What is the Chinese word for karma?


Quick Answer

The transliteration of the Sanskrit word "karma" in Chinese is "ye," but a common and more meaningful translation is “yinguobaoying" or "yinguo." "Karma" literally means "action" in Sanskrit and describes cause and effect.

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Full Answer

In Chinese, the word "yin" means "reason" or "cause," while "guo" means "result" or "effect." Both the transliteration and the translation of the word "karma" exist in Chinese because early Buddhists brought the religion to China by directly copying Sanskrit Buddhist writings. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, karma is the concept explaining how people's actions affect their present and future lives. According to these religions, only good actions that result from good intentions can bring people good consequences.

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