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Ayurveda and the Concept of Karma

“Karma is often defined as the law of cause and effect or action and reaction. This law states that for every effect, there must be a cause. Something must set into motion a force that creates the eventual effect. In this context, karma is a physical force that creates our experience of the world. 

Karma is also the force that binds us to the cycle of birth and death. In this context, karma is a spiritual force that guides and mirrors the unfolding of consciousness. 

On the physical level, karma is the force that creates our experience of the world. Through the law of cause and effect we come to understand how our actions create our life situation. Karma, in this context, is an empowering concept that offers individual control over the outcome of our lives. If people are not happy with what they have created, they have the opportunity to take new actions and create a new life situation. Health or disease, wealth or poverty are simply life situations created by our actions. 

On the spiritual level, karma is the force that is the end result of selfish action and not action itself. This force binds the soul to the cycle of rebirth. Karma is the effect of actions taken that serve the ego, or ahamkara

Karma is neither good nor bad but simply is. It is a non-judgmental force that reflects back to us the results of our actions. It is a physical and spiritual force, administered by mahat, or universal intelligence.” 

Excerpt from “Principles of Ayurvedic Medicine,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder and Director of the California College of Ayurveda