By following the Dharma, one generates good karma.
When we refer to these terms, we come to think about how energy works — positive and negative, yin and yang, kusala and akusala (skilful/wholesome and unskilful/unwholesome) karma.
For easy understanding, karma is quite similar to energy and we should always strive for the skilful and wholesome in order to stay on the right path of Dharma.
The Buddha says, “You yourselves ought to do what ought to be done.”
Morally good or bad actions are neither rewarded nor punished – they have their own consequences according to the principle of moral causation.
In the Samyutta Nikaya, The Buddha said, “As you sow the seed so shall you reap the fruit.”
So, what is considered skilful, wholesome and good?
To begin with, it should always be in accordance with the basic principles of ‘karmically advantageous’ or ‘profitable’, morally good, blameless, greedless, hateless and non-confusion, non-ignorance or non-delusion.
One may also consider observing the moral teachings, such as the five precepts (abstinence from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and consuming intoxicants), which are not commandments but rather as guidelines for moral actions.
By observing skilful actions, wholesome and good thoughts and deeds, one will eventually find peace and happiness.
By practicing the Dharma, one will eventually become free from ‘karmically disadvantageous’ or ‘unprofitable’, morally corrupt, blameful, greedful, hateful and confusion, ignorance or delusion.
We need to continuously be aware and introspect, to ask ourselves and examine what our actions and intentions are.
By observing the five precepts, we naturally begin to avoid actions and even thoughts that are ‘karmically disadvantageous’ or ‘unprofitable’, morally corrupt, blameful, greedful, hateful and confusion, ignorance or delusion.
The opposite meaning of Dharma is Adharma.
Sometimes, irresponsible parties may try to confuse us with their religious teachings that are Adharmic in nature, that goes against the five precepts and so on.
Adharmic teachings are karmically negative for one’s well being and those around them.
In the Parabhava (Downfall) Sutta, the Buddha said, “Easily known is the progressive one, easily known he who declines. He who loves Dhamma progresses; he who is averse to it, declines.”
Many of the problems in this world such as conflicts and wars, politics, crime and terrorism have it’s roots in Adharmic teachings, views and actions.
Ultimately, if we wish to live a free, happy and peaceful life, we need to start living in accordance with the Dharma by observing the key principles and guidelines as mentioned above.
In Dhammapada 207, The Buddha said, “Indeed, he who moves in the company of fools grieves for longing. Association with fools is ever painful, like partnership with an enemy. But association with the wise is happy, like meeting one’s own kinsmen.”