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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The most popular interpretation of the theory of karma in the Yogaśāstra states that actions produce merit and demerit in the form of habits (saṃskāras) to repeat similar actions in the future. This chapter argues that this interpretation is implausible. The Yogaśāstra does outline an influential account of habit-formation. It also offers an explanation of how actions produce karmic results that correspond with the quality of the actions that produced them. These two processes, however, are generally distinct.

Keywords: Yoga, Yogaśāstra, Yogasūtra, Yogabhāṣya, karma, habits, dispositions, action deposits, merit, demerit

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