The Foundation of Buddhism is the Law of Cause and Effect

The title of the lecture was “the foundation of Buddhism.” Takamori- sensei started the lecture by teaching us what the title meant. Buddhism is the Buddha’s teachings, which permeate the three worlds and the ten directions. The foundation of Buddhism is the law of cause and effect. People agree that any result has its cause. If an accident occurs, we put time, money, and manpower into thoroughly seeking out its cause.

However, when it comes to the most important thing, the cause of our destiny, we have no clue as to how it all happens. This is the reality of our lives. There is nothing more incomprehensible than this. Buddhism breaks through such human delusion and clearly teaches us the law of cause and effect, which does not change and remains valid at all times and in all places. Good deeds bring good results, bad deeds bring bad results, and my deeds bring my results. That is the very basis of Buddhism. Takamori-sensei taught us this with the greatest clarity.

Moreover, not only Shakyamuni Buddha but also all buddhas in the universe teach the law of cause and effect in common. That is clear in the Verse of the Shared Exhortation of the Seven Buddhas. No true teaching exists other than Buddhism, in which the law of cause and effect is taught. There is a Japanese Buddhist term, taikan, which means ‘to see the cause of an occurrence clearly’. However, over time, this word has erroneously come to be associated with being resigned to fate without seeing the cause of an occurrence. This usage is the polar opposite to the true meaning of taikan. Such a misunderstanding indicates that the law of cause of effect is not being taught.

Just yesterday, I talked to an elderly man to inform him of a Buddhist lecture. He refused the invitation, saying, “I have listened to Buddhism at a temple. I’m not interested in hearing it,” and slammed the door shut. He too must have a burning desire to know what decides his fortune - and so it was a great pity that he could not know the answer to his question even though he almost got a chance to hear it. He is one of the victims of temples where priests have given up teaching the law of cause of effect. Thinking of how numerous the refugees of True Pure Land Buddhism are, I cannot help but rouse myself, having seen the urgency of conveying the truth.

Eriko ADACHI, Supportive staff, Toyama

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #43 | 2014, The Foundation of Buddhism is the Law of Cause and Effect

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