Forget the action, look at the actor || XLRI (2021)

August 21, 2022 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner (Q): Sir, I have read that karma means action, what one thinks consciously and subconsciously, what one does. Our future action depends on the karma of the past and the present. But there is a thing in circulation these days that says that karma is actually a boomerang: if you do something, it will come back at you in some form in the future. How is it possible that everything comes back to us like that? If that is true, what is the force that is actually taking care of that particular karma?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, the moment you say that karma is something that comes around to you, as is the popular saying, then you are postponing, relegating the fruit of your actions to the future, aren’t you? Now, first of all, then we allow ourselves this uncertainty, that what we have done, its result may or may not come to us; second, even if it is certain that the result is indeed going to be received by us, it would happen in the future, at an uncertain date in the future, and no one knows how long in the future it might take. So, the entire power, the kick, is quite lost.

The real meaning and the real implication of karma is quite different. Vedanta and all wisdom focus not so much on the action, which is karma, but on the actor. The actor is the primary entity. If the actor is conscious, awake, he understands,


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More