrit word that is mentioned in many ancient books or studies such as "Srimad Bhagavad Geeta". Karma can be bifurcated into two words: Kar means Do, Kar is an order or command word which means Do it or Do. The word "Ma" exclusively means "creation of the universe". Hence, Karma means to do something that makes a change in the creation of the universe.

Every single Karma whether it is Small or Big makes a difference in the Universe. Every Karma or action has a definite reaction. The small Karma that we do in our life such as Yoga asana, Pranayama, Exercise, Cleaning of our home or our body, etc. is recognized as "Kriyas" in the yogic concept.

Many of the blogs or articles explained Kriya and Karma as the same thing. But this is actually not true. Most of the blogs follow Wikipedia but Wikipedia, later on, changed what says before. The major difference between Karma and Kriya is that Kriya gives results instantly or in some days or months. Suppose you practice Shatkriya (yogic cleansing techniques) such as Jal Neti. So the results of Jal Neti come in some days or months. But if you donate money to someone as good karma, no one knows when the results will come back.


  1. Karma is the beginning of Creation
  2. Karma makes Destiny
  3. Karma cannot be skipped
  4. Karma has a definite result
  5. Karma is a way to Moksha
  6. Karma is way of practical knowledge
  7. Karma is applied to all equally
  8. Karma gives Results based on Situations
  9. Karma can be affected by the mind
  10. Karma can be boosted by Love, Devotion, Meditation and Creativity
  11. God can not interfere on Karma


  • How do I get rid of bad karma in my life? [asked by: Giovanna Imprezzabile]

    Answer: Understand with an example, in our childhood, sometimes we did some small mistakes and we got fear of our mother. After some time the mother came and gave us some punishments accordingly. If we did something that cannot be improved, we got big punishment but if something small happened we just got some minutes of a scold. So same in our life, some mistakes cannot be recovered but there are some mistakes that can be improved with spiritual practices.

  • What are Bad Karma and Good Karma? [asked by: Giovanna Imprezzabile]

    Answer: Any karma that is performed with good intentions for someone's help is good karma. Any karma that is performed with bad intentions is bad karma. Karma is not only for humans, it also applies to animals, that's why when we feed animals we get good karma. Also, it is not for others always, it is for yourself too, that's why if someone suicide is bad karma because he (the mind) hurt himself (the body).

  • How much intense are the results of Good Karma and Bad Karma? [asked by: Rutuja Nakate]

    Answer: The results of good karma or bad karma always come on time and the time is set by God. So all the good karma results are so intense and it will definitely help you. The results can give a lot of knowledge in life. The bad karma results are also so intense because when they come, it means God wants you to realize something and after that dark time, there is a beautiful morning ahead.

  • How to understand the difference between good Karma and bad karma? [asked by: Naynika Tarika]

    Answer: Once a human start the spiritual practice, he/she will be getting the awareness. When the awareness comes, you can easily understand the intention behind any Karma. To judge people is not necessary and easy but the awareness will be started from your own body, mind, and soul.



There is no creation without the Karmic Circle. Whatever happened, is happening, or will happen has a meaning based on Karma. The Karma we did in our past or previous life is stored and ready to come at the right time. Whatever happens without any effort is set by the rules of nature. Whatever else the human is doing, he follows the rules of Karma. Human is their own creator of Karma. He can choose to do right or wrong Karma. But the results are not in human's hands.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Karma:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ Chapter 02, Verse 47

Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kada Chana,
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurma te Sangostva Akarmani. (2.47)

Meaning: You have a right to perform your Karma, but you are not the decider or entitled to the results of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results, and never be attached to not doing your Karma.



Karma makes destiny, this truth is mentioned in many books as well as explained by many Gurus and monks. Destiny is the storage of Karma or the results of Karma. Destiny is something that is decided by how you perform Karma. Bad action or Karma make bad destiny and good deeds or karma make good destiny. Like the above image which shows a circle of the moon every month, destiny is the same, someday it will show you the bright moon means the good days, and at other times it may show you dark moon means painful days. So a yogi should not react to the bad or good. He should be calm and peaceful in all situations.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Yogi's behavior:

यो न हृष्यति न द्वेष्टि न शोचति न काङ् क्षति |
शुभाशुभपरित्यागी भक्तिमान्य: स मे प्रिय: ॥  Chapter 12, Verse 17

Yo na hrishyati na dveshti na shochati na kankshati,
Shubhashubha-parityagi bhaktiman yah sa me priyah. (12.17)

Meaning: Those who neither rejoices in pleasures nor despair in worldly sorrows, who are neither sad for any loss nor greedy for any gain, who renounce and become happy in both good and evil deeds, such people who are full of devotion are very dear to Me.



Karma is the responsibility of every human. No one can skip the Karma. Sometimes we may be sad due to no positive results in life, but nature gives us motivation again to do Karma and we continue. Disappointments with results cannot permanently stop the doer. Even if a human is not doing anything productive or creative, the Karmic Circle will keep going and motivate him again to do Karma. A human who plants a mango tree at the age of 80, is well aware that he will not be available in future to eat the mangoes but he does it for the children or grandchildren ahead.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Karma:

न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत्‌ ।
कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ॥ Chapter 03, Verse 05

Na hi kasichiatksanamapi jatu tisthatyakarmakrt,
Karyate hyavasah karma sarvah prakrtijairgunaih. (03.05)

Meaning: The human cannot be free from doing Karma because the nature and Gunas (quality) give the compulsion and pressure to do Karma.



Karma definitely gives a result but the time is not on our hands. We can do only Karma but cannot decide the time of results. Doing Karma is like throwing a stone that will definitely fall somewhere because of nature's rule. Once you have already thrown that stone, you can only wait for results.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Gyaan Yog & Karma Yoga:

न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते।
न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति॥ Chapter 03, Verse 04

na karmanam anarambhan naishkarmyam purusho ’shnute,
na cha sannyasanad eva siddhim samadhigachchhati. (03.04)

Meaning: One neither attains Siddhi by renunciation of actions nor achieves self-doing without doing actions.



Karma is also a way to liberty. The liberty from the circle of life and death is called "Moksha". Once a human finished all pending karma and started all the Karma with devotion like he is doing for God, this way, he reached the door of Moksha.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about the importance of Karma:

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः।
शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः॥ Chapter 03, Verse 08

niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyayo hyakarmanah,
sharira-yatrapi cha te na prasiddhyed akarmanah. (03.08)

Meaning: Just do the Karma (your duties and deeds) continuously because it is better to do Karma than not to do any. When you don't do Karma, then there is no meaning in your life and even your sustenance will not be perfect.



The practical knowledge cannot come from books or watching TV or Phone. It can come by only doing the Karma practically. Every time a human wins or fails, he definitely gets some practical knowledge from that Karma.



From a poor human to a rich person, Karma is applied to all equally. The mechanism of Karma is a balanced system that applies to all in a balanced way. God does not make any difference while giving the results for Karma. If sometimes you feel any difference, it's because of intentions.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained to do Karma:

न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन।
नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि॥ Chapter 03, Verse 22

na me pārthāsti kartavyaṁ triṣu lokeṣu kiṁcana,
nānavāptamavāptavyaṁ varta eva ca karmaṇi. (03.22)

Meaning: Sri Krishna Said to Arjuna, " O Parth (Son of Pritha), I neither have any work to do in all the three worlds, I have gained everything and now there is nothing left to gain but still, I keep verily in the path of Karma.



God always seeks the best time to give results. It always opens a door when all the others get closed. God does not give results when you want them but when you need them.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about the divine result of Karma:

तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर।
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः॥ Chapter 03, Verse 19

tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samachara,
asakto hyacharan karma param apnoti purushah. (03.19)

Meaning: Give up the attachment of result and perform karma as a duty. By doing so, you will attain the supreme.



The mind plays important role in Karma because when the intention comes from the soul, the humans get motivated to do Karma but the mind makes it good or bad based on past memories or experience.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Gyaan Yog & Karma Yoga:

लोकेऽस्मिन्द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ।
ज्ञानयोगेन सांख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम्॥ Chapter 03, Verse 03

loke ’smin dvi-vidha nishtha pura prokta mayanagha
jnana-yogena sankhyanam karma-yogena yoginam. (03.03)

Meaning: O sinless Arjuna, there is a twofold path in this world as mentioned by me. The path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of action of the Yogis.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Karma:

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः॥ Chapter 03, Verse 42<

indriyani paranyahur indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir yo buddheh paratas tu sah. (03.42)

Meaning: The senses are superior to the body, the mind is superior to the senses, and the one which is superior to the mind is the soul.



In Gita, Lord Krishna mentioned that if someone does Karma for God that will always give better results. This simply means that you have to pack your karma with love, kindness, and devotion and do it like you are doing everything for God. Your karma should be logged with Devotion from your pure heart. Doing Meditation for better focus and concentration and being in the present moment and doing the Karma with creativity also helps to achieve higher goals and better results.



God does not need to interfere in Karma. God is like an observer of our mind, body, and soul. God does not react when someone does bad or good karma but if someone has devotion for God, some indications come in life that can inspire and guide to do well.

Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvada Geeta explained about Karma and God:

यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धन:।
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्ग: समाचर।। Chapter 03, Verse 09

yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya mukta-saṅgaḥ samāchara. (03.09)

Meaning: Karma is done as to the Yajna to the Supreme Lord. If not done in this way then it will create a boundation in this world. So, O son of Kunti, you keep doing your Karma for the satisfaction of God without being attached to the results.

About Author: Sanjjay Raturi
The Seeker, Writer, Himalayan Philosopher
Sanjjay Raturi "Sagar" was born into a Brahmin family in the North Indian Himalayas. He has been connected to spirituality since birth, growing up in a beautiful place near the source of the holy river Ganges. This led him to start practicing mantra chanting and meditation during his childhood.
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