The Great Chasm That Separates a Karmic Life from a Dharmic One

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There are an infinite number of philosophies about life. Because people are exposed to such a wide variety of belief systems, religions, dogmas, cultures, and other social and institutional variables, they each have a distinctive perspective on life and a personal path they follow through it.

Despite the fact that everyone is unique, there are attempts to attach labels or classifications that make it possible to identify broad states of mind or phases of life and make it simpler to discuss them. The phrases “karmic” and “dharmic,” which come from Sanskrit and refer to beliefs prevalent in various Indian areas, are two common labels of this kind.

Never in my life would I coerce somebody into choosing a label that sums up their worldview against their will. Labels may be an easier method to bridge the gap between people, especially if you are searching for a chance to explain the way you think and the path your life has taken.

These categories may also assist you in determining what you want to get out of life and whether or not the connections you already have are healthy. Let’s investigate the meanings of “karmic” and “dharmic,” as well as the ways in which these philosophies might serve to direct your life.

What Does it Mean to be Karmic?

Karma is a word that has been heard of by a far larger number of individuals in the West than the word “dharma.” You may have overheard individuals advise others not to engage in a certain behavior because it is “bad karma” or because it would be paid back at a later time.

Understanding the karmic system provides a reduced barrier to entry for those just starting out as a result of how widespread its usage is.

In Hinduism, “karma” may be translated literally as “activity.” The term “karmic” refers to the acts you do on a daily basis throughout your life. It is based on a moral code of good and evil deeds, and each individual adds to their karma with every action they do.

Your good karma may be increased by doing something as simple as holding the door open for someone else or picking up anything that was dropped by another person.

Because karma evaluates each minute of your life based on the distinct units of each action you take in that minute, it is easy to get fixated on the little details of your life without understanding how those details fit into the bigger picture of your existence.

On the other hand, if you want your future life to be far superior to the one you are living now, you should try to amass as much good karma as you possibly can. Hindus believe that if a person has accumulated an excessive amount of negative karma, in their future existence they will fall one rung farther down the ladder of life.

Karma may be understood in a variety of ways, much like the meanings of other religious notions. One common interpretation of karma is to see it as an assurance that everything you do in life will be repaid to you in kind at some point in the future.

It is a method of comprehending that the cosmos has always maintained a state of perfect equilibrium. Every act of self-sacrifice will be rewarded in some way, but every error or transgression will be made up for in the form of a setback, either in this life or the next.

What Exactly Does it Mean to be Dharmic?

As a result of the lack of famous sayings in Western culture that make use of the term “dharma,” there aren’t very many individuals who are familiar with the concept. Once you have a solid grasp of it, dharma is really a notion that is rather familiar to you, despite the fact that at first it could seem strange.

When compared to “karma,” the word “dharma” has a far broader meaning. The word “dharmic” refers to the obligation or purpose that you have for your life, which varies for each person and is often based on your social status and the circumstances of your life.

Although dharma is undeniably a driving force behind the organization of Indian society and culture, it is not all that unlike ideas that have their roots in other religious and philosophical traditions.

Many religions, including Christianity, hold the belief that a person’s physical life on Earth is neither the beginning nor the end of the journey that a soul takes, but rather merely a stage at which individuals are put to the test and given the chance to choose whether they will behave morally or immorally.

They believe that their actions here on Earth have a direct impact on where they’ll spend eternity after death, and they view it as their life’s mission to fulfill their highest purpose. This idea is very similar to the Indian concepts of karma and dharma, which can be translated as “action has consequence.”

However, there are drawbacks associated with concentrating one’s attention only on dharma. It might be difficult for many people in India who are interested in living a dharmic life to discern whether or not it is sufficient to fulfill dharma to adhere faithfully to the traditions of your social class and your culture.

Some people think that in order to realize one’s ultimate life purpose, one must first engage in activities that lead them outside the boundaries of their local community. As can be seen, the dharmic system places a considerably greater emphasis on the whole of a person’s life as opposed to the karmic system’s concentration on day-to-day acts.

How do the Concepts of Karma and Dharma Relate to One Another?

Both karma and dharma are essential components of Hinduism, despite the fact that they seem to be on different extremes of the spectrum. In its most basic form, karma refers to the activities you do on a daily basis in order to fulfill your dharma, which may be thought of as your overarching goal in life.

There is no need for every action you take in regard to karma to have a direct connection to your dharma. However, the goal here is to ensure that you amass the greatest amount of good karma possible so that you may escape the reincarnation cycle and/or reach enlightenment.

The challenging thing is that karma and dharma are so intricately connected to one another that your karma has a direct bearing on your dharma.

There is no one technique to determine your dharma, and what may be considered positive karma for one person may be considered negative karma for another.

For instance, if your dharma is to defend your country in a war and you make the decision to join the military, you will be in a position to accumulate positive karma. It would be deemed poor karma, despite the fact that the decision to become a soldier was otherwise admirable, if your dharma was to become a teacher rather than a soldier.

As you would expect, many adherents to the karmic and dharmic belief systems find this enormous degree of unpredictability quite distressing.

The principles of karma and dharma, on the other hand, are more than merely guidelines for how one should go about living their life. Both “karmic” and “dharmic” are words that refer to the decisions you make about your way of life as well as the manner in which you interact with the people around you.

What Exactly Does it Mean to Live a Life that is Determined by Karma?

Every single thing that we do earns us a point in the karmic system, regardless of whether it’s a good or a bad point. This is because the karmic system concentrates on the minute elements of our day-to-day lives, as we have previously described.

This is the philosophy that underpins living a karmic existence: everything in your life is extremely focused on the actions you take with the intention of receiving something in return for those actions. The actions you take constitute a contract, and you have certain expectations about the results of those actions.

To put it another way, a karmic existence tends to be highly practical. You want to improve your compensation, so you perform well at work.

You treat your neighbors with courtesy in the hopes that they will look out for you in the event of an unexpected event or challenging circumstance.

You are careful while driving your vehicle so that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of paying fines or having points added to your license.

To put it another way, the karmic system does not take into account the things you want. What you desire out of life is not as important as figuring out how to complete the mission that God has given you for your life. This is because being a good person is not as important as accomplishing your life’s mission.

Because amassing positive karma points is the eventual aim, you don’t always do things just because you believe they are the right thing to do.

It’s possible that there are some who believe that purpose is irrelevant. The philosophers known as utilitarians consider everything to be a tool or a means to an end.

Therefore, the motive that was behind their usage is not as important as the achievement of a beneficial consequence.

For many individuals, leading a karmic life is something that comes easily and naturally, but adopting a dharmic perspective might be seen as preposterous and challenging.

What Does a Life Guided by Dharma Look Like?

Dharmic lives are those that approach life with the intention of seeing the bigger picture, as opposed to karmic lives, which base themselves on contracts and expectations.

One becomes less connected to the minute aspects and activities of daily life since everything is done with an overarching perspective of life and the universe in mind. This is in contrast to those who place their emphasis on leading a karmic life.

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In other words, the activities that are taken are not taken for the sake of the immediate consequence that they will accomplish.

Those whose lives are guided by dharma would never do a kind act for a neighbor and then immediately turn around and beg for a favor in return.

They do not smile at other people in the hopes that they will be treated better, nor do they assist other people in finding solutions to their issues in the hope that they will benefit in some way from doing so.

Love, honesty, and virtuous behavior are the foundations of Dharmic life. Because they are founded on love and truth, activities are carried out for the simple reason that these are the actions that ought to be carried out.

People who live according to the Dharma construct their lives around practicing virtue, regardless of what that may entail, and they do it without expecting anything in return.

In general, those who live a dharmic life are idealists because they are focused on the bigger picture and on achieving their life’s purpose rather than on satisfying their day-to-day material demands and desires.

Consider the hierarchical organization of Indian society for a concrete illustration of this point. Indians are humans just like everyone else, which means that each one of them has their own personality, set of goals, and aspirations.

Whenever it comes to conducting their lives in accordance with what they are taught, however, the day-to-day wants and aspirations of many people are irrelevant. Indians who commit to leading a dharmic lifestyle see the fulfillment of their life’s purpose as the most essential goal, and they put forth a lot of effort to ensure that this objective is met.

This is true regardless of anything else they may desire.

For traditionalists, this means maintaining their current social class, carrying out all of the responsibilities and meeting all of the expectations that come with being a member of that class, and not deviating from the norms that their parents have established for them in terms of social groups and romantic relationships.

To put it another way, leading a dharmic life means leading the most virtuous life possible within the context of the station that the gods have bestowed upon you.

What Is the Main Distinction Between a Karmic Relationship and a Dharmic Relationship?

It should come as no surprise that the karmic and dharmic theories may be applied to interpersonal connections at this point.

It is easier to see how individuals who practice karmic as a kind of utilitarianism and dharmic as an idealist approach to life interact within their families, social connections, and romantic relationships if one considers karmic as a form of utilitarianism.

For instance, karmic partnerships include two parties who are contractually obligated to assist one another. Someone could say something along the lines of “I’ll love you if you love me back.”

One person will only give of themselves if the other person is also giving, and one person will withdraw from the relationship if they are not getting what they want in return.

People are able to be reduced to instruments and used just for what they have to provide because of the contractual connection that exists between expectations and one another. It is possible to simplify relationships to things like sexual encounters, money, or other items that are both helpful and satisfying.

Although establishing these partnerships may seem voluntary, it is typically the result of a powerful unconscious pull towards the other person rather than necessarily a deliberate and purposeful choice to engage in a healthy and excellent relationship for the purpose of our lives.

On the other side, dharmic partnerships include two individuals who can function very well without one another.

There is no other reason for two people to be together other than the fact that they love and respect each other and want to go through life side by side.

Contracts, ultimatums, and expectations have no place in this partnership in any capacity. The advantages of consensual experiences, such as sexual encounters, the sharing of wealth, and other interesting activities, are enjoyed in these partnerships, but participation in such activities is neither required nor anticipated.

In general, the objective is for both couples to attain their utmost potential and fulfill the ultimate purpose of their lives together.

Dharmic partnerships are very uncommon due to the fact that both parties involved need to have reached a greater degree of emotional and spiritual development as well as a deeper grasp of who they are at their core.

no longer serves as a vehicle for the emotional well-being of any party involved in the relationship. They have evolved beyond that stage and are now searching for enlightenment in their lives.

Are People Who Believe in Karma Destined to Have Failed Relationships?

Even if there is a large divide between a karmic life or relationship and a dharmic one, there is still hope. It is not impossible to transform a negative karmic connection into a positive dharmic one.

Because their souls and emotional maturity are not fully developed at that point in their lives, early partnerships tend to be karmic for many individuals.

People who are still living with a contractual mentality often have not yet found what it is that they genuinely need to live a life that is meaningful since they are still at an early stage in the journey of life.

As individuals go through life, they are more likely to start looking for dharmic relationships, which are those in which the partnership is founded on the life’s aim rather than expectations for each other. This kind of relationship is becoming more common.

Having said that, it is quite possible for a karmic connection that began earlier in one’s life’s journey to evolve into a dharmic partnership.

People are capable of developing and changing alongside one another, and if their connection is strong enough, they may eventually mature into two individuals who coexist harmoniously throughout their lives.

At the same time, it is essential to have a healthy awareness of oneself as well as a thorough consciousness of the circumstances.

If you feel that you are advancing on the road of life but your spouse is not yet interested in emotionally and spiritually evolving, it is possible that being together is not in either of your best interests.

Combining karmic and dharmic practices in one’s life is likely to lead to conflict and discord in a romantic partnership.

Imagine that two people are in a relationship where one believes that the other owes them anything in exchange for their acts, while the other believes that they do not owe the first person anything.

In such a scenario, the romantic connection will almost certainly become poisonous, and both parties will have the experience of being misunderstood and unwanted.

At the same time, it may be irritating for both parties involved if one person is making efforts to better themselves, developing, and changing, while the other person seems to remain mired in the same position.

It’s possible that one spouse may feel as if the person they formerly loved has changed significantly while they’ve been together.

It’s possible that the other person believes that their spouse is no longer able to comprehend them or meet their psychological and spiritual requirements.

No matter what stage of life one is in, communication and honesty are the two factors that matter most in regards to romantic partnerships.

If both parties have an open dialogue about their psychological and spiritual requirements, then they will consistently have the same understanding of the situation.

They are able to keep in regular contact with one another to find out where the other person is in the course of their life’s journey and to immediately address any problems rather than letting them fester.

Two people who are now living karmic lives may be able to assist one another in making the transition into dharmic ones.

Where Can I Find Instruction on How to Live a Dharmic Life?

If you are presently living with a karmic perspective, the route towards a dharmic existence will be challenging for you, but it is not impossible.

The first thing you should do is go inside and conduct an honest evaluation of where you are in your path. After that, you may establish routines and practices that will assist you in developing in the direction of your aim.

Meditation is something that I always strongly encourage doing on a regular basis. But pausing what you’re doing during the day to take care of yourself, develop your abilities in mindfulness and attention, and spend some time in prayer may do wonders for your emotional and spiritual well-being.

You may find that it is challenging to sit still and be silent at first, but with practice, you will eventually become an expert in this skill.

After that, you may begin incorporating mantras, rituals, and other forms of spiritual practice into your daily routine in order to broaden the scope of your spiritual life and accelerate your personal development.


You are a wonderful living Being a being born from stardust that is filled with light and love You represent an infinitely expandable potential in every way. You may achieve the level of expansion and freedom that you seek by placing your attention on self-discipline, virtue, and the goodness that already exists inside you.

If we pray for other people, the universe will pray for us as well.


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