Theory of Kamma in Buddhism - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Theory of Kamma in Buddhism

Kamma is a i word meaning action. It is also called “Karma” in Sanskrit. In general sense, kamma means all good and bad actions. It covers all kinds of intentional actions whether mental, verbal or physical. In its ultimate sense, Kamma means all moral and immoral volitions. The Buddha says: “Mental volition, O Bhikkhus, is what I call action (kamma). Having volition one acts by body, speech and though” (Aguttara Nikāya, III. 415).
Kamma is neither fatalism nor predetermination. The past influences the present but does not dominate it, for kamma lie in the past as well as the present. The past and present kamma influence the future. However, only the present moment exists, and therefore using the present moment for good or for bad lies with each individual.
Every action produces an effect and it is a cause first and effect afterwards. We therefore speak of kamma as “the law of cause and effect”.
There is no end to the result of action, no end to kamma, so we should be very careful about our action, so that their effect will be good. It is therefore necessary for us to do good, helpful action which will return to us in good kammaand make us strong enough to start a better kamma.

 When anything pleasant comes to us and makes us happy, we may be sure that our kamma has come to show us what we have done is right. When anything unpleasant comes to us, hurts us, or makes us unhappy, our kamma has come to show us our mistakes. We must never forget that kamma is always fair. It neither loves nor hates, neither rewards nor punishes. It is never angry, never pleased. It is simply the law of cause and effect.
Kamma knows nothing about us. Does fire know us when it burns us? No. It is the nature of fire to burn, to give out heat. If we use it properly it gives us light, cooks our food or burns anything we wish to get rid of, but if we use it wrongly it burns us and our property. Its work is to burn and our affair is to use it in the right way. We are foolish if we grow angry and blame it when it burns us because we get made a mistake.
What is the cause of the inequalities that exist in the world? Buddhists cannot believe that this variation is the result of blind chance. Science itself is indeed all against the theory of “chance”, in the world of the scientist all works in accordance with the laws of cause and effect. Neither can Buddhists believe that this unevenness of the world is due to a God-Creator.
According to Buddhism the inequalities that exist in the world are due, to some extent, to heredity, environment and to a greater extent, to a cause or cause which is not only present but proximate or remotely past. Man himself is responsible for his own happiness and misery. He creates his own heaven and hell. He is master of his own destiny, child of his past and parents of his future.

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