The concept of karma is most commonly known in the West by these axioms and sayings: “What goes around comes around”, “What you put out into the Universe will come back to you”, “What you give is what you get”; or in the Biblical sense, “What you sow, so shall you reap”.
Vedic teaching from the East describe more detailed descriptions of karma that many Westerners may not be familiar with. Vedic teachings; which derive from the oldest and most sacred texts of India describe four types of karma.
1. Sanchita karma - This is the sum of all past actions in all of our previous lifetimes. This karma sets the stage for our present lifetime and for other lifetimes yet to follow.
2. Prarabdha karma – This is the portion of Sanchita karma that has resulted from past actions in this present lifetime.
3. Agami karma – Results from actions in the present lifetime that will affect future incarnations.
4. Kriyamana karma – This type of karma results immediately from our present actions. This can also be described as “instant karma”.
These ancient teachings about karma remind us of the importance of making conscious choices in our everyday life. The choices we make everyday will have consequences. These consequences can be positive or negative depending on the choices we make. For example, if we make positive choices that bring other people happiness and joy, then we will experience happiness and joy in our own life.