Dharma vs Karma
No matter what religious tradition you follow, you will be asked to live a moral life by the tenets of that religion. The terminology varies from east to west and north to south, but the basic message of all major religions is: ‘be kind to your fellow men and you will eventually receive an award.’ The indigenous religions of India ‘“ Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism ‘“ all ask their believers to following the concepts of dharma and karma to improve not only this life, but their ensuing ones as well.
Definition of Dharma and Karma
Dharma ‘“ refers to one’s duty in this life. You dharma varies according to your class, your family, and the time of your life.
Karma – refers to the actions that one does in relation to one’s dharma.
In a sense, dharma could be seen as one’s lifelong task and karma the steps that one has to take to complete the task.
Applying Dharma and Karma to Your Life
Dharma ‘“ can either be a comforting or an unsettling concept. On the one hand, you may believe that if you follow the traditions of your family and community you will be completing your dharma. That means that as long as you uphold the status quo you are being a moral person. However, some people may question their personal dharma and search for its true meaning outside the confines of their community. In that case, the quest for dharma is life-long and can cause considerable stress if you feel you are not properly following it.
Karma ‘“ can be thought of as a cosmic tally book. All the actions you do, good and bad, are recorded. Some people believe that if your good actions outweigh your bad then you will move to higher level on your next rebirth and if your bad actions outweigh your good then you will move to a lower level on your next rebirth. Others believe that every action needs a balance. If you something good for someone, in this life or the next he will repay your favor. The same is true for debts.
Your dharma determines what type of karma your actions will bring. Going off to war to defend one’s country may fulfill the dharma of one man, but cause bad karma to incur in another man who was supposed to stay home to take care of his children.
1.Dharma and karma are Sanskrit concepts that have been codified through the practice of indigenous Indian religions.
2.Dharma refers to one’s lifelong duty whereas karma refers to someone’s day to day actions and the negative or positive obligations these actions bring about.
3.Dharma is something one must spend a lifetime achieving whereas karma changes from moment to moment.
4.Your dharma influences the type of karma that you actions will bring about.