Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are the three world religions which accept the theory of karma and reincarnation. According to this theory, the principle, ‘As you sow, so you reap’ can be applied to the field of our actions, both physical and psychical.
‘Karma’ is the unseen effect of an action which will become manifest in course of time under favourable circumstances. This karma is of three types: sañcita (‘the accumulated’) or anārabdha (‘not begun’), ārabdha or prārabdha (‘the begun’) and kriyamāṇa (‘being done now’) or āgāmī (‘[giving fruit] in future’).
The entire mass of karma which has accumulated over several births, which is yet to fructify, is ‘anārabdha.’ It is from this stock of karma, that a part gets ripened and causes the present birth.
Hindu philosophical and religious works declare that ātmajñāna (self-realization) can destroy this mass of anārabdhakarma, thus preventing future transmigrations.
The word is also used in its literal sense of anything that is not begun or undertaken.