- definition: (BG 8.3) "activity pertaining to the development of mat. bodies"
karmabhih praninam loke sarva cesta pravartakah: Karma is the cause of all activities among the living beings of this world. (Vayu Purana 21.42)
- categories: aprarabdham-phalam-papam kutam-bijam-phalonmukham (Padma Purana, quoted in BG 9.2p.)
- child's: from 14 years (Mahabharata Adi Parva 108, Madhvacarya quoted in SB 11.21.16 p.)
- conditional (by sakti, buddhi, samrddhi, desa, avastha): SB 11.21.11
- devotee's: changed by Krsna - "Krsna-karma": (SB 2.7.42, 3.28.38, 10.87.40, CC Antya 6.193p., Brhad-bhagavatamrta 2.4.85-86) Vedanta-sutra 4.1.15: only anarabdha-karma burned by vidya. According to Baladeva Vidyabhusana's commentary to Vedanta-sutra 3.4.16, at diksa the HK mahamantra burns all karma (BG 4.37 - sarva karmani) but the gross body - being the prarabdha karma - Krsna preserves for preaching. Spiritual body is attained immediately after initiation (740817SB.VRN)
- devotees vs. nondevotees: (SB 8.9.28) "The place, the time, the cause, the purpose, the activity and the ambition were all the same for both the demigods and the demons, but the demigods achieved one result and the demons another. Because the demigods are always under the shelter of the dust of the Lord's lotus feet, they could very easily drink the nectar and get its result. The demons, however, not having sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, were unable to achieve the result they desired."
- disciple's taken by guru: (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 1.77)
rajni camatyaja dosah
tatha sisyarjitam papam
guruh prapnoti niscitam
"Just as a king accepts the faults of his minister and a husband the sins of his wife, similarly a spiritual master receives the sins of his disciples."
- Earth, created only on: (Visnu Purana 2.3.2)
karmabhumir iyam svargam apavargam ca gacchatam
- vs. free will (svecchA, svacchanda): Lord is so great that He knows our future decisions and incorporates them into His plan. So when we act sinfully we have to get reactions because we misused our free will - not that He forced us.
- hereditary: Manu 4.173
- in Kali-yuga not for sins in mind: SB 1.18.7
- references: BG 2.51-52, 4.11-24, 6.41-47, 8.3, 14.18; SB 1.13.46, 4.11.20, 4.24.43, 5.5.5, 5.11.6, 6.1.4,45, 10.13.53, 10.14.8... without end
- transfer: according to Garuda Purana 1.115.6 any personal contact involves transfer of karma to some degree. Therefore the rules of social contact are very prominent in the Vedic culture. "Sin (karma) spreads from a man to man slowly by conversation, mutual touch, frequent association, taking food together, sitting together, lying together and traveling together."
- transfer through food:
Srila Prabhupada taught us in India that different types of foodstuff transferred different degrees of karma from the donor to the consumer. This is for food given in charity by someone to a devotee.
From least dangerous to most dangerous the list is: water, whole uncut fruit, cut fruit, fried food (in ghee presumably, pakka), boiled grains like rice (katcha).
If you buy food then you don't get the seller's karma, only the karma of whatever the food might contain. You do get the cook's vibration and mentality if it is cooked food.
Non-cooked foods can be accepted from anyone at any time, if they are pure (not animal product and so on.)
If uninitiated devotee were to cook something and offer it properly it could be accepted by initiated devotees if he were to invite them to his house. After all, we used to go to people's houses in India with Srila Prabhupada and accept their offerings. However, this is not the best thing for initiated devotees. The best thing is to only accept foods cooked in the temple by initiated devotees and offered to the Deities. But if one is traveling and preaching and does a program in someone's house then it is natural to accept something from them if they are on the same standard as a regular devotee, namely chanting and following the four regulative principles.
I do remember from India getting extremely sick from eating outside and Prabhupada confirmed that it came from eating and therefore I have warned all my disciples that it is not good to eat outside, even in India, although for preaching we might make exceptions, but still there will be reactions. People like to feed sadhus because the sadhus come to their house and eat their sins. Prabhupada was merciful and didn't mind eating other's sins because he wanted to save them, but other devotees, who are not so powerful, will get sick by such eating.
- "vicarious atonement": (Vedanta-sutra 4.1.17, Manu 6.79) in case of special nirapeksas, their good/bad karma is divided to their friends/enemies and they leave the body immediately after attaining Vidya