108 Karma Quotes

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108 Karma Quotes and Thoughts on Karma

By Shankar


Karma, what exactly is it? Living here in the United States the concept of Karma is relatively unfamiliar. Yes everyone has heard of karma, but do we really know what it is or means? Generally it means you get what you deserve.

That can be from this life and for those who believe in multiple births and lives it may mean karma from other past lives bringing good or bad Karma into this life for an individual. More people in the world believe in karma than do not. Unfortunately, for those of us who live here, most people in the United States of America do not.

However, if you are one of those who believe that the only people who believe in the principles of karma and reincarnation live in the East, below are some quotes from famous Westerners mixed in from those of the East to show that some in this part of the world are believers in karma.

Working as I do with a wonderful person from the East (India) I have come to know much more about karma than I ever imagined. Fortunately my guru friend is sharing her knowledge about some of the ways of the East, and karma is high on the list. After all, many, if not most Easterners, believe very firmly in the concepts of reincarnation or multiple births, and karma.


108 Karma Quotes

  1. …as I apprehend the Buddhist doctrine of karma, I agree in principle with that. ~ William James

  2. A ‘karma-yogi’ who takes a resolve and work accordingly, without bothering about ‘success’ or ‘failure’, will eventually reach his goal.~ Sam Veda

  3. A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode. ~ Chanakya

  4. A person may desire to live for hundreds of years if he works according to this truth because that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. And there is no alternative to this way for man ~ Sri Ishopanishad Mantra Two

  5. A person who performs good Karma (deeds) is always held in high esteem. ~ Rig Veda

  6. A person whose all works are free from selfish desires and motives, and whose all Karma is burned up in the fire of Self-knowledge, is called a sage by the wise. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  7. A real ‘karma-yogi’, who first acquires knowledge and then works for the welfare of people, quite naturally becomes popular and famous. There is no enemy of such a man but even if there are, he is able to vanquish them. His popularity in the society increases on account of his successes and good deeds. ~ Sam Veda

  8. According to the karma of past actions, one’s destiny unfolds, even though everyone wants to be so lucky. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  9. According to the Lord’s Command, people perform their actions; they wander around, driven by the karma of their past actions. By the Lord’s Command, they behold the Blessed Vision of His Darshan.~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  10. According to their pre-ordained destiny, they act out their karma. Serving the True Guru, a lasting peace is found. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  11. As long as karma exists, the world changes. There will always be karma to be taken care of. ~ Nina Hagen

  12. karma

    In Hinduism – Karma as action and reaction: if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness. Image by Anantashakti, License CC-SA-2.5.

  13. As no cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, intelligently, and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. ~ Helena Blavatsky (Key to Theosophy)

  14. As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma. ~Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  15. As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes, similarly, the fire of Self-knowledge reduces all Karma to ashes. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  16. Be wary of those who deny the existence of karma. They’re usually wishful thinking. ~ Amber Limbaugh L

  17. Belief in karma ought to make the life pure, strong, serene, and glad. Only our own deeds can hinder us; only our own will can fetter us. Once let men recognize this truth, and the hour of their liberation has struck. Nature cannot enslave the soul that by wisdom has gained power and uses both in love. ~ Annie Besant

  18. Born because of the karma of their past mistakes, they make more mistakes, and fall into mistakes. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  19. By the karma of good actions, some come to serve the Perfect Guru. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  20. By this attitude of complete renunciation you shall be freed from the bondage, good and bad, of Karma. You shall be liberated, and come to Me. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  21. Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. ~ Albert Schweitzer

  22. Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward. It exists as part of our holographic universe’s binary or dualistic operating system only to teach us responsibility for our creations-and all things we experience are our creations. ~ Sol Luckman

  23. Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion. ~ Tenzin Gyatso

  24. Everyone is engaged in action. The law of karma means that there are reactions to every action and that a person must endure the reactions to his actions. ~ Siddhaswarupananda “Sayings”

  25. For the successful accomplishment of any work one needs sharp intellect and the will to perform relentless Karma. ~ Rig Veda

  26. Guru alone does such deeds, who has such pre-ordained karma ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  27. Hatred and anger leads to unhappiness, pain and misery. So, one should always be soft-spoken and all ‘karma-yogis’ should tread on the path of righteousness. ~ Yajur Veda

  28. Having enjoyed the wide world of heavenly sense pleasures they return to the mortal world upon exhaustion of their good Karma. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  29. Help me, Lord, to escape from the disgrace. I have worked my Karma; I have lived out my sentence . ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  30. His efforts has made load of my karma been removed, and I am now free of karma. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  31. Gati or Existences

    This image four movements to four destinies of the soul as per the Jain theory of Karma

  32. How is one bound, and how is one freed of his bonds? How can one escape from the cycle of coming and going in reincarnation? Who is subject to karma, and who is beyond karma? Who chants the Name, and inspires others to chant it? ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  33. How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. ~ Wayne Dyer

  34. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank

  35. Human beings perform good karma (deeds) in order to attain success. (Quote by – Rig Veda

  36. I believe in Karma. If the good is sown, the good is collected. When positive things are made, that returns well. ~ Yannick Noah

  37. I never kill insects. If I see ants or spiders in the room, I pick them up and take them outside. Karma is everything. ~ Holly Valance

  38. I would never disrespect any man, woman, chick or child out there. We’re all the same. What goes around comes around, and karma kicks us all in the butt in the end of the day. ~ Angie Stone

  39. If a householder moulds himself according to the circumstances just like nature moulds Herself according to seasons and performs his Karma then only shall he acquire happiness. ~ Rig Veda

  40. If the karma of man has brought him nothing more than a capacity to love, then he has not lived in vain for a thousand past lives. It is this love which makes the most humble of Souls so great that it lifts him beyond all life into the worlds of God. ~ Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad (Eckankar: Book 2)

  41. If you place complete faith in the Lord at all times, you will receive His Grace. Grace takes away the pain of Karma. The Lord can save man completely from Karma. ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  42. I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good. ~ Sandra Bullock

  43. I’m also married for the first time, and I have two kids. So there’s some kind of good karma right now. ~ Lindsey Buckingham

  44. In America, karma is best expressed in popular phrases like, “what goes around, comes around” and “what you sow, you will reap.” Karma has also been referred to as having a “boomerang effect” where the thoughts and actions that you send out into the world turn around and come back at you… Jesus says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Karma goes a step further and dictates that “What you do unto others will come back to you.” I think Jesus and the Hindus really had the same idea. Think about that the next time you want to say or do something nasty to someone else! ~ Carmen Harra (Everyday Karma)

  45. In Karma-yoga no effort is ever lost, and there is no harm. Even a little practice of this discipline protects one from great fear [of birth and death]. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  46. karma

  47. In order to achieve good result, a pious-objective is determined first and then followed by good Karma for its accomplishment. ~ Rig Veda

  48. It is in the best interest of a man to become a Karma-Yogi and work to the best of his abilities and without bothering about the results. ~ Sam Veda

  49. It was not uncommon for the children to be told they were being treated this way because it was their bad karma and they must have hurt a child in a past life. ~ Mary Garden

  50. Just as an age was ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our own age ready for the ideas of reincarnation and karma to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity. And what is destined to happen in the course of evolution will happen no matter what powers rise up against it. ~ Rudolf Steiner

  51. Karma applies itself in the most exacting and clever of ways. If we deprived another human being of freedom in a previous life, we’d have our freedom curtailed in this life. This experience would give us time to… learn the Law of Love. ~ Eckankar: Ancient Wisdom for Today

  52. Karma brings us ever back to rebirth, binds us to the wheel of births and deaths. Good karma drags us back as relentlessly as bad, and the chain which is wrought out of our virtues holds us as firmly and as closely as that forged from our vices. ~ Annie Besant

  53. Karma differs from fate or destiny because it encourages us to take an active role in life. The Law of Karma requires the seeker to follow the highest code of ethics. ~ Eckankar: Ancient Wisdom for Today

  54. Karma does not bind one who has renounced work. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  55. Karma is not fate, for man acts with free will, creating his own destiny. The Vedas tell us, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. ~ Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Dancing With Siva)

  56. Karma is not just about the troubles, but also about surmounting them. ~ Rick Springfield

  57. Karma is the universal law of cause and effect. You reap what you sow. You get what you earn… If you give love, you get love. Revenge returns itself upon the avenger. What goes around comes around… Karma is justice. It does not reward or punish. It shows no favoritism because we have to earn all that we receive. Karma doesn’t predestine anyone or anything. We create our own causes, and karma adjusts the effects with perfect balance. ~ Mary T. Browne (The Power of Karma)

  58. Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant will result in happiness. If we act non-virtuously, suffering results. ~ Sakyong Mipham

  59. Karma, ahhh. We sow what we reap… We reap what we sow! We reap what we sow. The law of cause and effect. And we are all under this law. ~ Nina Hagen

  60. Karma: What goes around comes around. – Anonymous

  61. Karma-yoga is a supreme secret indeed.~ Bhagavad Gita

  62. Life does not mean mere karma or mere bhakti or mere jnana. ~ Vinoba Bhave

  63. Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it. ~ Sakyong Mipham

  64. Love conquers everything even karma. ~ Mettrie L

  65. Many people think there’s nothing they can do to change their karma – it’s preordained so why bother trying to change their situation? This is what scares people. These folks think that to accept the reality of karma one must be passive. It simply isn’t true. Karma is active. We can – in the blink of an eye – make decisions that will shape our futures and transform the parts of our lives that are causing us unhappiness. ~ Mary T. Browne (The Power of Karma)

  66. Meditate and listen to the Name of the Lord, and give it to everyone. In this way, the filth of lifetimes of karma shall be removed, and egotistical pride shall vanish from your mind. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  67. My karma ran over your dogma. ~ Author Unknown

  68. No one becomes a Karma-yogi who has not renounced the selfish motive behind an action. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  69. Once you know the nature of anger and joy is empty and you let them go, you free yourself from karma. ~ Bodhidharma

  70. One has to reap the fruits of his karma. The law of karma is inevitable and is accepted by all the great philosophies of the world: ‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’ ~ Rama (Living with the Himalayan Masters)

  71. One should, perform karma with nonchalance without expecting the benefits because sooner or later one shall definitely gets the fruits. ~ Rig Veda

  72. Only the person having firm conviction and iron volition can attain strength and energy. At no stage of Karma does he ever hesitate. ~ Rig Veda

  73. People accept only that person as their leader who is radiant with good knowledge and karma deeds. ~ Rig Veda

  74. People are entangled in the enjoyment of fine clothes, but gold and silver are only dust. They acquire beautiful horses and elephants, and ornate carriages of many kinds. They think of nothing else, and they forget all their relatives. They ignore their Creator; without the Name, they are impure. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  75. Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us. ~ Bodhidharma

  76. Since karma is meeting self, we acquire karma as we meet self in our many attitudes and emotions; when we serve in loving kindness and patience or hold resentful malicious thoughts… What we do to our fellow man we do to our Maker… our karma or problem is within self. ~ Edgar Cayce

  77. Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception. ~ Bohidharma

  78. The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched… but are felt in the heart. ~ Helen Keller

  79. The conscious process is reflected in the imagination; the unconscious process is expressed as karma, the generation of actions divorced from thinking and alienated from feeling. ~ William Irwin Thompson

  80. The cool thing about free will is that even if one has a huge bag of karma there is still a lot of free will for all those souls coming into the world. ~ Kuan Yin

  81. The karma yogi puts efforts and naturally gets the fruits although he does not expect them. ~ Rig Veda

  82. karma

  83. The law of karma is neither fatalistic nor punitive; nor is man a hapless, helpless victim in its bonds. God has blessed each one of us with reason, intellect and discrimination, as well as the sovereign free will. Even when our past karma inclines us toward evil, we can consciously tune our inclination towards detachment and ego-free action, thus lightening the karmic load… When we begin to understand the concept of Karma we will never ever blame God for anything that happens to us. We will realise that we are responsible for all that happens to us. As we sow, so shall we reap. Rich or poor, saint or sinner, miser or philanthropist, learned or illiterate… This is the Universal Law that applies to individuals, to whole communities, societies, nations and races. As we sow, so shall we reap. ~ J. P. Vaswani (About Karma)

  84. The law of karma is the principle of cosmic justice that holds that all good actions will be rewarded and that all wicked actions will be punished. Sometime. Somehow. Somewhere. ~ Chanju Mun (Buddhism and Peace)

  85. The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. ~ Frederick Buechner

  86. The person desirous of success and strength should perform good karma continuously. ~ Rig Veda

  87. The person who is basically evil by nature will always be averse to virtuous deeds. He is always engaged in bad karma. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  88. The person whose mind is always free from attachment, who has subdued the mind and senses, and who is free from desires, attains the supreme perfection of freedom from Karma through renunciation. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  89. The real happiness of life is in doing ‘karma’. ~ Rig Veda

  90. There are the waves and there is the wind, seen and unseen forces. Everyone has these same elements in their lives, the seen and unseen, karma and free will. ~ Kuan Yin

  91. There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else. ~ Peyton Conway March

  92. Those blessed with the karma of good actions praise the Lord. O Nanak, they make the Guru their spiritual teacher. In the fourth watch of the early morning hours, a longing arises in their higher consciousness. They are attuned to the river of life; the True Name is in their minds and on their lips. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  93. Those who “commit all sorts of evil deeds, claim karma does not exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil is not wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception. ~ Bohidharma

  94. Those who act in ego do not go beyond karma. It is only by Guru’s Grace that one is rid of ego. ~

  95. Those who were pre-ordained to have no good karma at all – gazing into the lamp of emotional attachment, they are burnt, like moths in a flame. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  96. Though the names karma yoga and sannyasa are different, the truth at the heart of both is the same. ~ Vinoba Bhave

  97. Through the perfect karma of good deeds, one meets the Perfect Guru, whose speech is perfect. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  98. To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings. ~ Bodhidharma

  99. Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. ~ Unknown

  100. What you do not wish to do out of delusion; you shall do even that against your will, bound by your own nature-born Karma, O Arjuna. ~ Bhagavad Gita

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    Lady Giving Alms – Do good and good will come to you.

  102. Whatever pleases You is a pure action of karma. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  103. When good karma dawns, the wall of doubt is torn down. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  104. When someone has a strong intuitive connection, Buddhism suggests that it’s because of karma, some past connection. ~ Richard Gere

  105. When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel. ~ Harold Kushner
  106. Whether or not we believe in survival of consciousness after death, reincarnation, and karma, it has very serious implications for our behavior. ~ Stanislav Grof

  107. Why shall he perform bad Karma who has been properly nurtured for many a thousand months and years? ~ Rig Veda

  108. Without the karma of good deeds, they are only destroying themselves. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

  109. Work done with selfish motives is inferior by far to the selfless service or Karma-yoga. Therefore be a Karma-yogi, O Arjuna. Those who seek [to enjoy] the fruits of their work are verily unhappy [because one has no control over the results]. ~ Bhagavad Gita

  110. Worthless people blame their karma. ~ Burmese Proverb

  111. You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  112. You must acknowledge and experience this part of the universe. Karma is intricate, too vast. You would, with your limited human senses, consider it too unfair. But you have tools to really, truly love. Loving the children is very important. But love everyone as you would love your children. ~ Kuan Yin

  113. You unite me with Yourself, O True God. Through perfect good karma You are obtained. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Food for thought

Your believing or not believing in karma has no effect on its existence, nor on its consequences to you. Just as a refusal to believe in the ocean would not prevent you from drowning. ~ F. Paul Wilson (The Tomb)

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Questions on Karma

Steven asks…

What kinds of actions/thoughts cause good or bad karma?

What is it that determines the whole ‘your life is going to rock or suck’ thing? If you’re talking about karma, I suppose, not just luck. I’m not sure if I believe that karma affects us or not, but I’m wondering exactly what’s up with it.

Suzi Q answers:

Karma is basically the universal “you reap what you sow” system. What you do comes back to you. If you believe in multiple lives (as I do) then the “payback” does not always occur in the same lifetime as the original debt.
Logically, the kinds of actions that bring “good karma” are the actions that bring benefit to others and the actions that bring harm to others bring the “bad karma”.

Volumes and volumes have been written on the subject (and I’ll bet if you go to Amazon.com and search on “Karma” under “books”, you will find more of them than you could read in a single lifetime.) but the simple abbreviated version is what we call “The Golden Rule”. That is, “always treat others as you would want them to treat you under the same circumstances.” (Okay, so I updated the wording a bit from the original “thee”s and “thou”s.)

Stick with that and you can’t go wrong.

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Charles is a retired Programmer/Analyst, senior citizen. Owner of TravelESP.com. Visit yolky.com his blog. Visit Travel Quiz Weekly and quiz yourself on travel destinations.

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