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What is Karma?

by Swami Sivananda

Karma means work or action. According to Rishi Jaimini, rituals like Agnihotra, Yajnas, etc., are termed Karmas. There is a hidden power in Karma termed 'Adrishta', which brings in fruits of Karmas for the individual. Karma is all in all for Jaimini. Karma is everything for a student of the Mimamsic school of thought. Jaimini is the founder of Poorva Mimamsa. He was a student of Maharishi Vyasa, the founder of Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta. The Mimamsa school denies the existence of Ishvara, who awards the fruits of works. According to the Gita, any action is a Karma. Charity, sacrifice and Tapas are all Karmas. In a philosophical sense, even breathing, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling, walking, talking, etc., are all Karmas. Thinking is the real Karma. Raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes) constitute real Karma.

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