According to Buddhist philosophy karma is one of five orders (niyama) which are laws in themselves and operate in the universe. Being laws in themselves they require no law-giver.
Karma Niyama is the order of act and result; for example, desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad result.
As surely as water seeks its own level so does karma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the moon and stars.
When anything unpleasant comes to us, hurts us or makes us unhappy, our karma has come to show us our mistake. We must never forget that our karma is always just; it neither loves nor hates, neither rewards nor punishes.
It is never angry, never pleased, it is simply the low of cause and effect.
Karma knows nothing about us. Does fire know us when it burns? No, it is the nature of fire to burn, to give out heat; our affair is to use it in the right way, we are foolish if we grow angry and blame it when it burns us because we have made a mistake.
Everyone is the architect of his own fate. We shall reap in the future, in this life or the next, what we are sowing now. As we had the power in the past to make our present what it is, so we have equal power now to create a happy and useful future.
If properly understood the doctrine of karma teaches us to be careful with our thoughts, words and actions in daily life, so that as time goes on it makes us better human beings, willing to perform better and nobler actions towards all and live more harmoniously with our fellow human beings.
Naturally, if we realize that the evil we do will return to strike us we shall be very careful lest we do or say or think something that is not good, pure and true. Knowledge of karma will restrain us from wrong-doing for others’ sake as well as for our own.
Man himself is responsible for his own happiness and misery. He creates his own heaven and hell. He is master of his own destiny, child of his past and parent of his future.
Buddhism teaches us that there is no such thing as a permanent soul, an eternal, immortal soul that directs one’s actions. So if there is no soul what is it that is reborn? The answer is kammic energy, the actions we have done. These actions do not disappear unless or until they have produced their effects. So each being has body and mind as a result of actions they did in the past, or in the present, and thus this kammic energy goes on and on until its sources are removed, its force ebbs away and the flame dies down, its gradual extinction leading to the goal of Nibbana.