Swami Chidananda in which he describes the true meaning behind the ancient concept of karma (from his biography, This Monk from India):
If properly understood, the Law of Karma is a law which give infinite hope. It says that a man’s destiny is in his own hands. It says that he shall depend upon himself. He is the one to decide on the pattern of the experience to come.
He is the master of his destiny. He is the architect of his fate. He has nothing to fear in this universe, nothing except his own wrong actions and thoughts. He has to say: ‘Who has the power to give me any experience that I do not choose to select for myself? No one on earth has the power to injure me, to bring sorrow upon me, to inflict destruction or evil upon me!’
Thus man takes infinite courage. He is determined to guide his own life into a future containing bliss and radiance. The Law gives him an inducement to sow the right type of seeds and to fashion all his activity along ideal lines.
It is this Law which upholds the moral standard of this universe. Had it not been for this Law, there would have been no inducement either to avoid evil or to embrace good. Both these lines of action spring out of this glorious Law. Man knows that if he does not avoid evil, he will sow weeds and thorns. He knows that he should do good because he will be the blessed enjoyer of the fruits of those good deeds.
According to this view, the Law of Karma is not a doctrine of fatalism. On the contrary, it is a doctrine of high orderliness, serving as the basis of the moral order in the whole universe, and the attitude instilled into man by this Law is fearlessness.
It fills man with fearlessness and infinite courage and a great urge to be ideal, good and lofty in all his thoughts and activities.