I'm a student, and I'm getting weird instant bad thoughts to hurt my mom without any reason coz of my anxiety. they are not delibarete by any means.but I have never hurt her verbally or physically. But this anxious thoughts annoy me a lot coz I love my mom a lot. She is the best. I try my best to avoid them. Does this collect bad karma? Please help me I feel so guilty without any reason as I never want to hurt my dear mom even with a thought. At times I feel like I overthink about it even. She doesn't know that those things exist even.

  • Intrusive thoughts are one of the ways that the mind responds to stress. It's generally a sign that you're ignoring something that needs your attention. It might be helpful to explore if that means anything to you. Too much unwholesome focus on these thoughts can create strange behaviours/karmas. Ruban2020 has offered a great response to this.
    – user17652
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 9:56

4 Answers 4


Random thoughts don't collect much bad karma. Intentional and deliberate thoughts generate karma. Habitual intentional thoughts accumulate karma.

Now, you are feeling remorse because you had those thoughts.

What you should do is acknowledge that those are random thoughts. Acknowledge that you don't have the intention to harm her.

And now you should disassociate from those thoughts using mindfulness. Just watch those thoughts as they appear but understand that they are not related to you or anything. Just watch and acknowledge it, then let it go.

Watch this video talk on YouTube on the scientific research done in this area.

From a canonical perspective, the Lonaphala Sutta explains that a trifling evil act has significant consequences for an undeveloped person but hardly any effect for a developed person.

Your remorse is part of that unintended significant consequence. But if you learn to let go, then you would have developed your mind to detach from such trifling negative thoughts.


The situation regarding your mother

These thoughts you experience come from previous experiences. They are a wind/energy, or lung in Tibetan, flowing through your body channels and chakras and being experienced by your perception.

You are experiencing an energy that has been accumulated in your subtle energy body when you understandably made a judgment about these things when you experienced them. This energy becomes stuck when it is judged and resisted. It cannot self-heal and self-liberate if you constantly feel guilt and you unconsciously/unknowingly don't allow it to leave/heal.

The solution is to allow this energy to heal in your meditation, in a space of stillness, acceptance and surrender. Imagine it is a battery with negative energy, and your goal is to allow it to self-exhaust and self-liberate. You will experience this as pain, but it cannot really hurt you. It is just an experience that will pass after you allow it to.

Allow this anger to heal, allow yourself to feel it. When it comes into contact with the luminosity of presence, it will dissolve in it and become free. Remember you are not purifying these energies, they will self-purify themselves. Your mission is to leave it as it is, don't try to add or change anything, just let it be. It cannot happen with effort, it can happen only spontaneously in a state of non-action. The divine intelligence in you is doing this healing when you surrender all actions, all monitoring and all effort. Don't examine your progress, this looking will obscure your meditation.

As you learn to meditate, these energies will liberate and stop bothering you.

What is bad karma?

Karma means action in Sanskrit. Good karma means good actions and bad karma means bad actions, strictly speaking.

There are 3 gates in which karma is expressed: body, speech and mind. All your karma is expressed through these 3 doors. And they all depend on the mind.

You collect bad karma by doing sins of body, speech and mind.

More esoterically, and harder to explain and understand: you accumulate bad karma when you are in a state of distraction/grasping/ignorance, disconnected from your true, luminous Buddha nature.

You overcome all negative karma when you are in a state of pure meditation and you integrate this into all your activities. They then become activities of Dharmakaya, or pure activities.


Yes, your bad thoughts about your mother obviously collect bad karma. In Buddhism, to actually hurt your parents is the most serious bad kamma. If you have thoughts to hurt your parents then obviously there is a serious problem occurring in your life. The impression is you are blaming your mother for something, for example, such as if your mother is making you feel pressure to achieve as a student.

You should investigate and precisely identify the specific issues causing you to have anxiety and to have bad thoughts about your mother.

It is OK to disagree with the wishes of your mother. If your mother wants you to achieve something but you do no want to achieve this thing or you are not capable of achieving this thing then it is OK to say to your mother you do not want to and cannot fulfil her wish.

You must be clear in your mind about the reasons why you are angry at your mother.

In summary, it is OK to disagree with your mother and it is even OK to be angry at her. But it is not OK to have thoughts about hurting her.

  • 1
    I'm not by any means angry at her. Those thoughts appear without any reason. I love my mom so much that's why it hurts me a lot Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 5:06
  • OK. thank you .. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 5:08
  • 1
    Although the words are not technically incorrect, exercising Prajna when answering a question regarding the suffering of an individual is a wholesome practice. Stating something as obvious is unnecessary when the situation has already been acknowledged by the questioner; especially when the question has not even answered (How do we collect bad karma?).
    – Beau. D
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 11:31
  • 2
    this above comment collects bad karma Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 22:37

Karma can be expressed like the magnetic push or pull that defines the universal law of 'cause and effect'. Karma follows a similar rule as le Chatelier's principle in chemistry and in physics Newton's third law of motion.

Unfortunately when it comes to cause and effect with people, there is always a bigger picture when it comes to a cultivated situation regarding emotions. If an emotion may not be expressed appropriately, a support may incidentally act as a 'lightening rod' to ground the excess emotion. Pillows tend to be the beating bag a lot.

In the case of anger directed towards mum, she sounds like your support. You don't sound like you're even angry at her and she can probably discern you are upset about something and trying to console you - inadvertently by attempting to ground your emotions.

When it comes to hurting her, you know that isn't your intention. Getting to the root of your anger and assessing what is feeding the fire, instead of where the heat is going will solve your issue.

Now, to answer the question about how karma is collected. When we cultivate, define ourselves through our actions, intentions and emotions, every single one has an impact on the next. If they accumulate, we change accordingly. When we change, so does our karma.

So in essence, karma is our cultivation adapting to our circumstances. If we cultivate ill intentions, actions and emotions, we will adopt the appropriate karma and vice versa.

On a practical note, try this meditation to help with managing emotion, or when the need arises, listen to music that gives you goosebumps, it will help release blocked emotion.

Cultivate in harmony

  • The opening paragraph of this answer is obvious both wrong and unrelated to Buddhism. The law of kamma does not define "cause & effect". The law of kamma is merely a subset or one example of the law of cause & effect. This answer is best ignored. It appears to be New Age Foo Foo rather than Buddhism. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 23:16
  • Using the 'scientific' principles of the current age (also a part of most school curriculums) to describe the a relationship of millennia past to a self professed 'student' is exercising Prajna to answer the question - admonishing without reflecting on emotion is not. On another note you are quite correct, Karma is subset, but as it is responsible for the results of cause and effect, then Karma will define (synonyms: illustrate, describe, represent) cause and effect.
    – Beau. D
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 23:57
  • the comments section on this forum is not for extended discussion. i have started a new question here about this matter: buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/43840/… Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 23:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .