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Yesterday I was thinking about the word "Karma" and the underlying meaning of its sounds.

The K in Karma is the sound of physical creation (maKe, Kreate, Kraft -- I'm sure you Kan Kome up with many more examples). Karma the word basically means action (physical), doing, making. In this sense Karma the phenomenon has to do with inKarnate actions.

The way I think of the Law of Karma (Law of Cause and Effect, ie., Law of Attraction) is that you choose to take on situations that will allow you to experience the so-called "other"'s side of an equation. Bill hits Steve. Next time, Bill 2.0 is hit by Steve 2.0 (or a proxy). Not necessarily identical, but reasonably similar, balancing work. You have to judge (between incarnations) whether your actions have hindered the set of choices of others. There is no judge outside of yourself. WE are our own Judges. When we attain balance (either through reversed experiencing or through achieving an understanding that eliminates the need for the "lesson"), the debt is paid, the "ribbon" or cord that ties the consequence to the action is "burned" (a purification).

There's a story in Gandhi's Autobiography about a Hindu man who comes to him for advice. He knows he's done something terrible, and seeks guidance from the Great Soul. The man has killed a Muslim, leaving the man's young son orphaned, and woefully asks what he should do. Gandhi contemplates and tells the man he must take in the young boy. The man is relieved: what a good idea! But wait, there's more, said Gandhiji. You must raise the boy as a Muslim. The man's eyes open wide and the beauty (symmetry, impeccability) and ordeal of the instruction sinks in. Perfection. Instant Karma's going to get you.

Karma can be negative (you lack understanding) or positive (your understanding is advanced).

K- (physical doing)
-a (exhalation) -- the combined sounds (K+a) connote post-action (after something has been done)

I've forgotten the meaning of -R- but checking in my Sanskrit Reader (Lanham, Harvard U Press), I see several potential clues (ranh - to run; rak- - red, as in blood - and several words indicating color/dark; several that indicate cord or line: rajju, racmi; and others that have to do with royalty), but none absolutely convincing, though I favor "cord".

The -ma I take in the same way as found in dharma (Sanskrit), dogma (Greek), and pragma (Greek). Something like the 'system' or 'practice' of the preceding. The -em ending in "system."

Kar-ma - the rules of action
Dhar-ma - the practice of duty
Dog-ma - the rules of beliefs (dox)
Prag-ma - the rules of how it is conducted (the practice of practice).

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Comment by Kate Adams on February 19, 2010 at 4:22
4 me, Ma means pure spirit. Thus, Karma is the balance of action
or deed into pure spirit. Much like your interpretation. We share a
similar love for systems, both words and numbers. 2gether they create a ratio of tone and movement 4 beauty in the equation. As an artist, one sees this. As a geometer, one knows this. I feel your essence is Ra, like the sun or a single golden ray. Thus, your primary expression 2 and 4 OV. Baraka Bashad, dear one. PK8
Comment by Haley McMaken on October 5, 2009 at 17:31
cool i totally believe in karma
Comment by Karma Yeshe on September 30, 2009 at 20:38
Hi Ralph,

Yes, for sure Justice happens. i for one love that moment when justice is server... the good guy gets the girl, or the bad guy gets sent off to jail. And I find it really satisfying if the the verdict is a good one, based on truth. Somehow it seems the universe is balanced once again, and everything is in its rightful place, if only briefly. We need some word to describe the cosmic workings of this, and "karma" fits the bill nicely - "the rules of action". How about "things that move within a cosmic matrix"? And of course, with the understanding that it is all whole in every step. We're all connected.
Comment by Ralph Prospero ° OVerseer on September 30, 2009 at 18:13
Hi Soo Giap,
I have to say that's one of the more cryptic responses I've gotten! Are you sorry you love us? or are you reluctant to disagree with the post. I hope it's the latter, in that case -- or that there's another interpretation.

Could you expand on your comment, either here or directly to me.

Love & Light
Comment by Tan Soo Giap on September 30, 2009 at 17:43
HI all friends,

I'm sorry, I love you........

Light, life and LOVE,

Comment by Ralph Prospero ° OVerseer on September 30, 2009 at 9:08
Karma Yeshe-
thanks for your enlightening response and elaboration!

My use of the word Judgment is to bridge or break the idea that Judgment happens, clumsily stated. I intend more an assessment of lessons yet to be learned. I don't think of it as Retaliation, but balancing actions to gain understanding. There's no angry god shaking his finger at me, compelling me to do this or that.

I think of the physical universe as being in balance, but constantly "renegotiating that balance. Until Union (the root of which is "yoga") is attained, the consciousness that I am a part of is a collection of experiences, across time and personalities.

I appreciate your expansion because it will help me in my understanding.
Comment by Karma Yeshe on September 30, 2009 at 8:53
the karma of the universe is to grow consciousness
Comment by Karma Yeshe on September 30, 2009 at 8:49
Hello Ralph,

An illuminating post! In Abhiddamma study, the personal contemplation of sanskrit root syllables is an ancient and renowned method of developing full understanding of the words. My interpretation of the word differs from yours (and from other people who commented) in one important respect: In Eastern interpretations, there is no emphasis on the concept of Judgement or Retribution. These ideas are Western, and are characteristically overlaid by Westerners. As far as i know, based on a good amount of study, the primary meaning of the word karma is something like "natural law", or "action and reaction".

In Buddhist philosophy, karma acts in all ranges of time, from the immediate to the long delayed, including the phenomenon of karmic action over many lifetimes. When the buddhist ideas were first taught, it was assumed that everyone in the world must already believe in reincarnation, so the emphasis of this teaching is not on the person, but on the time period, which shows the interpenetration of all things, over time. When Westerners hear this idea for the first time, they immediately are startled by the idea of reincarnation, and assume that karma must mean that primarily and that it is a form of Divine Retribution, but all that stems from wrong understanding of the background philosophy. Universal Justice is a Judeo-Christian idea.

Now, having said that, karma's secular meaning is "duty", meaning an obligation which one is born into, with the understanding it has sprung from the universe spontaneously, with the full backing of the gods, so you better darn well do it! This is a Hindu idea, not Buddhist.

In Buddhist philosophy, you are free to alter your karma (chains of cause and effect flowing through your life stream), but only if you have developed the required amount of Awareness and Concentration, cultivated through repeated meditation on wholesome objects.

There is no freedom from karma, it is nothing less than the universal shakti and shiva, constantly forming and unforming. But, you can be more and more free within that stream. You can break loose from karmic chains and become flexible.

The key to freedom from being subject to karma, is the understanding that there is no permanent Self who is subject to karmic forces (Anatta, no self). There is no YOU who is reincarnated, it is a collection of natural laws, playing themselves out, and if Consciousness grows in this stream of being, then the natural outcome is Freedom and great happiness. This too is the universe at play ... through "you".
Comment by Ralph Prospero ° OVerseer on September 30, 2009 at 8:49
I'm of the opinion that words themselves are creations of the physical world. That is why I took up the study of language, to get to the core meanings behind the syllables. Certain sounds almost always mean the same things across languages: mama, baba/abba/papa, or dada/atta. There are reasons (harmonics, perhaps?) that can provide deep significance to the words we choose to use.

Certain vocal sounds provide pleasure (purr, coo, ahhh, mmmm), others are unpleasant (thwack!, smack!, crush!, ouch!). I think it's good to meditate on an idea for awhile.

When we get to non-physical ways of communicating, I'll agree that words have less meaning.

Speaking of Shakespeare though - much of what he and other great writers created is universally appreciated and enjoyed. Thus, listening opens the ability to take in and perceive the beauty offered.

Balance would indicate both thinking and action.
Comment by starseed on September 30, 2009 at 7:55
Yup! I believe no being, on or off this planet is above the flow of source. Source is in
constant change, growing and flowing. Whole species cannot survive for long going against that flow. Concepts like "inflexability", "superiority" or "domination" are all subject to Karma.
We are all children of the source/one. Whole species have died out because of their inability to change, or go with the flow. They forgot that they are creation which is change, yet they in their feelings of "superiority", feel they are above the flow of source and therefore do not believe they need to change. Whole species can get stuck in a rut, they keep going around and around each time loosing themselves a bit more. It's like people who get stuck, making lists and more lists, conducting tests upon test for the answers but never following through to make changes that need to be made to put them back on sources' flow. Some of them are treating us that way-humans. They keep testing us to find out what they have lost, when they refuse to accept that it has always been within their power to change if they allowed it. As above so below, we the children with the low abilities are the teachers who teach the teachers. As a parent, tough love is sometimes needed to help teach the lessons of
light. Karma is that tough love. Children as well, rarely appreciate those lessons when given either and do not see the love in which the lessons are given. They hate their parents for it, and even rebel more. "Spare the rod, spoil the child", the flow of balance/source. Source is all love and forgiveness though, unconditionally this is my belief. A place for everything and everything in it's place.
Love and Light,

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