Have you ever experienced a moment of pure joy followed by sheer bad luck? Did you go on a short trip of fulfillment that immediately follows loneliness? Have you ever thought to your own self: ‘I am the luckiest on Earth’ followed by the ‘Why on Earth does it always happen to me’? Well, you are not alone. It happens to EVERYONE. Simply because life is a karmic cycle. Yes, in life, the law of karma works in a cycle.
Before we head on to understand the karmic cycle in detail. Let us first know –
What is Karma?
Similar to the law of cause and effect, karma is precisely explained as ‘you sow what you reap’. Nothing in life is a coincidence, it is the combined effect of your deeds in this or past lifetimes.
The word karma originated from the Sanskrit language and explicitly means ‘action’. In Hindu mythology, it has an extremely deep-seated history. However, with time it gained momentum in Jainism, Buddhism and several other religions.
Often, the word ‘karma’ is used as a means to scare a lot of people. With phrases like ‘May karma never find you’ or ‘Karma will take care of you,’ people are compelled to believe that they are being punished by the universe. That sooner or later, they will face the “wrath of Karma”. The reality is far from this unfitting belief.
Karma is neither wrath nor punishment, it is neither a moment of death nor a minute of pleasure. It just is. Like every other natural elements in the universe. It explains how every energy you put out, comes around, either instantly or lifetimes later.
Thus, the real question is what do you want from your life? If you want to experience joy, you must sow seeds of happiness. Because the seeds of melancholy will grow sorrow for you to reap!
The Buddhist Understanding of Karma
In Buddhism, a life led with ego is Karma. They say the desire to experience the moment of pleasures again and again for ego gratification in the future is called karmic life.
Karma is also referred to as Karmaphala in Buddhism. They believe that deeds done with intention define the rebirth of an individual. The actions done with ego keep you stuck in the karmic cycle whereas the Buddhist path shows you the way out.
When you experience a pleasurable moment, the joy doesn’t end there. It keeps on feeding on your memory fuelling the desire to experience more. With time, these emotion-soaked memories become the seed for ego gratification and determine your future course of action leading to more experiences and more memories. This way, the individual is stuck in the karmic cycle.
Long story short, in Buddhist understanding, the more ego there is in an individual’s life, the more karma there will be.
Now that you have understood the basis of karma… let us quickly head on to the heart of the matter –
What is a Karmic Cycle?
In the language of Karma, every positive deed is merit and every negative deed is a sin. In your earthly birth, you are constantly settling scores and simultaneously creating new ones that are settled in subsequent lives. This loop of Karma is referred to as the Karmic Cycle.
We are all aware of the concept of destiny which is determined by our karmas or deeds in the past births. The law of karma states every action, positive or negative will have an equal reaction on your own self. Now, all your forward-looking actions are recorded as merits and the ones with negative intent are recorded as sins in your karma record book.
Both of these actions must be repaid in your human life by enduring happiness or happiness. If you fail to settle scores in this life, the debt is carried to your next life. The failure of non-repayment is because in your day-to-day activities you also create new accounts alongside settling old ones. Thus, you are entangled so deep in this loop of karma, that you fail to realize the karmic patterns.
All souls have a past, present and future life!
Every soul survives various cycles of karma depending on the accounts that are yet to settle. It continues to reincarnate into different physical bodies until it learns all the spiritual lessons to grow beyond this materialistic world. Thus, every human being that you see has had a past in a different body and is most likely to have a future in a different body (irrespective of colour, creed, race or religion).
Every soul is different
Just like human beings every soul is different. Some have had difficult pasts, while some were extremely careless. Some have been struggling for a long time, while the others are just beginners. This is the reason why some souls are more advanced and wiser than others. They have been stuck in this cycle of rebirths longer than the others.
Karmic cycles are not just limited to lifetimes
A lot of people in the world believe that Karmic cycles operate from lifetime-to-lifetime. However, this is not reality. If you zoom in, you will observe there are many karmic patterns that repeat itself in a year’s time. In fact, not a year, in just a day in a gap of a few minutes. Yes, a karmic cycle takes force every 40 minutes, offering you an opportunity to break it multiple times during the day.
Different Types of Karmic Cycles
Karma is said to operate in a cycle all along our lives. It usually has a time span of 12 years and can be divided pertaining to our age. Let’s read about them individually.
1. Childhood Cycle: 0 – 12 years
At this stage of karmic life, the human form of the soul is completely unaware of its past deeds. The designed experiences in this lifetime form their character. Children are called “wet clay” because they can be remolded in any form depending on the situations and people they are exposed to.
In childhood karmic patterns, the individual will consciously create situations that will help them evolve on the spiritual journey. They can attach with their past lives at any stage of the life span, but childhood is the most vulnerable of all considering how the traces of past life issues are so strong at this stage.
2. Youth Cycle: 13 – 24 years
Youth is the most critical phase as now the being enters into the ‘life’ entirely. They are trying to establish reasoning in this life alongside learning higher life-choices like earning money etc. Karmically, the age at which the individual is regarded as an adult is 24 (regardless of its maturity or personality).
This is the time when most of the signs from the past life begin to show up and you start to repay your debts significantly. For instance, if a person is emotionally very strong, he or she will experience unrest in their thoughts. An individual “picks up from here” from its past lifetime!
3. Adult Creation: 25 – 36 years
It is believed that their karmic pattern is done forming, As soon as the individual enters the adult cycle. Now their individual karma is all “set” and the life karmic matrix is prepared. All the mental, emotional or physical health challenges that are aligned for the individual from the past life, start to manifest itself.
A physical health problem that is traceable from the past life will not be cured easily. Similar psyche like emotional distress, financial lack or even difficult relationships are all resonances from past lives wanting to be healed.
4. Adult Expansion: 37 – 48 years
Karmic pattern takes force at this stage. The karmic life tests are pushed to the highest complexity level. This is mainly because either the person is resisting the learnings that these tests need to teach or still hasn’t entirely acquired it.
Thus, if you are successful in overcoming the past life issues before the adult expansion stage, deeper issues that are yet to settle the scores will start to show up. However, if you are unsuccessful, the present symptoms of the issues will start to intensify. Whether it’s about physical suffering or emotional agony – all the evidence tends to deepen by repetition.
5. Adult Contraction: 49 – 60 years
The karmic cycle’s strength starts to decline, here on. Karmically, this phase is the weakest of all. Individuals have either solved the issues or delayed them for the next lifetime. However, if not, this is the best time to solve or settle all the karmic scores since the force is the minimum.
The symptoms can be weak but don’t entirely vanish. This means if one fails to solve the issues, further advancement takes place in less force. Post this phase, the entire adult cycle (i.e. creation-expansion-contraction) resurfaces itself for the stated timeline (12 years) until the final call (death).
The only motive with which Karma operates is to show us that the answer to every question is LOVE. Love in the language of karma means service. Thus, the souls who comprehend their karmic cycles and take responsibility for their lives can establish a co-workmanship with God.
What is a Karmic Relationship?
Relationships that are temporary in nature and manifest themselves only to teach you certain karmic lessons of life are called karmic relationships.
Karmic relationships are also developed with people who were connected to us in our past lives. But, it is a lot different than twin flame or soulmate relationships. Karmic relationships help you advance on the spiritual path by various means.
10 Signs to Determine That You Are in a Karmic Relationship
Every individual experiences at least one karmic relationship in their lifetime, irrespective of age or stage in the life cycle. Here are some signs that will help you reckon if you are in a karmic relationship.
1. You are on-and-off.
Karmic relationships tend to repeat patterns. If you notice that all your relationships are ending with the same problems – it is a major sign that it’s a karmic one. The only way to push them in the past is to LET THEM GO.
2. Your partner doesn’t think about you.
Yes, the partners manifested in a karmic relationship are selfish. They are in it for themselves and will always consider self as a priority. Thus, if your partner fails to respect the healthy boundaries, you know it’s a sign.
3. You feel you have known them from before
When you cross paths with your Karmic partners, you feel a strange kind of attraction. It’s different, something never-felt-before.
4. The addiction is real
Have you ever been told ‘You are not in love; you are in love with the idea of love’? Well, that’s the case with Karmic relationships. The physical characteristics or personality aspects are more appealing to your partner rather than soulful traits.
5. Your partner OWNS you
Not literally, but behaviourally. It’s no more a partnership, it’s a proprietorship. You fail to identify the domination because they tend to become your ONLY source of happiness.
6. You think you were meant-to-be
That’s the most heart-breaking thing of a karmic relationship. Even though they are in your life for a specified period of time, it feels like they were destined. You are naturally drawn towards them until you finally learn the karmic lesson and settle the score with karma.
7. You feel dependant
Your mental structure is trapped with just one thought. The relationship makes you feel cramped but you still don’t want to resist it. If all your happiness is dependent on that one person, it’s a major red flag.
8. It is temporary
As mentioned above, karmic relationships don’t last. Irrespective of how much love, and hope you have invested, they do not have a fairy tale ending. They are here for a purpose and will vanish once it is served.
9. You see a different side of you
Which is not-so-pleasant! They bring out your worst fears and reveal your dark side. You are introduced to the characteristics you were previously unaware of and most of these are vulnerable and self-destructive.
10. The learnings are significant
Karmic relationships appear in your life for a reason. Thus, the end result is bound to be influential. It might be painful but plays a significant role in your spiritual journey. Most of the time, by the end of this relationship you will learn how to love and focus on your own self.
How to Uncover Karmic Relationship Patterns?
Now that you recognize your karmic partner, here’s a 5-step guide for you to uncover karmic relationship patterns so that you can make your soul-learning worthwhile.
Step 1: There’s a karmic theme. Identify it.
Your life has a theme that plays out right from the beginning, this is known as a karmic theme. If there’s a certain way you have always felt around some people, then write it down. Write a minimum of 5 experiences that keep repeating itself in your life. The more aware you are, the easier it will be for you to uncover your relationship pattern.
Step 2: Write down all relationship patterns
If you think this is stupid, you will be surprised with the kind of results it can generate. Just pull out a paper and write all that your heart has ever been put through all this while. Unappreciated. Lost. Unloved. Used. Misunderstood. Anything-and-everything. Remember you don’t feel too much, you feel just as much you are destined to.
Step 3: Reckon what’s stopping you
Every individual resists learning, however most kinds of people fail to decipher the reasons. The easiest way to do that is to identify the phase of your relationship where you start blaming others or even yourself for that matter. Write down these reasons on the same paper and then move ahead.
Step 4: Change your perspective
Everything depends on your perspective. Stop looking at one person like they are a culprit, instead perceive them as your teachers. Teachers of your soul. Now, reckon the karmic lessons that they have taught you all through this relationship and write them down on the paper.
Step 5: Analyse the list (from the soul!)
Now, take a moment to review closely all that you have written. You are looking at all your karmic patterns, themes, and karmic lessons. Imagine the changes it is likely to bring in your soul when integrated. Believe that your journey with your karmic partner is going to be a karmic lesson for a lifetime.
How to Break a Karmic Cycle?
Everything said and done, the BIG question still remains unanswered: How to break the cycle? Well, it’s only possible if you approach the spiritual process. There are several ways to do it depending on the kind of nourishment you seek. Let’s explore.
1. Keep doing the right things for several lifetimes.
Yes, and slowly you will get there. This way is for people who enjoy worldly pleasures and do not wish to achieve enlightenment.
2. Remain in your present circumstances
People who don’t believe in the power of the spiritual process follow this way. They believe in doing what they can, be focused and see it happening at the last moment of their lives.
3. Team up with people you DON’T like
Yes, you heard it right. This is the most effective of all and generates fast-forward results. If you want to break your limitations and achieve spiritual understanding, then you need to forget about society and their viewpoints.
Here’s an example that will simplify things for you: Every individual marries the other because they like the kind of person they are. So, suppose that you are married. Now a few weeks later, you gradually evolve and change to a different person.
Irrespective of the kind, your husband wouldn’t recognize you. And if he does and accepts the change, then the relationship has to transform, it cannot be of husband-and-wife. In the process, the crux will be lost or broken which is certainly not easy to acknowledge.
But it works. Once you start to spend time with people you don’t like and learn to spend it joyfully – the cycle will break.
4. Watch your choices
Choices have distinctive power which is often underplayed. However, great spiritual leaders have agreed that if you step back and rethink your choices, a lot of things will function differently. With every choice you make ask yourself two questions:
- What will be the consequences after implementing this choice?
- Will it bring happiness and positivity to me and those around me?
If the answers are convincing, if they promise to bring nourishment, then go ahead. But if it’s not. STOP and re-think.
How will you understand whether or not it’s the right choice? Ask your heart. Yes, no matter the situation, the heart always knows the answer.
5. Choose a different thought
All the laws of the universe work in tandem with each other. So, like the law of attraction says: you attract what you focus on. Thus, if you constantly think about the negatives the karmic cycle is putting you through, you will never be able to walk out of it. Instead, raise your emotional set-point, shift your perspective and make a conscious decision to choose a different thought.
For all the times when you feel “you are not good enough” don’t succumb to it. Stand up and find evidence that will make you believe that you have more than most people around the world.
6. Do good
Remember the law of compensation: you need to give to get! So, take your attempt to break the cycle a step beyond and find ways to share your wealth (financial or non-financial).
Everything counts – even an added small box of fruits for your friends or a pair of used shirts for the needy. Believe that your donation is for the good and do it again tomorrow.
Out of these, there are a few that are more difficult than others. Choose the one which suits you the best but practice some kind of nourishment so that you can crawl out of this cycle. The only thing that’s blocking you to start right away is YOU, yourself. Otherwise, There’s no other power in the world that can do it.
When Is The Time?
If you have been asking yourself “Am I ready?” – It’s time.
When you feel unrest from within and there are several questions popping in your head like, “When will I be able to pay all my bills? Pay all my debts? Feel good enough?” find the love of my life? Be the most beautiful in my squad. It’s time to (re)start!
Remember, Everything Starts With You!
The first step to beginning any spiritual journey is to learn how to love your own self. You must accept yourself with all the flaws and then only you will be able to establish a connection with the divine.
You Can Do It!
If you have reached here, you already know you CAN break the cycle, ONLY if you want to. In fact, just the consciousness to try has already set you apart from so many others. Many believe that the realization is a sign that you have reached the final stage of karmic release.
The light and grace are already knocking at your door – open it to become a masterpiece of all times!
Karma is powerful but so are you!
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favourite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.