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RELATED RESOURCES: HINDU
Karma is the Hindu view of causality in which good deeds, words, thoughts, and commands lead to beneficial effects for a person, and bad deeds, words, thoughts, and commands lead to harmful effects. These effects are not necessarily immediate but can be visited upon a soul in future lives through reincarnation; additionally, good or bad fortune experienced in life may be the result of good or bad actions performed in a past life. One’s karmic state affects what the soul will be reincarnated as: good karma may lead to reincarnation as a human while bad karma can lead to reincarnation as an animal or other forms of non-human life. Many Hindus hold a theistic view of karma in which a personal god - such as Vishnu in Vaishnavism and Shiva in Shaivism - is responsible for administering karma according to a soul’s actions. Non-theistic strands of Hinduism believe that karma is a matter of basic cause-and-effect without the need of a deity to dole out the effects.