Introductory Karma Quotes from Theosophy
Quotes by Helena Blavatsky
Karma - Physically, action: metaphysically, the LAW OF RETRIBUTION,
the Law of cause and effect or Ethical Causation...Karma neither punishes nor rewards, it
is simply the one Universal Law which guides unerringly, and so to say, blindly, all other
laws productive of certain effects along the grooves of their respective causations.
(Theosophical Glossary, pp.173-74)
Karma is a mysterious law, and no respecter of persons.
(Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 679)
The ONE LIFE is closely related to the one law which governs the World
of Being - KARMA. Exoterically, this is simply and literally "action," or rather an
"effect-producing cause." Esoterically it is quite a different thing in its far-fetching
moral effects. It is the unerring LAW OF RETRIBUTION.
(Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 634)
For the only decree of Karma - an eternal and immutable decree - is
absolute Harmony in the world of matter as it is in the world of Spirit. It is not,
therefore, Karma that rewards or punishes, but it is we, who reward or punish ourselves
according to whether we work with, through and along with nature, abiding by the laws
on which that Harmony depends, or - break them.
(Secret Doctrine, Vol I, p.643)
Those who believe in Karma have to believe in destiny, which,
from birth to death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider
does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of the invisible
prototype outside of us, or by our more intimate astral, or inner man, who is but too often
the evil genius of the embodied entity called man.... When the last strand is woven, and
man is seemingly enwrapped in the net-work of his own doing, then he finds himself completely
under the empire of this self-made destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell
against the immovable rock, or carries him away like a feather in a whirlwind raised by his
own actions, and this is - KARMA. (Secret Doctrine, vol 1, p. 639)
Nor would the ways of Karma be inscrutable were men to work in union
and harmony, instead of disunion and strife. For our ignorance of those ways --which one
portion of mankind calls the ways of Providence, dark and intricate; while another sees
in them the action of blind Fatalism; and a third, simple chance, with neither gods nor
devils to guide them - would surely disappear, if we would but attribute all these to their
correct cause...We cut these numerous windings in our destinies daily with our own hands,
while we imagine that we are pursuing a track on the royal high road of respectability and
duty, and then complain of those ways being so intricate and so dark. We stand bewildered
before the mystery of our own making, and the riddles of life that we will not solve, and
then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us. But verily there is not an accident in our
lives, not a misshapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own
doings in this or in another life. If one breaks the laws of Harmony, or, as a theosophical
writer expresses it, “the laws of life,” one must be prepared to fall into the chaos one has
(Secret Doctrine, Vol I, p. 643-44)
This Law -- whether Conscious or Unconscious --predestines nothing and
no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since
no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself...Karma
creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law
adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to
resume its original position...
(Secret Doctrine, Vol II, p. 304-05)
KARMA is an Absolute and Eternal law in the World of manifestation; and
as there can only be one Absolute, as One eternal ever present Cause, believers in Karma cannot
be regarded as Atheists or materialists—still less as fatalists.
(The Secret Doctrine, Vol II, p. 305)
WHAT IS KARMA?
ENQUIRER. But what is Karma?
THEOSOPHIST. As I have said, we consider it as the Ultimate Law of the Universe, the source,
origin and fount of all other laws which exist throughout Nature. Karma is the unerring law
which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no
cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down
to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown
law which adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the
latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable.
(Key To Theosophy, p. 201)
ENQUIRER. Well, then, tell me generally how you describe this law of
THEOSOPHIST. We describe Karma as that Law of re-adjustment which ever tends to restore
disturbed equilibrium in the physical, and broken harmony in the moral world. We say that
Karma does not act in this or that particular way always; but that it always does act so as
to restore Harmony and preserve the balance of equilibrium, in virtue of which the Universe
exists. (Key To Theosophy p. 205-06)
THEOSOPHIST. Karma, the universal law of retributive justice.
ENQUIRER. Is it an intelligent law?
THEOSOPHIST. For the Materialist, who calls the law of periodicity which regulates the
marshalling of the several bodies, and all the other laws in nature, blind forces and
mechanical laws, no doubt Karma would be a law of chance and no more. For us, no adjective
or qualification could describe that which is impersonal and no entity, but a universal
operative law. If you question me about the causative intelligence in it, I must answer you
I do not know. But if you ask me to define its effects and tell you what these are in our
belief, I may say that the experience of thousands of ages has shown us that they are absolute
and unerring equity, wisdom, and intelligence. For Karma in its effects is an unfailing
redresser of human injustice, and of all the failures of nature; a stern adjuster of wrongs;
a retributive law which rewards and punishes with equal impartiality. It is, in the strictest
sense, "no respecter of persons," though, on the other hand, it can neither be propitiated,
nor turned aside by prayer. (Key To Theosophy p. 198)
Our idea of the unknown Universal Deity, represented by Karma, is that
it is a Power which cannot fail, and can, therefore, have neither wrath nor mercy, only
absolute Equity, which leaves every cause, great or small, to work out its inevitable effects.
The saying of Jesus: "With what measure you mete it shall be measured to you again"
(Matth. vii., 2), neither by expression nor implication points to any hope of future mercy
or salvation by proxy. (Key To Theosophy pp. 199-200)
We believe in an unerring law of Retribution, called KARMA, which asserts
itself in a natural concatenation of causes and their unavoidable results.
(Key To Theosophy p. 140)
Quotes by William Q. Judge
From the Ocean Of Theosophy and Echoes From The Orient:
Karma...one of the most important of the laws of
nature. Ceaseless in its operation, it bears alike upon planets, systems of planets, races,
nations, families, and individuals. It is the twin doctrine to reincarnation. So inextricably
interlaced are these two laws that it is almost impossible to properly consider one apart
from the other. No spot or being in the universe is exempt from the operation of Karma, but
all are under its sway, punished for error by it yet beneficently led on, through discipline,
rest, and reward, to the distant heights of perfection. It is a law so comprehensive in its
sweep, embracing at once our physical and our moral being.(Ocean p. 89)
Applied to man's moral life it is the law of ethical causation, justice,
reward and punishment; the cause for birth and rebirth, yet equally the means for escape from
incarnation. Viewed from another point it is merely effect flowing from cause, action and
reaction, exact result for every thought and act. It is act and the result of act; for the
word's literal meaning is action. (Ocean p.89)
It is not a being but a law, the universal law of harmony which unerringly
restores all disturbance to equilibrium. (Ocean p. 89-90)
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