The Hindus learned about karma from two primary sources. The first was the handed down knowledge of the Vedas. This was given to them by sky beings (Brahmas, Nagas, Yakkhas, Asura, and Akasa Devas or "space deities" who keep what Edgar Cayce in a New Age Christian context called the "Akashic Records"). The second was by direct seeing of rishis (seers). These psychics had the ability to see. But they were subject to bias.
The Buddha warned that without perfect development of one dibbu-cakkhu (divine eye), a seer was likely to misunderstand what had been seen. For instance, if one perceived a very bad person passing away and going to a fortunate rebirth destination, the seer was likely to say that either
- There is no result of karma or
- Bad actions yield good results or
- One's destiny after death is haphazard.
It is the fault and failure of the seer. The error is to extrapolate too broadly from too few cases. The first view is particularly harmful. As a fixed wrong view (miccha-ditthi), it results in a great deal of suffering. The other views have the tendency to mislead beings but are slightly less harmful.
The present seer should therefore be understood on the terms of what is said as it is perceived and understood. What is directly seen is nevertheless focused through the prism of one's understanding. And that is where distortions and interpretations come in. Information can still be useful. It takes a sammasambuddha (a fully-awakened one) to make sense of karma.
The views of this seer are presented only to arouse discussion. Many Westerners may hold the first wrong-view -- that of not believing that there is any result of karma whatsoever. It would be better to mistakenly think that this will lead to that instead of believing that there is no result at all.
The topic of karma is very complex. However, it is explained in modern English in accord with the Buddha's teaching by Pa Auk Sayadaw in The Workings of Kamma. Available for free download at: