Our Kashāya – anger, ego, deceit and greed – bind karma to our soul. The famous saying, “everything that goes around comes around”, perfectly describes the Theory of karma.
This is the theory which gives us an explanation as to how certain characteristics or factors of our individuality, which we have at present, are direct results of forces generated in the past. Simply put it is the law of nature: “what you sow, so shall you reap”. This reaping does not necessarily occur in the same lifetime. In addition, sowing is not restricted to verbal and physical acts alone. Thoughts even though they may not be put into action do affect your karma.
Karmas are broadly classified into two groups:
Destructive (Ghāti) Karma & Non-destructive (Aghāti) Karma
Ghāti means destructive. Those Karma that destroy the true nature of the Soul are called destructive or Ghāti Karma.
Knowledge Obscuring (Jnānāvaraniya) Karma
Perception Obscuring (Darshanāvaraniya) Karma
Deluding (Mohaniya) Karma
Obstacle creating (Antarāya) Karma
The Karma that do not destroy the true nature of the soul but are responsible for physical body, life span and social standing, are called non-destructive or Aghāti Karma:
Feeling Pertaining (Vedaniya) Karma
Body Determining (Nām) Karma
Status Determining (Gotra) Karma
Life-span Determining (Āyushya) Karma
Understanding karma theory gives us hope and strength that through our own efforts we can liberate ourselves from the bondage of karma. Karma is the mechanism through which we can shape our own destiny.