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KARMA AND THE AFTERLIFE
Devika Jain

KARMA AND THE AFTERLIFE

11-May-2016 | | Total View : 102 |

What is Karma?

Karma is a word to describe an invisible system of keeping balance in the universe. Basically, the law of karma states that whatever we put out into the universe, we get brought back to us. So in other words, if you do well unto others all through your life and make sure you take care of them, the universe will bring you favorable circumstances and conditions that take care of you.

Karma originally came from ancient Tibetan Buddhist texts that have continued to be passed down through the ages since before 500 B.C. However, not only Buddhists believe in karma now days. It is a universal law that is believed to be true by billions of people worldwide, of all races, religions and nationalities.

With the law of karma, you get back to yourself whatever you put out to the universe.  It's essentially the same thing as the Christian golden rule, which states "Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself." 

There is a lot of truth to this theory of the law of karma and many people, me included, have found it to be true through experience.  I have found that when I go out of my way to help people in need, I seem to be rewarded in some way or another by the natural laws of the universe.  Good fortune suddenly befalls me from out of nowhere.  However, when I refuse to help others and, even worse, when I cause harm to others, bad things eventually come back to me as a result of it.

This article will discuss the implications karma has on the after life, according to ancient Tibetan Buddhist beliefs.
 

Karma & The After Life

This is where the real meat of the article is, because this is the most relevant way our karma affects us. Our karma carries over with us after death. In fact, in just about every religion out there, you'll find that they teach this truth. In any Catholic or Christian text, it is taught that those who do good go to heaven and those that do evil go to hell. Even in Muslim faith, the evil are punished and the good are rewarded.

The main difference between all of the other religions and Tibetan Buddhism is that there are more than two places you can go after dying, based on your karma. Some people aren't necessarily good or evil. Some people are in somewhat of a 'gray' area, so how do you account for people like that in Christianity? Does someone who doesn't believe in Jesus, yet who takes a bullet to save a small child still go to hell when he dies? That doesn't quite seem fair to a lot of people out there. That's where Tibetan Buddhism comes in.

In Tibetan Buddhism, there are six different planes of existence in samsara. The word samsara is Tibetan for 'suffering.' There are the six planes of suffering and then there is the plane of enlightenment, Universal Consciousness or nirvana -- which ever you wish to call it. The only time you are not reincarnated, based on karma is if you have become fully conscious and enlightened in your past life and choose to ascend existence itself.

We're all still in samsara, however, so the laws of karma still affect how we will be reincarnated after death. The following are the six different planes of cyclic existence, descriptions of what they are like to live in and what kind of karma it takes to be reborn into the specified plane of existence.



 

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