The 12 laws of karma are uiversal laws based on the principle of cause and effect. These laws maintain that we get back what we put out into the universe, for better or worse. Understanding the 12 laws of karma can incentive you to live a more mindful, selfless life.
- What Is Karma?
- 1. The Great Law
- 2. The Law Of Creation
- 3. The Law Of Humility
- 4. The Law Of Growth
- 5. The Law Of Responsibility
- 6. The Law Of Connection
- 7. The Law Of Focus
- 8. The Law Of Giving And Hospitality
- 9. The Law Of Here And Now
- 10. The Law Of Change
- 11. The Law Of Patience And Reward
- 12. The Law Of Significance And Inspiration
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
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What Is Karma?
Karma is the idea that you reap what you sow, for better or worse. It's a core tenant of the Buddihst and Hindhu belief system that says, "the energy you put out, is the energy you get back."
Think of karma like an echo - what you send out, you get back. What you see in other is inside of you, and what you give you'll get.
Buddism and Hinduhism are both based on a belief in reincarnation, so one of the abiding principles of karma is that it can span many lifetimes. Essentially, the sum of a person's actions will decide their fate in this exsitence and those to come.
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1. The Great Law
The Great Law is the 1st Law of Karma.
The great law, sometimes referred to as the law of cause and effect, is the primary law of the 12 laws of karma. According to the great law, 'you reap what you sow.' In essence, what you put out into the universe will be returned to you. Think of the great law as a universal echo. What you put out there, returns to you.
But, it's a little bit deeper than that. The law of creation posits that the things that are going on in the inside are reflected on the outside. For example, if you are surrounded by negatively, there is negativity within you. If you are surrounded by love, there is love within you.
2. The Law Of Creation
The law of creation is the 2nd law of karma.
The law of creation states that it's important to take action. Don't just wait around for good things to magically happen.
In order to get what you desire, you must be an active participant in your life. Look at what's happening around you and reflect on how you created your current reality. Is it the way you want it to be? If not, take active steps to initiate change and create the life you want.
You are the creator of your life. The things you see externally are simply a reflection of what's going on internally.
Realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right; mentally and emotionally. The physical self will follow automatically.Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
3. The Law Of Humility
The law of humility is the 3rd law of karma.
The law of humility states that we must accept what "is." It's futile to fight against the things you have no control over. They simply are what they are, and they must be accepted with grace and humility. Let go of the expectations of how you think things should be.
For example, if you're stuck in traffic and you're late for work you might get angry and frustrated. Or, you can accept that having negative emotions is not going to change the fact that you're still in traffic. In fact, getting stressed and wound up is going to have a negative impact on your wellbeing, and you'll still be stuck in traffic!
4. The Law Of Growth
The law of growth is the 4th of the 12 laws of karma.
The law of growth teaches us to change ourselves rather than attempting to change others. This law maintains that growth starts from within.
Personal development, or the process of working on yourself, is the key to creating positive change in life. It's futile to attempt to change others; you can only change that which you can control, which is yourself!
If you hope to make lasting positive change in the world, the law of growth says that you must start with yourself first.
What does the law of growth look life in real life? Let's say you have "fixer upper" mentality. Perhaps you get into relationships where you believe you can change or fix the other person in an attempt to extract a healthy and satisfying relationship. Unfortunately, these attempts generally backfire, with both parties ending up feeling resentful.
If you were to apply the law of growth, you would would only work on that which is under your control - yourself. If the relationship was not healthy you might exercise your choice to leave; or, you might choose to change your perception of the other party's perceived flaws.
No man ever steps in the same river twice. For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.Heraclitus
5. The Law Of Responsibility
The law of responsibility is the 5th law of the 12 laws of karma.
You are the sole owner of your decisions and deeds, and the consequences that result from them.
The law of responsibility asks you to acknowledge that everything that manifests in your life is the direct result of decisions you've made. You must "own" complete responsibility for how you've arrived at where you are. This self reflection eliminates the need to look outward for the source of your problems.
What does the law of responsibility look like in real life? Let's say that you have a problem in your life that causes you a great deal of stress. In fact, you are so stressed that you react in anger to others in your life. While you may not have caused the problem that's bringing you so much stress, you are responsible for the consequences of your negative behavior that resulted from it.
In the above example, the law of growth asks you to consider that reacting angrily will not change the situation that prompted the response. In fact, it will likely make it worse. The law of responsibility says that all events that result from the negative reaction are your sole responsibility.
6. The Law Of Connection
The law of connection is the 6th of the 12 laws of karma.
The law of connection is based on the principle that everything is connected. This includes the past, present and future.
To more fully understand this concept, let's revisit the 1st law of karma (the Great Law). The Great Law maintains that what you sow today, you'll reap tomorrow. How does this look in relation to the 6th law of karma? It's simple - the actions and thoughts you had in the past have brought about the present you're experiencing today. And, the actions and thoughts you're having today are in the process of shaping your future.
The law of connection invites you to slow down and live in the present. What you do in this very moment will impact the future. It's a reminder to stay mindful that even the smallest action will reverberate far into the future. Everything is connected.
To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.T.F. Hodge
7. The Law Of Focus
The law of focus is the 7th law of karma.
The principle of the law of focus is that it's impossible to focus on two things at once.
Given the choice between focusing on lower values like anger, jealousy and greed, or higher values like love, gratitude and acceptance, one should actively choose to focus on the spiritual values. Doing so will not allow your mind to focus on the negative values. Maintaining focus on the positive will also assist you in drawing more positive experiences toward you.
Mindfulness is at the heart of attracting good karma. Learning to focus your intentions in the right direction is the first step in manifesting. In the words of Tony Robbins, "your life is controlled by what you focus on."
8. The Law Of Giving And Hospitality
The law of giving and hospitality is the 8th law of the 12 laws of karma.
The law of giving and hospitality maintains that selfless acts are the true measure of our intentions. It's not enough to talk about being generous, this law posits that our actions are the true determinant of our beliefs.
When you are selfless you're not preoccupied with your own self interests, advancement or desires. You are attentive to the needs of others. Think of it as being a good team player. And, when you act selflessly you increase your good karma.
I can do nothing for you but work on myself...you can do nothing for me but work on yourself.Ram Dass, Be Here Now
9. The Law Of Here And Now
The 9th law of karma is the law of here and now.
The 9th law of karma involves embracing the present.
Most of us live in the past or the future. How often have you ruminated on your past mistakes, or worried about what will happen tomorrow?
Focusing on past mistakes means you're constantly beating yourself up for things that aren't even happening now. Worrying about the future can bring up feelings of anxiety and greed. Living in the present moment stops all that. After all, the present is all you ever really have.
10. The Law Of Change
The law of change is the 10th law of the 12 laws of karma.
The law of change says that history will continue to repeat itself until steps are taken to make change.
This law says that all actions spring from desire. The stronger the desire, the stronger the action precipitated by it. If an action is repeated many times with a strong sense of desire attached to it, it manifests as a habit. Habits, as they gain velocity, can dull your thinking and influence your decisions. This is known as being on "the wheel of karma."
The law of change says that if we hope to get off the wheel of karma, we must take steps to change our deeply ingrained patterns.
Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.Eckhart Tolle
11. The Law Of Patience And Reward
The law of patience and reward is the 11th law of the 12 laws of karma.
The law of patience and reward involves staying consistent in pursuit of your goals. That means commiting yourself to a sustained effort over a prolonged period of time, and being patient while manifesting results.
The 11th law says that if we remain consistent in our good karmic deeds, they will eventually accumulate good karma. It's possible that the accumulation of good karma will take time, but eventually consistency of good karmic deeds reaps the reward of good karma.
12. The Law Of Significance And Inspiration
The law of significance and inspiration is the last of the karmic laws.
The law of significance invites you to acknowledge that you're important, and you're here for a reason. Your gifts and talents can inspire others in ways that can create ripples throughout history that you'll never be aware of.
The law of significance can be summed up by the words of Rumi, "you are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop." This means that the entire world is inside of you, and you can create anything you want. You are powerful, significant and unique. Let that uniqueness inspire others.
Understanding the 12 laws of karma can help you remain mindful and selfless in your everyday life.
They serve as a reminder to stay in present, hold positive thoughts, act with generosity and intention, and good karma will be returned to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
The 12 laws of karma are core tenants of the Buddhist and Hindu faith. These beliefs posit that you always reap what you sow, for better or worse.
The 12 laws of karma are the Great Law, the law of creation, the law of humility, the law of growth, the law of responsibility, the law of connection, the law of focus, the law of giving and hospitality, the law of here and now, the law of change, the law of patience and reward and the law of significance and inspiration. Each law serves as a road map for remaining mindful and selfless.