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Monday, January 23, 2006

The Rule of Cause and Effect (3) Karma in Three Times

In the Buddhist World, it is said that every thing in the world, without exception, is governed by the Rule of Cause and Effect. But at the same time we ordinary people sometimes doubt whether such a kind of belief in cause and effect is true or not. Just such a kind of doubt is discussed in the Shobogenzo Chapter entitled "Karma in Three Times." (84)
Gayata, a student of the 19th Patriarch Kumaralabdha, asked the Master the following:
"My parents believe in Gautama Buddha's Teachings sufficiently, but they are sickly. However, a man who works for the butchery next door, is healthy and balanced in his behavior." Therefore the student Gayata asks his Master the reason why the man who works for the butchery is happy, while his parents, who believe in Buddhism, are unhappy.
The Master replies, "How is it necessary for you to doubt such a problem? The length of the times between Cause and Effect are of three kinds. The first one is immediate between Cause and Effect, the second one is a little while between Cause and Effect, and the third one is much longer between Cause and Effect. Because of such differences in time between Cause and Effect, it seems that a kind person dies early, or a violent person lives longer, or a wrong person seemes to be happy, or a right person seems to be unhappy. Therefore people usually think that there is no Rule of Cause and Effect, or there is no relation between Sin and Happiness, but they do not know that the relation between Cause and Effect is just the same as the relation between a thing and the shade, or sound and the vibration." Listening to the Master's teachings, Gayata solved his doubt at once.
This teaching presents that, for meaningfully grasping the real existence of Cause and Effect in its 100% exactness, it is very important for us to know the various time differences that exist between Causes and Effects.


Blogger Lone Wolf said...

I like this alot Gudo Nishijima Roshi. I notice sometimes if I do some "Good Action" that right after it seems like all hell breaks loose. I always thought of it as purifying.

4:27 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Lone Wolf San

I agree with your opinion. When I have done a good conduct, I also feel very happy, and when I have done a bad conduct, I feel unhappy so much without reason.

10:05 AM, April 24, 2006  

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