Related Questions

What Are the Different Types of Karmas?

Asking people about types of karmas is certainly going to give you different answers. Some people will just reply as good karmas and bad karmas; while some of them will respond with scripture-based terms such as good karma, bad karma, mohaniya (illusionary attachment) karma, antaray karma, sanchit karma and prarabdha karma. So, are there so many kinds of karmas? Yes, there are!

Good Karmas and Bad Karmas

Most people are likely to classify karmas as good (merit or punya) or bad (demerit or paap). Why? This is because of the happiness or sorrow they experience when a charged karma gets discharged. Thus, the effect of a bound karma can either be sorrowful or joyful. When things go according to your wishes, it is because of your merit karma and when things go against your wishes, it is because of your demerit karma.

According to Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, “The intention of giving happiness to others binds good karmas and the intention of hurting others will bind bad karmas.

Types of Good Karmas and Bad Karmas

There are two kinds of merit karmas and two kinds of demerit karmas, which are as follows:

  • Paapanubandhi Paap (New Demerit Karma Stemming from Past Demerit Karma): This is where a person binds a new demerit karma while experiencing the effect of a demerit karma from the past life. For example, when a person inflicts pain on somebody and enjoys doing so. 
  • Punyanubandhi Paap (New Merit Karma Stemming from Past Demerit Karma): This is where a person binds a new merit karma while experiencing the effects of a demerit karma from the past life. For example, a person is suffering because of a demerit karma from past life but binds a new merit karma by leading a moral and ethical life.
  • Paapanubandhi Punya (New Demerit Karma Stemming from Past Merit Karma): This is where a person enjoys happiness as a result of a merit karma from the past life but while doing so, binds a tremendous demerit karma. Today, this type of karma is rampant everywhere. A wealthy man is not even able to enjoy the comforts of his huge mansion. He is out the entire day making money, his wife is out shopping and running around looking for beautiful clothes and his daughter is driving around in her car. Only the servant is to be found at home and the entire bungalow is uselessly wasted. He has acquired all his material comforts because of his merit karma from his past life but despite this merit karma, he binds demerit karma because of his behavior. He is consumed with immense greed and attachment and he is not able to enjoy his wealth. Such people with paapanubandhi punyas are always after sensual gratification.
  • Punyanubandhi Punya (New Merit Karma Stemming from Past Merit Karma): This is where a person binds a merit karma while experiencing the effects of a merit karma. For example, a person performs rituals and works towards attainment of Self-Realization while enjoying the fruits of his past merit karma. He accumulates more merit karma and reaps the fruit of liberation. All activities of rituals and austerities carried out with obstinacy, inflexibility and staunchness bind paapanubandhi punya, whereas austerities and rituals performed with the proper understanding of what is beneficial for one’s Soul and liberation binds punyanubandhi punya. With such karma, the person will one day meet a Gnani Purush and eventually achieve liberation.

Sanchita Karma, Prarabdha Karma and Kriyamana Karma

These are the widely known three types of karmas. Karma is always bound by time, as no karma can last forever. Every karma comes to end once it manifests and gives its effect. This itself means that there is a time gap right from when the karma is bound until it gives its effect.

According to Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, “The karmas that one binds, such as to eat, drink and be merry, are called sanchita karmas or accumulated karmas. Such karmas are stockpiled at a subtle level and when they are about to ripen and give fruits, a person is inspired to eat unhealthy food and when he is done eating, it is called prarabdha karma (fate). This, in turn, gives a final effect, which is ending up having dysentery and becoming sick. This is kriyamana or exhausted resultant karma.”


Dravyakarma is considered to be sanchit karma, remaining as karmic balance from the past life, from which the karma unfolds one by one. When they become ready to give effect, they become prarabdha karma.

The balance of all karmas that one does in the entire life is divided into eight types of karma; they are referred to as dravyakarma. As a result of that, in this life, one gets two things; the wrong (that cannot let you see as it really is, relative) ‘spectacles’ (veils, blindfolds) and the body. Due to the wrong (relative) spectacles, the wrong (relative) intent arises. One will see in accordance to whatever kind of ‘spectacles’ of dravyakarma one has.

Gnanavaraniya (Knowledge obscuring), darshanavaraniya (Vision obscuring), mohaniya (deluding) and antaray (obstructing); these are the wrong ‘spectacles,’ the four blindfolds. These four are referred to as destructive (ghati) karmas. As long as these four karmas are there, the Self (Soul) keeps getting destroyed. This means a veil keeps coming over the Self.

Vedaniya (pleasure and pain), naam (name-form), gotra (status) and ayushya (lifespan) are received in the form of the body. These four are the non-destructive (aghati) karmas. Aghati means that they do not create a veil over the Self.

All these eight karmas are indeed present from birth. What is this body? What is it made of? The answer is, it is in fact a package of eight karmas.

Following are the four destructive karmas:

  • Gnanavaraniya (Knowledge Obscuring): ‘One’ (Soul) is endowed with infinite Knowledge but because of veils, the Knowledge has been obscured. There is a difference/change/distortion in his Knowing.
  • Darshanavaraniya (Vision Obscuring Karma): ‘One’ is endowed with infinite Vision but because of the veils, the Vision is obscured. Insight does not arise. Just as when the eye is covered with the veil of a cataract and one cannot see; similarly, when a veil covers the Soul (Atma), One cannot see ‘as it is.’
  • Mohaniya (Deluding Karma): Due to the veils over the Knowledge and Vision, mohaniya karma (karma that induces illusory attachment) have arisen. Mohaniya means to believe ‘I am’ where One is not, and the relations that result from that belief, are believed to be one’s own! This husband, these children; they are not Yours (of the Self) but to believe them as your own is mohaniya karma.
  • Antaray (Obstructing Karma): Due to mohaniya karma, obstructions (antaray) have arisen. What is antaray? It means that despite you having something, there will be an objection for you to make use of it. Yes, even though you have all those things accessible to you, yet you are not able to take benefit from it.

Keval Gnan is attained when these four karmas are completely destroyed although the four non-destructive ones still remain.

Following are the four non-destructive karmas:

  • Vedaniya (Pleasure and Pain Inducing Karma): To feel cold, hot, hungry, pain, joy, suffering, etc. is all due to vedaniya karma. The vedana (sensation) may be of pleasure or pain, may be of bitterness or sweetness; but all of that arises from this dravyakarma.
  • Naam-Roop (Name-form Determining Karma): “I am ‘<your name>;” here, this name is naamkarma. “I am an engineer,” “I am white,” “I am black,” “I am blind,” “I am fat,” “I am skinny,” “I am this” and ‘I am that’ – all this is naamkarma.
  • Gotra (Status Determining Karma): That which destines the family, surrounding, rank, and so on through one’s birth is gotra karma. “He is a good man, respected by all;” “He is a bad person, condemned by everyone;” that is gotra
  • Ayushya (Life-span Determining Karma): Whatever one was like at a young age, one gradually begins to get wrinkles; one is headed towards coming to an end. That is ayushya karma. It will keep one bound in this way within the body for certain number of years. It will not let you become free even if you want to. It is a kind of a prison. One becomes free of the body only when the life-span determining karma is over.

The non-destructive karmas come into effect as per the merit and demerit karmas. Hurting others in any way result in demerit karmas, while giving happiness to others result in merit karmas.

When all the non-destructive karmas are over after Keval Gnan, liberation occurs in the same life.

Whatever dravyakarma comes before One, if it is settled with equanimity, then One becomes free from that dravyakarma. If the blindfolds obscuring Knowledge and Vision are cleared up, then everything will be straightened out.

Through the Knowledge of Akram Vignan, these blindfolds get cleared up; darshanavaran and mohaniya karma end entirely!

Share on