Karma: Difference between Hinduism and Sikhism
One of the first and most dramatic illustrations of karma can be found in the epic Mahabharata. In this poem, Arjuna the protagonist is preparing for battle when he realizes that the enemy consists of members of his own family and decides not to fight. His charioteer, Krishna, explains to Arjuna the concept of "duty", among other things, and makes him see that it is his duty to fight. The whole of the Bhagavad Gita within the Mahabharata, is a dialogue between these two on aspects of life including morality and a host of other philosophical themes. The original Hindu concept of karma was later enhanced by several other movements within the religion, most notably Vedanta, and Tantra.
Karma means "deed" or "act" and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction that governs all life. Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. According to the Vedas, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. The mastery of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response.
Karma is considered to be a spiritually originated law. Many Hindus see God's direct involvement in this process, while others consider the natural laws of causation sufficient to explain the effects of karma. Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. The effects experienced are also able to be mitigated by actions and are not necessarily fated. That is to say, a particular action now is not binding to some particular, pre-determined future experience or reaction; it is not a simple, one-to-one correspondence of reward or punishment.
Hindu scriptures divide karma into three kinds: Sanchita (accumulated), Prarabdha (fruit-bearing) and Kriyamana (current) karma. All kriyamana karmas become sanchita karma upon completion. From this stock of sanchita karma, a handful is taken out to serve one lifetime and this handful of actions, which has begun to bear fruit and which will be exhausted only on their fruit being enjoyed and not otherwise, is known as prarabdha karma. In this way, so long as the stock of sanchita karma lasts, a part of it continues to be taken out as prarabdha karma for being enjoyed in one lifetime, leading to the cycle of birth and death. A Jiva cannot attain moksha until the accumulated sanchita karmas are completely exhausted.
Within Sikhism, all living beings are described as being under the influence of Maya's three qualities namely Rajas (mode of passion), Tamas (mode of ignorance), and Saatav (mode of goodness). Always present together in varying mix and degrees, these three qualities of Maya bind the Soul to the body and to the earth plane. Above these three qualities is the eternal time. Due to the influence of three modes of Maya's nature, jivas (individual beings) perform activities under the control and purview of the eternal time. These activities are called Karma. The underlying principle is that karma is the law that brings back the results of actions to the person performing them.
This life is likened to a Khet (a field) in which our Karma from past lives, as well as our present life, is the seed. We harvest exactly what we sow and what we do. No less, no more. This infallible law of Karma holds everyone responsible for what the person is or is going to be. Based on the total sum of past Karma, some feel close to the Pure Being in this life, and others feel separated. This is the Gurbani's (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) law of Karma. As do other Indian, as well as other oriental and asian schools of thought, Gurbani also accepts the dual doctrines of Karma and reincarnation as facts of nature.