Karmabada A moral view of Indian philosophy. According to the doctrine of Karma or conduct, all humans will have to bear the consequences of their deeds. Karma teaches that the yields from deeds never perish. Good and bad, virtues and sins are stored for the day of judgement. The doctrine of deed is therefore termed as the conservation rule of moral values. The philosophy of action is a kind of cause and effect. Its main contention is that sorrow and happiness in human lives are merely consequences of their actions. Good deeds result in virtuous outcomes while bad deeds result in sins. Deeds create a kind of 'invisible force', as a result of which living beings experience happiness or sorrow in subsequent times. The doctrine of action therefore implies an all-pervasive moral law and an invisible force which generates consequences for deeds done. The doctrine of re-birth found its place in Indian philosophy based on this doctrine of action. The soul takes a new form after death. If the results of deeds done during current life are not received within the lifespan, then the person will have to be reborn for completing the process. This is because, consequences of deeds are not destroyed, rather they remain stored. The Indian philosophers have linked the present and future with the same thread based on the doctrine of action. In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the doctrine of rebirth has been compared to 'Wearing a new dress', it has been termed 'Bhab-chakra' in Buddhist philosophy, and Vedanta philosophy supports it by acknowledging the concept of 'constant and eternal soul'.
Some scholars have divided deeds in Indian philosophy into two categories desire-based and desire-free. Only desire-based deeds fall under the purview of the doctrine of karma, but desire-free deeds do not come under it. Desire-based deeds are those which are done out of anger, hatred or infatuation. Due to this kind of deed, living beings have to repeatedly reenter worldly life and endure the consequences of their deeds. Desire-based deeds initiate bonds in life. Desire-free deeds are done when knowledge is obtained on the real nature of life and the world and work is done without any anger, hatred or infatuation, in line with the prescriptions of Veda.
Some other people have categorized karma into two classes within the ambit of Indian philosophy: undesired action and desired action. The action whose consequence has not yet commenced is called undesired work and the work whose result has started to manifest itself is called desired work. Undesired work has again been divided into two classes: stored deed and deed which is being stored currently. The former refers to the deeds done during an earlier birth and the latter refers to deeds done during current life. According to the 'Jaina', 'Nyaya', 'Vaixeshika' and 'Mimamsa' philosophers, deeds create a kind of force and this force generates an outcome for deeds. The 'Jaina' philosophy terms this force as 'Kashai', the 'Mimamsa' philosophy as 'Apurba', and the Buddhist philosophy as 'Sanskara'. There is no conflict between the doctrine of action and free will in Indian philosophy. Although the present is determined by past actions, the living beings can attain 'Moksha' (salvation) by preventing rebirth through desire-free work emanating from free will. Consequently, the doctrine of action is not fatalistic. The living beings can conquer their destiny through desire-free work and without expecting any return from their action. People free from bonds can lead a free and liberated life by rising above all kinds of actions. This eternal and infallible moral order has made the Indian philosophy optimistic. [Pradip Kumar Roy]