Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: Karma + Dharma

Karma and Dharma are two esoteric terms that are integral to understanding the base spiritual laws which shape the human soul.

According to Study.com:

Building on the eternal concept of atman, karma is the belief that a person’s actions in life will determine their fate in the next life. With the belief in karma, Hinduism holds firmly to dharma, the moral force that orders the universe.

Karma can also be seen as relating to the Hermetic principle of cause and effect, which is one of the seven principles that are believed to govern the universe. What you sow, you shall reap – what is done, shall be returned. Meaning for all good deeds you’ve done from the heart, you earn good karma because you’ve sewn seeds of love – but for any bad deeds, you receive bad karma and which will reflect directly to your experience.

Dharma, on the other hand, is a bit different – as it relates to the inner nature of the individual, as opposed to their actions.

“Dharma is the innermost nature of every individual, that which constitutes his true being. Dharma is what is given in the interdependent arrangement of things… Dharma is the meaning of life for every individual.”
“Man’s dharma is different at different stages of development, in different circumstances of life. Everybody has his special dharma, his problems of life to solve, his duties to perform. Man lives in a state of insecurity and uncertainty when he is not acting at the best of his ability, in accordance with his dharma. The dharma of mankind is humanity.” K 7.9.3f

To learn more about these concepts, the video below from Alan Watts about The Law of Karma is extremely informative and worth a listen!

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