, also karman
) means "action" or "doing"; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma
. In Buddhism
, the term karma
is used specifically for those actions which spring from the intention (Sanskrit: cetanā
, Pali: cetana
) of an unenlightened being.
These bring about a fruit (Sanskrit, Pali: phala
) or result (S., P.: vipāka
; the two are often used together as vipākaphala
), either within the present life, or in the context of a future rebirth. Other Indian religions have different views on karma
. Karma is the engine which drives the wheel of the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth (S., P.
) for each being. In the early texts it is not, however, the only causal mechanism influencing the lives of sentient beings.
As one scholar states, "the Buddhist theory of action and result (karmaphala
) is fundamental to much of Buddhist doctrine, because it provides a coherent model of the functioning of the world and its beings, which in turn forms the doctrinal basis for the Buddhist explanations of the path of liberation from the world and its result, nirvāṇa
."Early Buddhist Theories of Action and Result: A Study of Karmaphalasambandha, Candrakirti's Prasannapada, verses 17.1-20
by Ulrich Timme Kragh. Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien: 2006. ISBN: 3902501030 pg 11
Etymology & terms in translation
The word karma
derives from the verbal root kṛ
, which means... Read More