As someone who studies Buddhism, the way I understand KARMA it excludes random and chance events, this reality(realm) is exactly as the Buddha described it to be.
Dear Dhamma Follower,
Upajjhatthana Sutta–“Kammassakomhi kammadāyādo kammayoni kammabandhū kammapaṭisaraṇo yaṃ kammaṃ karissāmi kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissāmī”
[Translated: I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir]
From this simple understanding we would conclude that all things that happened are the result of our own khamma. However, there are many areas in the world that are NOT created by our khamma. There are other forces at play.
Many scholars in the commentaries of the Abhidamma conclude from the suttas that Khamma only creates “tendencies and conditions rather than consequences.”
The logical fallacy is that since all volitional action and volitional reception creates khamma, and khamma creates the conditions of our present and future…that all events must be the result of khamma. It is like saying “since a square is a rectangle by definition, then all rectangles must be squares.”
We are like helmsmen on a small ship at sea. Our mindfulness and skillfulness set our direction and make the decisions of how we run our ship, but there is entire ocean that is also working independently of us. We neither understand what happens below the surface nor the invisible forces of the winds around us. We may navigate to safer waters, we may make wise decisions to create better sailing conditions– but we heirs of our decisions in how and where we sail, but we are not the creators of all “events” that happen around us– just the tendencies that those events will occur.
We have only to ask the questions, “If Khamma is the result of volitional action– then if there was total extinction of Buddhist accepted conscious/aware life, would there still be action? Do the stars in other galaxies burn out? Would tornados no longer exist? If the mechanisms of the universe are dependent on consciousness to turn the gears– what happens if the consciousness leaves?” The erroneous answer is that believing that karma is the ultimate creator of all effect, then karma is the ultimate cause of everything. This would be no different than a Christian giving created to all action to God.
Even in Christianity, this concept is no accurate. If you read Kings Chapter 19: 12-13
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. God’s voice was in the whisper”
The universe has so much more going on in it than just khamma. Just as Christians should understand that not everything is “God’s Touch”, not everything is a Khammic punishment or reward. Such a fatalistic doctrine of Karma being the cause of all things is not the Buddhist law of Karma. According to Buddhism, there are five orders or processes (niyama) which operate in the physical and mental realms.
Utu Niyama – physical inorganic order, e.g. seasonal phenomena of winds and rains.
Bija Niyama – order of germs and seeds (physical organic order),
Khamma Niyama – order of act and result,
Dhamma Niyama – order of the qualities that are indivisible and true.
Citta Niyama – order or mind or processes of consciousness.
Khamma is only one process of the universe. Grass will grow, the seasons will pass, dhamma qualities will remain true– regardless of your actions. You may make a volitional action of going to Oklahoma in tornado season, but that only creates the condition to the tendency of you being caught in a tornado– it doesn’t make a tornado cross exist and cross your path.