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(Sanskrit: "fruit"), in Indian philosophy, the fruit or consequence of a particular action (karma). The almost universally held conviction among Indian philosophers that this life is but one in a chain of lives and that social class and personal character are the result of deeds in a previous life underlies the significance of both phala and karma. The moral energy of man's past deeds is conserved and automatically fructifies in the circumstances of a future life. See also karma.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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