How does negative karma come about? Let me tell you. Negative karma comes from discrimination and attachment to illusory matters. So, people must not cling on to things. This is mine! That is his! All the people in the world must uphold the law. We Buddhists, who cultivate our minds, must learn to bear responsibility for karma. Do you have karma today? If you sow a cause, is there a consequence?
People need to awaken as early as possible, then you will gain realisation of the truth earlier. But many of those who live on Earth, don’t practise Buddhism. They realise what suffering is, only when they fall sick. Many people think that, they are in good health, “I’m just… I’m not sick.” But see, what happens when they have back pains. Look at people who have strong legs, they go bouncing around. They never think that anything will happen to their legs. One day, when they are unable to walk, unable to move or they are reliant on crutches. Then they come to realise, this is suffering. Once they are well again, they forget about the pain. They never think that, “today, I’m able to walk with my legs, because I have recovered from treatment. I have taken care of my body and I have been rewarded for my effort.” The same principle applies to how we get along with others. I am kind to others, that’s why I have been rewarded, as others also treat me with kindness. So, while you are healthy, you must think of the time when you’re sick. That is a philosophical point of view.
At times of adversity, we must think of better times ahead. If today you experience good fortune, you must consider that one day you might suffer misfortune. Regardless of what happens, you should spare a thought, spare a moment for wisdom. This wisdom will give you a balance in your mind between; pain and joy, happiness and sorrow. When people are not in eager pursuit of something, things will materialise by themselves. Many people say, “I pray every day and my prayers aren’t answered.” If you put it aside, then one day you may be informed, that you have succeeded. Only if you persist in your effort, eventually the victory will be yours. We only focus on putting in our effort without expecting too much about the rewards. That is a kind of wisdom.
Our lives were originally not that hard, without troubles or worries. However, once our desires become too strong when we become too concerned about personal gains and losses. We begin to bear too much pain, afflictions and worries. We generate too many desires, because when you experience too much suffering, your desires will start to arise.
“How can I revert the situation, so that I won’t suffer so much?”. This is also a kind of desire.
Desires can be good or bad, “I wish to change myself, to become better”. This kind of desire, though it’s not noble is still considered to be a wholesome desire, right?
“Today I wish to help my daughter to get into a selective school”. Is this a desire? Yes. Is it a bad desire? No. It is just a selfish form of positive desire. Let me tell you. If you wish to attain a high level of spirituality, you need to keep your desires to the minimum and only care about putting in your effort. Help your children with their studies and tell them that, if they can get in it is due to their blessings. If they fail, tell them not to be discouraged and continue to cultivate well. Only those who can control their desires and be moderate in their desires are able to enjoy true happiness in this world.
Think about it! Are those without desires happy and blessed? At mealtimes, they eat anything. Is this not happiness? If someone says, “I won’t eat this, I don’t want that…”. Tell me will he enjoy his food? They all have desires, they will experience suffering. Right? If someone says, “let’s go out and have a good time together”. You say, “I don’t like to go out with you… If he is going, I won’t go”. Look at this desire of yours, it will cause you to lose a lot of happiness you are unable to accept conditions as they are. Only those who know not to be fussy about losses and gains, are able to enjoy themselves.
What is harmony in this world? What is the Bodhisattva’s acting in accord with conditions? It doesn’t matter. Every time we see each other, it is one fewer time we get to see each other. We have become friends today, let’s accord with conditions and work together. It is a form of blessing for all of us. This shows we have the affinity to be together, right? Only those who know how to truly let go, can enjoy ease and composure in life. Ease and composure. Having gained ease and composure, we may progress to another level of cultivation, which is liberation.
What is liberation? Liberation is being free from afflictions. Many people often hear Buddhist monks say, “you must obtain liberation, you must let go”. Many would ask, “Master, what is liberation? What is letting go? What do we let go of?”. Liberation, as I have said, is to be free from worries. Do you have worries today? You can’t figure things out. If you can think it through, you are free.