Karma in Hinduism and Buddhism: Some Similarities and Differences.
From the Panchatantra The Banana Peel .
. . a proud Brahmin - one noble in name - came upon a banana peel in his path. He communed with himself, saying, "every man reaps in the future the fruits of all his acts. If, therefore, I take this peel from the pathway, I shall have done a deed of merit, and be rewarded by karma in my next life. " So mused the Brahmin, and he carefully removed the peel. For this crafty thought of self, the proud Brahmin was born in a lower caste in his next life. .
In western societies karma is a term applied to events with out really understanding why it is being used. "Ooh, bad karma!" Or "Its your karma that this happened to you." John Lennon made "Instant Karma" a household phrase. However, what really is karma? What does it mean to Hindu's and Buddhists?.
According to the Random House College Dictionary, karma is an action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, in this life or in a reincarnation. .
Karma is a Sanskrit word that translates into "action". It literally means "deed or act", but more broadly describes the principle of cause and effect. Simply stated, karma is the law of action and reaction that governs consciousness. In physics, Sir Isaac Newton postulated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Push against a wall. Its material is molecularly pushing back with a force exactly equal to yours. In metaphysics, karma is the law that states that every mental, emotional and physical act, no matter how insignificant, is projected out into the psychic mind substance, and eventually returns to the individual with equal impact. .
Karma is central to the Hindu faith. Hindus believe in life after death. They also believe in the idea " Whatever a man soweth that shall he also reap"(Galatins 6:7). In this concept of reality, the purpose in life is determined by our own actions and by a set of divine plans.