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Switch to Forum Live View Cause and Effect = Justice?
6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 4:54PM #1
Truth27
Posts: 523
Hi,

Can the message of cause and effect (karma?) be seen as equivalent to cosmic justice?  If not, what exactly IS karma?

Thanks.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:28PM #2
Engyo
Posts: 138
Truth -

Sorry, don't have time for a thesis at the moment.  I'm not sure that question can be either quickly or easily answered.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:32PM #3
Truth27
Posts: 523
Hi Engyo,

Take your time.  Little by little works :-)  Thanks for helping me out with these questions.  I'm so into this!

Peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:57PM #4
Engyo
Posts: 138
Truth -

Please be aware that some of my answers may not conform to standard SGI teachings on a particular subject.

My personal understanding of karma is simply that this is the way the universe and life actually works.  We still have a very imperfect understanding of it.  One of the descriptions of perfect enlightenment (annuttara samyak' sambodhi) is to achieve complete understanding of life and its workings (karma).

A truly complete explanation of karma may be found in the T'ien-T'ai concept of Three Thousand Realms in One Mind, or ichinen sanzen.  This begins with the Mahayana Buddhist concept of the Ten Worlds, incorporates the mutual possession of same, multiplied by the Ten Suchnesses from Ch. 2 of the Lotus Sutra (nyo ze in, nyo ze en, etc.), multiplied by the three realms of the physical body, society, and the natural environment.

I will say, though, that the 3000 Realms concept is something that I only dimly begin to grasp after much study; it is a primary core concept of T'ien-T'ai Buddhism, upon which Nichiren based much if not all of his teachings.  One can explain all of daily life by using this concept, but it takes work, and it isn't something that lends itself to use while in the middle of things, but rather for examining them afterwards for understanding. 

I hope this makes some little bit of sense........
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 6:12PM #5
Truth27
Posts: 523
Hi,

That makes sense.  I've heard of T'ien T'ai (if its also called Tendai).  It's the form of Buddhism that Nichiren grew up in right?  It comes from China, and it claimed that the Lotus Sutra was the sutra of Pan-Buddhahood (ie would unite the Buddhist faith).

Peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 6:57PM #6
Engyo
Posts: 138
Got it in one!
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 7:44PM #7
Truth27
Posts: 523
According to dictionary.com, Justice can mean:

'rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason'

If one understood one's grounding or reasoning as rooted in a correct or 'right' understanding of the laws of the Universe (as Engyo states that a truly enlightened person would do and understand), wouldn't they have an understanding of the essence of cause and effect/Karma?

Peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 11:23PM #8
H82Diet
Posts: 29
Since I am new to the practice I haven't absorbed the concept of karma completely. I was discussing the holocaust with someone because I couldn't believe that all of those people who suffered such horrific deaths could have had such terrible karma.  I just don't believe that there are that many bad people on earth.  I mean these people in the concentration camps didn't just die young from a car accident, they were tortured to death.  She disagreed with me and said that there were many people making bad causes.

Also, I just read recently that chanting negates some of your negative karma.  Does this happen because chanting brings out your Buddha-Nature so that you move forward making good causes from this heightened life state?
Lynn
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 11:36PM #9
austex
Posts: 88
I don't think most people have absorbed the concept completely, newbie or not.  It gets people's hackles up, but really - there's a bigger picture here that we're all too close to the ground to see.

And yes, there are that many bad people in the world - I've met my share of them.

Also, I just read recently that chanting negates some of your negative karma. Does this happen because chanting brings out your Buddha-Nature so that you move forward making good causes from this heightened life state?

That, and we also accumulate merit or good karma, if you will, by our practice.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 6:48PM #10
etoro
Posts: 564
Karma is a vast subject in Buddhism. It is a very complex topic, I have been practicing and studying Buddhism for over 25 years and only in the last several years have this concept become better understood from the standpoint of the Mahayana ands specifically the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra. . I will try to share my understanding, albeit within the limits of time and circumstances. My understanding will derive from the standpoint of the Tien Tai / Nichiren school but not the Tendai school which may or may not view things differently. I am also a follower / leader in the SGI.

In the first place, in order to understand Budhist philosophy correctly, we must come to accept the viewpoint that reality is a threefold truth in a single mind. This truth is the truth of temporary existence, the truth of non-substantiality and the truth of the middleway of correct and impartial wisdom. In this respect, the Buddha taught this threefold truth from numerous angles. Tien Tai divides the Buddhas method of teaching into four teachings of doctrine, four teachings of method and Five periods.

As the Buddha sought to impart these three truths as one truth he first employed expedient means. In this respect he fist introduced these three truths as separate truths. He first imparted teachings which could help his discipes to awaken to the principle of the transience of all phenomena, / forms and "all appearances". This is the realm of temporary existence. The principle of karma is therefore only relevant from the standpoint of the aspect of the temporary rise and fall of phenomena. All phenomena that make appearance within the consciousness of a human being appear to the perciever as either good, bad, or neutral. These perceptions are all determined by ones own karma. Therefore karma is an experience that is only relevant to common mortals who are trapped in the transmigration of the lower six paths of existence. In this respect the principle of karma affects those who are attached to the realm of ignorance. The Buddha taught this view of reality as the 12 fold chain of causation. The first link in the 12 fold chain of causation is known as ignorance or darkness, or benightedness. The purpose of the Buddhas teaching is to enable us all to severe the 12fold chain of causation. And that which enables us to severe the 12fold chain of causation is called faith in the nirvana,of the Buddha and the wisdom of deathlessness. 

In terms of the Mahayana, the Great vehicle, the single vehicle doctrine of the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism, the principle of nirvana or deathlessness is actually known as the wisdom of the "true aspect of all phenomena". When one awakens to the wisdom of the true aspect of all phenomena one is then called a Buddha, an awakened one. This wisdom, which is revealed in the Lotus Sutra is called the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Devotion to the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra is known as Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. NIchiren taught that by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to the mandala of the Lotus Sutra we can awaken to this wisdom in our own lives. This wisdom is known as the threefold contemplation in a single mind and that whcih is contemplated is the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of thought.

To continue, in the process of teaching common mortals about the transience of all phenomena the Buddha introduces the principle of non-substantiality better known as the "emptioness of all phenomena". This means that all things make appearance in accordance with causes and conditions and arise in a state of mutual interdependence. This means that all forms which are assigned a given name are temporary in nature and lack any fixed substantial self nature. Their apperances as objects of value, objects or scorn or objects of indifference are all determined by the perciever. Even the percievers perception is predetermined by causality and conditions. This is the true natire of the universe within which we exist. Nic hiren states, "suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy and regard both suffering and joy as facts of life.

to be continued. Feel free to add to this.
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