Swinging from the clarity of rational thoughts from education on narcissistic abuse and spiritual abuse to manipulation and gaslighting leading to irrational thoughts implanted by abusive people, do you sometimes wonder if your spiritually elevated narcissistic partner is actually right about "how you deserve all the pain and misery you have in your life"?
The word 'karma' originated from the Sanskrit root 'kri' which means 'to do' or 'to 'act and react'
The law of Karma mentioned in the scriptures and religious doctrine was meant for apprising people so that they take care of their actions in advance to avoid the painful karmic reaction later in life or the next lives. Unfortunately in the age of narcissism, with the advent of spiritual abuse, this teaching is highly used by narcissistic manipulatives to coercion of innocent people who are simple and soft-hearted.
These manipulative abusers justify the abuse and suffering and want their victims to believe that "the abuse" is the "karmic reaction" to the "previous bad karmas" and that they are to blame and not the abuser. They basically deflect the victim's focus and shift the blame from them to the victims. Thus inflicting psychological abuse and creating confusion in the mind of the abuser. This in turn clears the road for further abuse by "coming out clean" and making the victim "look like the bad guy" in the entire situation.
According to Mahony(1987), the Yoga school considers that the karma from past lives is secondary, whereas one's behavior and psychology in the present life have consequences for what we see and lead to entanglement.
Not only this but the narcissistic people who use spirituality or religion for abusing people also prevent their victims from taking any outside help or using any self-love or self-care in the process of healing from the abuse by shaming them for having the need to heal, declaring the brokenness and misery as a sign of sinfulness and impurity of consciousness caused by past bad karmas and sinful activities.
This type of abuse is more likely to happen in family settings like intimate relationships or parent-child relationships.
These abusers want you to focus on "the abuse you are currently facing in their hands due to their past karmas" instead of "the bad karma they are creating while currently abusing you".
This is a classic example of twisting and misrepresenting scriptures. The trauma-bonding created in such relationships creates an illusion of strong loving attachment with the abuser which prevents the victim from taking a strong stand against the maltreatment. Abuse victims are also socially isolated by their abusers directly by controlling behavior and indirectly by enabling the victim to avoidant behavior by giving them contact depression and anxiety. All this leads to the codependency of the victim towards the abuser. Thus favoring the acceptance of wrong teachings given to the victim about the law of karma by the abuser.
All of this heightens the abuse and drags the victim into a hell-like position further making them believe that maybe all of this is true.
But, the truth is that it is not what they want you to believe about yourself and them.
The Lord himself never shamed Pandavas for the miseries of their life, rather always giving unconditional love and support during every dark phase of their life. He gave the teachings of the Bhagawad Gita to distressed Arjuna but never forced him to follow them, instead gave him the choice to use his free will to decide what he wanted to do with those teachings. He was God himself, still never abused the spiritual power or authority he had over people. Not just with Pandavas, but with everyone he met during his various pastimes on earth in different avatars, he always lifted up the people who were in miserable conditions and never ever shamed them for their sins from past lives that were causing them. Even though no one has a better account of all the good and bad karma of our lives and their sinful reactions.
As you see, if God didn't find it appropriate to guilt-trip people for their past karmas and blame them for their problems in current life instead of guiding them on the right path to deliverance from the sinful reactions, then who are the humans who are spreading their teachings.
As per the Hindu scripture, Harinama Chintamani, it is a sin to blaspheme a devotee for his/her past sins.
I wrote this article basically in the Hindu/Sanatana context but it holds true for all faiths/religions as God is one and he loves and cares for us with all his heart and wants the best for us.
Following verses from different faiths that clarify how abusers will be punished for the abuse they are causing you in this life:-
Mahabharata xii.291.22-As a man himself sows, so he himself reaps; no man inherits the good or evil act of another man. The fruit is of the same quality as the action.
Matthew 7:12-So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Psalms 7:16-The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
Galatians 6:7-Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:9-10-Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Psalms 28:3-4-Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back to them what they deserve.
Quran, 17:13-And every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open.
Even if we ever commit sins in any life, he wants us to take measures to get rid of their sinful reactions and live a life of truthfulness and goodness so that we do not do any more wrong things in any life.
He is never like a narcissist in any religious context who will shame, blame, guilt trip you, and drag you away far from his love and shelter. But yes, some holy narcissists want you to see him as one so that they can use, abuse and, manipulate you with their "shame, blame, guilt, and fear-based" toxic teachings while themselves coming out clean as holy scholars of scriptures.
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- Bhakti Charu Swami On Vaishnava Aparadhas | Vaishnava Etiquette. (n.d.). Vaishnava Etiquette. https://www.vaishnavaetiquette.com/vaishnava-aparadhas/
- BibleStudyTools Staff. (2021, February 24). Bible Verses About Karma. Biblestudytools.Com. https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-karma/
- Eliade, M. (1987). Karman: Hindu and Jain Concepts. Encyclopedia of Religion, Collier Macmillan, New York.
- Hopkins, E. W. (1906). Modifications of the Karma Doctrine. The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,.
- Karma. (1994). In Bangala Bhaskar Abhidhaan ( Dictionary of the Bengali Language), (1 ed., Vol. 1, p. 151). Shishu Sahitya Samsad Pvt Ltd. 32A, APC Road, Kolkata – 700009.
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- Pandey, A. (2021b, December 26). Holy Narcissists: 14 Reasons why narcissists hide in religious communities. Family Dysfunction and Mental Health. https://www.theexhaustedsouls.com/2021/01/14-reasons-why-narcissts-hide-in.html
- Pandey, A. (2021c, December 26). How To NOT Preach A Family With Domestic Violence Issues ?| A Word For Preachers and Clergy Men! Family Dysfunction and Mental Health. https://www.theexhaustedsouls.com/2021/04/domestic-violence-and-spirituality-word.html
- Pandey, A. (2021d, December 26). What Exactly is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Family Dysfunction and Mental Health. https://www.theexhaustedsouls.com/2021/03/what-exactly-is-narcissistic.html
- Samokov, I. (n.d.). A bearded man portraying Jesus Christ [Photograph]. Www.Pexels.Com. https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-bearded-man-portraying-jesus-christ-8957966/
- The Science of Kriya Yoga. (1997). In Yogananda, Paramhansa, Autobiography of a Yogi (pp. 194–195). Jaico Publishing House.
- U. (2019, August 10). What Does the Quran Tell Us About Karma? - Understand Al-Qur'an Academy. Understand Al-Qur’an Academy. https://understandquran.com/quran-tell-us-karma-cc/