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Defining Dharma, Karma and Kriya


These three words are thrown around a lot, especially “Karma,” but very few people know what they truly mean. Understanding the differences, however, can completely shift the lens in which you interpret your experience. Dharma: Your individual role right now in the evolution of everything All the Universe is doing is evolving. It’s moving in the direction of progressive change and your Dharma is your role in that grand play. Most people define Dharma as “life’s purpose” though this is not the best way to think of it. Your path in life is circuitous with many purposes. Yes, you do have your Dharmic path which is unique and may include starting a new business or becoming a musician or having a child but this is looking at the path over a stretch of time and just one aspect of that path. Dharma is determined in the moment, it is a specific action at any given time. For example, it may be your Dharma in this instant to call your friend to see how she is doing. If you wait until tomorrow, that call may be no longer relevant and your Dharma will have shifted to something else. Tapping into your intuition and following what feels charming at the finest level of feeling is how you figure out what that most evolutionary action is. Karma: action that binds You’ve probably heard phrases like “Karma’s a bitch,” or “She’s got bad Karma.” This comes from the misconception that Karma simply means what goes around comes around. Karma actually means action that binds. It is the challenging effects we experience when acting against evolution. These effects push us back to our Dharma. Karma starts as a light tap, but if ignored, becomes a big slap. Say you’ve been eating poorly and get a test back that says you have high blood pressure, that’s Karma giving you a gentle nudge to make a change, to evolve. If you continue your unhealthy diet, next you may have a heart attack, that would be the big slap. If you are feeling any kind of roughness, if you’re not feeling content, this is a sign that you are venturing into Karma and are off your Dharmic path to some degree. Kriya: boundless action When life feels like effortless flow, this is Kriya. You are on your Dharmic Path which means you are aligned with nature. This is the opposite path of Karma. Endless coincidences happen, synchronicity is everywhere, you meet the right people at the right time, the world feels magical when you’re living in Kriya as if a gold dusted path is laid before you. You need something, it comes. You don’t know what to do, the answer is presented before you effortlessly. Now, it can get tricky because some people think that everything is easy in Kriya. It is easy in the sense that you feel ease within but that does not mean you have little to do. Quite the opposite usually, Kriya can involve a lot of action, it just feels frictionless. We’re always evolving. We can choose to go smoothly down the center of the river and let the currents of nature carry us or we can go along the side where the rocks are and have to struggle while making poor progress. Meditation is key in this process because, by clearing the stress from our systems, we can better hear our inner voice. Our identity moves from the small self to the Big Self, from wave to ocean of self, from individuality to our universal nature, so naturally we become more aligned with the Universe.

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What living in Kriya feels like


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KRISTEN VANDIVIER is an independent meditation teacher. She and THE VEDIC METHOD are not affiliated in any way with the Maharishi Foundation USA or Transcendental Meditation ("TM") organizations, or with any trademark, program or organization that is affiliated with, or a licensee of, the Maharishi Foundation USA or Transcendental Meditation ("TM").

Vedic Meditation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider regarding any medical condition.

​© 2017 by The Vedic Method.

 

​© 2017 by The Vedic Method.