CHAPTER 13: THE RETRIBUTION FOR GOOD AND EVIL THAT HAVE BEEN DONE ACCIDENTALLY
There are right and wrong things that we do not recognize when we do them. And when our retribution comes (we are happy or miserable), we don’t know why. In this life, there are many such cases.
For example, some parents advocated respecting their children’s freedom. They thought it was kind and civilized. However, it didn’t occur to them that their thought spoiled their kids. Because their children didn’t receive strict education and their egos increase,the parents felt unhappy when they grew old. They thought that they had lived well but didn’t know why they were miserable in old age. Because they had a wrong concept of educating their children, they received bad retribution. It is a kind of sin that is not easy for us to recognize.
There was a seller who came to our temple and asked “Dear Master, many people buy things from my store, and they told me to write higher prices in their invoices so that they will earn the difference. If I don’t do as they request, they will go to other stores. So I have to do. I don’t know if it is a sin, Master.” In fact, it’s hard to say whether it is a sin. If the buyer is an employee who is underpaid, then this is not a sin. However, if the buyer is too greedy, our job is to abet their bad things; hence, this is a sin. Therefore, with the same action, it can be a sin or not a sin depending on the situations.
So in countless lifetimes, we have probably created many blessings and committed many crimes without our recognition. And in this life, we have to receive results for them. But lucky for us, we now know about Buddhism, so we should firmly believe in the law of Karma, and everything happens to us, we should consider it based on the law of Karma. Also, we should correct our way according to the law of Karma, so that we will try to do good deeds and avoid doing evil deeds and strive to help others have belief in the law of Karma so that they will correct their way like us.
As we mentioned above, relying on the law of Karma is relying on a large lighthouse, and making others believe in the law of Karma is a great deed. If many people believe in the law of Karma, when their retribution comes, they won’t feel very miserable because they know that they are paying for the karmic debts; and when their great results come, they won’t feel euphoric and won’t want to enjoy the results but take their advantage to contribute many good things to life. When they have belief in the law of Karma, they will gradually have the wisdom to differentiate between right and wrong and they will make an effort to do good deeds and less commit sin. So people will be wiser, more ethical, have compassion for others, and surpass themselves as ordinary people and progress to enlightenment.
We discussed the topic, “the wisdom to distinguish between good and evil” at various levels. The more we analyze the topic, the harder for us to differentiate between good and evil because there are no fixed standard criteria about good and evil. Fortunately, we know about Buddhism. Buddhism teaches us good morality which is like lighthouses that guide us to go in the right direction when we don’t know the way. In this superior morality, the law of Cause and Effect is very special. It helps us to have deep reasoning about right and wrong. It is very profound, subtle but flexible. So, following Buddhism, you must have wisdom to precisely understand about the law of Karma and have the firm belief in it and to make others have the same belief as you. By doing so, our life will be better, holier, and happier.
Now we know that good and evil have various levels from shallow to deep. You should know that in all good deeds, nothing is greater than bringing morality to others and in all evil deeds, nothing is worse than destroying the morality of others. When we remember it wholeheartedly, we should try more and more to do good deeds but at high levels to help people have morality. Besides, we have to be wise, firm and determined to stop wicked people, evil organization and dirty intrigues that are trying to destroy people’s morality.
With this intense feeling, we should strictly follow the basic teachings of our Buddha, which are Compassion, Four Boundless Minds, the law of Karma, Selflessness, and especially meditation. But above all, we should do the greatest deed for ourselves, which is to have the desirability to achieve Supreme Bodhi Mind, i.e. to vow to become Buddhas, so that our compassion will spread all over the universe. At that time, we will become the Absolute One with no ignorance, and we can clearly differentiate between good and evil, and we are capable of showing The Truth to everyone so that they will step on the right way to Buddhahood.
But, never be subjective! Even when we are imbued with morals, and do so many good deeds at a very high level, even we can do the greatest deed, do not be subjective. Always remember that we have to rely on the Buddha, rely on His power by worshipping the Buddha wholeheartedly every day. The blessing from worshipping the Buddha and the Buddha’s power will help us to surpass ourselves as ordinary people in countless lives until we completely achieve enlightenment.
May those who are, in this chaotic life, fortunate to read this article make an effort to practice the Dharma heading towards Selflessness and will achieve Supreme Wisdom and no longer make any mistake in differentiating between good and evil.