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Question: What is the Origin of Karma?

Question: What is the Origin of Karma?


What is the origin of karma? What kind of actions lead to bad karma? The reason behind asking this question is that there are huge a number of people including myself who don't know the origin of karma. If the origin of karma is clear, one can refrain from the various activities which lead to bad karma. Can you give me scriptural references regarding the origin of karma, the cause of suffering?

Hare Krishna


Answer: Misuse of Our Free Will


Our entanglement in karma cakra, the wheel of action and reaction, is due to misuse of our independence. This is described as follows in the Prema-vivarta:

kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha haiyā bhoga-vāńchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

"As soon as one becomes inimical to Krishna and desires sense gratification he is immediately struck down by the illusory energy of the Lord."

And also in this regard Krishna mentions in the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 7, Text 27:

icchā-dveṣa-samutthena
dvandva-mohena bhārata
sarva-bhūtāni sammohaṁ
sarge yānti parantapa

"O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, bewildered by dualities arisen from desire and hate."

So we were originally situated as Krishna's devotees in the spiritual sky. We were not prisoners of His abode. Rather we were endowed with free will and were thus enabled to serve Krishna out of love, rather than out of force. However, free will means there is a potential for its misuse. And when that free will is misused we become envious of Krishna and hate Him for being the Supreme Enjoyer. It is due to this hate that we begin our entanglement in karma cakra. It is only when we revive our long lost love of Krishna by the mercy of Krishna's pure devotee that we can be delivered from our entrapment in karma and regain our original position of eternal bliss and knowledge in the spiritual sky.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

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