Karma & Meritsplays an important part

Karma & Merits

Save all living beings from harms

May all sentient beings
- have happiness and its causes.
- be free from suffering and its causes.
- never be separated from sorrowless bliss.
- abide in equanimity free of bias, attachment and anger..

The definition of KARMA is stated as: "for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant."

Many that have believed in rebirth have believed that it may involve working off the karmic debt of past lifetimes and therefore hardship and sufferance in the present lifetime has often been attributed to any past life karmic debt, that has been brought forward by negative actions of past life onto the present life and incarnation, thus any present life suffering might be attributed as a consequenting result of the karmic laws and be seen as karmic debt and therefore unavoidable. The karmic laws being the laws that are thought to maintain an equilibrium through action causing reaction and for every action there will be consequenting reactions, therefore positive action is thought to result in positive reaction and negative action resulting in negative reactions, either in this present time or in some later incarnation.

"Merits" means skills. When you have skills you can share them with others. In the ordinary sense of the word, "merits" means that which you can sell to or buy from others. You are promoted in your job or academic level according to your merits. Similarly, in the spiritual field, the things that you do to promote your peace and happiness are called meritorious acts. It is these acts that elevate your spiritual level and lead to the attainment of enlightenment. These spiritual merits are committed with a pure state of mind which follows you as your own shadow which never leaves you. When you do vandana you do it with a pure state of mind. You admire and appreciate the qualities of the Triple Gem and wish to emulate and adopt them in your own life. When you make such conscious effort to espouse them your mind creates room for them and you endeavour to live a life similar to those noble ones who are the embodiments of peace and happiness.

Some Buddhist once said: "If the merits of one's practices are to be dedicated to all beings, would not that become a situation of too little food for a large crowd? Rather just reserve the merits for one's own benefits or dedicate them to only a few people lest the efforts become ineffectual. Furthermore, one could help only so many but not all, hence one should be practical in this matter." There were even people who acted as Dharma teachers that forbade disciples to pray for or dedicate merits to others. The reason given being that, novices as having insufficient spiritual strength are incapable of helping others. These views stemmed from lack of proper understanding of basic Buddhist principles to such an extent that even the correct practice of dedication of merits to all beings could not be adopted...

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