The danger in the “Karma” concept

Part 1: the meaning of Karma

The danger in the "Karma" conceptThe meaning of the word Karma, in Sanskrit, is action. But beyond the dictionary meaning, Karma gives birth to the concept of “cause and effect.” The cause makes the effect happen. The driver driving fast was the cause for accident – the effect. The accident was the cause for Lily to be late for her work and get fired – the effect. Getting fired from her previous work was the cause for Lily to find the job of her dreams.

Another way to describe Karma is through action and consequences. The action is the cause for the consequence – the effect – that will become an action for another consequence.

We cannot argue about the concept of “action and consequence,” since in our physical reality, it is a fact. However we act, if we are aware and still alive ;-) , we will be able to observe the consequences of our actions.

BUT! The concept of Karma is not based only on “cause and effect.” There are 4 more aspects that are involved in karma: Good and bad / right and wrong. These are four aspects that are unified and cannot be separated.

There is no wrong without bad.

There is no right without good.

There is no good without bad.

There is no right without wrong.

These are the four wheels that set the karma concept in motion.

So, it is not anymore just about “cause and effect” or “action and consequence.” Now it is about wrong causes creating bad effects and bad actions bringing wrong consequences. The same principle applies with good actions and right causes.

By the law of karma, if you accumulate “Bad Karma” by doing wrong actions, you will attract pain and suffering.

This means that the concept of Karma is based on fear, the greatest way to control people.

As well, this means that the concept is based on punishment and rewards, the fundamental foundation of all religions.

The above 2 principles are never part of the spiritual path!

There is another twisted aspect for the “Karma” concept that will be discussed in part 2 of the article.

Part 2

A few weeks ago, in India, a 23 year old Indian girl was violently raped on a bus by six men. By the law of Karma, if something bad happens to you or if you have a rough and harsh life it is because you carry “Bad Karma.” “Bad Karma” could be accumulated from past lives, from this lifetime, or both. The karmic principle is that people with “Bad Karma” need to pay the bill for their wrong actions or their bad causes, by experiencing uneasy realities.

From this explanation it is easy to deduce that people with “Bad karma” will require other bad people or bad events to create harsh realities for them. Someone needs to be the “evil” one so life becomes hell for the one with “Bad karma” that deserves it.

So… if this is how it works, what reason would we have to go after criminals and punish them for hurting and harming people with “Bad karma?” After all, they help these people to learn their lessons and pay their dues for their bad actions. Should they be rewarded and not punished for doing the “dirty work?”

So the question is: If we do believe in the law of Karma, where people get punished for their bad actions, can we still accuse the six men that raped and killed the young girl that obviously at some point in her many lives collected “Bad Karma,” as guilty?

The concept of Karma can be very tricky and dangerous…

With sadness and grief for the young Indian girl



3 Responses to “The danger in the “Karma” concept”

  1. Angus McDonald

    Thank you for the insights. I’m reminded of the biblical Job’s friends who concluded that he must’ve done some great evil to invoke such a harsh treatment from his god. The opposite was true and it turned out that his god was only sporting with him.

    My question regards the apparent need for suffering, or existentialist benefits of it, as contrasted against thoughts suggesting a blissful life is attainable. How can we grow and remain empathetic to the plight of others while living a blissful life?

    Thanks for your help,


  2. shakti mhi

    Dear Angus,
    I have answered your question in a new blog post that you can read here:
    The difference between Bliss and Happiness


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