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).