I generally hear that one will get the aftereffects of his/her karma either in afterlife (i.e., after death he will either go to heaven or hell) or in his next birth.

My question is: Why don't we get the results in the same life itself where the good or bad karma is done?

I think if a person gets punished for his bad deeds within the same life, then the person may have a change of mindset so that he now decides to always do good and not bad as now he has gained practical experience. If instead one gets to suffer all his life without doing anything wrong only because of his previous birth's karma then he might be disillusioned and think that even when he is doing all good in current life, he is still not getting any good in return. This might in a way make him disbelieve God.

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    Not all karma fructifies in future lives. Some may happen in this lifetime. Prisons are full of people that are reaping their karma for bad deeds committed in this life. Jun 25, 2015 at 13:46
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    yes yes yes you are right, think of karma like a seed. When you do some action you are planting a seed. The seed grows into a full tree, depending on various factors such as sunlight, water content, etc. Similarly the fruits of the actions are grown into the tree of experience. They depend on various factors. When these factors dominate and make the seed to grow quickly, then one gets the rewards immediately. It depends on so many things. Nobody can give a perfect answer on when one's karma will give rise to its rewards. But with grace of Guru - God one need not worry about the previous karma
    – Sai
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:18
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    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 15, 2015 at 4:06
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    @SwamiVishwananda: The Bhagavad Gita mentions also that punishment and reward for karma is also received in swarga and naraka. Why do the effects of karma materialize in the next life too?
    – AdityaS
    Jul 17, 2015 at 19:17
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    @Aditya you don't know when the effects may materialize. It may happen in this lifetime, the next lifetime, or 10 lifetimes from now, or x lifetimes from now. Or perhaps it manifests over several lifetimes. Sai's comment is good. Jul 18, 2015 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


We determine our everyday success hence our everyday karma pays off then and there. The person you become when you die is the person who has evolved out of deeds you have done throughout your life. So you carry forward your deeds and wish to take a form that will allow you continue these as a continuation for fulfilment. That is the reason it is very important that we always make right choices of deeds in our lives. Every Life we get is one step towards reaching God the ULTIMATE!

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. Jun 26, 2015 at 1:55

Karmā:phala (fruit of Karma) is endured by a Jīva (soul) in the form of Puńya and Pápam, and the notion of good and bad will be addressed in this topic. The endurance of Puńya or Pápa by a Jīva in a given lifespan is the Prarabdha. That which is brought upon oneself by actions in past lives that triggered the current existence is known as Prarābdha Karmā. While enduring the Karmā:phala of previous lives, a being performs various actions (kriya) in the current life, with choices made under the influence of the past Karmā:phala. Because of this, a Jīva again accumulates certain karmā in the current life, which is called the Kriyamana Karmā (kriyamana:karmā). Some of this may be worked off immediately, and the remaining – that is yet to be worked off either in this life or in future lives – is called Agami Karmā. The karmā being carried over by the Jīva to various future lives to experience its phala (fruit) results in a loop. The sum total of karmā accumulated by a Jīva from its previous lives to date is called Sañcita Karmā (Sanchita meaning accumulated total). It is because of this karmā that a Jīva keeps taking birth in order to shed it, but with current actions keeps accumulating more. So how does one break the cycle of karmā? This can be explored in the articles of Puńya & Pápam and Kama. Long answer short: The result of Karma is experienced in a payment plan, not a one shot pay not. Where will there be time for introspection or realization to happen? Most of karma is done out of ignorance or lack of proper understanding or remnants of prior karma preventing them strive toward the realization. But this doesn't mean that Karma's result will always be next life. Its distributed. Why? This is a cosmic concept not a man made concept. All conscious beings invariable strive towards higher states of being, some do so using inquisition, some through surrender, some thought service, and some through desire and the last approach using desire is the longest and hardest way toward that. The force that pulls all conscious beings towards higher and higher states .. this nature/property of cosmos is the eternal property which we call Sanatana (Eternal) Dharma (property). Source: Karma Link


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