Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't be a slave of kamma

Question: (unedited)

Hi Justin

Thks for yr reply. On my previous question on death and funeral, I just want to know whether these rites and rituals consistent with Buddha's Teaching so that I will not fall into false/wrong views. As what have been said, rites and rituals are not important, what more important is our training and cultivating our mind. I want to make sure what I know and understand abt Buddhism is on the right path. Maybe I too "kaipoh" and too concern abt others' views and opinion. Anyway, thks again for the short and simple reply.

My next question is abt reducing the density of the effect of the ripening of bad kamma. Eg. as a result of stealing, we experience poverty, wretchedness, unfulfilled desires etc.. , so in order to reduce the impact of all these, what else we should do beside accepting this as the result, being positive, repent, continue to do more wholesome action even with limited resources and opportunities. Kindly elaborate.

Another eg. having undesirable marriage partner, what we could do while experiencing the bad effects?.. esp when our spouse being not responsible in providing for the family and fulfilling his duties as husband and also having affairs with another woman. My friend is having this problem and have asked my advice and now I forward this to you as I believe you could provide better solution and advices than me. BTW, she also a buddhist thus she knows that this happenings also due to her kamma.

Thks again for your reply..

My comment:

Welcome back.

1) On your previous question on rites and rituals, I hope you are clear about my explanation.

2) The workings of kamma cannot be completely understood by us ordinary mortals. What we can conjecture is that whatever good we do will give us good results; while bad actions lead to bad results. Exactly when the results will actualize in full force, we don't really know. However we can experience the initial effects immediately in our mind. When we do good we feel happy. When we do bad, we feel guilty. The simple way is to live skilfully so that we conduct our lives harmlessly, and continue to do wholesome deeds; while avoiding harmful actions.

3) First, we must not become slaves of our past kamma. What we are experiencing now may be the results of past kamma; but this does not prevent us to take immediate positive actions to alleviate our problems. I am not a marriage counsellor and am not qualified to "advise" your friend. What I can say is that she should not succumb to the wrong interpretation of kamma and just accept her "fate". She has the power to change circumstances by taking positive and practical actions now.


A true Malaysian said...


I like the title "Don't be a slave of kamma". Let nature takes its own cause.

My late father used to tell me, "Son, whenever you do a thing, stand in the shoes of others, and ask yourself, should you do such a thing"

I adopt his view until now and use it a guide for the rest of my life.

Justin Choo said...

Good on you, A true Malaysian.

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