Karma and Samsara: two basic concepts that inform the notions of dharma and moksha.
1. Karma: law of cause and effect by which one reaps what one sows.
a. “karma” means “works,” “deeds”
b. All actions, particularly moral actions, have predictable effects – each person is responsible for every action he or she performs; every action will influence one’s future
c. One’s present conditions, character, circumstances are all the result of past actions
popular understandings of karma
2. Samsara: as the cycle of rebirth / as the flux and flow of creation
a. The cycle of birth and rebirth
b. One’s present life = one of a long chain of lives, countless lives in human and non-human forms (including existence as deities)
c. Hierarchical order of all species in existence, such as caste
d. Samsara as the fluid and changing universe