The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [1.1] The Science Of Karma ► ▪ Doctrine of Karma in Vedic Philosophy

Posted: 21.11.2008

In the early Vedic period yajña (sacrificial fire) and deity were accorded a high status. When karma replaced deity in significance, the supporters of yajña assimilated karma theory and yajña was accorded the status of a deity and believed that yajña itself is karma and bears all results. In the age of logic and Philosophy this tradition was named as Mimāṁsaka Philosophy. But in the Vedic tradition, along with the development of yajñakarma, deliberation on deity also developed. In the Brahmaṇa period single God prajāpati replaced the multiple deities of ancients as the God of Gods. Prajāpati created room for karma theory in their tradition, and they also assimilated Prajāpati and the karma theory in their own fashion. They believe that all the creatures do face the consequences of their karmas but it is the God of Gods (devādhideva) who determines the results. Īśwara (devādhideva) determines the results according to their karmas and not at his will. The Vedic Philosophies who accept this theory are Nayāya Vaiśeika, Vedānta and the later theistic sakhya Philosophy.[9]

Karma has been classified into three groups in Vedic Philosophy:

  1. Accumulated (sacita)
  2. Fate (Prārabdha)
  3. Present actions (Kriyamāṇa)

    1. Accumulated karma
      This is the total accumulation of karmas of all the past births, the result of which cannot be faced as yet.

    2. Fate karma
      Fate is that karma which was the most prominent and forceful of the accumulated karmas before the present life came into existence and which has been so designed that the present life is determined through it.
    3. Present action karma
      Whatever karmas the man accumulates throughout present life is called kriyamāṇa (present actions). The next birth is basically determined and ascertained by the most forceful (or according to some, the most primary) karma out of the total of accumulated and kriyamāṇa karmas[10].
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Doctoral Thesis, JVBU