Showing posts with label KARMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KARMA. Show all posts

Friday, August 25, 2017

3. Karma - the law of cause and effect

“Not in the heaven, not in the middle of the ocean, not in the mountain caves: there is no place in this world were you can hide from the consequences of your deeds.”[1]

            I will divide this section in two: a) general teaching on karma; b) karma and the salvation offered by Amida Buddha

            a) General teaching on karma
Karma is the law of cause and effect. The term “karma” comes from the Sanskrit word “karman” which means action - acting with thought, deed and word. There are three types of karma: 1) the karma of thought, 2) karma of speech and 3) karma of action or body. All that we think, speak or do will affect our personal history. What we are now is the result of what we thought, said or did in the past, in another lifetime or in the present life; and what we think, speak and do in the present will create us in the future. We are the result of our own karma.  The Buddha said:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Some Buddhist explanations on the origin and existence of the universe

Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud
A flickering lamp — a phantom — and a dream.
Shakyamuni Buddha

( read my previous article in the same category,  “There is no supreme creator god in the Buddha Dharma”)

If Buddhism denies the idea of a creator-god, then how it explains the existence of the various worlds and universes?

First of all, when it refers to worlds and universes, the Buddha Dharma explaines them as places of rebirth, or Samsaric realms. Thus, they are inhabited by unenlightened beings in various stages of spiritual evolution or involution. As far as I know, most of the monotheists give the following argument  in the support of their belief in a supreme creator-god: “if you see a house in a field you ask yourself who built it. In the same way, this complex world is the creation of our god. Anything that exists has a creator”. This is the basis of their belief system, but for Buddhists the matter is wrongly addressed here. Yes, indeed, everything has a creator, but not in the way the monotheists think. I would rather say, every dream has a creator – the dreamer. And who is the dreamer? It is us – the unenlightened beings with our specific individual karma, but also with the collective karma or the karmic connections we create among us.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

The influence of past karma and the impossibility of becoming a Buddha in this life

The doctrine of karma is extremely important in Buddhism. Not only that it explains how things work in the world, why we are what we are, why we have this form (body), but it also assures us of our free will. We are what we think (karma of thinking), what we say (karma of speech) and what we do (karma of action or body) and we can always change this karma and thus create a more peaceful and pleasant way of life.

Apparently, by saying that sentient beings cannot free themselves from birth and death by their own power, it seems that Jodo Shinshu misinterprets or does not totally accept the doctrine of karma. However, Jodo Shinshu accepts fully the teaching of karma, just that it sheds light on a very important aspect that many Buddhists usually tend to forget.
Yes, generally speaking, we can change our karma and thus decide to act in such and such a way, influencing our own destiny, but do we really always act as we wish? Suppose a person who drinks a lot since childhood and has now 40 years of alcoholism, can he give up alcohol just like that, by a simple act of will? Or someone who smokes since early childhood, can he really give up smoking over night?

The Buddhist teaching on man, rebirth, and karma

 Imagine you have a car in front of you. Now imagine you loosen one of the wheels and you put it aside. Is the car identical with this wheel? Then take another wheel and proceed in the same way, asking yourselves the same question. Continue in dissembling the car and do not stop  till each component of the automobile is taken away. Now ask yourselves again: do all these components taken separately represent the automobile? You will logicaly realize the answer is “no”. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

On the six categories of unenlightened beings

Unenlightened beings are of many types, but what they all have in common is various kinds of illusions and ignorance.

Our view of reality is corrupted by many attachments of which some are hidden deep in our unconscious. Any action done by a being drowned in illusion and motivated by attachment gives rise to karma[1] and suffering or passing states of wellness. Everything is cause and effect. As long as one acts with an unenlightened mind, under the slavery of false views, the effect is a little or more unsatisfactoriness or happiness of limited duration.

Thus there are beings that are always motivated by hate and constantly do deeds of cruelty. Even since this present life they are though being burned by fire, and after their life is ended they will be born in places where they are devoured by their own hate and the effects of their evil actions. These are the beings born in hells.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Karmic evils do not constitute hindrance to birth in the Pure Land

"Junsei said to the Shonin, "It is stated in the Letters that at the time of awakening the single thought of shinjin(1), one's karmic evils are all destroyed and one attains the Rightly Established State, or the State of Non-retrogression. However, you have just said that as long as one lives, one is bound to commit evils. Your remark sounds different from what is stated in the Letters."

The Shonin replied: "When it is stated that one's karmic evils are all canceled at the moment of awakening a single thought of shinjin, it means that one's birth in the Pure Land is settled by the power of the single thought of shinjin and that one's transgressions do not create hindrance to Birth; therefore, they are as good as non-existent. As long as we live in the Saha world, our karmic evils are not exhausted. Are you, Junsei, already enlightened and so are you free of transgressions? It is stated in the scriptures that one's karmic evils are canceled at the moment of awakening a single thought of shinjin. You should ask yourself over and over again whether you have attained shinjin or not, instead of questioning whether you still have karmic evils or not. It is up to Amida to save you after He has destroyed your karmic evils or to save you while leaving them as they stand. You should not inquire into this problem. Remember that shinjin is of paramount importance." Thus the Shonin emphatically stated."

from Rennyo Shonin Goichidaiki-kikigaki - "Thus I have Heard from Rennyo Shonin", translated into English by Hisao Inagaki Sensei

(1) shinjin - entrusting in Amida Buddha's Primal Vow

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch