Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Buddha explains the law of karma

Prince Siddhartha was born in a royal family but gave it all up in his quest for a right path. After many years of penance, he became the enlightened one or the "Buddha" and brought forth some tenets which are extremely valuable. Still, I did have a few questions which I wished to clarify.

Lord Buddha, I have deep respect for you and your teachings. I would like to clarify some issues. Could you answer my queries?

Of course.

I know you do not believe in an external God and have advised against idol worship but sometimes people do use idols, especially to concentrate and meditate. Many even use your idols. What would you say to this ?

See, I have only shared my own experience, which is focusing inward. Do use what suits you but try to live in accordance with the principles of
1. Right Understanding
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

Desire may be the root cause of most suffering, but desire for positive change has brought in a lot of good, too. Is it then wrong to desire?

It is only detached action that can serve you and the world. As the outcome is not entirely in your hand, it is best to work with that in mind. I realized through my own experience and hence, advise you to try this approach.

Buddhism prohibits killing and yet, some Buddhists do eat meat. Isn’t this a contradiction?

I made a clear distinction between killing an animal and consumption of meat. See, the monks in ancient India were expected to receive all of their food by begging and so, had little or no control over their diet.

Now also, depending on your environment, you may or may not consume meat. That is entirely your choice.

Do remember that it is immoral conduct that makes one impure, not the food one eats.

You have advocated the principle of karma, yet good people also do suffer sometimes. How should one’s response be in this case?

Some actions bring instant retribution while the results of other actions may not appear until a future lifetime.

Still, this should not be used as an excuse to treat the people of poor karma poorly; indeed, all should help them and help to alleviate their suffering. Do remember you too may have been where they are right now.

Further, redemption is always available to all, no matter how heinous the crime as can be seen in my experience with Angulimala

I have found that this is the best way of applying the understanding the dynamics of karma.

As I bow and take leave of the Buddha with an improved understanding, I hope to apply the principles of karma better and wish others also do the same.


  1. An astrologer predicted that Gautama would either be an Emperor or a Mendicant.So, his father 'insulated' (? ) him from the realities of disease,old age and death.When he was suddenly confronted by the 'reality show', he he ' simply' returned to his true nature.He did not voluntarily ' give up 'his royalty.

  2. As for the meat dilemma,
    A monk's duty is to accept whatever is offered into the open bowl. He never asks for food.A piece of flesh fell from the beak of a bird into the bowl of a monk. The perplexed monk sought the Gautama's advice. and was told to simply accept it and eat it. A similar story is also told about a devotee offering a non-vegetarian meal to the great saint- poet-composer Thyagaraja.He simply accepted and ate it saying ' something given with total love and devotion cannot be refused and will do no harm !'

  3. yes, that was the way he lived and practised his own life...surely, it is love and compassion alone that can help us too

  4. Your blog is an interesting reading to me. I have respect about other religions, though I am a Hindu by birth. I wish to read more and more before making any comments. Regards.
    Mangesh Nabar

  5. Thank you, Sir...It is indeed a learning experience for me too...

  6. One of my favorite story from Jataka Tales, based on Buddha's life and teachings

    A young prince was coronated the king by his father. The old king had ruled wisely and the young prince had been the best of education, taught warfare n statefare by experts and the old king was sure that he was leaving the kingdom in good hands.
    The king handed his son a wooden casket with instructions to only open it when he was in deep trouble.
    The young king ruled wisely. The kingdom was in a state of peace and prosperiy. & then tragedy struck, there was a famine followed by a plague, the kingdom's enemies started amassing troops on his borders.
    The, not-so-young, king remembered the casket with his dead father's advice, and he opened it. In it was a piece of paper, n written on it were these 4 words,
    'This too shall pass'.

  7. Thanks for sharing this lovely tale..