We often wonder why do we have only these people as my family members and not anyone else from the entire world? Why do relationships start and get established with only certain specific people, out of many, who come into our life? How do we get linked with each other? Is it God deciding it all, or have I selected who I want as my parents and my siblings or as my spouse and my children for this life? What is the secret behind this?

Whoever comes in close relation with us is due to the karmic accounts that we have created with them in our past lives. This is called runanubandh.
The intimate give and take that we see happening with only some living beings in present life is because of our runanubandha with those beings that we’ve built in our past life.

One with whom we have had numerous physical and emotional transactions of give and take in many, many previous births, and depending upon how much we continue to owe to each other at the end of the life, a runanubandha is set up between the two beings for next life. And then, the two come together in the next life and complete the balance transactions. Whoever of the two owes whatever to the other person, returns it back to him / her, settling each transaction one by one. Once the karmic debt between the two is cleared, they happen to part.

We can see the runanubandha in existence with our parents, siblings, spouse, children, best friends, even pets, cattle, etc., where the karmic account of past life debts are constantly unfolding. It is a bondage created on account of attachment and abhorrence we’ve had with them in numerous past lives.

For example, in the past life relationship of a father and son, say the son was very attached to his father. While the father raised his son giving him all love and comfort in life, the son also took good care of his father, maintaining due respect for him throughout his life. This give and take between the father and son, by law of nature, created a karmic bondage, giving rise to runanubandh; as a result of which both father and son get connected into some form of relationship once again in the present life, and in each transaction that unfolds between them, they return the debt and settle their previous karmic account.

Whatever good or bad happens in our relationships is a result of our past merit and demerit karmas.
The runanubandh could be overall a positive or a negative one. For example, a mother-in-law has two daughters-in-law. While her behaviour is good and cordial with her elder daughter-in-law, she has a constant conflict with the younger daughter-in-law. Why this difference when it is the same relationship of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law between the two?

It is because of the kind of runanubandh they have with each other. In the case of elder daughter-in-law, the share of merit (punya) karmas in their runanubandh is much higher than that of demerit (paap) karmas. And hence it is all in harmony between the two. Whereas the demerit karmas in case of younger daughter-in-law is much higher, due to which she gets suffering from her mother-in-law.
Whatever runanubandh we see manifested in this life, be it good or bad, it cannot be changed, but staying in Gnani’s company and following His words, we remain in awareness to finish them now.

Gnani, the Enlightened One, makes us realize that our real Self is Pure Soul, and He gives us the right understanding of the cardinal principles that govern our life.

Gnani explains how precisely the law of karma operates:
•When we help others and give happiness to everyone, merit (good) karmas are bound. And if we hurt people, or put them in problem, cause them difficulty, or be happy seeing someone in pain, or condemn people seeing them at fault – all of these cause demerit karmas.

•These karmas that are bound, be it merit or demerit, are in the form of seeds (causes), which will ripen to give their fruits (effects unfolding) in the next life.

•Until past merit karmas are unfolding, relationship remains smooth and harmonious and things happen as we wish them to be. However, when demerit karmas bear the fruits, the relationship becomes turbulent - things do not happen as we like them to happen, or we are forced to remain under domination of someone we don’t like, quarrels and fights keep happening every day.
Hence, it is our own karmas that are responsible for the happiness or unhappiness in our relationships.

Gnani, keeps us aware that our real effort in life is to finish our karmas with equanimity.

Whatever karmas we have charged, are bound to discharge and will get finished. But while they discharge, the choice is ours whether we want to let them go with whole amount of hue and cry and create a new bind, or we let them go without getting disturbed and get released from the old bind.

When we have demerit karmas unfolding, by condemning the person with whom we have adverse runanubandha, that ‘This person is like this, they behave with me like that, I will teach them a lesson, I want to run away from here, I do not want to maintain any relation with such people”, we are designing new runanubandh with the person for our next life.

But if we rightly understand the law of karma, then we would know that “the person we are in runanubandh with, is not at all at fault; it is my own demerit karmas, which I had bound in my past life, that are giving me its effect right now.” Hence, let’s remain equanimous so that we get liberated from old karmas without binding new bad karma.

Similarly, in merit karmas, when we boast of our self and humiliate others, we shall bind new demerit karmas. At this time, if we keep awareness that “it is due to merit karmas that all good is happening, it is not my doing at all!”, and remain equanimous, we will not bind new bad karma.

One who has the desire to liberate is constantly working towards releasing bondages.
We cannot change the situations that we encounter in life due to our runanubandh with our near and dear ones. But, in these situations, when we hurt others, we are multiplying the karmic accounts. Gnani gives us nine gems, which when read heartily every day, liberate us from new bondages:

1.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not hurt, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to hurt, the slightest ego of any living being. Please give me the supreme strength to conduct my speech, thoughts, and actions in a manner such that no living being’s ego gets hurt at all.

2.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not hurt, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to hurt, to the slightest extent, the foundation of any religion. Please give me the supreme strength to conduct my speech, thoughts, and actions in a manner such that the foundation of no religion is hurt at all.

3.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not criticize, offend, or insult any preacher, monk, nun or religious head.

4.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not dislike or hate, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to dislike or hate, any living being at all.

5.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme to not speak nor cause someone or encourage anyone to speak the slightest of harsh or hurtful language towards any living being. If someone happens to speak harsh and hurtful language, please give me the strength to speak soft and kind language only.

6.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not indulge into, nor cause someone or encourage anyone to indulge into, slightest of sexual sins, desires, gestures or thoughts for any living being, be it male, female, or of neutral gender. Please give me the supreme strength to remain free of sexual impulses and passions forever.

7.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to not get engrossed in any particular taste. Please give me the supreme strength to consume food that has a balanced taste.

8.Oh Lord! Please give me supreme strength to never criticize, offend, or insult any being, who is present or absent, living or dead; nor cause someone or encourage anyone to criticize, offend, or insult such being, to the slightest extent.

9.Oh Lord! Please give me the supreme strength to become an instrument for the salvation of the world.

When we absorb the right understanding gained from Gnani and apply it in our life correctly,…
No situation, present or future, will be able to confuse or depress us anymore, we will be able to see the other person as totally faultless; and without undergoing any kind of suffering, we shall remain in sincere effort to be equanimous and finish all past karmas with a smiling face and a happy heart!!

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Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.