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Twelve Kinds of Karma

In Buddhism, the concept of karma refers to the law of cause and effect, where one's actions, thoughts, and intentions have consequences. The purification of karma is an important aspect of spiritual practice. While there are variations in the classification of karmas across different Buddhist traditions, one commonly mentioned set is the "Twelve Kinds of Karma to Purify." These twelve kinds of karma are often associated with negative actions that practitioners seek to purify. The specific categories may differ slightly, but here is a general outline:

  1. Killing: The intentional act of causing harm or taking the life of another being.

  2. Stealing: Taking what is not given, including theft or dishonesty.

  3. Sexual misconduct: Engaging in inappropriate or harmful sexual behavior, such as adultery or exploitation.

  4. Lying: Deliberately speaking falsehoods or deceiving others.

  5. Divisive speech: Creating discord and disharmony among individuals or groups.

  6. Harsh speech: Using harsh, hurtful, or abusive language towards others.

  7. Idle chatter: Engaging in meaningless or frivolous speech that lacks purpose or benefit.

  8. Covetousness: Having excessive desire, greed, or envy for others' possessions or qualities.

  9. Malice: Holding ill will, anger, or hatred towards others.

  10. Wrong views: Holding distorted or incorrect beliefs about the nature of reality or the path to liberation.

  11. Doubt: Doubting or lacking faith in the teachings, the Buddha, or one's own potential for awakening.

  12. Distorted ethical conduct: Engaging in unwholesome actions that contradict the principles of moral conduct.

By recognizing and acknowledging these negative karmic patterns, practitioners can undertake practices such as repentance, purification rituals, and cultivating positive actions to purify and transform these negative tendencies. The aim is to purify the mind, develop virtuous qualities, and progress on the path towards liberation and awakening.


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