The Types of Karma and How It Affects Your Life

Types of Karma

Karma is a concept rooted in various Eastern philosophies and religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It refers to the moral law of cause and effect, where one’s actions and intentions have consequences that shape their future experiences. While the concept of karma can be complex and interpreted differently in different traditions, here are some common types or aspects of karma:

1. Sanchita Karma

Sanchita karma refers to the accumulated sum of a person’s past actions and their consequences, both good and bad, from past lives or the present life. It represents the total karmic balance that carries over from one lifetime to another. Sanchita karma is often seen as the storehouse of karmic seeds that influence future experiences and opportunities.

2. Prarabdha Karma

Prarabdha karma is the portion of sanchita karma that has ripened and is being experienced in the present life. It refers to the specific actions and their resulting consequences that a person is currently undergoing. Prarabdha karma is believed to be predetermined at the time of birth and plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s life circumstances and experiences.

3. Kriyamana Karma

Kriyamana karma, also known as Agami karma, represents the actions and intentions performed in the present that will have consequences in the future. It refers to the ongoing accumulation of new karma through one’s current thoughts, words, and actions. Kriyamana karma emphasizes the power of personal responsibility and the potential for individuals to shape their future through their choices.

4. Vartamana Karma

Vartamana karma refers to the immediate actions and intentions that one engages in the present moment. It represents the continuous cycle of cause and effect that occurs in everyday life. Vartamana karma reminds individuals of the importance of mindfulness and conscious awareness in their thoughts, words, and actions to cultivate positive karma.

5. Nishkama Karma

Nishkama karma refers to selfless or desireless actions performed without attachment to personal gain or outcomes. It involves acting in service to others or for the greater good, without seeking rewards or expecting specific results. Nishkama karma is considered spiritually elevating and can help individuals detach from the cycle of desires and ego-driven actions.

6. Akarma

Akarma refers to non-action or inaction. It involves abstaining from harmful or negative actions, thoughts, and intentions. Akarma can also be understood as performing actions without a sense of personal doership, recognizing that all actions are ultimately interconnected and part of the universal play of karma.

7. Collective Karma

Collective karma refers to the accumulation of actions, intentions, and consequences of a group, community, or society. It recognizes that individuals are interconnected, and their collective actions shape the shared experiences and circumstances of a community or society as a whole.


Karma is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses different dimensions and aspects. Whether it’s the accumulated karmic balance from past lives (sanchita karma), the specific karmic experiences in the present life (prarabdha karma), or the ongoing actions and intentions shaping the future (kriyamana karma), understanding the different types of karma can provide insights into the moral and ethical principles that guide our lives and the consequences of our choices.