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Jain Karma Theory explains how we are the makers of our destiny – Guest Authors Patricia De Souza, Ph.D. and Sulekh Jain, Ph.D.

The Karma Theory in Jainism provides a roadmap for ethical living while laying out the intricacies of the karmic cycle and the path to liberation, independent of the judgment of gods.

From birth, we all have heard the aphorism, ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’. Here sowing means action (Indic traditions call it karma) and reaping means reactions or the resultant consequences and fruits of karma.

The Jain Karma Theory offers intricate details of how each action begets a reaction. It asserts that each soul and no one else on one’s behalf is the doer of its karma.

The call for individual responsibility for one’s destiny of well-being or pain is not only present in many religions in different ways, but it also pervades many secular philosophical and psychological approaches. Although explanations of karma (as related to reincarnation) and as it is used in secular systems differ, both sides agree that there is freedom of action but one must always bear the consequences of one’s choices.

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