“What goes around, comes around.”

“You reap what you sow.”

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

These phrases explain what karma is all about in a nutshell.

The ancient rule of life, which has deep roots in Indian society, teaches us that every action we make comes with consequences.

If we commit a sin, we accrue bad karma debt and will have to repay it through some form of suffering either in the current life or the next. Likewise for when we do something good, we will earn good karma and enjoy the fruits of our labor either in the current existence or the next. No matter what we do, the law of cause and effect applies, whether you like it or not.

For thousands of years, the inescapable and self-operating system is subscribed to by many Hindus and Buddhists, among other religious believers. The first idea of karma was said to be conceived in 1,500 BC.

Despite its long-standing existence, many still mistake the word for luck, saying “bad karma” and “bad luck” interchangeably when they are two very different ideas.

Luck has nothing to do with a person’s actions. When a person attributes a success or a failure to luck, that means it happened without any relation to what the person had previously done. There is no control over luck.

But we can control our karma by continuing to do good with good intentions. Do note that when you do charity work for selfish reasons like fame, that would not produce good karma.

When it comes to keeping bad karma at bay, some Buddhists have resorted to suppressing their desire as a way to escape from the negative consequences of karma.

There are Hindus who practice selfless acts without expecting anything in return, or devote themselves to god.

There are also spiritual healers around the world who work on karmic cleansing or balancing.