(Beautiful picture by another Blogger)
I am very interested in becoming a buddhist. I would like to ask you a question on a subject that I have read extensively. I notice that a buddhist prevents badness by adopting the beliefs but how does one remove bad things that one has done in their life. Can one be forgiven.
Hi J......., Thank you for asking me; and welcome to the path of truth and inner peace. The Buddha taught universal truths which transcend race, nationality, culture, time and space. What he taught was applicable to everyone irrespective of whether the person believed or not because his teachings were based on universal truths.
The most important message by the Buddha was that we are the result of what we were; and we will be the result of what we are. This is the central concept of "kamma", which is "volition actions"; actions which are done on purpose. "Actions" does not only mean bodily actions, but can also be in the form of speech and thoughts. Whatever actions or kamma that we have commited cannot be undone. That is why Buddhists are very careful with their actions. The universal law of kamma rules supreme. It is neither moral or immoral, but amoral. It is non discriminative in nature. It is only the actions that count. In simple language, good actions beget good results; and bad actions bring sorrow.
All of us have to pay for our bad actions; while at the same time we do enjoy some happiness because of our good actions. Life comes in a package. The only way to "rid" our bad kamma is to start living right, from now on. The more good kamma we contribute, the more positive results we experience. It is just like diluting a salty water with more plain water until the water becomes pure. In the meantime we will continue to experience good and bad results. That is why we see suffering and at the same time happiness during the lifetime of a person. Those who enjoy their lives from day one until the end, are blessed with the results of past good kamma. While on the other extreme end, there are those who suffer from day one until they die.
We can forgive anyone; but that is not going to change his fate. If we want to be forgiven, we have to "forgive" ourselves by feeling remorse for the bad things that we have done, and to start living a harmless and wholesome life from now on. In this way, we will experience an inner peace, knowing that we are now following the right path.
Have peace; and smile from justinchoo :-)