Karma literally means action. It refers to the universal law of cause and effect whereby positive actions produce happiness and negative actions produce suffering. You must be willing to rid yourself of evil according to the principles of karmic retribution for doing evil and likewise be willing to do good for the same reasons. Only in this manner will you bring about true happiness and good fortune for yourself and others. All Buddhist disciples must understand cause and effect, but, as Dorje Pa Mu explains, merely understanding this principle is not enough. You must clearly believe in the principle and live accordingly. You must use this principle in your actual practice to solve your worldly problems. You end causes and effects through cultivation whereby you train your mind and correct your erroneous ways so that your actions of body, speech, and mind (also known as your three karmas) correspond with the teaching of your vajra master and the Buddhas. Remember that greed, anger (hatred), and ignorance are the three great obstacles of cultivation.
You must remember that the so-called good effects or bad effects of karma are not a judgment nor given as a reward or punishment by a supra mundane authority such as God. The good or bad effect produced by good or bad karma is purely and simply a natural phenomenon governed by natural laws that act automatically, with complete justice. It is just like the law of gravity and other similar rules. This Law of Karma, or cause and effect, is so powerful that it governs everything in the universe except enlightened beings or those who recognize their basic original nature. Upon enlightenment, the round of cause and effect loses its significance, just as samsara, or the round of birth and death, ceases with enlightenment. Since basic or original nature transcends all duality and is ultimate, there is no one to receive the effect, whether it is good or bad, and no one to whom any effect can apply. This unique explanation by the Buddha of the nullification of the Law of Karma is very important.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has said, “Thus, only through learning from the Buddha, cultivating the conduct of the Buddha, and ultimately becoming a Buddha can we thoroughly liberate ourselves from the karma (cause and effect) that binds us to the cycle of reincarnation. Cause and effect still exists when one becomes a Buddha. However, cause and effect can not affect a Buddha. For example, the Buddha saw mountains of swords and seas of fire in the hell realm. The mountains of swords and seas of fire continued to exist as extremely painful means by which living beings undergo karmic retribution. When the Buddha suddenly jumped into the mountains of swords and seas of fire in order to undergo suffering on behalf of other living beings, the mountains and seas immediately transformed into a lotus pond of nectar. They transformed into a wonderful state. With respect to a Buddha, all bad or evil karmic conditions turn into the manifestation of good karma. Not only is there no suffering, there is instead a manifestation of great happiness.”
However, until we become enlightened, we must remember that it is as Dharma King Tsongkhapa said, “the things I’ve done, the white or black and what these deeds will bring to me, follow always close behind, as certain as my shadow.”
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