Difference Between Dharma and Karma

All the religions of the world ask their followers to live a moral life and be kind to everyone, although the exact interpretation of these terminologies differ from area to area and religion to religion.

The indigenous religions of India, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism urge their believers to follow the concepts of Dharma and Karma. The difference between Dharma and Karma is that the former refers to one’s duties in this world; whereas Karma means that you will get rewarded for your good deeds in this world and hereafter and there will be punishment for the sins.

It is the Dharma which determines what kind of Karma is going to be your destiny.


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    According to the Hindu mythology, Dharma is one’s duty towards the traditions of his/her community or the family. As long as you are adhering to the status quo, you are completing your Dharma and you will be considered a moral person. However, most people in the modern world interpret Dharma according to their own thinking and approach, not limiting themselves in the horizon of their community. Dharma is a life-long process and you can be relieved of your duties only after your death.

    With different terminologies, this concept is taught by most of the religions. Every person in a society has certain obligations, which needs to be fulfilled; otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to run a smooth society and to avoid a state of anarchy and disorder.

    It is important for everyone to realise his/her duties and to contribute towards the society. Apart from being fair in your dealings, one must fulfil the rights of everyone around him/her, which includes family, friends, colleagues and other people in a society.

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    As per this concept, you will face the outcome of your actions (Dharma) both in this world and after death. Karma is considered to be the result of Dharma, which is the reason why so much emphasis is put on the latter.

    According to the believers, all the actions of a human being, whether good or bad, are recorded by God and you will be highly rewarded if the good actions over weigh the bad actions. Some of the Indian religions, which believe in multiple births of a person, are of the view that higher percentage of good actions will help us raise our level upon our next rebirth.

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