Is dharma the opposite of karma?

Is dharma the opposite of karma?

30 Sec Answer

No, dharma and karma are not opposite concepts; they are two distinct but related Hindu concepts. Dharma is the universal law of justice and morality that governs the universe, while karma is a set of individual moral actions determined by one’s past experiences.


Karma and dharma are both integral concepts in Hinduism, which originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Dharma means “righteous duty” or “the path to enlightenment” while karma is commonly understood as “action” or “consequence.” Although these two words have been used interchangeably by many people, there are important differences between them that need to be understood. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between dharma and karma, as well as how they relate to each other in Hinduism.

What is Dharma?

Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit word that has multiple meanings depending on the context. On a broad level, it refers to the concept of universal order and justice that governs all aspects of life. It includes social norms and laws, such as those related to marriage, education, caste system, occupation, and so forth. At a personal level, it can refer to one’s inner spiritual practice or journey towards self-realization and enlightenment.

What is Karma?

Karma literally translates from Sanskrit as “action” or “deed.” In the Indian tradition, it is believed that every action has its own consequence – good or bad – which affects an individual’s future experience. As Hindus often say: "What goes around comes around." Essentially, our present circumstances (both positive and negative) are due to the consequences of our previous deeds in this lifetime or previous lives.

How Are Dharma and Karma Connected?

At their core, dharma and karma share similar goals: harmony and balance in life. While dharma sets out universal principles of right living according to one’s station in life, karma provides an individual with the motivation to live according to these principles through the idea of reward or punishment for our actions. In other words, when you follow your dharma (do what you ought to do), then you create positive karma for yourself (which leads to rewards). Likewise if you don’t follow your dharma (don’t do what you ought not do), then you create negative karma for yourself (which leads to punishments).

Is Dharma The Opposite Of Karma?

No, dharma and karma are not opposite concepts; they are two distinct but related Hindu concepts. Dharma is the universal law of justice and morality that governs the universe, while karma is a set of individual moral actions determined by one’s past experiences. Put simply: following one’s dharma leads to good karma while violating it results in bad karma.

How Do You Create Good Karma?

There are various ways to create good karma depending on your religious beliefs and cultural background. Generally speaking though, here are some key steps for creating good karma:

  1. Follow your conscience – Make decisions based on what your heart tells you is right rather than what society dictates you should do
  2. Be generous – Donate money or time for a worthy cause without expecting anything in return
  3. Speak kindly – Use kind words with everyone even if they don’t deserve it
  4. Respect others – Show respect for all living beings no matter who they are
  5. Live authentically – Pursue activities that bring joy and fulfillment into your life regardless of what others think

    How Does Karma Affect Your Life?

    The belief in karma plays a large role in Hinduism as it emphasizes accountability for one’s actions. Every action has its own consequence which will manifest at some point in time either now or later on in life (depending on how complex the karmic cycle is). This means that every decision we make will affect us positively or negatively either immediately or down the road – making us accountable for our choices today and ensuring we take responsibility for them tomorrow!


    Although dharma and karma may appear quite different on first glance, upon closer inspection we can see how intertwined these two concepts actually are within Hinduism. Dharma represents the cosmic law of justice governing human behavior while karma serves as an individual guide for living according to this higher law through positive action leading to positive outcomes. By understanding both terms separately yet also together, we can start developing better habits towards self-improvement which will ultimately lead us on a path towards greater peace and happiness!

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

Recent Posts