The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Karma

THE UNFORTUNATE REALMS

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Overview of the unfortunate realms 

1. The Hell Realm is the first plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is devoid of all happiness and comforts. A rebirth in the Hell Realm takes place as a result of a being’s habitual misdeeds. Once in the Hell Realm, the Hell being will suffer the most horrifying pain and suffering through continuous and horrific forms of punishment. The Hell Realm is situated underneath ‘Mount Trigut’. It consists of eight major sites which are the Hell of ‘Mahanarok’, 128 satellite sites which are called the Hell of ‘Ussadanarok’ and 320 minor sites which are called the Hell of ‘Yomalok’.

Once a hell being has gone through all the forms of punishment in the Hell of Mahanarok’, it has to go through additional forms of punishment in the Hells of ‘Ussadanarok’ and ‘Yomalok’ until it has served the full sentence of its previous misdeeds as dictated by the Law of Kamma.

2. The Peta Realm is the second plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is filled with trouble, severe hunger, and severe thirst. Petas can be categorized into twelve families. They dwell in the gorges of ‘Mount Trigut’ as well as in a plane of existence parallel to earth.A rebirth in the Peta Realm is caused by the unwholesome deeds of parsimony. A rebirth in the Peta Realm occurs via two routes. The first route is after a being has already gone through the forms of punishment in the Hells of ‘Mahanarok’, ‘Ussadanarok’, and ‘Yomalok’. And the second route is immediately after the human existence.

3. The Asurakaya Realm is the third plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is devoid of joy. Asurakayas and Petas are very similar and it is difficult to differentiate them at times. Asurakayas dwell in the same location as Petas in the gorges of ‘Mount Trigut’. They possess bizarre forms. They may have a pig head with a human body, for example. Their existence is marked by severe hardship not unlike that of Petas. They live in constant thirst and hunger but the thirst is more prominent. A rebirth as an Asurakaya is caused by deeds of greed and covetousness.

4. The Animal Realm is the fourth and last plane of the Unfortunate realm. Animals suffer less than hell beings, Petas, and Asurakayas. They possess a body which parallels the ground, and are not capable of attaining Nibbana. They share the earth with human beings. They may have no feet. They may have two, four or more feet.

THE UNFORTUNATE REALMS :

Life in Samsara is fraught with danger. Should we be born and raised in an environment that is not conducive to the performance of good deeds, we may make the mistake of committing indecent deeds. When we die, the strength of our bad Kamma will propel us to have a rebirth in the Unfortunate realm. Unfortunate realms are the planes of existence in the Hereafter, which are devoid of happiness and are full of horrifying pain and suffering from the terrible heat of the hellfire, and from the various forms of punishment.

The forms of punishment are innumerable and uniquely different depending on the hell being’s misdeeds. They cause the hell being to Undergo horrific pain and suffering. Individuals in life that have not bothered to perform any decent deed but habitually commit misdeeds, on their deathbed, the sights and sound of their misdeeds would appear to them for their private viewing. These moving images cause their minds to become gloomy and remorseful. After they die, they will journey to the Unfortunate realm as stated by the Lord Buddha in the ‘Palabundit Sutta’

The Sutta teaches how one’s misdeeds committed through one’s physical, verbal, and mental means propels one to journey into the Unfortunate realm. Moreover, there are four more states of unhappy existence as follows: The Unfortunate realms (the State of Loss and Woe) denote the planes of existence where their inhabitants have no opportunity to perform any good deed due to the uncivilized condition of their environment. They are places of condemnation where even the slightest happiness cannot be experienced but there is only suffering, hence un-conducive to the performance of any good deed.


Source of joy and suffering

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Whatever joy there is in this world

All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

– Shantideva

quoted in the book “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”


Our life is not preordained

Our life is not preordained. We can change and control the direction of our life regardless of our past or present circumstances. But recognizing that we will die energizes our aspiration to create good karma. Everything is impermanent, and death comes without warning. Understanding karma makes our life meaningful right now. Each moment provides an opportunity to turn toward awakening, and we are more likely to take advantage of each moment once we accept that these moments are limited. If we believe in reincarnation, then the aspiration to create good karma becomes magnified because we want to create the very best conditions for our rebirth, and right now offers the best opportunity. Behavior that leads away from unhappiness and from harming ourselves and others will help alleviate difficult circumstances in our future lives.

– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book “Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


“It must be karma.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings

Some people think karma is fate. “It must be my karma,” they sigh, resigning themselves to some calamity. But karma doesn’t have to be bad. It can be good. And we make our own karma. Every thought, feeling, and deed sows a habitual karmic seed in our mind that ripens into a corresponding positive, negative, or neutral experience. Anger and jealousy manifest as painful, unhappy experiences. Selfless, joyful thoughts and feelings flower into wondrous, fulfilling experiences.

So we don’t have to resign ourselves to “our karma.” We control our karma. Every moment is a new juncture, a chance to improve our way of thinking and thus our circumstances. This principle of interdependent causation is the bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings, the four noble truths.

– Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

source: http://bit.ly/1QlQO41

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


We don’t have to resign ourselves to “our karma”

Some people think karma is fate. “It must be my karma,” they sigh, resigning themselves to some calamity. But karma doesn’t have to be bad. It can be good. And we make our own karma. Every thought, feeling, and deed sows a habitual karmic seed in our mind that ripens into a corresponding positive, negative, or neutral experience. Anger and jealousy manifest as painful, unhappy experiences. Selfless, joyful thoughts and feelings flower into wondrous, fulfilling experiences.

So we don’t have to resign ourselves to “our karma.” We control our karma. Every moment is a new juncture, a chance to improve our way of thinking and thus our circumstances. This principle of interdependent causation is the bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings, the four noble truths.

– Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

Just Dharma Quotes


Actions are irreversible

Countless rebirths lie ahead, both good and bad. The effects of karma (actions) are inevitable, and in previous lifetimes we have accumulated negative karma which will inevitably have its fruition in this or future lives. Just as someone witnessed by police in a criminal act will eventually be caught and punished, so we too must face the consequences of faulty actions we have committed in the past, there is no way to be at ease; those actions are irreversible; we must eventually undergo their effects.

– 14th Dalai Lama

from the book “Kindness, Clarity, and Insight”


When anger arises

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


Thoughts, compassion, and poison

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Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective


Blame

The purpose of acknowledging the law of karma is instructive, not punitive.

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com

April 15, 2018

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Whether we assign blame to others or ourselves, the negative emotion that accompanies blame is unskillful. Blame entails not only assigning responsibility for an unwelcome consequence, but also imputing malice or evil intent to the one performing the act.

The law of karma, as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni, lies beyond all concepts of human morality, right and wrong, good and evil. It is merely the understanding that causes produce effects. Gravity does not intend for us to fall and hurt ourselves when we trip; fire does not intend to cause us pain when our skin is burned by a flame.

When water comes in contact with a surface, that surface becomes wet. We do not blame the water for making the surface wet –that is its nature. Similarly, when our wrong views (ignorance of the nature of self and all phenomena) and afflicted emotions (attachment, aversion, and indifference) lead us to act in unskillful ways, there is no question of guilt and blame.

The purpose of acknowledging the law of karma is instructive, not punitive. When we understand that there is a relationship of cause and effect between our actions and the consequences we experience, we are liberated from victimhood. We are no longer subject to a random universe where evil befalls us without rhyme or reason. We are free to make our own way.

We do not study the law of karma to learn the specific reasons ‘why’ something happens. That exercise is futile. We understand the law of karma in order to make the determination to place positive, skillful causes in the continuum of our experience from here onwards.

The law of karma, of cause and effect, is not meant to lead us to recrimination, guilt, and blame. On the contrary, it is the acceptance of our capacity to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, and embrace happiness and the causes of happiness.


Karmic repercussions of thoughts

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


On karma

 

“People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That’s not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.”
Pema Chödrön

Vows

26231500_1068272843324451_8867248289443846923_n“I didn’t want to think it.” “I didn’t mean to say it.” “I didn’t intend to do it.” How many times have we said these or similar words to ourselves or others? When we entertain unwelcome thoughts, utter words that should remain unspoken, or do what should be left undone, we have allowed our wrong views and afflicted emotions to drag us into committing unskillful acts.

When we act (in thought, word, or deed) impelled by attachment, aversion, or indifference, we are living by karma. We are slaves to physical, emotional, and mental tendencies that are, in turn, the product of our previous acts. We are indentured to the past. We are not actors, but re-actors, constantly forced by external circumstances to conduct ourselves in ways we may come to regret.

Some are of the opinion that making Vows restricts or negates freedom. However, the ‘freedom’ to be bound by desire, to be led here and there by the dictates of body and mind, is not freedom at all. It is abject submission to mere mood, habit, and circumstance.

The Bodhisattvas, on the way to enlightenment, refuse to succumb to the sway of karma. Bodhisattvas are guided by Vows: the intentional adoption of guidelines that align us with the Dharma and advance our spiritual cultivation.

To live by Vow —to decide for ourselves what thoughts we will entertain, what words we will speak, and what deeds we will perform— that is true freedom.


Quality of our life

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The quality of our life
depends on the quality of the seeds
that lie deep in our consciousness.

– Thich Nhat Hanh.


Not Anywhere

Source: Not Anywhere | Great Middle Way

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by

Jan 5, 2018

26167195_10210941506349343_935665357456137815_n

Not in the sky, nor in the ocean depths,

nor in a mountain cave, nor anywhere,

can one be free from the harm one has caused.

—Buddha Shakyamuni


If you want to know your past life…

“If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.”

Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying


The results of our past karma (deeds) when fully ripened, will find us without fail

prayer-wheel-spinning-o

Once a king ordered his three ministers to take a bag and go to the forest and fill up the bag with fruits.
The first minister thought that since the king has ordered for collection of fruits, he must collect the best of the fruits in the bag.
The second minister thought that since the king is a very busy person, he may not look very thoroughly into the bag what has been collected and hence he collected whatever he could lay his hands. Thus his bag was filled up with a mixture of good and rotten fruits.
The third minister thought that the king would see only externally how big the bag is and hence he just filled up the bag with all dried leaves and dust.
All the three ministers came back to the court with their respective bags, having executed the order of collecting the fruits.
The King, without even seeing what their bags contained, just ordered that now the three ministers must be sent to separate jails for three months, where they will not be provided with any food and they were only allowed to carry the respective bags wherein they had collected the fruits.
The first minister could spend the three months in the jail by eating the very nice fruits he had collected.
The second one could survive for some time with the good fruits in the bag and later he developed diseases by eating the rotten fruits he had collected.
The Third minister had nothing to eat and hence could not survive.
Moral of the story:
From the above story we understand that we have to undergo the consequences of our own activities.
“You will be suffering your own reactions after your karmas, any single karma you perform, you have to suffer for it. Good and bad, everything, you have to have this reaction. No doubt about it.
In Mahabharata, Anushasana Parva, it is said
yathaa dhenu sahasreshu / vatso gachhati maataram
yat ca krtam karma / kartaaram api gachhati
“Amongst thousands of cows, the calf finds its own mother cow. Similarly the results of our past karma (deeds) when fully ripened, will find us without fail.”

 Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

Short story: Your thoughts are your karma

Buddha was sitting with his disciples. One of them asked him “What is Karma?”

Buddha said, “Let me tell you a story…”

A king was touring his kingdom on his elephant. Suddenly he stopped in front of a shop in the market and said to his minister, “I don’t know why, but I want to hang the owner of this shop.” The minister was shocked. But before he could ask the king why, the king had moved on.

The next day, the minister went to that shop dressed as one of the locals to see the shopkeeper. He casually asked him how his business was faring. The shopkeeper, a sandalwood merchant, reported sadly that he had hardly any customer. People would come to his shop, smell the sandalwood and then go away. They would even praise the quality of the sandalwood but rarely buy anything. His only hope was that the king would die soon. Then there would be a huge demand for sandalwood for performing his last rites. As he was the only sandalwood merchant around, he was sure the king’s death would mean a windfall.

The minister now understood why the king had stopped in front of this shop and expressed a desire to kill the shopkeeper. Perhaps, the shopkeeper’s negative thought vibration had subtly affected the king, who had, in turn, felt the same kind of negative thought arising within.

The minister; a nobleman, pondered over the matter for a while. Without revealing who he was or what had happened the day before, he expressed a desire to buy some sandalwood. The shopkeeper was pleased. He wrapped the sandalwood and handed it over to the minister.

When the minister returned to the palace, he went straight to the court where the king was seated and reported that the sandalwood merchant had a gift for him. The king was surprised. When he opened the package, he was pleasantly surprised by the fine golden color of the sandalwood and its agreeable fragrance. Pleased, he sent some gold coins to the sandalwood merchant. The king also felt sorry in his heart that he had harbored unbecoming thoughts of killing the shopkeeper.

When the shopkeeper received the gold coins from the king, he was astounded. He began to proclaim the virtues of the king who had, through the gold coins, saved him from the brink of poverty. After some time, he recalled the morbid thoughts he had felt towards the king and repented for having entertained such negative thoughts for his own personal goal.

If we have a good and kind thought for another person, that positive thought will come back to us in a favorable way. But if we harbor evil thoughts, those thoughts will come back to us as retribution.

“What is Karma?” asked Buddha

Many replied, “our words, our deeds, our feelings, our actions……”

Buddha shook his head and said

“Your thoughts are your Karma!”

 

Small

Source: Small | Great Middle Way

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com 

Aug 22, 2017

16195343_10154847059656897_3622746292653899642_nDo not disregard small negative acts,

thinking they are harmless,

because even a small spark

can set fire to a mountain of hay.

Do not disregard small positive acts,

thinking they are without benefit,

because even tiny drops of water

will eventually fill a large container.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra of the Wise and Foolish


Reconsider!

Source: Reconsider! | Great Middle Way

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by

Aug 11, 2017

13872803_819791568120320_3096403631283864264_nAll tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting ourselves in the place of another, we should not kill nor cause another to kill.

All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting ourselves in the place of another, we should not kill nor cause another to kill.

If, while seeking happiness ourselves, we oppress with violence other beings who also desire happiness, we will not attain happiness hereafter.

If, while seeking happiness ourselves, we do not oppress with violence other beings who also desire happiness, we will find happiness hereafter.

Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might respond in kind. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake us.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga


What happens in death

 

 “When we are at last freed from the body that has defined and dominated our understanding of ourselves for so long, the karmic vision of one life is completely exhausted, but any karma that might be created in the future has not yet begun to crystallize. So what happens in death is that there is a “gap” or space that is fertile with vast possibility; it is a moment of tremendous, pregnant power where the only thing that matters, or could matter, is how exactly our mind is. Stripped of a physical body, mind stands naked, revealed startlingly for what it has always been: the architect of our reality.”

~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Source: 11 Quotes from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying to Light Up Your Path ~ Fractal Enlightenment


True spirituality

True spirituality is to be aware that if we are interdependent with everything and everyone else, even our smallest, least significant thought, word and action have real consequences throughout the universe.


Rhythms in life as natural events

 
“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.”
Chögyam Trungpa

Source: Chögyam Trungpa Quotes (Author of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism)


Consequences

Source: Consequences | Great Middle Way

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15726784_1252205801512964_2640775987217528107_nThese are karmic consequences in accord with the cause:

Killing leads to short duration of life.

Theft leads to lacking possessions and enjoyments.

Sexual misconduct leads to much enmity.

Lying leads to being maligned by others.

Slander causes friends to turn against me.

Harsh words ripen as hearing unpleasant statements.

Frivolous speech ripens as being disregarded by others.

Covetousness leads to disappointment.

Malice ripens as pain and fear.

Wrong views ripen as stupidity and ignorance.


What to do with negative thoughts

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Meditation Masters