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Spiritual Ego: Recognizing Its Most Common Traps

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The spiritual ego is very sneaky. It hides under the masks of good intentions, higher vibration, spiritual clothes and accessories, awakened, and enlightened perspective. Living in the cage of titles – starseeds, lightworkers, twin flames, one of the 144,000 – makes us feel special and important. And if we are not mindful, it can wreak total destruction not just in our lives but also can mislead us from our spiritual path.

So what is spiritual ego really? How to recognize its traps and stay committed to your spiritual journey? What can you do to take your ego under control? Read on!

What Is Ego?

The ego is the dual perception of the world, where “I” and “mine” are opposed to “not me” and “not mine”.

In Sufism, the ego is the driving force and will of a person, which makes possible the confrontation of the unbridled animal nature and the Divine principles. If the ego is polluted, then the person follows his desires, but if it is purified, then the path to God opens. Sufi ideology calls not to eradicate the ego, but to bring it under control with the help of divine instructions.

In Bhakti yoga and Hinduism, the ego is seen as a distorted perception of the world. And the ego itself is not evil, but it can be correctly or incorrectly interpreted. The Bhakti yoga practitioner, in order to overcome delusion, connects with the Supreme through prayers and recitation of mantras, gaining a clear vision of both himself and everything around him.

The Bhagavad Gita speaks of the ego as the basis of the personality, which should not be fought, but should be understood and interpreted correctly – identifying the “I” not with the mortal body, but with the eternal soul, that is, to achieve the realization of the true ego. Where the true ego prevails, there is goodness. Such a person is calm and self-sufficient, full of a sense of satisfaction, selflessness, and kindness. Where false ego prevails, there is ignorance and misery, a constant feeling of dissatisfaction, discontent, and a desire to have more.

According to Kabbalah, ego and egoism are given at birth. As a result, instead of feeling the divine and eternal, man feels his desires. The concept of egoism and desire in Kabbalah are identical. To overcome the ego and become one with the Creator again, people must achieve spiritual growth that can last for many lifetimes. Layer by layer, by removing the shackles of the ego and opening the capacity for spiritual feeling, a person approaches his natural state, in which he was before he descended into the world.

In Buddhism, the ego – Ahamkara – is considered the source of all concepts and criteria for evaluating the existing world. It is the ego that tries to make everything look, shape, mean, evaluate, and frame. And all for the sake of maintaining the existence of this world and the principle of “I am”. These processes of assessment and definitions give rise to karma – cause-and-effect relationship between events. The source of the ego is ignorance, or Avidya in Sanskrit. Avidya refers to ignorance or misconceptions about the nature of metaphysical reality. It is the root cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness), and asserted as the first link, in Buddhist phenomenology, of a process that leads to repeated birth. Thus, according to Buddhism, the ego is the main source of suffering and lack of freedom.

Ahamkara (ego) does not act alone, but in conjunction with the mind (Manas), the emotive side of mind (Citta), and intuition (Buddhi). Buddhi, or pure vision, is aware of events and phenomena as they are, but it does not react to them in any way, just tracking the fact of their existence. Manas receives information, analyzes it, and makes a conclusion. Citta gives an assessment of the result obtained and develop liking or disliking, approval, or censure. The ego includes these judgments in its sphere of activity and makes them a part of our life.

Buddhism as a teaching aims to eradicate the ego through meditation and controlling the activity of the mind. By purifying one’s perception of reality, one leaves only the unclouded Buddhi; the illusion of the reality of the world becomes shaky, as does the concept of the ego.

Ego’s Location In The Chakras

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There are different manifestations of ego based on what chakra it’s located in.

Muladhara (Root) Chakra

When the ego is fed by the energy of the Root chakra, it binds a person to dominance at the expense of material security. Such people are very controlling and identify those who are financially dependent on them with things and consider it legitimate to dispose of their lives at their own discretion. When you see parents who control the lives of their already adult children, you are witnessing a clear example of the Muladhara oriented ego.

Svadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra

The Svadhisthana oriented ego makes people obsessed with sex and their appearance. They strive to be overly sexually attractive and seduce as many partners as possible. They see sex as a proof of self-value.

Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra

The Manipura oriented ego tends to suppress others with rough pressure, wanting to weaken their will. Such people use their energy and charisma to assert themselves and impose their opinions. These people wear the image of impudent and bold, sneaks and boors.

Anahata (Heart) Chakra

The Anahata oriented ego craves public adoration as an idol. These people tend to be at the center of everyone’s attention. Such people are very jealous. They are legends in their own minds though in fact they are just faking to look bigger than they are.

Vishuddha (Throat) Chakra

The Vishuddha oriented ego boasts of its intelligence. These people like to trick others and lie a lot. They are dodgers and insidious schemers.

What Is Spiritual Ego?

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EGO = Eliminating God Out. The moment you divorce yourself from the divine, you marry the ego. 

As we evolve spiritually, we awaken from soul darkness and start moving away from body-centered ego-consciousness. Instead of identifying as mere physical bodies that are born and die, we begin to see ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience. Whether through yoga, meditation, spiritual book studies, prayer, or attending spiritual workshops, we reach a new higher-level awareness. This newfound awareness can be so exciting and empowering that it deludes us into thinking that our life lessons are complete and we are free from our egos. At this stage of spiritual development, we intellectually understand that pride, vanity, egoism, and self-centeredness don’t serve the evolution of our souls, but haven’t completed enough spiritual lessons yet to avoid falling into these traps again and again.

Most of us have a delusional idea that the spiritual path is always steady and secure. It is only later that we begin to realize that the spiritual path is very slippery and you have to maintain balance and constant awareness not to fall into the old “traps”. The thing is that the more we learn theoretically about spirituality without applying it to our everyday lives, the more likely we develop the spiritual ego in our beliefs. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the spiritual ego can hide behind judgment, spiritual dogma, or even a false sense of moral superiority over others. And this could be very dangerous for our spiritual development since it can blind us and prevent us from doing the necessary deeper spiritual work we need for inner growth and self-healing.

Spiritual Ego Traps

Based on my own experience, introspection, and studying people’s behavior, I came up with this list of the most common spiritual ego traps.

Trap #1: Judging

If you only knew how many times I fell into this trap! Directly or indirectly I kept judging others for being “less awakened,” less “spiritually advanced”, less evolved than… me… I judged people for being “asleep,” “unconscious”, “low vibe”, and “asleep”. I could easily label people as “Matrix” individuals and look down on them without even recognizing it.

By interacting with people from different spiritual groups, sadly I started believing that some people are “chosen” and others are not. Now I can recognize that this belief made me look down on others who are newer on their spiritual path.

It took me quite a few life lessons to realize that the cause of my judgment was hidden in a sense of uncertainty about my own faith. Eventually, I realized that my focus should be on developing my faith through spiritual practice; and not on the “vibe” and the level of development of people around me.

Trap #2: Dogmatic Beliefs

“Black and white” mentality gets us into spiritual debates with others. This way of seeing things is projected by our spiritual ego that strives for separation. If you find yourself trying to convince somebody to “get” the truth about your spiritual beliefs, it’s probably your spiritual ego, not your spirit, doing the talking.

When you have a desire to prove your point about some of your spiritual beliefs, remind yourself of a wise Lao Tzu saying, “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.”

Trap #3: “Messiah Complex”

This is another common trap that many spiritual seekers fall into. Do you think it’s up to you to save the world or others? If so, you may have a Messiah complex, one of the most pernicious forms of spiritual arrogance.

There is nothing wrong with helping others. However, it is important to remember that as human beings we are neither omniscient, omnipresent nor omnipotent: only God is. Therefore, we should always remind ourselves to surrender to the will of a higher power in our lives. Keep in mind that there is always a master plan unfolding beyond our control and understanding.

Trap #4: The Need Of Being “Special”

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The biggest spiritual ego trap is the desire to be special which can be expressed in many different self-aggrandizement ways, like:

  • Claiming to have “special access” to spirit guides, Ascended Masters, angels, spirits, etc.;
  • Claiming to be the reincarnation of a guru, superior being, a famous spiritual historical figure, etc.;
  • Claiming to figure out all the world mysteries, conspiracy theories, governments’ secrets, etc.;
  • Claiming access to special and exclusive spiritual knowledge that others can’t access.

Do you really need to prove your specialness by using different titles (like lightworker, Starseed, etc.), the memories (or fantasies) about your past incarnations, etc.?

What Can We Do With Ego?

#1: Don’t Try To Fight It

The spiritual ego is tricky. It’s hard to see and therefore it’s hard to control. Buddhist say that in the war of ego the loser always wins. Which makes complete sense to me. The second you realized you overcame your ego, you have fallen into its trap. Therefore, the best way you can deal with your ego is by observing it. It is by observing that you can learn how to take control of your ego.

#2: Stay Humble

By perceiving the divine in all of your endeavors, you will always stay humble. The problem arises when you disconnect from the divine under the false pretense that you alone are ruling the business of life. I taught myself to always remember that it is not me who’s achieving success in life, it is not me who’s giving Reiki healing to people, it is not me who’s helping people, but God by using me as his tool. This mindset helped me to remove “I”, “Me”, and “Mine” from my service. Whatever I do, I keep in mind that I’m only the tool, and it helps me to stay humble. Also, it saves me from the “Messiah Complex”.

#3: Stop Judging

Ego judges and punishes. Love forgives and heals.

Think about what makes you judge. Most likely it’s your self-judgment and dissatisfaction with yourself or your life. Sometimes how you see something is more important than what you see. Pay attention to where your judgments are coming from and “who” is doing the judging. Shift your awareness to a loving discernment and free yourself of negativity.

#4: Stop Complaining

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“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself.”

Eckhart Tolle

Complaining is voicing a negative opinion about a situation. Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth puts it this way: “Complaining is not to be confused with informing someone of a mistake or deficiency so that it can be put right. And to refrain from complaining doesn’t necessarily mean putting up with bad quality or behavior. There is no ego in telling the waiter your soup is cold and needs to be heated up — if you stick to the facts, which are always neutral. ‘How dare you serve me cold soup…?’ That’s complaining.”

#5: Speak Less Than You Know; Have More Than You Show

There is no need to tell every person you meet about your “gifts” and show how spiritually advanced you are. Learn to listen instead. By listening you will learn more than by talking. But listen not to reply but to hear!

The Bottom Line

Always remember that the spiritual ego is not who you really are; it is your self-image, it is your spiritual mask, it is the role you are playing in the spiritual community. Your “spiritual mask” thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power because it lives in fear. Let go of this fear. Allow yourself to be free from any judgment, including self-judgment. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, or to act “not spiritual”. You don’t have to be perfectly spiritual all the time and have an answer to any question. Stay humble and you will find blissful peace in the freedom from your spiritual ego.

Main photo credit: JP Sears

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

Spiritual Alchemy: Transmuting Into a Higher Version of Yourself

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Spiritual Alchemy is a mystical practice that seeks to free the soul from its attachment to matter. It is an ancient and traditional practice that aims to offer spiritual transformation and growth, yet it has no interest at all in material growth.

Spiritual Alchemy traces its roots in medieval times, where the goal was to obtain gold. At that time, Alchemy was practiced by people who wanted to transform base metals such as lead into gold. The idea behind this was to amass more wealth.

Today, the practice is used to achieve:

  • Personal contentment;
  • Self-awareness;
  • Harmony;
  • And liberation from the inauthentic parts of your life.  

Simply put, the goal is to achieve self-actualization and spiritual rebirth. Let’s have a more detailed look at the concept of Spiritual Alchemy below.

The Stages of Spiritual Alchemy 

There is a journey people go through to achieve their spiritual rebirth. It is essential to know that everyone’s spiritual journey is different. Therefore, the stages of spiritual Alchemy may vary slightly from one person to another. 

Stage 1: Calcination

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This first stage of spiritual Alchemy is also called the black stage. The black represents chaos in which we have buried ourselves. Calcination involves eliminating parts of our lives that prevent us from attaining our happiness. It also entails identifying the elements that no longer serve you and burning them into ashes. 

People focus on being perfect rather than truly happy in the modern world. These societal standards prevent people from exploring themselves authentically.

In the calcination stage, we begin to break free from:

  • Self-doubt;
  • Fear;
  • Self-sabotaging tendencies;
  • Pride;
  • Arrogance;
  • Ego.

Liberating yourself from these tendencies allows you to explore what you are underneath the cover – the authentic you.

Calcination also involves detaching ourselves from world attachments such as the desire for wealth, power, and identity. Note that these are not bad things. However, to achieve spiritual rebirth in occult sciences, you must know where to draw the line.

Stage 2: Dissolution

This second stage involves dissolving the ashes into the water in occult sciences. 

Dissolution involves not associating yourself with the inauthentic you. You have already freed yourself from elements of self-doubt and pride. It is now time to observe the negative and positive traits objectively. 

At this stage, we are more objective. You can therefore pinpoint how your actions affect you and others. In this stage, you can also notice how avoidant you have been. For instance, many people avoid being themselves and hide in alcoholism, codependency, workaholism, social media, gambling, sex, or TV binging.

This stage is also often triggered by severe life events such as divorce, job loss, death, or bankruptcy. We describe this stage as one that allows you to stop, smell the roses, and pay attention to what you are doing. 

Stage 3: Separation

Emotional Healing From Narcissistic Abuse Clear Boundaries Image

The separation stage is written in the air element. The first two stages are associated with fire and water.

In a mystical sense, this stage can involve separation from your thought processes or emotional trigger responses. This separation process allows you to distinguish authentic essence from acquired personality. This is a very liberating stage as it allows you to come free from resentment towards yourself.

Separation is a very satisfying stage where we free ourselves of resentment towards ourselves and others. Liberation from our negative emotions allows us to become more aware of our true feelings. However, the separation only occurs when we no longer identify with the character we have been playing and get in touch with our true selves. 

Stage 4: Conjunction

The first three stages let you get rid of the inauthentic self. What happens to the authentic parts of you that remain? 

You put them into great use in the conjunction stage. In this stage, we combine the tiny bits of our true self to form one harmonized self. This is coming together under the earth element as it is an embodiment process that supports the materialization of the spirit.

In this stage, you begin to feel harmonized in body and soul but still able to point out the different strands that make you a whole.

Stage 5: Fermentation

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This is the beginning of spiritual rebirth. Fermentation describes the decomposing of one’s old self and the renewal of your new true self. The first four stages involved discarding inauthenticity and harmonizing authenticity. However, this stage involves now basking in our authenticity. We can link this stage to a rebirth of the phoenix from its ashes.

This stage can be categorized into two:

  • Putrefaction – the decaying of our former selves
  • Spiritualization – relieves us from the old world and allows us to see life from a new perspective

It is a stage accompanied by inner peace and contentment. 

Stage 6: Distillation

So what next after going through the spiritualization phase? It is time to integrate the spiritual life and make it more permanent. Distillation is a level of purification that furthers the cleansing within ourselves. This purification process results in inner solid transformation and peace. It is a stage where you now understand your spiritual rebirth, self-realization, and enlightenment. 

Stage 7: Coagulation

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This is a stage where you have finally broken free from your mind. Here, you are connected to your soul and higher consciousness. This is like the meeting point of two complete opposites, such as hell and heaven or life and death. At this stage, the core of your existence is self-awareness; we are one body with our spirit. 

However, you must note that we are not separate from the physical universe at this stage. We are one with the spirit but still a reflection of the physical universe.

The Bottom Line

Everyone’s journey is different but will somehow shape itself through the seven stages. These spiritual alchemy steps are a great way to build a new self. The idea behind Alchemy is that you can transform something into something more valuable. Just like the foundation was to transform metals into gold, you too can transform into a higher version of yourself. In addition, letting go of the burdens that hold you back will help you achieve the highest level of spirituality. 

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Spiritual Transformation: 6 Signs You Are Experiencing One

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Human beings are spirits inside a physical body. However, most people live their lives like bodies inside the spirit. Spiritual transformation means transcending beyond the physical body to the level of the soul. As complicated as this sounds, we will explain how easy it is to achieve spiritual transformation. But first, let’s get a bit more practical. 

Common Experiences of Spiritual Transformation

Overcoming trauma

Have you ever shied away from attempting something just because that thing reminds you of your past trauma? Once you overcome such experiences, it’s a clear sign you have transformed spiritually. Like a rape victim finally getting married and enjoying motherhood. 

Letting go of a toxic behavior

Most people can possibly relate to this one. How many weight-loss diets have you tried before achieving your weight goal? Or, how many times did you try quitting smoking before you actually did? See, spiritual transformation is not a walk in the park. But once you get the hang of it, you become the unstoppable hero. 

Becoming Soul-centered

When you experience spiritual transformation, you start journeying back to the center of your being. You echo the advice “be yourself” and now find it easier to apply. Perhaps it’s because you now know who you really are. 

How Does Spiritual Transformation Differ from Spiritual Awakening?

In the past, we have explored Spiritual Awakening. So what is the difference? Now spiritual transformation occurs as a by-product of our spiritual awakening journey. And since spirituality is a never-ending journey, it means if we continue in this journey, we will experience multiple angles of spiritual transformation. 

Enough of the theories, how then do you know that you have achieved spiritual transformation?

6 Signs You Are Experiencing Spiritual Transformation

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Let me start by reminding you that we are all different. A change might go unnoticed for one person yet be painfully unbearable for another person. That means you might notice some of these signs but not all of them. 

#1: Things Start Falling Apart

That moment when you can’t seem to hold anything together. Your partner breaks up with you, you get fired at work, your family becomes a thorn in the flesh, and all you want to do is close yourself up and cry. Transformation can only happen when there’s a space in your life that leads you to change. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small change. At this point, you need to realize that whatever is lost isn’t necessarily good enough for you and instead open up to new opportunities. 

#2: Heightened Agitation

You start getting emotional at things that would not usually bother you. Like overreacting when you find yourself stuck in traffic. This is a sign of transformation if you wouldn’t normally react this way.

Agitation occurs when we allow fear to drive us. That moment when you feel lost in the middle of nowhere. You have no idea what to do or where you are going. 

#3: Your Desire for Change Is Greater Than Your Fear of Not Knowing

Do you have a strong desire to change, say your career or your body, but the fear of the unknown keeps you off? Well, during spiritual transformation, you realize that this desire grows bigger while your fears diminish. You can quickly draft that resignation letter without worrying about your next opportunity. Or, you can easily break up with your fiancée without worrying about your “biological clock”. 

#4: You Trust Easily and Your Faith Grows, or the Vice Versa

Trust is usually the last chapter of the transformation. After you’ve been through emotional rollercoasters and denial, you are now ready to surrender and accept the will of your creator. It’s also at this point that your world starts turning around for the better. Mainly because your spirit is now open to other avenues. 

A good example is when you can’t let go of a toxic relationship even when all the signs say otherwise just because you can’t see past the relationship. Then after you’ve finally let go, you start wondering why you took so long. Sounds relatable? 

Now, for some people, the lack of trust is what signifies spiritual transformation. You suddenly feel the need to research any information you gather, irrespective of the source. Even though this is a temporary phase, your life can be very lonely. Just hang in there, pal.

#5: New Opportunities Open Up for You

A story goes of a peasant who kept presenting his wishes for the new year, yet nothing changed every year. One day he came to the priest as usual, and instead of giving his wishes, he told the priest that for the first time in 10 years, he saw the miracle he had been praying for. So he asked the priest what had happened? 

The priest simply answered, “your miracle has always been around. Now you’ve experienced it because your old horse died.” 

The same relates to us. You can’t win if you keep betting on an old horse. It would be best if you looked beyond your current limitations.  

#6: You Open Up to New Relationships

At some point in your spiritual awakening journey, you will realize that you no longer fit in your current relationship circles. This is normal. Consider finding like-minded individuals that you can easily connect with and dream even bigger together. When you keep holding onto relationships whose levels you’re past, they will keep dragging you behind instead of pushing you to even greater levels.  

Moreover, note that we begin to experience Christ’s consciousness after the transformation. Instead of feeling resentful to people who have hurt us in the past, we now feel compassion for them. The hatred turns into love and understanding, and in extreme cases, we grieve for their pain.

The Bottom Line

As much as spiritual transformation can get uncomfortable, the most important thing is allowing yourself to grow until you finally feel that part in you that you turned off a long time ago because someone told you to. You also have to be willing to see and accept the things you don’t necessarily want to know about yourself. Be open, and allow yourself to evolve and participate in your transformation journey.

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Spirituality

Family Karmic Connections: What Are They Teaching Us?

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The scriptures say that the most serious impact on our lives is caused by the actions we commit against our parents and teachers. When we criticize, judge, or disrespect our parents or teachers (no matter what their characters are), we create very negative karma that is likely to manifest itself already in the current life and to the maximum extent. This is because it is our parents and teachers who are the souls with whom we have the greatest amount of karma. And therefore, the actions that we do in relation to these people will influence our movement along our spiritual path. In this article, I want to talk about family karmic connections, how they affect our lives, and how to pass these karmic lessons with our parents so that negative patterns don’t control our lives anymore.

But first, let’s take a look at a couple of famous examples of family karmic connections.

Family Karmic Connections in Buddha Shakyamuni’s Life

Let’s take a look at the example of how family karmic connections can manifest themselves. Let’s use Buddha Shakyamuni’s life as an example.

Prince Siddhartha (Buddha Shakyamuni) was a prince from the Shakya family, who lived in ancient India. He was born into the family of King Shuddhodana, who, being frightened by the prediction on his son’s birthday that he would become an ascetic, surrounded him with luxury and wealth so that he would not know suffering and would not embark on the path of spiritual self-discovery.

But not everyone in Prince Siddhartha’s family was supportive of him. For example, his cousin Devadatta envied him, realizing that Siddhartha was his direct competitor in the matter of succession to the throne, and constantly schemed against him. And so from an early age, the prince learned to show compassion not only to those who loved him, but also to those who hated him. And in this sense, Devadatta, without knowing it, was one of the first teachers of Siddhartha.

According to legend, the karmic connection of the Buddha with his cousin Devadatta originated long before their incarnation in the family of King Shuddhodana. Once these two souls incarnated in the body of a two-headed bird. And it was then that a confrontation arose between them. Devadatta (then, of course, he was not Devadatta but one part of the two-headed bird) hated the Siddhartha (that was another part of the two-headed bird) so much that he deliberately ate the poisoned fruit. He wanted revenge so much that he was even ready to destroy himself because, despite the fact that the bird had two heads, the body was one.

It is believed that this was the beginning of the long journey of Buddha Shakyamuni and Devadatta. Devadatta followed the lower path of development — he alternately incarnated in the world of people, then in the lower worlds. And the Buddha, on the contrary, incarnated in the world of gods, then in the world of people. The world of people was the only place they would meet again.

Once they both incarnated in the world of people, Devadatta was constantly creating obstacles to the Buddha. However, can we really say that Devadatta harmed the Buddha? On the contrary, difficulties allowed Buddha Shakyamuni to develop, because only by overcoming his limitations, could he become better and stronger. Therefore, paradoxical as it may sound, Buddha Shakyamuni needed Devadatta in the world of people, because he was in some sense Shakyamuni’s teacher. And this seemingly difficult karmic connection had an incredibly beneficial effect on the spiritual development of the Buddha himself.

Already in the last (or rather, the last known to us) incarnation of the Buddha, in which he became a Buddha, Devadatta also caused him a lot of difficulties. Once he set an elephant on Buddha, but Buddha was able to subdue him with the power of his compassion. Another time, Devadatta pushed a huge stone from a cliff onto Buddha. But due to good karma, the stone did not harm Buddha. However, a fragment broke off from the stone and injured the Buddha’s leg — it is believed that at this moment the last negative karma that he had was worked out. So, all the obstacles Devadatta was causing made the Buddha only stronger.

Buddha Shakyamuni and Devadatta Image

The most interesting thing is that from Sanskrit, the very name Devadatta means “given by God”.

Family Karmic Connections in Milarepa’s Life

Another example of an interesting family karmic connection is the karmic connection between Milarepa and his mother.

Milarepa’s life was quite difficult — he lost his father early, and he and his mother became completely dependent on unfriendly relatives. Despite the fact that Milarepa’s father was far from a poor man, his relatives actually appropriated all his father’s wealth and forced him and his mother to drag out a miserable existence. Unable to bear it, Milarepa’s mother demanded that he learn black magic and kill all the relatives who did wrong to them. At first Milarepa refused, but the mother was determined and began to threaten Milarepa with suicide if he did not fulfill her insistent request.

Milarepa was strongly attached to his mother, so he was forced to obey. He learned black magic and, when returned from training, he collapsed the roof of the building so that 35 of his relatives died.

But the story didn’t end there. Realizing what he had done, Milarepa began to look for a teacher who could give him a method to get rid of the negative karma that he had accumulated. There were many years of searching and various difficulties. Finally, Milarepa met Marpa, his karmic teacher, from whom he was destined to learn.

Marpa and Milarepa Image

So, what can we see from this story? The immoral (at first glance) act of the mother, in fact, pushed Milarepa on the path of spiritual development. Yes, the method was quite cruel, but, apparently, there was no other way.

Of course, it may look like a cruel act to sacrifice 35 people for the sake of somebody’s spiritual development. But, in this case, all those people already had such karma — to be killed by black magic. Apparently, in the past they also practiced back magic or did other evil so that they created the karma that was in resonance with the death from black magic.

Some teachers believe that Milarepa’s mother was a Bodhisattva who incarnated in the form of his mother to create the situation thanks to which Milarepa began to look for a teacher, found him, and achieved spiritual self-realization. And, perhaps, if not for his mother’s act, he would never have embarked on this path. Or his path to spiritual quest would have been much longer. This is another example of how family karmic connections helped speed up somebody’s spiritual evolution.

Your Family Members are the Best Spiritual Teachers You Can Find

As you can see, it is the karmic connections in the family that have the greatest impact on our spiritual development. And even if it seems like some of our family members cause us suffering and seem to “interfere” with our development, in fact, as a result, all this leads to our spiritual evolution.

Another thing we should remember is that a very highly developed being can incarnate in our family just to create difficulties for us so that we can learn to overcome our own limitations. Therefore, to condemn your loved ones for misunderstanding or allegedly opposing our spiritual development is a very short-sighted view.

You cannot know for sure whether your mother, father, siblings, or other family members is the Bodhisattva or not. However, you should remember that a Bodhisattva has a deeper vision of reality and karmic intricacies. And therefore his/her behavior may not always be understandable, and sometimes it may seem cruel and immoral. But a Bodhisattva’s soul always knows what he/she is doing and acts solely out of compassion.

Therefore, when one of our family members has a disturbing behavior, judges us, criticizes us, or even betrays us, perhaps, we need this lesson in order to learn how to be patient, loving, and compassionate no matter who is standing in front of us.

Family karmic relationships are the best opportunity to work out our limitations and weaknesses.

Are Our Loved Ones Our Enemies From Past Lives?

Some spiritual teachers say that in Kali Yuga, enemies from past lives incarnate in the same families. Moreover, for example, the killer and his victim can be incarnated in the same family.

Why is it necessary? As always, it’s not so that we just suffer. Again, this is necessary for our spiritual evolution. Because with such close interaction, we will simply have to learn how to build a harmonious relationship with a person with whom there were conflicts in past lives.

According to yoga teachings, if we hate someone, we concentrate on this person and thereby sow the seed in our subconscious and form a karmic connection. What’s interesting is that sometimes hatred can form an even stronger karmic connection than love. That is why in the future incarnation the strongest karmic connection will be with those whom we loved or hated in past lives. Often the people around us are divided into those with whom it is easy, simple, and pleasant for us to communicate, and those whom we cannot accept.

Conclusion

Our family members are the people with who we have the strongest karmic connection. This karmic bond can be negative or positive. Both, negative and positive karmic connections, are beneficial for our spiritual development. No connection is accidental and has its purpose. However, looking at the examples, we can conclude that often negative karmic connections has more positive impact on our spiritual development than any others. Moreover, some of our family members could be incarnated Bodhisattvas who came into our lives to teach us to overcome our egos and be more patient, accepting, loving and compassionate.

In any case, it is important to understand that it is impossible to escape from the manifestations of our karma. The only way out is through. Until we learn our karmic lessons, we’ll be repeating them again and again. You can stop talking to your parents or siblings, divorce your husband or wife, abandon your children, but this does not solve the problem. Whatever karmic lesson you need to learn, you will have to learn sooner or later. Yes, it is possible that we will not meet this or that person again in this life, but if we have not passed the karmic lesson, have not worked out some problem, have not untied the karmic knot, then the situation will manifest itself again and and again until the lesson is learned.

Therefore, be grateful for every soul you meet on your path. Pay close attention to those who project negativity towards you and think about what kind of lesson they’re trying to teach you.

Namaste!

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