Karma (“to do”, [meaning deed] meaning action, effect, destiny) is a term that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The effects of all deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain in others. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one’s present life and all past and future lives as well.
The “Law of Karma” is central in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, & Jainism. (These religions were formed in India). All living creatures are responsible for their karma – way of life – and for their release from samsara. As a term, it can be traced back to the early Upanishads.
The Law of Karma is taught in the esoteric Christian tradition, Essenian and later Rosicrucian, as the “Law of Cause and Consequence/Effect” . However, this Western esoteric tradition adds that the essence of the teachings of Christ is that the law of sin and death may be overcome by Love, which will restore immortality.
The process view of release (moksha) from ego-consciousness (ahamkar) through individual responsibility for the totality of action with its inherent karma can be contrasted with the soteriological view of mainstream denominations of Christianity: grace is given by faith in the suffering, death and resurrection of a singular saviour.