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Destructive Karma

Vipassana Meditation Master

Acharavadee Wongsakon

Buddhists usually practice meditation to get away from karmic retribution and to accumulate merit. Althoughno one can escape from Karma, making great merit can lessen karmic effect but cannot make it disappear completely.

Karma yields its results in two aspects. One is from the action like the saying “You reap what you sow”. The other is from a karmic creditor; when we do something bad that upsets someone, it will lead to a repayment. In case of bad Karma without karmic creditor such as wrong acts against Buddha, holy beings, or highly virtuous individuals who are full of lovingkindness and their minds have been purified to the level that they hold no grudge at all, the offender will still face retribution according to the course of Karma.

For some heavy Karma, if one has enough merit to support him, he may receive some kind of premonition or have a dream so that he will have a chance to alleviate that karmic consequence. However, if it’s severely heavy Karma, there is no redemption because the repercussion is way too destructive.

I once saw in my vision the death of someone I know quite well. The Knowing Mind told me that I should warn him. Actually, I had known it a year earlier and warned him that he wouldn’t live long. But when his time was about to end and his merit wasn’t enough to save his life, I had the same vision again. In order to help him and his family, I told him to urgently save an animal from the slaughterhouse and make a wish for the merit of saving the animal’s life to help extend his life.

However, if this vision occurs to someone who is not in a meditation course, it’s very hard for him to survive. Making merit by saving a large animal that is beneficial to humans is an urgent and initial solution. After that, he has to practice meditation to destroy impurities in his mind and continue doing good deeds.

Destructive Karma ends one’s life or deprives that person of a life opportunity such as good luck or career success. It happens suddenly and unexpectedly.

The following example is the destructive Karma that led to an unexpected death, without any vision or warning. It struck so fast and hard that these two persons couldn’t protect themselves. Both practiced meditation and always did good deeds. Unfortunately, they faced untimely death because of their Karma in past lives involving killing.

One planned to kill a virtuous man out of greed. Another made a strategic war plan on military operations. While his sacrifice for the nation made him smart, well admired by others, with smooth career advancement in this life, he still couldn’t escape from this extremely heavy Karma of mass killing. His sudden departure brought deep sorrow to his family and friends and served as a reminder for them to always be aware of this uninvited guest called death.

Most people underestimate the impact of karmic retribution. That’s why they live in indulgences and only strive to achieve worldly ambition without cultivating goodness to make their lives worthwhile. They do good deeds but never stop committing sin or live their lives without moral conduct while accumulating bad Karma. When they do something good or give something away, if it is motivated by greed, there won’t be that much returns either.

Think about this…If you were to die soon, who would suffer after that? Would it be your father, mother, husband, wife, son or daughter? Would you want to give them trouble? Or would you rather be prepared to leave at any time with everything planned? And after death, where would your soul go; hell, heaven, or somewhere else? Is this mind of yours scared of sins and bad Karma you had done? If so, it will be hard to rest in peace. That’s why Buddha’s last words was the teaching about not living a heedless life.

Although we cannot escape the destructive Karma or any other karmic effect, if, for the rest of our lives, we only do good deeds, have good thoughts, stop committing sins and purify our mind with Vipassana meditation, when destructive Karma hits us, our lives will not be a waste. And if we make it through those crisis, we will reap the fruits of goodness we have done earlier

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