is Sutra has changed the lives of many who have read it for it
explains the direct results of causes. It is also cal ed the Golden
Precepts by Lord Buddha and is reproduced here in its entirety:
"Once upon a gathering at ended by 1,250 fol owers, the vener-
able 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 unright-
eousness, disrespectful to the Lord's teaching, undutiful to their
parents, immoral, miserable and sordid, among them some are
deaf, some blind, some mute, some idoitic, some handicapped
in other aspects, and most people inured to kil ing, 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 eventual y for his deeds. My Lord, would
you kindly explain these to us'?
e World-honoured One then answered, "Listen careful y, 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. ese are four rules inseparable
in obtaining happiness and prosperity for your next life. ey are:
to be dutiful to parents; to be respectful to Buddhas, to Buddha's
teaching, and to Buddhist monks; to abstain from kil ing and
set free sentient beings; and to abstain from eating meat and be
charitable. en the Buddha proceeded on the Karmic Sutra:
"Destiny is aggregate karmic effects from the past. To believe in and
practise this sutra wil bring you eternal prosperity and happines .
Learn the Law of Karma expounded as fol ows:
`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 moulding yourself, and to protect
the Tathagata is protecting yourself.
To be a public officer cannot be taken for granted, for with-
out practising 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 get ing foot-
worn.To donate clothing to monks will ensure you to be well pro-
vided 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 unwil ing to help the needy gives rise to
future starvation and clothlessness.
To have ample housing is a reward for donating food to
monasteries in your past life.
To build temples and public shelters will give you future
prosperity and happiness.
To be pret y 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
will assure you to be reborn a very intel igent child in your next
To have a good wife and son is reward for your disseminat-
ing Buddha's teaching in your past life.
Furnishing Buddhist temples with hangings and tapes-
tries wil enable you to have a good marriage in your next
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 at ributable to your set ing free
birds in your previous life.
To have destroyed flowers habitual y in your previous life has
caused you to be heirless now.
Your longevity is due to your set ing free sentient beings in
your past life.
Being short-lived is the result of your commit ing too many
kil ings 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 hus-
band 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 habitual y will cause you to suffer blindness
in your next life.
To have dry mouth is due to your intentional y blowing out
candles before Buddha's altar in your past life. To vituperate
your parents will cause you to be reborn a deaf mute in your next
Being a hunchback is punishment for jeering at the Buddha's
fol owers in your previous life.
To have commit ed evil with your hands in your past life is
the cause for your having disabled hands now.
Your being lame is imputable to your being a robber in your
To be born a horse or an ox is the result of your denying your
debts in your previous life.
To be reborn a pig or dog is the punishment for your deceiv-
ing and hurting others in your previous life.
Offering flesh to monks in your past life has given rise to
your constant il ness now.
To be healthy is a reward for your offering drugs and medi-
cations 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-pits and mouse holes habitual y will cause
you to starve to death in your next incarnation.
To intentional y 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 un-
faithful and deceitful to others in your past life.
Disrespecting Buddha's teaching will bring you constant
starvation in your next rebirth.
To spew blood is the punishment for eating meat while pray-
ing to Buddha.
To have at ended 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 Buddha's altar in your past life.
To have bad bodily odour is the punishment for sel ing in-
cense 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 your being lonely or being bereft of spouse at present.
To be struck by lightning or burnt by fire will be the punish-
ment for dishonest trade dealings.
Being wounded by beasts or snakes tel s you that those crea-
tures were your enemies in your previous life.
Whatever you do will come back on you, so accept whatever
justice and retribution that befal s you.
Be not mistaken that karma is fal acious. You will live to
bear the consequences of your deeds, either within this lifetime
or in your future life.
Should you doubt the virtue of practising Buddhism, could
you not see the happiness of the Buddha's fol owers.
Past karma determines your present destiny.
Present karmas are to mould your next life.
Whoever slanders this sutra wil not be reborn again a human
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 intel igent
person in successive lives.
Whoever recites this sutra will be wel -respected by people
in his next reincarnation.
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
e 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 other fol-
lowers, the World-honoured One added, "ere are innumer-
able examples of Karmic Law, but I have only mentioned in
en 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 con-
sequences, but thanks to our Lord and the Sutra he has so kindly
given us, whoever writes and reads, prints and distributes this
Sutra, upon praying to the Buddha, will be blessed with eternal
happiness and be admit ed to see Amitabha Buddha, Kuan Shih
Yin P'usa and all other Buddhas in the heavenly paradise.
After Ananda spoke, all Buddha's disciples and fol owers felt
estatic and enlightened and, after bowing respectful y and vow-
ing to abide by this Sutra, took their journey home.
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