The Inheritance of Karma

Each of us comes into the world as a manifestation of the life of our mother and father. All mothers, whether they know it or not, are reaching into themselves when they have a child and pulling out a chunk of their own life. Each of us has received our life from our parents, and as we have received that life, we also received the resonance of the life they have had, which is received as a resonance of the life their parents had. All of this adds up to a frequency, a vibration that manifests our physical bodies, our intellect, and our emotions.

CC Photo courtesy of Jim Epler on Flickr

All of the attitudes and opinions and things we think we know that we don’t, we receive from our parents. All the limitations that they have experienced intellectually, emotionally, and spatially, become a limitation in our life. This is our karma.

Most of us understand karma to be like cause and effect, sin and retribution. We think of karma as payback for our mistakes. In fact, karma is not like that at all–it is the disappointment of our ancestors that we have inherited. It is their frustrations and, in many cases, their physical traumas, as well as their heartbreaks that live on even today in our life as our attitudes about ourselves and our limitations in our ability to take in information and to express ourselves fully from a deep and fine place.

It’s because of our karma that the functioning of our creative energy is suppressed. We become locked into a pattern of understanding ourself as a separate, disconnected, alienated and not entirely loveable physiological mechanism. We don’t understand what resources are truly available to us as a human being, and our lives become filled with frustration. The practice of yoga is about restoring the full function and range of motion of our creative energy, undoing the limitations our karma imposes.

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2 Responses to The Inheritance of Karma

  1. Seth says:

    It’s very interesting to think of karma as an inheritance more than cause and effect. It’s actually identical to the Norse concept of Hamingja, whereupon children inherit the “luck” of their parent’s and ancestors, including not only vibrations, but also curses, blessings, beings and objects of a spiritual vibration.

  2. trish reilly says:

    Your explaination of karma has helped me greatly. I now have a better understanding of why I’ve gone through so many tragic experiences in my life, and they were not all brought upon by me. Thank you so much Swami Chetananda.

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