Sanchita Karma

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Sanchita Karma Mean?

Sanchita karma is the totality of all karma accumulated in an individual’s past lives, including all good and bad actions. In general, karma has an effect on the current incarnation and will also affect future lives. Bad actions result in bad karma, which leads to suffering, but the opposite is also true: Someone who lives a good life will accumulate good karma, yielding happiness in the future.

Sanchita is a Sanskrit word meaning “piled up” or “collected,” while karma is from the root kri, meaning “to act,” so sanchita karma means “actions that have accumulated.”


Yogapedia Explains Sanchita Karma

Sanchita is one of three types of karma. The others are kriyamana, also called agami, which is future karma, or that which is being created in the current life, and prarabdha, which is the portion of sanchita karma being experienced in the present incarnation. Prarabdha karma cannot be changed or removed, but other sanchita karma may be dealt with in future lives or cleared through spiritual practices.

Such spiritual practices include meditation and the practice of karma yoga. Eliminating bad sanchita karma is also possible through service, prayer and satsang (cultivating truth alone or in small group meetings). It is also believed that union with the Higher Self, or Self-Realization, can clear sanchita karma.

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