Karma -- e Law of Cause and Effect  


THE WHEEL OF LIFE

living that will lead to Buddhahood while a non-virtuous life
will cause one to be dragged into the hell state.
e above explanation of the Wheel of Life helps us to under-
stand clearly that our existence and sufferings are the result of the
Twelve Causes and Conditions (which are without beginning) of
birth, death and rebirth. Anyone wishing to be freed from Sam-
saric existences should therefore take great pains to comprehend
it so that with the realisation of the misfortunes of Ignorance,
efforts will be expanded to free oneself from the endless series
of rebirths. e Way to total freedom is through understanding
and practising the Buddha Dharma and this is depicted by the
figures of the Buddhas outside the Wheel of Life, who through
attaining Enlightenment have freed themselves from the grips
of Mara.
Karma -- he aw of ause and ffect
Everywhere we turn in the world misery is al around us. Yet
have we ever stopped to consider the meaning of such pain
and misery? Why should there be so many who are born sick,
lame, deformed, ugly, blind, deaf and mental y defective?
Some religions teach that it is the wil of the Creator who
inflicts these pains on mankind because of the sins of their
forbears. Surely this idea is much too primitive for any serious
consideration as no Creator-God, who is merciful and just,
would want to senselessly inflict pain on the innocent who are
but his creation!


Buddhism provides the answer to this great mystery of inequali-
ties and imperfections of mankind. e Buddha taught that `all
things spring from a cause' and he clearly laid down the nature
of good and bad Karma. Reduced to its most elementary mean-
ing, Karma is action; it refers to the fruits of actions as well as
the effects of causes and so on. If there is a cause, an effect is
inevitable, where there is an effect, there must be a cause. us it
is quite easy to understand that `what happens today is the result
of yesterday and the cause of tomorrow'. is reasoning springs
from what the Buddha has said:
"If you wish to know the past, then look at the present
which is the result of it.
"If you wish to know the future, then look at the present
which is the cause of it."
e above teaching describes the oneness of cause and effect and
also explains the inequalities of birth which are but the effects of
causes generated in past lives. Understanding this Law will help
us to put to a stop all the evil actions of our body, speech and
mind -- the three karmic vehicles. e three evils commit ed by
the body are kil ing, stealing and adultery. e three evils of the
mind are greed, anger and delusion and the evil deeds that are
commit ed by the mouth are vulgar speech, false speech, harsh
speech and duplicity.
rough such unwholesome actions of our body speech and
mind we generate bad Karma which, when it ripens, will cause
us to fall into states of misery either in this world or another. It


is by not knowing this Law that we have been wandering so long
in Samsara:
"By Karma the world moves, by Karma men live, and by
Karma are beings bound, as by its pin the rol ing chariot
wheel. By Karma one attains glory and praise, by Karma
bondage, ruin and tyranny. Knowing that Karma bears
fruit manifold, why say ye, `In the world no Karma is?'"
e Buddha has often explained the terrible fate that awaits
those who transgress the moral laws. If we wish to be freed from
the more extreme forms of suffering in the next life, we must do
our best to curb our senses, to put a rein on the appetites, to re-
strain greed, anger, lust, violence and all other negativities. We
should always remember that everything has to be repaid for in
some way or another, at one time or another. We therefore can-
not have the best of both worlds by indulging in all the delights
of the senses and passions now, and let ing them lead us into un-
wholesome ways, and also hope to experience happiness in the
future life. Karma is al -pervading; one acts oneself and reaps
the result oneself, tying oneself and binding oneself. ere is no
escape from it. ose who are able to penetrate this truth will
not fear it but will learn how to make use of it by living a more
meaningful and fruitful life. en they will no longer ask this
universal question whenever they are in despair: "What have I
done to deserve this?" is answer is always, "Plenty!"
For a more vivid description of this Law of Cause and Effect
refer to the KARMA SUTRA which has helped to enrich the lives

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