I am quite fascinate and confused by karma philosophy.

But then I don't understand how it exactly works

A hurts B in some way (A has done bad karma)

C hurts A (A's karma has bore fruit)

but in the process C has incurred bad karma ?? Is it ?

If yes, then how does one reconcile the fact that C's response, even though C was unknowing about it, was a fruitition of bad karma done by A in some past.

If no, then that means there're two types of karma , one original you have done which will reap some fruit , secondly a karma which is a fruit of someone else's karma.

I hope you got my query . thanks :)

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    Everything that anyone does to you is something that you deserve, but that doesn't mean that that action can't be good deed or bad deed on the part of the other person. Brahman uses the good deeds and bad deeds of others to give you what you deserve. Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 9:38
  • A does something to B. Here A is doing an action. B is not doing any action. Now there are 4 possibilities, based on past actions of A & B, their current duties, and method of doing such duty - A incurs good karma. A incurs bad karma. B gets rid of good karma. B gets rid of bad karma. If B is student and A is teacher, and the action is imparting wisdom, A incurs good karma, B gets rid of bad karma. If B is beggar and A is householder and action is charity, A incurs good karma, B gets rid of good karma.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 17:34
  • If B is householder and A is thief, and action is robbing, A incurs bad karma, B gets rid of bad karma. If B is listener and A is gossiper, and action is false slander, then A incurs bad karma, B gets rid of good karma.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 17:36
  • Now, If A (the guy performing the action), does the action in the line of duty (as mentioned by shastras), AND does not wait or care to enjoy the results of such action, then he gets rid of the desire to repeatedly do karma, face the results, do karma, face the results, do karma, face the results & so on.. The important thing here to note is that the action you take MUST be according to dharma. You cannot commit adharma and say you don't care about the results. I mean you could, but you'll be fooling yourself when the results inevitably bear fruit.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 17:38
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    @sv. Humans did not come up with the theory of Karma, and it does not have any inconsistencies. And it's not too complex for humans to understand, although some people might have difficulty understanding it. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


There is no logic in your statement and you have misinterpreted the theory of Karma. From the point of logic, what is it that makes you assume that C's action are the result of A's actions on B? Simply saying karma is not logical. Your example is lacking in logic. Second, the Lord is the giver of karma. The Brahma Sutras 3.2.38-39 and Sankara's commentary says (Swami Vireswarananda translator, available here - https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc62753.html):

From Him (the Lord) are the fruits of actions; for that is reasonable.

Having described the nature of Brahman, the author proceeds now to discuss the view of Mimamsakas, who say that Karma (work) and not Isvara, gives the fruits of one's actions. According to them it is useless to set up Iswara for this purpose, since Karma itself can give the result at a future time.

This Sutra refutes it and says that from Iswara alone come the fruits of one's work. Karma is insentient and short-lived, and cannot therefore be expected to bestow the fruits of actions at a future time according to one's deserts. We do not see any insentient thing bestow fruits on those who worship it. Therefore it is only from the Lord, who is worshiped through actions, that their results proceed.

And because the scriptures so teaches.

The scripture declares that the fruits of actions come from the Lord. "That great, birthless Self is the eater of food and the giver of wealth (the fruits of one's work)" (Brhadaranyaka Upanisihad 4.4.24)

And Sankara's commentary on this verse (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, Swami Madhavananda translator):

...and the giver of wealth, i.e. the fruits of the actions of all, in other words, he connects all beings with the results of their respective actions...

The Lord is the giver of the fruits of karma. No one can say that any action is directly the cause of a previous action.

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    It's true enough that Brahman is the dispenser of fruits, but that doesn't really get at the heart of the question. Here's the heart of the matter: if you do something bad, there are many ways Brahman dispense the fruit of that bad action to you. One of those ways is by another person harming you in some way. Now the question is, in such a case, why does the other person incur bad Karma as a result, when he is just the means by which Brahman is delivering to you the result of your previous bad action? Now I think that question is easy enough to answer, but your answer doesn't really answer it. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 11:09
  • @KeshavSrinivasan how do you know that the other person does or does not incur bad karma? The answer is the same for the other person, the Lord is the giver and dispenser. Life and karma cannot be analyzed into a single event, everything is interwoven, like the warp and woof of a piece of cloth. Pull a piece of cloth in one place, and strings in another part of the fabric are stretched. It is all the Lord's play. As Krishna says in the Gita 10.42 - "But what is there of your acquiring this detailed knowledge, O Arjuna? With a single fragment of Myself I stand supporting the whole universe." Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 4:49
  • Hi @SwamiVishwananda Ji , I agree everything is interwoven. Infact it is implicit in my question. The question was simply if a person punishes the original bad karma agent, then why does this person incur bad karma , since he's simply a vessel of Brahman to met out the fruit of the other person's bad karma Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 15:16

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