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V 1-7 The Relationship between Collective and Individual Karmic Retribution 共业和个业二者果报的关系

Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比,怎么写,都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.


In the last chapter, I mentioned collective karma, which is a karmic consequence that is brought forth by the cumulative bad deeds of many individuals. The best example is the ongoing greenhouse effect that’s still widely discussed; we are unable to hold a specific person accountable because we all play a part in it. The seeds of bad karma that were sowed, like emission of exhaust fumes from automobiles and industrial pollution, excessive deforestation and so on, are all part of the causes that attribute to the creation of even greater negative karma. Similarly, in accordance with the law of cause and effect and heavenly principles, the negative karma will be automatically arranged and scheduled for its retribution in the future.


Once the seeds of negative karma are sowed, they will not simply remain dormant and not cause any effects. Instead, they can affect the weather and geography and will continue to accumulate until the fruition of retribution. Just as all of you have noticed the changes brought about by the greenhouse effect, such as a rise in global temperatures, drastic changes in weather, melting of the glaciers, holes in the ozone layer and so on, these are all caused by the cumulation of bad deeds. The foreseeable resultant karmic consequences are rising sea levels, reduction in the land, submergence of cities by the seaside, and many more unpredictable losses to humanity.


When these kinds of massive natural disasters strike, who will be adversely affected by these karmic retributions? Is it true that all the casualties in the natural disasters are predestined to suffer from the collective karmic retributions? The answer is no. Not every victim is predestined to experience such disasters. In fact, many of them are predestined to have a longer lifespan and have many more karmic rewards or retributions pre-arranged in their life. However, all of them have something in common; that is, they are predestined to encounter with a tribulation then. A tribulation is an outbreak of a rather large and concentrated karmic obstacle. Looking at it from the perspective of energy fields, it means that there is a higher concentration of dark energy. The negative consequences that the collective negative karma bring is in the form of dark energy that permeates the external environment; a natural disaster is a state where collective karma has fully matured and breaks out. It’s usually presented in a relatively large and dense coverage of dark energy. If a person with a predestined tribulation and has high levels of dark energy were to be present at that moment of time, it would be hard for them to escape.


However, it is possible for those with a great number of karmic rewards or meritorious blessings to survive even if they are predestined to encounter a tribulation or are present at the scene. For example, even if they have already bought their flight tickets, there will be various reasons that will prevent them from boarding the plane, thereby avoiding an impending disaster. Nevertheless, enduring the tragedies that feel like hell on earth, is in itself a very painful experience caused by collective karma.

Buddhism in Plain Terms Volume 1 Chapter 7

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