Is Karma's "effect" accrued ONLY through consciously volitional/willful actions or thoughts ("causes")?

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Or do effects follow from thoughtless, unconscious thoughts and actions as well…such as spontaneously killing a mosquito that’s biting or daydreaming with an endless stream of thoughts or suddenly turning left rather the normal right or kicking a tire in a moment of anger or laughing inappropriately without thinking or racing spontaneously into the street to rescue an errant toddler or impulsively telephoning a friend who, unknown to you, is despondent or suddenly handing a twenty dollar bill to a homeless person. None of these actions had intent, whether negative or positive; do they still have karmic effect without volition or clear choice? Must an action be deliberate to bear consequences; or does “ignorance” trump responsibility?

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Everything you do is either creating Karma or being caused by Karma.
These unconscious thoughts that lead to actions are the reaping of past Karma.


There are 3 forces that act upon to produce our future (results).
1. Adi daivic – Forces of Nature
2. Adi Bhautic – Other beings
3. Adhyatmic – Self activity
When we fail to perform rightly to the situation, we fail to contribute the adhyatmic portion which contributes to the result. This way it would affect producting the result.
And one right thing is to accept all the results of our actions, as it has been provided to us (after the influence of the 3 forces). If we are not ready to take them, that is also a sin and we are to suffer.
If the question is about sinning, Karma is that which is done with the sense of doership. Lord Krishna defines it that way in the Gita. When I own all actions, when I do actions claiming to be mine (intentionally) they become Karma and reward/torture us in the form of results.
Intentions alone matters. It can only lead us to agitations/peace. Krishna clarifies this clearly in the Bhagavad Gita.

Dr Gosain

Karma is of two kinds: good and bad.
Every civilized society recognizes a set of commandments that have divine authority and that regulate material enjoyment. Such commandments, for example, restrict the enjoyment of sex to marital relations and oblige the wealthy to be philanthropic. They also encourage religious and charitable acts, which earn the performer merit. And they prescribe atonements for transgressors. Thus people are allowed to pursue material enjoyment, but they must observe moral and religious codes. And those who follow these codes, who live pious lives of restricted sensual pleasure, are assured of even greater enjoyment in the life to come.
If we act according to scriptural regulations, the Vedas tell us, we will produce good karma and in future births enjoy the benefits of our piety. For example, if a person is born in an aristocratic family, is beautiful, well-educated, or wealthy, he is reaping the benefits of good karma. The Vedas also tell us that if a person is extraordinarily pious he may be reborn on one of the higher planets in this universe, where the standard of sensual pleasure is far greater than anything we have on earth.
Conversely, there is bad karma. We create bad karma when we disregard scriptural injunctions and restrictions in our pursuit of sense pleasure–that is, when we act sinfully. Bad karma brings us suffering and misfortune, such as birth in a degraded family, poverty, chronic disease, legal problems, or physical ugliness. Exceptionally bad karma will take us into animal bodies or down to lower planets of hellish torment.
The law of karma is as strict, relentless, and impartial as the grosser natural laws of motion and gravity. And, like them, it applies to us whether we know about it or not. For example, if I eat the flesh of animals even though I can live as well without it, my bad karma will force me to be born as an animal and to be slaughtered myself. Or if I arrange to have a child killed in the womb, I simultaneously arrange for myself to be killed in the same way, again and again, without ever seeing the light of day.
So when you and I were born we inherited, along with our blue eyes or our black hair, the consequences of our past good and bad deeds. We have a long history, and the happiness and distress our lives will bring is set. We are indeed children of destiny, hostages to fortune, but it is a destiny we created for ourselves, a fortune self-made. And in this life we are continuing to create our future.

Aradhana K.

LOL thanks for the smile you brought to my face otherwise I wasnt in a very good mood 🙂
hmmmm ..The bondage of karma is there whether karma is done in ignorance or innocence or done consciously.Karma is not just about intent.Lord Krishna says-“its not possible in any state that one is in the body but doesnot do any karma ..the karma such as sleeping, waking etc will always be done” so you see it means that everything is karma-your thoughts, speech, action whether conscious or unconscious.An action is necessarily followed by result but the fruit depends upon the kind of karma. For eg the shaastra’s say that a sin if done in ignorance will not bear as much effect as the one done deliberately.So if you crush an ant unknowingly while walking the sinful reaction to your credit will be very little but if you just slap a small boy in anger then it will be much more.And if deliberately you plan a murder(and even if not execute it) then the sinful reaction will be much more than that of a slap.
Yes, same for good karma for example chanting God’s name, even while actually you may be calling the name of your son , friend etc ,brings the same fruit- purification and salvation


“Deliberate Actions attract Deliberate Reactions, Conscious Actions attract Conscious Reactions and Actions not done consciously attract Reactions suffered/enjoyed without you knowing of it.
the right way to understand the things not done consciously is, if you are doing some good without knowledge, for example lets say without knowing you parked your car 2 inches behind a wall, and you saved smashing a small worm, will you not reap the benefit of this so called “good” karma, you will, definitely you will, but without your knowing that you are also enjoying some benefit, you will enjoy it.
BUT, all these action and reaction etc is present only till you understand you to be the Cause in one way or the other, But once you realize the truth, that you are not the cause and you cannot make anything happen, and once you understand that you are not “responsible” for what happened and further when you understand this “you” is limited simulation of unlimitedness, than you become free of Karmic Bonds.
This is the reason, a soul after attaining Moksha , even if the soul is acting as one among us, we all should understand that the soul is free from all cycle of karma, as it has transcended the “Layer” of ego. examples of souls in this state include great saints.
Btw i am seeing you asking wonderful questions, making my Lotus smile and by this means helping many souls realizing the truth, BUT, please don’t claim credit for this, and don’t claim credit by you being in nature of sacrifice or any kind, but don’t claim because of your understanding. gaining this understanding is also one more way of explaining Mukthi ( Please note i am not saying Moksha, only Mukthi ) .
Lord Bless,
— Deito
Harirnama Harirnama Harirnama Kevalam.

Thimmappa M.S.

Karmic Effect is not determined by volitional or unconscious nature of it but by how you have performed it (conscious or unconscious does not matter) and how you take the effect of it.If the actions are done in anticipation of self gain and with ownership, then it accumulates as a deposit over our Self to be cleared by selfless/ego-less deeds in our life.Effects of selfless/desire-less actions ( nishkama karma ),actions only for the good of others/beings, will not bind us and in fact it liberates us,clears our ‘debt’ and help attain the abode of God.


When you are standing under a tree, some fruits (good and bad) will automatically falls in your basket. This is the result of your past Karma, because you are getting them without your effort and it’s more of a happening (or luck as people say) in this birth.
When you try to grab fruits, which have fallen outside of your basket, you are creating a new and fresh chain of Karma (a seed is capable of creating end-less seeds), which can either be good or bad.
Good Karma will lead to good results and vice versa. But both good and bad are bad because they keep us away from Source. We exist because we have accumulated Karmas behind us. End of Karma means, things will fold back to Source.
So we need to learn two things –
1. How to witness the existing movie without identifying ourselves with the movie — with “This is so” attitude? We need to experience both good and gad fruits which we have in our basket. There is no way out, until unless you are a Yogi.
2. Going forward, do Karmas which are neither good nor bad. Do good deeds for others, while remembering the Source and for the Source, without any expectations.

Morpheus loop AKA Bad Santa

Well, Web search for more wisdom time…
Today we have come to a couple of related ideas which are common in Buddhism and they are the ideas of karma and rebirth. These ideas are closely inter-related, but because the subject is a fairly wide one, we will begin to deal with the idea of karma today and rebirth in the following lecture.
I found it to be an informative article, but it does differ slightly from some other truth that also claim to follow Karma, such as the many paths to be found in say Japan, where the Circle of Life is viewed from a different angle. Take for example their most basic of Nature Warriors, the Ninja.
As I understand it, and we all know I have a strange way of looking at things, You have the choice of what you will attempt to do in that life before you are even born, and you have a first path that leads you to your first dark night of the soul, where you have your first major choice in that life… and you decide just how many dark nights of the soul you will experience in that life, before you are born. This is a path decided with the “Source” before you are allowed to take another turn of the wheel. Some lives are chosen to work off a large det, and others are chosen to give “Sorce” another view of hate.
Other off beat thoughts about Karma and the secret of life are shared in a 1978 film, written by Bruce Lee and James Coburn, is called, “The circle of Iron”.
Just an observation.

John P (I'm only a bug)

As I understand, karma in not merely whether the action in virtuous or non-virtuous in itself. There is the aspect of intent which plays a key role and increases or decreases the karmic result. The basis; the thought behind the action; the actual action; and the culmination of the action are all critical to the level of the karmic result of an action. You may want to read “Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo: Volume 2: Karma” by Geshe Lhundub Sopa who explains aspects of karma very well.
“The theory of karma should not be confused with so-called ‘moral justice’ or ‘reward and punishment.’ The idea of moral justice, or reward and punishment, arises out of the conception of a supreme being, a God, who sits in judgment, who is a law-giver and who decides what is right and wrong. The term ‘justice’ is ambiguous and dangerous, and in its name more harm than good is done to humanity. The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect, of action and reaction; it is a natural law, which has nothing to do with the idea of justice or reward and punishment. Every volitional action produces its effects or results. If a good action produces good effects and a bad action bad effects, it is not justice, or reward, or punishment meted out by anybody or any power sitting in judgment on your action, but this is in virtue of its own nature, its own law. This is not difficult to understand. But what is difficult is that, according to karma theory, the effects of a volitional action may continue to manifest themselves even in a life after death.”
~ from “What the Buddha Taught” by Walpola Rahula
May all be at peace.

Forever Blessed & BlissFull

For each action there is the appropriate reaction no matter wether you are aware of the consequences or not aware of them at the moment of performing the karma. For example if you eat a poisonous mushroom without knowing it is deadly – you still die. The deeper one goes into the karma philosophy the more successful one’s life becomes. Yes consciousness and awareness matter a lot in performing actions, but you cannot perform wrong actions with a right consciousness and expect right consequences. It is only when you do ordinary actions that by having a special awareness the actions become special.
Karma philosophy is so wonderful. Every thought, feeling, awareness, memory, judgement, word, action, attitude…. every one of those mean karma. So we have to be very careful with every thought, feeling, awarenes…… that we have. Isn’t it great. There is a shortcut if you wish to perform only positive actions ….. you have to make sure you have only positive thoughts and attitudes. It is what in our school we call Good Wishes and Pure Feelings for everyone no matter what the situation. So why we adopt this life-style? Because of this deep secret of Karma that only the wise and courageous ones understand and apply: EVERYTHING I DO IS FOR MYSELF. That means whatever others do is for themselves, even if it seems it affects me. Actually noone can take from me that which is mine. Something is mine if i have earned it – that is if i deserve it. So if i want to have something or be somehow i have to become worthy of that and then there is nothing and noone on earth or in the skyes that can take that thing from me. And if something is taken away from me it means it was not really mine or i have deserved that thing up to that limit and no more. Really, this is maybe the bigest secret in the world because people don’t understand it and don’t practice it. If they did, their life would become so easy and entertaining.
Best Regards.
Forever Blessed and Blissful
If you have the courage to have Good Wishes and Pure Feelings for everyone all the time – together with pleasing your heart and the hearts of others there is also the greatest wonder that you please the heart of the Bestower of Blessings. So, can you imagine what your life would become when you are so full of blessings, when you have such a full account of blessings? You can ‘buy’ anything with that.

Jayasri devi dasi

In this age we do not get karma for thoughts. In other ages if we thought of killing someone we would get the karma for that. In this degraded age people can hardly control their minds so it is Gods mercy we don’t get karma for that. But we will have mental anguish if we continue to think of negative or sinful things. From thinking comes willing then actions. So best to stop it in the beginning stage of thinking. Chanting the Names of God (also known as Krishna,Allah, Jehovah, Vishnu, Rama, etc.) is the easiest and best way to control the mind. It works. See my profile page for website to how to chant Gods names and the power of the Names


Why the concern of karma? The thing to understand is what you do or not do is not the purpose of karma. It is not a thinking action or reaction. You are not the center of the eternal repercussions. All the good deeds, scripture, or belief system you live out has the same effect and results. You are apart from Source consciously, and you will continue to not be one with Source life after life until you step out side of karmic influence. You have to die to your self too be one with Source. When you make that step it is the last step “you” will ever take. That is what libration is all about! It is the “I”, the “you” that is preventing. So long as identification with the idea of the false ego is, so shall “you” be.


karma applies to unconscious acts as well – we have a duty to ourselves and others to be conscious as possible – pursuit of our own happiness is the whole of duty to self and others – and a large part of that is pursuit of reality, awareness, wisdom, insight, perspective, big-picture sight, overview – karma means that actions have consequences – we have to learn the world – we have to know the consequences of actions if we are to decide – ignorance of the reality is no excuse – reality does not bend, reality is not merciful – we must bow to it – we must learn it, study it, constantly extend our knowledge of it – supporting a system that causes suffering to others and self and not feeling it is necessary to be conscious of it, is just dumb – many people today feel they have a right to be dumb, that they don’t have to have their antennae out, taking in information – but this is just madness – a snail is wiser than this – see a butterfly, its antennae constantly testing the environment – this is consciousness, this is sanity – people think they can injure others without being injured themselves – and yet they themselves do not tolerate injury, and they do not believe that others are different – and yet they act as though they can injure others without rebound – karma burns a baby’s hand – people do not rile a dog – and yet they steal 99% to 99.99% of the earnings of 5 billion people – they are unconscious as babies – and reality is merciless – people live in plundering empires stealing, killing, enslaving, and feel okay – they feel themselves to be great if they are invited to glittering balls while others are not – they feel this proves they are good – they feel they do not have to submit themselves to reality, to the merciless realpolitik of the golden rule: dont hurt people, they hurt back! – even such a simple easy to understand fact of life, they do not bow to – they are too proud to be perpetual students, although the simplest creature is a perpetual student of its world, and is thus seeking its happiness, and is thus in perfect self-esteem – humanity is the only animal that does not love itself, that does not pursue maximal happiness [safety, pleasure, peace, satisfaction] – the leadership of new york in the 1970s thought it could spend beyond its income, and thought federal government should help it out – total disconnect from reality, total unreality principle – the sense of equality in humans has torn down every concentration of wealth in history, every plutocracy – and yet people have not yet learned to avoid amassing more than their fairshare by their own work – everyone is just going for more, not going for taking their fairshare, made by their own work and by their equal fairshare of nature’s bounty – everyone trying to get unlimited fortunes out of limited pool of wealth – and calling it admirable – just very very dumb – ignorance is a sin, is the sin – being a perpetual student is the natural sane realistic way – humans are the lost animal – study animals – when do you ever see an animal careless of its welfare? – when does an animal not study its environment? – the first thing to do is to arouse up selflove to the highest pitch – and then one naturally becomes an earnest real eager student of reality – and then one grasps and takes to heart the golden rule – and in the eager pursuit of maximisation of one’s own happiness, one is fulfilled, meaningful, excited and delighted by life – life is a game: to minimise suffering, to maximise good with the limited wits we have – and then whether we make mistakes or not, life is meaningful, rich, bright, cheerful – in the game, we are sane, alive, functioning, ardent, eager, joyful, experiencing love – we experience love by doing it – by playing the game – like meerkats, always on the lookout, giving warning to the group, disappearing into holes – they do this because they love themselves – test everything, says the bible – seek, says the bible – to think is to live – the unexamined life is not worth living – only when you are in serious sincere selflove do you see what gifts have been given you, the world – even the game is a lovegift – it is exciting, challenging, fun – one can play it in the darkest dungeon, in the bleakest deathcamp – what can I do to improve my situation? – what is wisest to do in this situation? – what is a better way to do this? – people think they are to hold their opinions – we are to constantly test our opinions – people have forgotten reality – realisation is waking up to the existence of reality – it is good to let lie before one and thus take to heart what is, parmenides – be still and know [=experience] I AM [=reality =god =beingness =existingness =energy =love =life = sanity] – there is no god but reality [both the visible actual created and the invisible infinite potential creative] – only humans have to be taught to face reality, have to be reminded that happiness lives on reality street, never anywhere else

squirt AM VA

Our spirits speak through us in many ways.


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