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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the nature of ‘karma/action’ in Buddhism, and of cetanā, which is the heart of karma; factors affecting ethical assessment of an action as wholesome or unwholesome, and degrees of gravity in these; the idea of the karmic fruitfulness (or ‘merit’) of actions, and the sharing of this; whether there is group karma; karma’s shaping effect on a person’s nature and destiny in this and future lives and kinds of rebirth; karma and conditionality, whether or not all experience arises from karma, how personal responsibility might be affected by past karma and other conditions; and karma and nirvāṇa.

Keywords: volition, intention, ethical criteria, wholesome action, merit, rebirth, karmic results, responsibility, shared action and results

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