Three Types of Karma

Karma WheelKarma

Karma is a Sanskrit word springing from the root Kri – ‘to do’ or ‘to make’, or more simply put ‘action’. Karma is the law of moral consequences – the law of cause and effect. Simply put, if you do something bad then you will pay for it at some point, and if you do some good then you will receive kindness and happiness in return. Until you pay off your karmic debts and expunge your karma, you will be stuck in samsara – to repeat life again and again, through reincarnation – instead of reaching nirvana.

There are three types of karma described in Hindu texts:

1. Sanchita (accumulated works):
Sanchita is the accumulated karma – all the good and bad actions – of the past incarnations that have followed through to the next (current) life. Sanchita is responsible for the body that you have in the current life, as well as the situations that you find yourself in. The karma can be modified by good deeds and pure thoughts. It is destroyed when enlightenment is attained.

2. Prarabdha (fructifying works):
Prarabdha is the part of the Sanchita karma that influences a person’s life in the present reincarnation. Prarabdha is a karmic template that cannot be avoided or changed. This karma is experienced in the current lifetime to work on. If the alloted Sanchita is worked on and dissolved in the current lifetime then more past debts will surface to be worked on.

3. Kriyamana/Agama/Vartamana (current works):
Kriyamana is the instant daily karma that is being created in this lifetime for the future. The way our thought ans actions in this life will affect our future life and incarnations. Kriyamana can be altered by correct attitude, as well as by particular rites.

“While some Kriyamana Karmas bear fruit in the current life, others are stored for enjoying in future births. Thus the Kriyamana Karma is classified into two sub-categories: Arabdha Karma – literally, ‘begun, undertaken;’ the Karma that is ‘sprouting’- and Anarabdha Karma – ‘not commenced; dormant’ or ‘The Seed Karma’. An example : two persons [commit] a theft and one of them get caught – Arabdha Karma – and the other one got away – Anarabdha Karma. The thief who got caught, immediately starts to feel the effect of the cause or the reaction to his action; he gets caught and goes to jail. The other robber who escaped, will have to experience, in this life or in a future one, the effect of this wrongful action.” (See: http://divine-




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9 thoughts on “Three Types of Karma

  1. Eddie Two Hawks August 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm Reply

    excellent post,

  2. thesevenminds August 13, 2016 at 2:48 pm Reply

    High praise. Glad to see that the link at the end still works. 😉

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