Karma is a term that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. The effects of all deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one`s own life, and the pain in others. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one`s present life and all past and future lives as well.
Karma literally means action. We first take an intent and follow it up with action in the form of thought, speaking to others, planning and execution. According to the Theory of Karma - every action taken to achieve a result or profit (fruit of action) leaves a trace or a karmic residue behind it. It is this residue that keeps accumulating and takes away ones well being and freedom. Only a person who acts to produce results without worrying about profit (Nishkama Karma) does not accumulate such a Karmic residue.
The "Law of Karma" is central in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Law of Karma is present in Christian tradition, for instance Essenian thought, as "the Law of Cause and Consequence/Effect". However, this western esoteric tradition adds that the essence of the teachings of Christ is that the law of sin and death may be overcome by love, which will restore immortality.