Tag Archives: Fo Guang

Karma: Specific Views of Cause and Consequence

Karma is generally defined in very general terms. Bad actions lead to bad karma in this life and future lives. Good actions lead to good karma in this life and future lives. How specific actions lead to very specific consequences is not generally mentioned in Buddhism. I found the following view of karma labeled Law of Causality in a little notebook titled Chinese Zen (Ch’an)  by Thomas C. SY and published by the Merriam & Webster Bookstore, Inc., 1995, ISBN 971-30-0419-1.  I bought the booklet at the National Bookstore in Manila where it was published. I was struck by the specificity of the booklet. Certain deeds brought about very specific consequences.  Altogether over fifty deeds and consequences are described in great detail.  This was view of karma I had not run into before.  I did some research and really couldn’t find much on the internet. This is not a Zen Buddhist view of karma despite the title but I suspect the material in the booklet probably has some specific Buddhist source I have been unable to unearth. Below are scanned pages of the booklet and I would be curious if anyone out there can identify the original source of this material.

While doing research on the booklet, I did find another source that has some specific views of karmic cause and consequence. These causal connections are much less specific than in the booklet titled Zen Buddhism. I found the following in the Fo Guang English Buddhist Examination Reference Book Level 1 (Elementary), pg. 5, question 12:

1) Longevity comes from compassion.

2) Early death comes from acts of killing.

3) Dignity comes from tolerance.

4) Poverty comes from being miserly and greedy.

5) Status comes from being respectful.

6) The lack of status comes from pride.

7) Muteness comes from slander.

8) Blindness and deafness come from lack of faith.

9) Impaired faculties and deformities come from violation of the precepts.

10) Wholeness in the body is the result of upholding the precepts.

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