The soul is from the Lord, and is submitted in this life to the bondage of works (karma); " Mankind, in their obstinacy, keep binding themselves in the net of actions, and though they know and hear of the bliss of those who have faith in the Lord, they attempt not the only means of release.
The doctrine of Karma is with modification common to both Buddhism and Brahminism, and in their expositions theosophists have apparently drawn from both sources.
He growled, "More like Karma getting back at me for all the years I objectified women."
KARMA, sometimes written Karman, a Sanskrit noun (from the root kri, to do), meaning deed or action.
Salvation is to the Hindu simply deliverance from the power of karma, and each of the philosophic systems has its own method of obtaining it.
The link of connexion between the various Bodhisats in the future Buddha's successive births is not a soul which is transferred from body to body, but the karma, or character, which each successive Bodhisat inherits from his predecessors in the long chain of existences.
We will try to give a cursory review of three of the most important of these, viz.: the constitution and development of the personality or ego; the doctrine of "Karma"; and the Way or Path towards enlightenment and emancipation.
But, be this as it may," the doctrine of karma is certainly one of the firmest beliefs of all classes of Hindus, and the fear that a man shall reap as he has sown is an appreciable element in the average morality.
Now the older school also held, in the first place, that, when a man had, in this life, attained to Arahatship, his karma would not pass on to any other individual in another life - or in other words, that after Arahatship there would be no rebirth; and, secondly, that four thousand years after the Buddha had proclaimed the Dhamma or doctrine of Arahatship, his teaching would have died away, and another Buddha would be required to bring mankind once more to a knowledge of the truth.
The last book of the Laws of Manu deals with karmaplialam, " the fruit of karma," and gives many curious details of the way in which sin is punished and merit rewarded.
In later times, the strict adherence to caste duties would naturally receive considerable support from the belief in the transmigration of souls, already prevalent before Buddha's time, and from the very general acceptance of the doctrine of karma (" deed "), or retribution, according to which a man's present station and manner of life are the result of the sum-total of his actions and thoughts in his former existence; as his actions here will again, by the same automatic process of retribution, determine his status and condition in his next existence.
These two exist in many forms more or less grotesque, and after death the soul passes to one of them and there receives its due; but that existence too is marked by desire and action, and is therefore productive of merit or demerit, and as the soul is thus still entangled in the meshes of karma it must again assume an earthly garb and continue the strife.
Denying the continuance of the soul, Buddhism affirmed a continuity of moral consequences (Karma), each successive life being determined by the total moral result of the preceding life.
In India, before Buddhism, conflicting and contradictory views prevailed as to the precise mode of action of Karma; and we find this confusion reflected in Buddhist theory.
We know 4 The history of the Indian doctrine of Karma has yet to be written.
The ancient books, preserved in the Pali Pitakas, being mainly occupied with the details of Arahatship, lost their exclusive value in the eyes of those whose attention was being directed to the details of Bodhisatship. And the opinion that every leader in their religious circles, every teacher distinguished among them for his sanctity of life, or for his extensive learning, was a Bodhisat, who might have and who probably had inherited the karma of some great teacher of old, opened the door to a flood of superstitious fancies.
In India it had already, before the rise of Buddhism, been raised into an ethical conception by the associated doctrine of Karma, according to which a man's socialpositioninlife and hisphysicaladvantages, or the reverse, were the result of his actions in a previous birth.
Thus in the story of the good layman Citta, it is an aspiration expressed on the deathbed; 2 in the dialogue on the subject, it is a thought dwelt on during life, 3 in the numerous stories in the Peta and Vimana V atthus it is usually some isolated act, in the discussions in the Dhamma Sangani it is some mental disposition, which is the Karma (doing or action) in the one life determining the position of the individual in the next.
For as the Arahat had conquered the cravings that were supposed to produce the new body, his actions were no longer Karma, but only Kiriya, that led to no rebirth.4 Another point of Buddhist teaching adopted from previous belief was the practice of ecstatic meditation.