Yoga Sutra 12

Sutra 12

The accumulated imprints of past lives, rooted in afflictions, will be experienced in present and future lives

As Christians, we do not believe in past lives or future lives. So this sutra does not align with Christian beliefs. However, when reading into what Iyengar states in his description of what Patanjali is stating, he focuses more on the universal law of karma. The Bible does talk about cause and effect. One example is our commandment, ‘Do unto your neighbor as you would have done unto yourself.’ In Ezekiel 33: 9 “But if you warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will be saved yourself” Here we are saved for our good acts, and also punished for our wicked acts, cause, and effect, or karma.

The life after death we do believe in is the eternal life with Christ in heaven when we are raised upon His returning. John 5:25-30 expresses this belief and the effects of leading a sinful life. Jesus says:

I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself, I can do nothing. I judge only as I hear and my judgment is just for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Now, who can say it better than Jesus himself? Yes, our actions now affect our future.

As Christians, we believe a person has only one life. Many prayers and consequences are given by God in the Bible are on behalf of generations past and generations yet to come. This is a clue to me that we are all tied together through time. When we act, it affects ourselves personally as well as the Church as a whole past, present, and future.

The Bible both agrees and disagrees with this sutra.


This study was done in 2012-2015 by Antiqua Lisha as she came to terms with her Christian and Yoga upbringing after moving to a town where yoga was through of as “new age” in order to bring peace to her heart as a yoga teacher and Christ’s daughter she followed her heart and dove into the Bible and the 5000-year-old art and science of yoga to see for herself.  She now trains 200 and 500 hour YT at (a partner of Your Own University where she is the founder and CEO)