moksha - Does Karma (going from a higher life-form to a lower one) only apply to humans?

As most of you might know that in Hinduism, it is believed that you and every other living thing consist of two things one is "a soul" which is indestructible, true and reality. No harm can be done to the soul. The other is your "body" which is illusion. It is destroyed after you die. Your soul then gets free from your body when your body dies and goes to another body it calls rebirth.Every soul has to pass through several species as per evolutionary process. According to Padma Purana, the different types of life-forms in the universe are 8,40...Read more

Are actions in computer games bad for karma?

What if I play a bad person in a computer game, cheating people. Or I play an assassin who kills people. Or my character in a game belongs to some evil cult. Or I roleplay a thief and steal. Or my character has an affair with a woman without being married.How are all these actions in a virtual reality close to actions in a real world from a buddhist point of view? Yes, I do not do them for real, but I still make these choices using my free will. So is it the same if I did all this in real life from? Are they bad for my karma?...Read more

karma - How can merit be transferred?

When attend an event at the sangha I'm with (Triratna) we often transfer merit (puñña) at the end of it. So any good result of the meditation, ritual, dharma study etc... we give away. I know that this isn't something we have just invented. It's a practice that we have taken from other traditions.What confuses me is merit can be given away. If merit is the fruits of my karma in what sense can this be transferred over to another being? How can someone else benefit from my skillful actions?...Read more

karma - What happens to the five aggregates after death?

What happens to the five skandhas of a particular person after death?Do they stay together, and cause birth of a one specific person (which can be called rebirth), or do they separate?If they separate, do they separate just into 5, or does each aggregate split into smaller parts?If they separate, do they cause births of many different persons?I'm interested in answers from many traditions, with references to relevant sources (scriptures, books, articles).EDIT: I didn't get unambiguous answers to my questions, but what Suminda and Prahlad write ...Read more

karma - If I undergo suffering now, will my next birth be better?

This answer points out that Karma is not something which is accumulated. Hence considering karma as just cause & effect, if I undergo suffering now, like disease, disability, etc, will my future births be better since the cause has yielded a result and that cause is exhausted and will not influence my future births any more. So more suffering I undergo now, more causes I am exhausting ?...Read more

karma - What is awareness?

I understand that there is no self; yet there seems to be a never changing deeply seated, unfindable awareness attached to a human body that observes the sensations that arise and pass away. This awareness continues to observe the body, life after life. It sits quietly as the body reacts and reacts until it discovers meditation and begins to stop the cycle. What is the nature of this awareness?I can't make sense of the apparent contradiction that there is no self, yet this 'awareness' has to follow a series of rebirths until this 'individual' i...Read more

What, besides karma, determines the future?

Since karma isn't the only thing that determines what happens to you, what are the other aspects?I remember hearing a dharma talk where someone explained that there were like eight things that determined what happened to you and that karma was only one. Is there a sutta referencing this and what are those other things?...Read more

rebirth - Do the same rules of Karma apply to animals?

Animals are sentient beings and therefore are also bound to the cycle of rebirth.However, animals are far less intelligent than humans, and are certainly not smart enough to follow a particular code of conduct, or take decisions which are against their nature.Does Karma and rebirth work differently for animals? Or are animals pretty much doomed to remain animals (or worse) because their nature, for instance, causes them to kill?...Read more

karma - Is there an equivalent of heaven and hell in Buddhism?

According to most sources, a soul stays in samsara until it concentrates enough karma to get yet another rebirth.However, I failed to find any sources explaining if this process is eternal. In other words, what happens if a soul has committed so many sins that it's unable to accumulate enough karma? Or, in other words, is there a "dead end" when no more rebirth is possible?...Read more

karma - Role of belief in Buddhism

As a westerner that self-identifies as Buddhist, I have struggled to understand the role of belief in Buddhist practice. In my culture, we are more familiar with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) for which what one believes is central to the religion.So, what if I choose to believe that nobody can be enlightened, therefore the Buddha was not enlightened? This question goes for other Buddhist concepts like karma too....Read more

karma - How should Buddhists handle prayer requests?

Fairly regularly people ask me to pray for them or their family members. In my understanding, Buddhist don't generally pray for things to be different than what they are. But it never seems appropriate to mention this to a person who might be upset so I just say "of course" and leave it at that. But the truth is, outside of metta for everyone, I don't pray for such things as my neighbor's uncle's knee replacement operation or for my co-worker's daughter to advance in the state championship for soccer. So I'm lying to someone and that's uncomfor...Read more

karma - Why not kill animals to hasten their rebirth?

This may be primarily for the Tibetan style practitioners. Also, my question assumes that "rebirth" etc are not metaphors. Since non-human animal existence is lower down in the six realms, why wouldn't killing them (painlessly) be considered a good thing, since it then allows the being rebirth and maybe it will be reborn as a human? For example, in "Seven Years in Tibet", earthworms were saved from death. Isn't that in some sense cruel, since saving an animal prolongs the time it has to spend as an animal?I think I know the answer; namely, that...Read more

Who/what/how is the keeper of karma?

I have seen multiple references to karma on this site, varying in its descriptions dependent on the question. Most answers appear to have the same answer e.g. Whereas Karma is what happens as a result of your actions or your choices. - SourceIf karma is the result of my actions or choices and it has a bearing on one's life now and in the next, who/what is the keeper of such actions and choices? Another way to ask the question is how is a record of my actions maintained and kept?...Read more