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What Role Does Karma Play in Buddhism? Who Does It Affect, and How Does It Affect Them in This Life, the Afterlife, and the Next Life?

Autor:   •  October 22, 2018  •  Essay  •  2,235 Words (9 Pages)  •  501 Views

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Final Essay

Prompt: What role does karma play in Buddhism? Who does it affect, and how does it affect

them in this life, the afterlife, and the next life?

        Karma play’s a huge part of role in Buddhism, because of the one fundamental belief that is connected to rebirth/reincarnation or often called Samsara. The concept of samsara is, every living things goes into a cycle of being reborn again after death. Each rebirth cycle does not mean of being reborn as a human once again, but it could be any living nature in this world. After reaching so many cycles of being reborn, a person that releases their attachments in desires and replaces it with a good deed then they can finally achieve nirvana, free from suffering from breaking the circle of karmic effect.

Karma is the cause of actions that is based on intentions. Karma, in Buddhism means we control the way our life is heading. We can change our future course based on adding a good deed to eliminate the negative or bad things we did in the past. Karma is about everything we do, we say, we think, good or bad intentions and it affects our daily life especially when the intentions are relevant to morality. In Buddhism, it affects not only in this life but the afterlife and also the next life, to which referred to as the cycle of life or often called samsara. Buddhist karma tells us that positive action results in beneficial reaction, whereas negative action results in unwanted reaction. This is why it is often said that karma follows a person like a shadow.[1]

Karma is the fundamental doctrine in Buddhism, because of the inequality that existed among living things, it affects not only the present but also the future of this life or the next life. We create our own path, our own happiness, our own sufferings based on the good or bad deeds we have done from the past. One of Buddha’s reply in regards of inequality of life is, “All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.” [2] Which means, that based on how we created our path from the action that generates a force of energy through the negative deeds or the good deeds we’ve done, we represent our own future. Our future is all based upon from the past and the presents attachments in desires and intentions. We can be reborn with unconditional love and happiness, or reborn with so much sufferings.  

The Effect of Karma

Law of karma or the system of cause and effect in which past actions, reactions that has corresponding effect on our future. As what they famously say is, “you sow shall you reap, but a hundred times over”. The effect of karma with these quotes is that whatever intention we desire, or actions we take once it grow, it will grow bigger more than we expected for it to grow. It’s like hitting someone with a ball and when they return the ball on you, you get hit a hundred times harder. When you compare the rebound on that ball with the concept of rebirth in life, whatever it is that you created from your past life it will hit you eventually on your next life. You will become what you are from the previous actions you created, you created your own destiny. The way karma work is, it will continuously work on a various rebirth cycle that was created from the good/bad deeds from the previous life. The cycle will continue on until it covers so much good deeds to eliminate all the bad intentions that was done in the past to finally reach nirvana.


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