What is Karma? Types, Misconceptions

Often, we come across this phrase when a good thing happens to someone that he/she has got good karma. When a bad thing happens to a person, then people say karma has got him/her. Now, the question is what karma really is, is it good or bad? Today, we’ll talk about what is karma; how it works, its relevance with spirituality, its types, and the common misc

What is Karma? 

Karma is a Hindi Sanskrit word and it means “action.” Karma implies a very significant concept of the cycle of the cause of and effect which is relevant to many of the Eastern beliefs like Buddhism and Hinduism. 

The important thing to remember is that karma doesn’t work indirectly, or out of our control, or an inescapable thing. It means that you don’t go out and do good deeds with the expectation of having positive outcomes. However, it simply means that every step you take towards the development of your spiritual life with your thoughts and actions would have an impact on your personality and your life in the future. A Buddhist master says; 

“Karma is an action, not a result. The future is not set in stone. You can change the course of your life right now by changing your volitional (intentional) acts and self-destructive patterns.” 

Let’s make one thing clearer in your mind that karma is not your destiny. Like, if you do something wrong, it doesn’t mean that something wrong would happen to you as a result. It follows your thoughts and actions of every moment of your life. 

Types of Karma 

After discussing what is karma; it’s important to discuss the four types of karma. Some of the main types are as follows; 


Prarabdha is the matured and ripe karma. For instance, you planted a tree a while ago, and the fruit is ripe and ready to be plucked. Either you pluck it or it would drop on the ground, but it won’t stay on the tree forever. Time has come, it doesn’t matter whatever you prefer or desire as the bullet fired from the pistol. 

In other words, once you commit any karmic action, then it has made its mark on the universe, and it would give some fruit over time. You can’t run from it. Presently, whatever is happening in your life, and you don’t have control over it, it’s prarabdha. It doesn’t mean that you can’t change the future. However, prarabdha is the matured and ripe stage, and anything that has yet to come isn’t prarabdha. 


Sanchita is the store of karma, it means all the branches of the tree won’t grow fruit at the same time. Some of them would grow in the next season and so on. However, life works in the seasonal cycle for many people. for instance, if you plant a tree, then it would give a plethora of fruit in the season. 

Often, you have to face problems in hordes, and rarely it comes in a single form. The interesting thing about sanchita is that you can change it. For this, you have to go back to the source of the fruit. 


Agami karma is the result of the future based on present actions. If you plan to solve the past karma, then you’re creating new karma resultantly that you can/can’t solve in your present life. If you can’t solve it today, then it would go to the storehouse and be solved in the future. 


Vartamana is the present actionable karma, an action that you’re doing right now. For instance, you don’t want the fruit of the tree, and then you can uproot or chop off the tree. You would have to get rid of the waste, rotten fruits, and woods. After that, you don’t have to deal with the fruits, and you can use the same land to grow something else. 

Now, the question is how you know whether you’re creating new karma or getting the results of the past karma. The answer is very simple; karma is new if you’re doing something by choice. It would be old karmas if don’t have a choice or being forced to do something. 

Misconceptions about Karma 

There are many misconceptions relevant to karmas. Like we hear the phrase in pop culture “you got what you deserve it.” Now, the question is how the society developed such misconceptions;

  • It’s because there’s a widespread misguided perception that human beings don’t have control over their destiny.
  • Pop culture has taken the easy way out by saying “bad makes bad,” instead of saying the energy of the universe responds to your every action. 

The important thing to remember here is that kar.ma is not your destiny or fate; it’s the inner power that you create as a result of every good or bad action. However, when you shift your focus and call it karmas whenever anything bad happens, then you give up on your inner power. It means that you don’t have control over your life and you can’t change things. 

In simple words, kar.ma is energy, your intentional actions, and thoughts. The energy you create now, it would impact you in the future. in fact, reward and punishment have nothing to do with kar.ma, and it’s completely in your control and unbiased. 

What is karma and how karma works in life

Good Karma 

Some of the main elements of good kar.ma are as follows; 

  • You should choose what is moral and good rather easiness 
  • Loving and appreciating others as you do it to yourself 
  • Participating voluntarily in the social work 

When you perform good kar.ma, then it results in the form of goodness; 

  • It heals your soul 
  • Develops a balance in your positive and negative emotions 
  • It makes you wise
  • Ultimately, it would have a strong impact on the society 

Bad Karma 

Some of the main examples of bad kar.ma are as follow; 

  • Cheating 
  • Stealing 
  • Abusive power 
  • Oppressing other people 

When you practice bad kar.ma, then it results in the negative and bad impacts; 

  • Punishment by society 
  • Losing sense of yourself 
  • Jeopardizing close relationships 
  • Weakening the society 

Conclusion: What is Karma? 

After an in-depth study of what is karma; its types, some of the misconceptions, and good and bad kar.ma; we’ve realized that kar.ma is the dynamic process of cause and effect where your actions impact your future.