What is Law of Kamma?

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The Law of Kamma:

The Absolute Theory about Cause and Effect

Living in this world, we are facing with many inequalities in our lives. Normally, we can see that some people live in a pleasant condition, free from financial difficulties, blessed with good health, beauty, great success and achievement. These are the people with opportunity and merit. All fortunes and glory seem flowing to them like water runs through the open-ended pipe.  In contrast, those whose hopes and lucks are taken away will be disappointed all the time. These people are vicious and stupid, miserable and wretched. Why one man has been born with a doting mother while the other scarcely receives even a summer wind? Why are some people strong and healthy whereas the other weak and full of sickness? Also, why are some identical twins who raised in the same environment and alike in their physical appearance are totally different from each other in their temper, virtue and intelligence?


We accept this inequality as a part and basic of our daily life. Through our own eyes, we can witness the various paths of human destiny. Have we ever questioned “Why” some people are superior and another inferior?


Yes, these are the sluggish questions in human’s mind all the time. Do these inequalities happen by chance? Do we just accept that all forms of happiness and misery are caused by the exercise of the holy spirits or the devils? Or do we think we are just one of the living atoms in this universe occurred by chance and waiting to be eliminated one day? It is hard to believe that all beings both within and beyond this planet are created by the hands of a powerful man who has designed and written down everything by himself.


The secret of the world hidden in our daily life is going to be disclosed. It is manifested everywhere in our surroundings. It is under your bed, inside your bedroom, dining table or desk. In fact, it lies still inside us - the secret that disguises all hidden truth. The secret is the Law of Kamma ( kamma in Pali or known  as karma in Sanskrit) - The Law of Cause and Effect.  The Law of Kamma will unlock the door of secret and show the reasons why some people live with longevity, highborn status, wealth, beauty, power, and wisdom and why for some other people, everything is quite opposite.

The Law of Kamma is emphasized in Culakamma- vibhanga  Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya, Suttanta Tripitaka (the middle length of Buddhist Scripture mainly records the Lord Buddha’s sermons). The sermon about the Law of Kamma is written in the form of catechism containing questions and answers between the Lord Gotama Buddha and the young Brahman, Supha who is Todaiya’s son.


In the Lord Buddha’s lifetime, the Blessed one was in Jetavanaram, a temple built by Anathapindika Millionaire. The young Supha went to the Blessed one and courteously asked him questions about causes and effects making people awful and excellent, long-lived and short-lived, infirm and healthy, ugly and beautiful, inferior and superior, lowborn and highborn, stupid and intelligent. The Blessed one kindly replied to young Supha:

Look, Todaiya’s son, as the owner of kamma, an heir to kamma, born of kamma, related through kamma, all beings have kamma as their arbitrator. Kamma is what creates distinctions among all beings in terms of coarseness and refinement.


This could be briefly concluded that human’s kamma is the cause of distinctions. Kamma is the action of all beings. All actions create the effect.



But the young Supha did not understand the statement in brief. He counter asked the Blessed one to explain more intensively. Thus, the Blessed one took a reply into his heart of doubt that:


A man or a woman is a killer of living beings. Being brutal and bloody-handed, given to killing and slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. Through having adopted and carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he or she will reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms of hell. If that man or woman is reborn in the human state, then he or she will be short-lived wherever he or she is reborn. This is the way leading to be short-lived. But in abandon of killing, bloody hand, showing no mercy to all beings, after death he or she will reappear in good destination, in a heavenly world. After returning to the human world, then he or she will be long-lived wherever he or she is reborn.



If this article includes the long explanation of the Lord Buddha’s answer, its length will not be different from the handbook of Tripitaka. So, the detail will be summarized and shortly discussed here.


The Lord Buddha replied the young Supha that men who harm all beings with various efforts in the past life, they will be infirm and sickly. The way leading men to be strong and healthy is no harm to all beings. The way leading men to be born ugly is to be ill-tempered and easily upset even with a small cause. The way leading men to be beautiful wherever they are reborn is to do the opposite. The way that leads men to be rich and wealthy is to be a plenary donator such as foods, drink, clothes, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings and lighting to priests or/and folks. The way of being poor is to do the opposite. Moreover, those who pay homage to the person who deserves homage will be highborn. The way to be lowborn is to do the opposite. Those who frequently visited priests or sages, asking questions like: “Venerable Sir, What is skillful? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What action will be for my long-term harm and suffering? Or what action will be for my long-term welfare and happiness?” will be smart and intelligent. The way leading men to be stupid and dumb is to do the opposite.


At the end of the sermon, the young Supha said to the Blessed one: “Magnificent Sir, your speech is clear as if placing upright what was overturned, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to the lost, carrying the lamp in the dark for those who have good sight to see.” Therefore, he took the Lord Buddha, the Dhamma and all the Monks as his refuge.


Now it is the great time for us to know the key to the secret of all refinement. DMC is also one of many Dhamma channels in this world that providing this kind of knowledge. DMC shows why people encounter such fates differently from one another through “case studies”--the true stories and questions of life from the DMC audience. The most venerable Prarajjabhavanavisuth, Dhammajayo Bhikkhu is the one who reads the stories and answers the questions. All letters will be expatiatly replied based on Tripitaka and meditation in the most famous program, Inner DreamKindergartenSchool, broadcasting from Monday to Saturday evening. The program will disclose the secret for your life and free your mind regardless of age, sex, religions, races and nationality. Please enjoy it.

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