Buddhism teaches to respect parents. I do follow. But when ever i bow down our relation with my mother, she constantly tries to bring me down. She makes me feel bad for the way i look. I cannot change my skin color or my height. She nags about my appearance. My childhood was ruined and now she is making me depresses by saying no guy would like to marry me. It is getting hard to listen to her day by day. I am a person who upholds goodcharacter above anything. I can never say a bad word to anybody's face. Yet i am facing this almost everyday by my mother. When she fell ill i could not leave he and i was the one who suffer her illness more than her mentally. I feel bad as why she cannot see me as a daughter and love me when all i want is to make her happy. What mistake have i done in my past life to her that she is constantly taunting me to death.

7 Answers 7


What mistake have I done in my past life to her that she is constantly taunting me to death.

If you are literally asking about your past Karmas, to figure out the reason behind your current life situation, then, it is impossible for other, you yourself have to reach that level of meditative awareness to remember your past life. The ways of Karma are not linear also the ripening of fruits is also not linear, you receive the fruits when the environment is right.

Furthermore, if you blame your past life for your present life, then you can again blame your past to past life for the deeds of past life, so the regression is infinite. So the first thing to solve the problem is that stop blaming past life or Karma or anything for that matter. The first step is to accept the situation. The first step is acceptance.

How can you solve this problem?

From a Buddhist context, you really have two problems here, one is Attachment and other is Expectations.

As much as I have studied human psychology I can tell you that hatred of mother for her child is usually dissociated, meaning she does not really hate you as a child but maybe she hated your father or something like that, but sometimes humans are not capable to locate the real reasons of hating somebody, so her nagging about your looks is simply her own misunderstanding of the exact thing that was bothering her about you. So the next step is to look at you mother as a human rather than 'your mother', this will free you from the attachment you have, and will be able to help you to solve the problem objectively.

Second is you stop expecting love and affection from your mother. This expectation is same as desires, which Buddhism talks of in great detail. The suffering here is caused because you desire your mother to behave in a certain way and she is not doing it, as the Buddha said, "not getting what you want is suffering". So this is the second thing you have to learn, to drop your desire.

The next step is to learn not to react, I suggest you should do a 10 day Vipassana retreat of S N Goenka. Here you will learn to watch the sensations without reacting to them, you will have to apply the same to your relating to your mother. So whenever she insults you, you just watch, the unpleasant sensation arising in your mind and its impermanence. Ths will help you get rid of a lot of emotional trouble.

she is making me depresses by saying no guy would like to marry me.

So you are depressed by her words that no guy will like to marry you. Well, you have to understand something here, if you are depressed then your mother's prophecy will be self-fulfilling because no guy will want to marry a depressed girl. So instead of feeling depressed, you fill your heart and mind with loving-kindness and compassion. If you are loving then love will come in your life, but remember the inherent unsatisfactoriness of everything. To accomplish this, I will suggest that you should also learn some Metta meditation. Ajahn Brahm is the best teacher for this, see his Youtube videos on this topic. If you could give Metta to your mother under your current situation, then you have won, girl.

Look at the bigger picture

You take my word for this, and I assure you, that if it would not have been your mother bothering you it would have been someone else, something else. The first of the Noble truth is, There is Suffering in life. So instead of thinking that it was your bad karma that got you an undesirable mother, maybe it was your good karma that the suffering you are entitled has led you to ask important questions in life about Karma and past life. Life's plots are complicated, your mis-fortune sometimes is your greatest fortune.

Think about the story of the Buddha, He had a perfect father, His father kept Him in utmost luxury possible, gave Him everything, but still, you can imagine His suffering that He had to leave His palace in the middle of the night, teary-eyed, to find the end of the suffering.

So think about this, that getting a good mother or good father is also not the solution to life's suffering. Those who got have their problems. Follow the Dhamma taught by the Buddha, that's the only true way out.

Contemplate on this story told by Ajahn Brahm and last thing I will suggest you read the book 'Who ordered this truckload of Dung' by Ajahn Brahm. Thit will change your entire perspective.

Metta to you.

  • 3
    🙏 Today is the day. I'm feeling blessed right now. I will surely change for better. Thank you.
    – Palvi
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    @Palvi Zeus be with you!!!
    – user13135
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 16:57

Your mother has ignorance & suffering in her mind. Respectfully, your mother is mentally unbalanced. Your situation is unrelated to anything in an imagined past life. The Buddha taught in this world there are children who are morally inferior to their parents; children who are morally equal to their parents; and children who are morally superior to their parents. In your case, you are morally superior to your mother; who lacks moral sensibilities.


What you have done in your past life does not matter. What you do in your current life matters. Your childhood is the past, only your memories that bothers you and if you keep attaching to them, it becomes your obstacle for your present and future well-being.

Appearance is impermanent, and getting married doesn't mean they are better or worse in personal qualities.

Be compassionate to yourself, and to your mother. Of course you need to be respectful to your parents, but you can also be respectful to yourself by holding no ill-will neither against them, nor yourself.


Yes toxic parents create a delicate situation which becomes irritating and later on very draining of mental energy. It is very easy for the grown up child to see existence has being wasted. THe biggest mistake you can do, for you and your parents, is to be angry, resentful, mad, mean, crossed with your mom.

You ask about past karma, but until you can see for yourself the workings of the karma, speculating about this is detrimental to you, just like relying on the remarks of your mother.

You can care being criticized by a buddha and other arhants, but worrying about the remarks of a normal person who tries to be mean makes you miserable like you clearly claimed. Caring about those words is not worth it, it goes against your sake. So the solution is to stop caring about her remarks. THe method for this really to become enlightened but that could be a lot of work if you care about what must not be cared.

To dilute her effects on you, you can do the simplest thing, to wit to put space and time between you and her. You can leave in another house if you have the money and find somebody to rent you an accommodation. You can then later on still go to see your mom. You can even enroll in a monastery if you can no longer stand her and fails to find an accommodation.

Second, you can talk regularly to her, but sometimes people do not change, even when they see that their actions lead to failure, even when they see that their actions do not give them what they want, especially when the claims and advises they hear come from a person that they do not take seriously, typically one of their children. Perhaps you can get a person, like a bikkhu, appreciated by your mom for her words, to talk to your mom and you.

THe third way is the best way but requires far more work from you. THe method gives you endurance in face of negative people. You are upset at her words and perhaps her actions because you manage to care about her words and about the topic of her claims. for instance, You claim that she makes claims about your height. Even if you are very small or very tall, It turns out that the height is not significant, not relevant to follow the dhamma. Height matters only to people who do not want to follow the dhamma, who care about living in the society and want what is wrong to want in order to stop being unhappy, like fame or being attractive to other people in the society. Words are only words and as long as you ''do not take up'' the words, like words of insult or mockery, you will be fine. See the sutta of some puthujjana insulting the buddha. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn07/sn07.002.than.html

In order to dilute the power of her words on you and for you stop being upset by her words, you can remember that you do not fall for her remarks and you stick to being a good person, you can dilute your attachment to what could be seen as the ''best years of your life'' (in order to weaken your view that many years of your existence have been wasted) by thinking that life is long and you are able to endure a few years of audible mediocrity. See the sutta about being cut in half by mean people.

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to a catskin bag — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

In order to dilute the power of her words on you, you can remember that Sometimes a person can only stop doing bad things, stop saying bad words by dying. So you just have to wait. Her pollutions will not last long. Always have in mind that this situation is not permanent and that taking her words seriously, that caring about the remarks, especially from a puthujjana, which have nothing to do with being a good person with respect to the dhamma is detrimental to you and would lead you to being an awful person too. Always have in mind that your mom is not enlightened. Do not hold grudge against her.


Things we have to undergo or sufferings we meet in this life are not only the results of what we did in our past(kamma) lives..According to buddhism,things happen due to 5 reasons or dhammas..That mean that sufferings you have mentioned above happen due to 5 reasons..That's not only the kamma of you(what you did in past)..Those 5 reasons are called as ''the five niyamas''>>>you can see further deatails about it from here...

As you say those bad words and scoldings you have to be heard mostly may be due to 2 of above mentioned niyamas..those are ''kamma niyama'' and ''citta niyama''..kamma niyama is what you did in your past lives and this life,if you did a serious good/bad thing, result of that comes in the same life..But we can't tell surely your mothers behavior is a result of your kamma/acts you did in past...Because ,to tell that someone has to develop his ind to a special state,which is called ''pubbeniwasanussati gnana''..If you read buddhist stories ,you'll find such occasions where lord buddha,said about others past lives and karmas certain people did....

As you say mother fells from some illness, So we can think here about the other niyama of that 5 i mentioned early..That is ''citta niyama''..Due to her age and illness, her mentality has changed,So here mind is not working as usual,and the thoughts come from her mind are varied weird or bad ones..As a result of those bad thoughts she blame you and try to make sufferings on you..

you can see as above, those sufferings you feel are happen because of the bad state of your mother's mind or citta niyama..So that's not a fault of you and you have no reason to be sad or repent..As you say you spend a good life,Think about that and fit your mind...

As our lord buddha said when you lead a good life, if you meet with barriers/hard situations in your life think about your good behavior/how you avoid bad acts/''seela '' which you follow...Then the strength or results of your behavior increases..And otherwise try to speak good words,don't be sad about what your mother says..Try to keep in your good behavior and,increase them..When you increase good deeds and good behavior in you if there are bad things affect on you,they'll decrease gradually, as the salt taste of a salt crystal decrease step by step as we put it into a bowl and add water gradually.. triple gems bless you


It is easy to inherit seeds of sorrow, prejudice and favouritism from the side of the parents and then further transfer these onto the children and so on.

I say this as I was in exactly the same situation, but from the side of my father. My brother was the favourite one and I used to typically get a lot of grief, uneasy, depressing remarks and insults about my worthlessness and utter uselessness.

That made me, in the end, suffer from depression, anxiety and lack of confidence in the rest of my adulthood.

The result of our mental formations is not entirely dependant on us and our actions, it is also that of collective consciousness of the environment we participate in and historically used to revolve around.

If one looks deeply (and meditative insight helps), one might discover the cause. For my father, the case was that he was too, an underdog and his brother was the favourite of the parents. And it just happened that he was the eldest of two brothers - and so was I, the mimicked situation made it ever more resembling and worse.

It is in the end the case of mirroring.

Good news is that we can root out and transform all the childhood seeds of grief and misery and the key for that is plenty of Metta towards ourselves and our parent(s). So, here it is, I advise Loving-Kindness meditation to understand our parents suffering with compassion, and namely, where that suffering comes from. Only then we can unconditionally love ourselves and our parents.

It matters not that mother or father holds such views of us - it is about our reaction to these; we cannot change other people’s way of thinking and deeply rooted bias, and we should not hope for that to happen.

  • Now that i think about her childhood, my mother seems to simply reflect what she faced. Isn't it wise to not let others face the situation because we know how it feels? Why isnt she able to realise that? Like in the story a gentleman shared here, she is carrying the dung around with her. Is it okay for me to ignore her and live my life on my own? But being a mother i am sure she would not listen to me. I will look into metta. Thank you Sir.
    – Palvi
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 2:33
  • It is better to let things go, but not everyone is capable of seeing through attachments to see wisdom. This clinging in the end causes suffering and delusions, but not everyone aspires for liberation.
    – user13383
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 12:48

Sounds like in the past you were very judgmental. You probably despised people who were not as righteous and idealistic as you. You thought they were lowly. As a result you now got into this situation. This is called "attachment to ideals".

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