The Law of Cause and Effect is the entryway to Buddhism, and the standard and criterion of the teachings. It is therefore called the foundation of Buddhism. The Law of Cause and Effect is the truth that clarifies that one’s fortune and misfortune is decided by one’s own actions. It teaches the relationship between one’s fate and one’s actions in this way:
All people go through life seeking happiness. In order to gain happiness, we have to do good deeds. Since all people believe that “good causes produce good effects”, they strive to do good. Retired people often ask to be given a job, but no-one would work by choice when the weather is unbearably hot. What they want is not work, but the happiness of buying things they like with the wage they’ve earned. The reason why people endure going into work is that the act of working will bring them happiness. The number of Japanese public schools that have abandoned the five-day week system has doubled in the past two years. They must be thinking of the fact that the good act of studying is necessary in order to pass entrance exams.
If, on the other hand, you do bad deeds, this will bring about suffering without fail. The reason why we don’t get involved with drugs is that they can cause addiction, hyperstimulate us and lead us to cause accidents, and lead us to ruin ourselves.
This is how our own actions (causes) decide our fate (results): good deeds bring about happiness, and bad deeds bring about unhappiness. When we get injured, for example, no matter how much rehabilitation someone else goes through, we ourselves will not receive the results of their actions. Though it may be tough, we undergo training because it will benefit ourselves. This is because all results that come to us will be produced by the deeds we do without fail.
In Buddhism, it is taught that all of the deeds that we do turn into and remain as invisible ‘karmic energy’. Good karmic energy has the power to bring about good results, and bad karmic energy has the power to bring about bad results. Moreover, this karmic energy will never disappear, so it is known as ‘indestructible karmic energy’.
Since karmic energy is like seeds from which flowers of happiness or unhappiness will grow, it is also called ‘karmic seeds’.
Every day, we are planting countless karmic seeds in a field with our minds, mouths, and bodies. These seeds do not decompose, and they never disappear either. Seeds not sown will never grow, but we will harvest the seeds that we do sow without fail.
If inside our minds we think of something for even a moment, that counts as a deed of the mind and there will definitely be either good or bad retribution for it. No matter how small a seed is, if it is planted it will produce a result. There is no way that it will fail to do so. We might find ourselves thinking sometimes that it won’t make any difference whether we do something or not, but this can never be true even once in a million or a billion cases. There are no cases where nothing will come of your deeds, whether good or bad.
Deluded words such as, “Nothing will come of knowing the teachings” destroy the great Law of Cause and Effect, and those who think such a thing are heretics. They are not even in the entryway of Buddhism.
Shinran Followers, who are moving towards the Land of Infinite Light, must believe deeply in the Law of Cause and Effect, never think lightly of even the smallest good, and go forward towards the light.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #14 | 2045, There is No Case Where Nothing Will Come of Our Actions
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Buddhist Village Times #12