Failed Relationships and Karmic Consequences



Sometimes we experience a failed love affair. Will these failed love affairs lead to karmic debt? If so, will we be born again and repay it by making the love affair work? Will a love affair failed now lead to union in our next birth?

—bindu, india


Dear Bindu,

Karma is a highly complex issue. There is no yes/no answer.

Karmic knots can be dissolved in our own heart and consciousness, without having to relive those relationships which failed.

On the other hand, yes, strong emotional bonds are a magnet which might end up pulling two souls together again, to work things out.

But contemplate what Buddha said: “In the very numerous and varied lifespans of each man, every other being [every other stranger!] has at one time or another been dear to you.” We can’t possibly have relationships with everyone again, to work out each single one.

A failed love affair is certainly a karmic issue. But what is important is the qualities you need to learn from it, not so much the person involved. The person with whom you had that relationship may vanish from your future life, may go on to another planet, or be involved in other karmic connections, or he/she might become your son, daughter, friend, neighbor, cousin, not your lover.

To repeat: what really matters is your inner lesson involved. That is your real karmic “debt”: the qualities you are lacking and which you need to learn. If you don’t learn them now, then the very same situation, probably with different persons, will happen to you again and again.

To look at the bigger picture: life wants to teach you that no human love affair will ever bring you the happiness you are seeking in love. Bollywood and Hollywood are a very false teaching, with all their romantic stories. Yogananda commented: Yes, and the producer quickly lets the film finish at the “Happy End”, so as not to show the rolling pins and black eyes afterwards! Happiness is not there. It’s an illusion.

Our real love affair is with God. I recommend you to read Yogananda’s article A Scripture of Love in the book The Divine Romance. We will always end up suffering, until we understand that God is our real Lover and Beloved, behind all our human loves. That’s the whole plot in the drama on life’s stage.

Here are two quotes from the book The Essence of Self-Realization: “Love Him as the miser loves money; as the drowning man yearns for breath; as the desert wanderer craves water. Love Him with the first love of true lovers.” “Union with the Cosmic Beloved is the most enjoyable experience possible. It is dream after dream, joy after joy; a thousand million divine romances in one, ever thrilling your heart.” Go for that!

May your heart and vision be directed to the real Lover,

in divine friendship, jayadev