Buddha was sitting with his disciples. One of the disciples asked, "What is _karma_?" Buddha replied, "I shall tell you a story." A king was sitting on an elephant and visiting his kingdom. Suddenly he stopped in front of a shop and said to his minister, "I don't know why, but I want to hang the owner of this shop." The minister was very sad to hear this. But before he could ask the king for a reason, the king had moved on. The next day, the minister arrived at the same shop in the costume of an ordinary citizen to meet the shopkeeper. He just asked the shopkeeper how his business was going. The shopkeeper used to sell sandalwood. He was very sad and said that it was hard to find a customer. People would come to his shop, smell the sandalwood and go. They also appreciate the quality of sandalwood, but they don't buy anything. Now his hope only resides on the fact that the king will soon die. Large quantity of sandalwood will be purchased for his funeral. He was the only sandalwood shopkeeper around, so he was sure that his days would change when the king dies. Now the minister understands why the king stopped in front of this shop and expressed his desire to kill the shopkeeper. Perhaps the waves of the shopkeeper's negative thoughts had the same impact on the king who in return experienced the same negative thoughts within himself towards the shopkeeper. The wise minister thought about this topic for a moment. Then he expressed his desire to buy some sandalwood without revealing his identity and the incident of the previous day. The shopkeeper was very happy. He wrapped the sandalwood well in a paper and gave it to the minister. When the minister returned to the palace, he went directly to the court where the king was sitting and informed that the sandalwood shopkeeper had sent him a gift. The king was surprised. When he opened the bundle, he was very happy to see the golden sandalwood and its fragrance. Pleased, he sent some gold coins to the sandalwood trader. The king was very sad in his heart thinking that he had the unwanted idea of killing the shopkeeper. When the shopkeeper received gold coins from the king, he was also surprised. He began to sing praises to the king who had sent gold coins to save him from the curse of poverty. After some time, he remembers the contaminated thoughts that he had towards the king. He regrets having such negative thoughts for the king for his personal interest. If we keep good and kind thoughts towards other people, those positive thoughts will return to us in favor. But if we nurture bad thoughts, those ideas will return to us in the same form. After telling this story, Buddha asked, "What is _karma_?" Many of the disciples answered, "Our words, our actions, our feelings, our activities." Buddha shook his head and said, "It is your thoughts that make your _karma._"