Author Topic: THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA  (Read 12373 times)

bambi

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THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA
« on: July 08, 2012, 08:41:24 AM »
I found this interesting topic while I was surfing. I find it very informative. Anything you find related to where you are now?

THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA

This Sutra has changed the lives of many who have read it, for it explains the direct results of
causes. It is also called the Golden Precepts by Lord Buddha and is reproduced here in its entirety:

"Once upon a gathering attended by 1,250 followers, the venerable Ananda, after circling thrice
with folded hands around the Buddha and bowing with respect asked: "In the present dark age
where the majority of our people are indulgent in unrighteousness, disrespectful to the Lord’s
teaching, undutiful to their parents, immoral, miserable and sordid, among them some are deaf,
some blind, some mute, some idiotic, some handicapped in other aspects, and most people inured
to killing, how could we understand the cryptic and fundamental principle or causes that have
brought about this reality and what consequences each individual is to suffer eventually for his
deeds. My Lord, would you kindly explain these to us?’.

The World-honoured One then answered, "Listen carefully, I will now expound the Law of
Karma. Because of Karmic effects inherited from previous lives, some people are poor, some
rich, some happy and some miserable. These are four rules inseparable in obtaining happiness
and prosperity for your next life. They are: to be dutiful to parents; to be respectful to Buddhas,
to Buddha’s teaching, and to Buddhist monks; to abstain from killing and setting free sentient
beings; and to abstain from eating meat and be charitable." Then the Buddha proceeded on the
Karmic Sutra:

"Destiny is aggregate karmic effects from the past. To believe in and practice this Sutra will bring
you eternal prosperity and happiness.

Learn the Law of Karma expounded as follows:

‘To be able to hold office in the Government is a reward for your building Buddha’s statues in
previous lives. For building Buddha’s statues is likened to molding yourself, and to protect the
Tathagata is protecting yourself. To be a public officer cannot be taken for granted, for without
practicing Buddhism it will not befall you. Having helped in the construction of bridges and roads
in your past life is conducive to your present enjoyment of various transportation facilities
which prevent you from getting foot-worn.

To donate clothing to monks will ensure you to be well provided with clothing in future or in
your next life.

To be free from want in food is the result of your providing food to the poor in your previous
life.

To be miserly and unwilling to help the needy gives rise to future starvation and cloth less.

To have ample housing is a reward for donating food to monastries in your past life.

To build temples and public shelters will give you future prosperity and happiness.

To be pretty and handsome is the reward for your respecting and offering flowers to Buddha’s
altar in the past.

To abstain from eating meat and to pray constantly to Buddha wil assure you to be born a very
intelligent child in your next incarnation.

To have a good wife and son is reward for your disseminating Buddha’s teaching in your past
life.

Furnishing Buddhist temples with hangings and tapestries will enable you to have a good
marriage in your next rebirth.

To have good parents is a reward for your respecting and helping those who were lonely and
desolate in your past life.

Being a bird hunter in your previous life has resulted in your being an orphan now.

To have plenty of children is attributable to your setting free birds in your previous life.

To have destroyed flowers habitually in your previous life has caused you to be heirless now.

Your longevity is due to your setting free sentient beings in your past life.

Being short-lived is the result of your committing too many killings in your previous life.

To steal the wife of another man will cause you to have no spouse in your next reincarnation.

To be a widow now is due to your disrespecting your husband in your previous life.

Being ungrateful in your previous life has caused you to be a serf at present.

To covet another man’s wife will cause you to have no spouse in your next reincarnation.

To distort truths habitually will cause you to suffer blindness in your next life.

To have wry mouth is due to your intentionally blowing out candles before Buddha’s altar in
your past life.

To vituperate (abuse) your parents will cause you to be reborn a deaf mute in your next
incarnation.

Being a hunchback is punishment for jeering at the Buddha’s followers in your previous life.

To have committed evil with your hands in your past life is the cause for you having disabled
hands now.

Your being lame is imputable to your being a robber in your previous life.

To be reborn a horse or an ox is the result of your denying your debts in your previous life.

To be reborn a pig or a dog is the punishment for your deceiving and hurting others in your
previous life.

Offering flesh to monks in your past life has given rise to your constant illness now.
What about those in Thailand who offer food with meat? I was surprised when I found out that they offered meat stating that the monks will eat anything that they offer but isn't it wrong since we practice compassion and no killing? What about those people who offered with no such intention?


To be healthy is a reward for your offering drugs and medications to save the sick and wounded
in your past life.

Relentlessly perpetrating evil in your previous life is the cause for your present imprisonment.

Plugging snake-pit and mouse holds habitually will cause you to starve to death in your next
incarnation.

To intentionally poison a river or water-source will cause you to die of poison in your next life.

Being forlorn and friendless is the punishment for being unfaithful and deceitful to others in your
past life.

Disrespecting the Buddha’s teaching will bring you constant starvation in your next rebirth.

To spew blood is the punishment for eating meat while praying to Buddha.

To have attended Buddhist instruction with levity in your previous life is the cause for your
present deafness.

To be afflicted with ulcers is the punishment for offering flesh before the Buddha’s altar in your
past life.

To have bad bodily odour is the punishment for selling incense with dishonesty in your previous
life.

To hunt animals with rope and net will predestine your death by hanging in your next
incarnation.

Being unduly envious and jealous in your past life is the cause for being so lonely or being refect
of spouse at present.

To be struck by lightning or burn by fire will be the punishment for dishonest trade dealings.

Being wounded by beasts or snakes tells you that those creatures were your enemies in your
previous life.

Whatever you do will come back to you, so accept whatever justice and retribution that befalls
you.

Be not mistaken that karma is fallicious. You will live to bear its consequences, either in this
lifetime or in your future life.

Therefore in this live may I never be ignorant after reading this Sutra. How scary to read the consequences here and know that in future lives I may be born in to those situations. May those who read this sutra benefit from it.


Should you doubt the virtue of practising Buddhism, could you not see the happiness of
Buddha’s followers?

Past karma determine your present destiny. Present karmas are to mold your next life.

Whoever slanders this Sutra will not be reborn again a human being.

Whoever accepts this Sutra will witness the truth.

Whoever writes this Sutra will prosper in successful lives.

Whoever carries this Sutra will be free from mishaps.

Whoever preaches this Sutra will become a very intelligent person in successive lives.

Whoever recites this Sutra will be well-respected by people in his next incarnation.

Whoever distributes this Sutra free to all will become a leader to humanity in his next life.

If karma did not produce effect, what prompted Wu-Lin, a dutiful son, to rescue his mother
under grave danger?

Whoever is faithful to this Sutra will not fail to witness the eternal paradise.

The Law of Karma works forever, and the fruit of good deed will come in due course."

Having spoken the above Sutra to Ananda and the followers, the World-honoured One added
"There are innumerable examples of Karmic Law, but I have only mentioned in generalisation."

Then Ananda said, "Until the end of the present Dark Age, most human beings would have
through successive lives accumulated countless misdeeds because of their ignorance of the karmic
consequences, but thanks to our Lord and the Sutra he has so kindly given to us, whoever writes
and reads, prints and distributes this Sutra, upon praying to the Buddha, will be blessed with
eternal happiness and be admitted to see Amitabha Buddha, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and all
the other Buddhas in the heavenly paradise."

After Ananda spoke, all Buddha’s disciples and followers felt ecstatic and enlightened and, after
bowing respectfully and vowing to abide by his Sutra, took their journey home.

Positive Change

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Re: THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 11:16:00 AM »
Thank you Bambi... These are incredibly precise to a point of being very "revealing". I wont look at certain things quite the same now.

If karma did not produce effect, what prompted Wu-Lin, a dutiful son, to rescue his mother
under grave danger?


I was curious about this so called Wu-Lin so i made some research into it and, apparently it may be this folktale about incredible filial piety of Mulian which goes like this:

Mulian Rescues His Mother - An Ancient Indo-Buddhist Myth From China

In ancient times, in the holy city of Wangshe Cheng, there was a Brahman, a son of a high official, a man named Mulian. He was an original follower and disciple of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and he was renowned for his ability to detect and to communicate with those now in the other realm. Accordingly, he was regarded as the foremost sensitive, medium or spiritualist among all of the Buddha's disciples.

Mulian had for many years "gone out"; that is to say, he had renounced the world, undergone the meditations and exercises required of ascetics, and traveled as a holy man, preaching the doctrine of the Buddha, returning periodically to receive instructions from the Buddha but always on the road far from home.

Now one day the Buddha happened to lecture on the Four Objects of Gratitude, the first precept being filial piety. Mulian attended this lecture and was so moved by the Buddha's words that he desired to return home to see his mother once again.

The day came when he finally arrived back in his hometown but only to discover his mother had already died. How he had planned to dote on her, to see to her every needs and now she was gone! And how regretful he now was!

Mulian then called upon his abilities as a medium to reach his mother now in the other world, to see her in her new existence.

To his shock, he discovered his mother had sunk to the hell of hungry ghosts and was now undergoing great torment there.

He could see her and was within reach of her. Mulian looked closely at his mother. Besides her stomach's being enlarged extended like a great drum, her neck itself was as thin as a needle.

He cried great tears and held out his rice bowl containing leftover rice to her. Before she could even eat one grain, though, the rice before his eyes turned into a mass of flames. Such is the torment hungry ghosts endure--drifting, with their stomachs extended due to starvation and their threadlike throats connecting their heads to their bodies, they are unable to eat a morsel of anything, for all offered to them turns to fire.

There was nothing Mulian could further do at that moment. He was, however, resolved to save his mother from this horrible existence.

He sought out the Buddha.

"Venerable Lord," he said, addressing the Buddha, "my mother is experiencing unbelievable suffering! Please let her be released through your mercy!"

"Mulian," replied the Buddha, "your mother's sins in her past life were too great. There is nothing no individual, you included, can do. However, there is hope of salvation through the power of the Sangha. Only with that power can your mother be saved.

"So, Mulian," continued the Buddha, "on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, make an offering of one hundred different meals for the community of monks. Doing so, you will not only save your mother but all the other hungry ghosts gathered as well from the torments of hell. Seven past generations of parents, grandparents and ancestors will be blessed by your gesture, and your offerings will earn great merit."

Mulian followed the Buddha's instructions, preparing a hundred dishes of food on the fifteenth day of the seventh month for the community of monks, including those from far and near. The monks, in turn, commenced praying, entered into meditation, and then received the offerings.

Thus was Mulian's mother saved from hell.

This was the origin of what is called Pudu, "the ferrying of souls."

The Chinese Pudu, the Feast of Souls, is known as Yulanpen, or Ullambana. The tradition started in China when Emperor Wu of Liang (464-549 A.D.) entered a temple and inaugurated the Feast based on Indian traditions. He too provided a feast of many foods, each in a bowl, allowing seven generations of souls to leave behind the existence of hungry ghost in hell.

Sadly, today in Taiwan the tradition has lost its original mission in providing donations and relief and venerating ancestors. Instead, it has regressed to that of being a mere raucous and wasteful festival.

The very last paragraph contains the editorial sentiments of the original Chinese text.

Mulian is the sinicized form of Maudgalyayana. Wangshe Cheng is the historical ancient city of Rajagrha, Rajgir, or Rajagaha, located in Bihar, Northeast India. The Four Objects of Gratitude are family (filial piety), all sentient beings, one's homeland, and the Triratna, or the Three Jewels of Buddhism (the Buddha; the Sangha, or Buddhist monastic community; and the Dharma, or the Law). The non-Chinese term Yulanpen is the Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit Ullambana, which means "hanging upside" or "[im]pending," perhaps reflective of the continual fate of hungry ghosts.

The story is very important historically. Now with the Buddha's own lecturing on filial piety and his encouragement of Mulian's mission to rescue his mother, Buddhism in China began to take a different course from that of Indian Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism, with the Buddha's apparent blessings, began emphasizing the ancient, pre-Buddhist Chinese concern with filial piety. The supposed abandonment of earthly ties with which Indian Buddhism has been popularly associated was now played down. Most important, perhaps, are the Buddha's words to Mulian regarding the need for a unified response to relieving the sad souls in hell, that one cannot go about providing such relief alone. His words, in effect, inaugurated the codified approach of making large offerings to aid those in hell. In his masterful book on Yulanpen (The Ghost Festival in Medieval China; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), Stephen Teiser points out that a growing number of scholars now discount the above stereotype of Indian Buddhism of being overly unconcerned with existing familial ties. He also writes that one scholar, Iwamoto Yutaka, suggests the origin of Ullambana might lie, not with the above circa sixth-century myth, but with the Greek myth of Dionysus's descent into the underworld to rescue his mother, Semele (23-24). Among most people in medieval China and probably among most Chinese in our time, Ullambana has long coalesced with the likewise ancient Taoist Zhongyuan so that today people tend not to differentiate between Buddhist and Taoist feasts for the dead (Teiser, 41).


Ensapa

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Re: THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 07:15:39 PM »
This is from the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, which to me, is a more extensive form of the explanation on Karma. I have condensed the specific part that details on it. It is one of the most amazing texts that I have ever read!

Quote
(10) At times when unbearable sicknesses befall our bodies,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having inflicted harms to the bodies of wandering beings.
Now, let’s take on ourselves (all their) sicknesses, barring none.

(11) At times when sufferings befall our minds,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having deeply disturbed the mind-streams of others.
Now, let’s take on ourselves (all their) sufferings, barring none.

(12) When we ourselves are tormented by terrible hunger and thirst,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having taxed, plundered, stolen, and acted miserly (toward others).
Now, let’s take on ourselves (all their) hunger and thirst, barring none.

(13) At times when, powerless, we’re enslaved by others
and are maltreated,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having been hostile toward the lowly
and exploited them as servants.
Now, let’s use our bodies and lives for the service of others.

(14) When only nasty words befall our ears,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From our misdeeds of speech, such as slander and the likes.
Now, let’s discredit all faults in our speech.

(15) When we’re born in lands that are completely impure,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having always been habituated
to (seeing) appearances as impure.
Now, let’s habituate ourselves
to (seeing) appearances exclusively as pure.

(16) At times when we’re parted from helpful and loving friends,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having lured away to ourselves those in the circles of others.
Now, let’s never cause (anyone) to withdraw from the circles of others.

(17) When all hallowed ones are displeased with us,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having forsaken the hallowed ones
And entrusted ourselves to bad circles.
Now, let’s rid ourselves of bad friends.

(18) At times when others (falsely) accuse us of the wrongs
Of having done or of having not done something,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From ourselves having denigrated the hallowed ones.
Now, let’s not denigrate others (falsely)
For having done or for having not done something.

(19) At times when our material goods of necessity fall apart,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having considered of no value the necessities of others.
Now, let’s help them acquire their necessities of life.

(20) At times when our minds are unclear and our hearts are unhappy,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having caused other people to build up negative force.
Now, let’s give up (providing) conditions
for others’ negative karmic force.

(21) At times when we’re frustrated from the depths of our minds
That our works are never accomplished,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having caused interference to the hallowed ones’ deeds.
Now, let’s rid ourselves of all our interference-making.

(22) At times when no matter how we’ve acted,
It never pleases our gurus,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having acted two-facedly regarding the hallowed Dharma.
Now, let’s minimize being two-faced regarding the Dharma.

(23) At times when people find fault with everything (we do),
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having belittled moral self-dignity
And care for how our actions reflect on others.
Now, let’s be shy with respect to uncivilized (behavior).

(24) At times when, as soon as we gather a circle,
disagreements (arise),
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having peddled all around our bad ugly characters.
Now, let’s act kindly toward anyone at all as our human characters.

(25) At times when all who are close rise up as our enemies,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having harbored inside us bad thoughts (about others).
Now, let’s continually minimize our pretense and cunning.

(26) At times when we’re sick with consumption, tumors, or dropsy,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having had no morals and having commandeered
religious offerings without caring.
Now, let’s give up confiscating monastic property and the likes.

(27) At times when, all of a sudden, infectious diseases
strike our bodies,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having committed actions causing
our spiritual bonds to decline.
Now, let’s rid ourselves of destructive actions.

(28) At times when our intelligence becomes murky
regarding everything knowable,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having made Dharma matters
Into things that are fit to be left to the side.
Now, let’s habituate ourselves to discriminating awareness,
Such as from listening (to teachings) and the likes.

(29) At times when sleep overwhelms us while practicing the Dharma,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having accumulated (acts of) defilement
toward the hallowed Dharma.
Now, for the sake of the Dharma, let’s practice what’s hard.

(30) At times when our mental wandering is great,
Delighting in disturbing emotions,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From not having meditated on impermanence
and the drawbacks of samsara.
Now, let’s maximize disgust with recurring samsara.

(31) At times when no matter how we do things,
They go astray, never working out,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having made light of karma and behavioral cause and effect.
Now, let’s make effort to build up positive karmic force.

(32) At times when the measure of our having performed rituals
Is that things work out contrary (to what we had wished),
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having placed our hopes and reliance on the side of black (magic).
Now, let’s turn away from the side of black (magic).

(33) At times when our requests to the Three Precious Gems
Do not reach fulfillment,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From not having had confidence in the Buddhas.
Now, let’s entrust ourselves exclusively to the Precious Gems.

(34) At times when superstition, strokes,
And possession by harmful spirits befall us,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having built up negative force
With respect to the tantric deities and mantras.
Now, let’s destroy all our bad understandings.

(35) At times when we have to wander about,
Like people not under their own control,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having kicked out gurus and others
from where they are staying.
Now, let’s never expel (anyone) from any place.

(36) At times when unwished for things happen,
Like frost, hail, and the likes,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From not having safeguarded properly
The morality of our spiritual bonds.
Now, let’s keep our spiritual bonds clean and so forth.

(37) At times when our desires are huge,
But we’re poor in our wealth,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From not having made donations or offerings to the Supreme Gems.
Now, let’s make efforts regarding offerings and donations.

(38) At times when our faces and bodies are ugly,
and our circle insults us,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having made ugly images
And disturbed (others) with our anger.
Now, let’s make (beautiful images of) deities
And be long-suffering in temperament.

(39) At times when, no matter how we try,
Attachment and anger upset us,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having stubbornly harbored
Unseemly bad streams of (self-centered) thought.
Now, let’s pull out from the root
(Concepts of) a “true self” and a “true you.”

(40) At times when no matter what we practice,
It does not reach its aim,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having held a bad outlook inside.
Now, no matter what we’re doing, let’s make it
Something for the purposes of others.

(41) At times when, although we’ve performed constructive actions,
Our own mind-streams are untamed,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having gladly taken on grand ambitions for this life.
Now, let’s hold tightly onto the wish for liberation.

(42) At times when, no sooner do we plan (to do something),
We reconsider and regret it,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From running after those in lofty positions as our new friends,
Without caring how this reflects on our old ones.
Now, let’s take care about how and with whom we make friends.

(43) At times when we ourselves have been swindled
by others’ cunning,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From our selfish desire, arrogance, and greed having been great.
Now, let’s minimize our trying to make profit off of anyone.

(44) At times when attachment or hostility have led us astray
while listening or explaining,
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From not having thought about the demonic faults in our hearts.
Now, let’s examine (these) adverse conditions
And then rid ourselves of them.

(45) When everything good that we’ve done
Has elicited a bad (response),
This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us
From having counterbalanced in an opposite manner
All our repayments of kindness.
Now, let’s accept on the crown of our heads repaying kindness.

(46) In short, the strikings, like lightning on our heads,
of (disasters) never wished for
Are the sharp weapons of negative karma circling back on us,
Like the murder of a sword smith by his own (fashioned) sword.
Now, let’s take care about our negative deeds.

(47) Our experiences, as well, of sufferings in the worse rebirth states
Are the sharp weapons of negative karma circling back on us,
Like the murder of an arrow smith by his own (fashioned) arrow.
Now, let’s take care about our negative deeds.

Vajraprotector

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Re: THE BUDDHA SPEAKS THE SUTRA ABOUT KARMA
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 08:40:00 AM »
One thing to note about karma is that the positive and negative bahaviour from which samsara is compounded produces fruits of happiness and suffering that are of a disproportionate magnitude.

There is a story of the King Mandhata, who in a precious existence, had, as a small boy casta handful of peas in offering to the Buddha Vipashyin. Four of these peas fell into the Buddha's begging bowl; two struck his body at the level of his heart; and one got caught in his robe.

Because of this action of offering the peas, Mandhata subsequently became a Chakravartin who through his golden wheel held sway over the four cosmic continents. He then became a powerful ruler in the celestial realm of te Four Great kings and finally was born in the heaven of the Thirty-three, where he shared the position of the thirty-two divine sovereigns.

Likewise, Shariputra offered a piece of cloth to an Arhat an as a result attained great wisdom.

In contrast, there is a story that a certain monk abused one of his confreres, telling him to eat excrement. As a result, he was later born as an intrauterine parasite, and later as a worm living in a latrine.

Hence, a tiny seed can give rise to a huge tree, which when it is fully grown has branches measuring a league in length, but even this example gives no idea of how, in the karmic process, positive and negative effects increase out of all proportion to their causes. It was written in the Bodhicharyavatara:

All those who harbor evil in their minds
Against such lords of generosity, the Buddha's heirs,
Will stay in hell, the Mighty One has said,
For ages equal to the moments of their malice.