Yoga Practice 101: The 12 Laws of Karma

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Karma literally translates to “action” in Sanskrit.

One can think of karma as the spiritual equivalent of Newton’s Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.”

When we exhibit a negative force in thought, word, or action, that negative energy will come back to us. The same thing will happen if we exhibit a positive force.

Here are the 12 Laws of Karma That You Should Know

1. The Great Law or The Law of Cause & Effect

As you sow, so shall you reap.

To receive happiness, peace, love, and friendship, one must BE happy, peaceful, loving, and a true friend.
Whatever one puts out into the Universe will come back to them.

2. The Law of Creation

Life requires our participation to happen. It does not happen by itself.
We are one with the Universe, both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
Surround yourself with what you want to have in your life and be yourself.

3. The Law of Humility

One must accept something in order to change it. If all one sees is an enemy or a negative character trait, then they are not and cannot be focused on a higher level of existence.

4. The Law of Growth

Wherever you go, there you are. It is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us if we want to grow spiritually.

All we are given is ourselves. That is the only thing we have control over.

When we change who and what we are within our hearts, our lives follow suit and change too.

5. The Law of Responsibility

If there is something wrong in one’s life, there is something wrong in them.
We mirror what surrounds us, and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth. One must take responsibility for what is in one’s life.

6. The Law of Connection

The smallest or seemingly least important of things must be done because everything in the Universe is connected. Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on. Someone must do the initial work to get a job done. Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance. They are both needed to accomplish the task. Past, Present, and Future are all connected.

7. The Law of Focus

One cannot think of two things at the same time. If our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is not possible for us to have lower thoughts like greed or anger.

8. The Law of Giving & Hospitality

If one believes something to be true, then sometime in their life they will be called upon to demonstrate that truth. Here is where one puts what they CLAIM to have learned into PRACTICE.

9. The Law of Here & Now

One cannot be in the here and now if they are looking backward to examine what was or forward to worry about the future. Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, and old dreams prevent us from having new ones.

10. The Law of Change

History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.

11. The Law of Patience & Reward]

All Rewards require initial toil. Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil. True joy comes from doing what one is supposed to be doing, and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.

12. The Law of Significance & Inspiration

One gets back from something whatever they put into it. The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it. Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole. Lesser contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it. Loving contributions bring life to and inspire the Whole.

Karma is a lifestyle that promotes positive thinking and actions.

Karma is not meant to be a punishment. It is present for the sake of education. How else is someone to learn how to be a good person if they are never taught that harmful action is wrong.

A person only suffers if they have created the conditions for suffering. Namaste.


As we explore the 12 distinct laws of karma, think about how you’ve previously seen these laws come into play in your own life.

Consider, too, how you can use your knowledge of these laws to create good karma that supports your dreams and goals. Understanding all of these types will help you design your own karma busting mantra or affirmation, should you feel you need it.

As noted above, the key to moving beyond apparently “bad” karma is to live in a way that shows you are learning from past mistakes. So, any mantra you recite should reflect this.

1. The Great Law
Sometimes called “the Law of Cause and Effect”, the Great Law tells us that in order to get the things we want, we must also embody those things.

The message here is similar to that of the Law of Attraction. In other words, whatever you give out is also what you will receive, whether it is positive or negative. So, if you want love in your life, be loving. If you want to enjoy financial abundance, be generous. And if you want to have honest, open relationships then you need to offer authenticity and honesty to the people you care about as well.

2. The Law of Creation
According to the Karmic Law of Creation, we need to be active participants in our lives if we want to get what we desire. We cannot simply wait for things to happen to us. We should aim to surround ourselves with what we want in our lives and look to our environments for clues about what we need.

A major part of understanding the Law of Creation is seeing that things outside ourselves tell us what’s going on inside. So, if you don’t like the way your life looks right now, look within and ask yourself what needs to change.

3. The Law of Humility
Out of the 12 laws of karma, Buddhism can be seen as often emphasizing the importance of the Law of Humility. What you need to remember about this karmic rule is that you need to accept the true reality of something before you’ll ever be able to change it.

For example, if you constantly blame others for things that you created or you see anyone who disagrees with you as a villain, you’re out of step with reality. You will, therefore, find it very difficult to make the shifts you need. Consistent self-reflection can help you make the most of the Law of Humility.

4. The Law of Growth
If you’ve ever heard the famous saying “Wherever you go, there you are”, you’ve already thought about the Law of Growth in a certain sense.

The message here is that you need to expect a change of yourself before you expect it of the world around you (or indeed the people in the world around you). Ultimately, you only have control over yourself. Therefore, it is how you use this control that shapes how the universe responds to you.

So, focus on your development before trying to control or change others; let them come to their own conclusions about what needs to change.

5. The Law of Responsibility
In terms of meaning, karma is often thought of in terms of The Law of Responsibility. In particular, it’s helpful to remember that you are the source of what happens throughout your journey. What is happening around you is a mirror for what is happening within you; that is the sense in which you are responsible for all of your life experiences, whether fantastic or unpleasant.

Like the Law of Growth, this karmic law aims to teach you that you should be looking to take ownership of the good and bad things you create, rather than constantly looking outside yourself to find excuses.

6. The Law of Connection
If you reached this guide because you were wondering how to remove bad karma of past life experiences, remembering the Law of Connection can help you. This law emphasizes the interconnected nature of the past, present, and future, and reminds us that our control over the present and future can help us to obliterate the bad energy of the past (whether it is from our current life or a previous life).

Another point made by the Law of Connection is that it takes time to redress karmic wrongs from the past. However, each small step can have unexpectedly powerful effects.

7. The Law of Focus
According to the Law of Focus, you will do better in life if you can follow a single train of thought to the exclusion of others. Our minds are not equipped to follow multiple trains of thought with equal competency.

So, if you have several important goals, try to follow them in a linear, ranked order rather than giving each goal only a fraction of your energy.

Another vital lesson here is that if you focus on your higher values; you won’t be able to focus on “lower” emotions or thoughts like those that come from resentment, anger or possessiveness.

8. The Law of Giving and Hospitality
In Hindi, karma meaning is closely tied to the Law of Giving and Hospitality. This law teaches that if you believe a certain thing, then you will naturally be called upon at some stage to demonstrate your commitment to that truth. The focus here is on the link between belief and practice. It suggests and encourages the importance of ensuring that your actions reflect your deeper beliefs.

This law is also about the way in which the universe will “test” you. Life gives us opportunities to put learned lessons into practice (and showing you when you need to do further work on some aspect of your character).

9. The Law of Here and Now
As noted above, in Buddhism, karma is connected to ideas about accepting the truth of your reality. Equally, Buddhists typically link karma to the theme of truly living in the present moment. If you cling too hard to past feelings, experiences, and beliefs, you will always have one foot in the past. Likewise, if you focus on anxiety or on greed, you will always have one foot in the future.

Following the Law of Here and Now means reminding yourself that the present is all you really have and that it is there to be fully engaged with and enjoyed.

10. The Law of Change
When you think about the Law of Change, you connect with the message that the universe gives us what we need. So, you will find that history continually repeats itself until you demonstrate that you’ve learned what you need to in order to create a different future.

If you notice that you seem to be stuck in a loop, this is because there’s something fundamental that has not yet been addressed.

Meanwhile, if things around you begin to change in sudden and dramatic ways, take this is a sign that you have recently taken significant steps in your growth.

11. The Law of Patience and Reward
To put it succinctly, the Law of Patience and Reward claims that all of your greatest successes require consistent hard work. This means that you need to be patient, regardless of your goals in life.

If you expect immediate results, you will ultimately be disappointed; your successes will be minor in comparison to what you’re capable of achieving.

Instead, look to figure out your true purpose. Act in accordance with that purpose and enjoy the reward of knowing you are doing what you are supposed to with your current life. In time, associated successes (emotional and material) will follow.

(TIP: Discover how to master the Law Of Attraction effectively in your life… Click here now for your free e-book.)
12. The Law of Significance and Inspiration
Last but not least, the Law of Significance and Inspiration is a good law to reflect on when you need a motivational boost or start to feel like you don’t matter.

This particular aspect of karma stresses that every contribution you make will influence the Whole, however small or great that contribution may be. Whenever you make creative, loving contributions to the world around you, your act inspires similarly positive behavior from others and attracts more positivity back into your life.

You may not always feel significant, but you always are. Without your presence, the energy of the universe would be fundamentally altered.

 

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