Monday, May 7, 2012

The Secret To Changing Unhappy Karma

Excerpt from 'The Buddha in Daily Life', by Richard Causton

"The benefit of other sutras is uncertain, because they teach that one must first make good causes and only then can one become a buddha at some later time. The Lotus Sutra is completely different. A hand which takes it up immediately attains enlightenment, and a mouth which chants it instantly enters Buddhahood, just as the moon is relected in the water the moment it appears from behind the eastern mountains, or as a sound and its echo arise simultaneously."

In other words, chanting Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon (cause) immediately brings to life the buddhahood that is innate within us (effect). Here, then, lies the secret to changing our unhappy karma. Rather than worrying about whether we are making good or bad causes, which in itself is a cause leading to suffering, Nichiren Daishonin teaches the importance of fundamentally purifying the inner spirit that motivates various actions. To achieve this, all we have to do is chant Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon (as a part of our buddhist practice) and so reveal our innate Buddha nature. Chanting to the Gohonzon is to the development of our Buddhahood what lifting weights is to a bodybuilder; so as our Buddha nature becomes more and more apparent, and our dominant life tendency moves towards buddhahood, we increasingly make causes that flow from this highest aspect of ourselves.
We will have bad karma stored in our lives - even when we become enlightened - but as our Buddhahood grows stronger we actually begin to use that bad karma to create good fortune for ourselves and others. Problems and desires make us chant rather than simply suffer, and the act of chanting both reveals and strengthens our buddhahood there and then, and also lays down further good fortune in our eighth consciousness, which at some point in the future must in turn be revealed.

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