Four Characteristics of Karma

H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has told us that “The law of cause and effect (karma) can never be denied.” It does not matter if you believe in karma or not. It is a basic principle of the universe. The general way to reflect on karma is to understand the four characteristics of karma:

  • Karma is fixed.  You must understand the certainty of karma.  As the song in the musical The Fantastiks says, “If you plant a carrot, you get a carrot, not a Brussels sprout.”  This is also what was meant by the parable, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” You plant good causes, you reap good results. You plant evil causes, you reap bad results.
  • Karmic results are greater than the cause–there is a magnification effect.  Remember that mighty oaks from little acorns grow. This is true for both good and bad causes. A very small act of kindness may produce glorious results. However, even a slight act of evil may produce catastrophic results.
  • Karma is infallible–the law of cause and effect (karma) never errs. You do not meet with something if you have not created the karma for it to happen. You will not experience the effects of actions that you, at some time and in some life, did not do. You must take responsibility for everything that happens to you.
  • Once created, karma will not disappear of its own accord. The actions you have done do not perish. You cannot eliminate your karma. All you can do is create more good karma so as to block your evil karma, but the evil karma still does not go away. It is just pushed back.