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What is meant by "Karma"?

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  • Essay length: 1991 words
  • Submitted: 13/01/2005
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AS and A Level Hinduism

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What is meant by "Karma"?

"Just as every object has a shadow, every action has an effect."

- Buddha

Karma is one of the fundamental concepts in the Buddhist religion. The concept of Karma is not original to the Buddhist religion, as it was adopted by Buddha from Brahminism, which was an earlier version of Hinduism. The theory of Karma first appeared in the Upanishads, which was a revolutionary piece of literature of its time, questioning and challenging the role of humans alongside nature and trying to answer the classic questions: Why? Why are we here? What is our role in life? Doctrines were formulated to answer these questions by gurus and written in the Upanishads and the fundamental doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation are two key concepts that helps in the understanding of Buddhism as a religion.

The life we live is, in accordance to the doctrines of Karma and Rebirth, the result of how we have lived. Karma literally translated means "Action." The law of cause and effect best explains Karma. It is through our actions that we live the life we lead. It is clear to see the stark differences that

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