V 2-2: Master Lu talks about the Buddha-Dharma and Karma 【卢台长谈佛法与因果】

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Disclaimer: My translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation based on my personal understanding of his teachings. 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】. I am not an enlightened being like Master Lu, but I will treat his teachings with my utmost respect and do my best to convey and translate it to the best of my (limited) abilities for my friends and people who can’t read Chinese. Please enjoy and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.


今天给你们讲佛法与法力,很多人都知道佛法,法力无边,既然法力无边,但有些人或许会问?那么为什么这么多的天灾人祸,佛菩萨不发慈悲心去救度?为什么不去阻止这些灾难的发生?因为佛菩萨是不动因果的,自己种下的共业和个业,自己一定要受果报。佛菩萨的法力再大,而那些与佛菩萨没有缘分的人,佛菩萨就无法救度他们。佛菩萨有三种情况无法救度,第一,是无缘的人,如果与佛菩萨有缘,佛菩萨才能帮助你,救度你,法力无边。如果与佛菩萨无缘,佛菩萨就无法帮助你,救度你,当你求佛时,也就是说你只要求佛菩萨,成就了这个佛缘,佛菩萨才会帮助你,你不求佛菩萨,就是和佛没有缘分,佛菩萨是无法帮助你的(显灵的)。第二,佛菩萨不能消定业,定业,就是命,就是定下来的业,也就是你前世所做的一切事情,自己种下的因,得到的果,叫定业。自己种下的因,佛菩萨是不能帮你消除的,即佛菩萨不动因果,第三,佛菩萨在人间,是不能度尽众生的,因为与菩萨没有缘,菩萨就无法救度你。比如师父今天让你来听课,你说没有时间,如何救度你?师父又怎样帮助到你呢?道理就是一个缘。


I will discuss with you about the Buddha-Dharma and the power of the Dharma. Many people know that the power of the Buddha-Dharma is limitless, but if so, some people will ask the questions: Why are there so many natural and man-made disasters around the world? Why doesn’t the Bodhisattvas show mercy by saving the victims of these disasters? Why doesn’t the Bodhisattvas prevent these disasters from happening in the first place? It’s because the Bodhisattvas don’t tamper with karma. The karmic seeds we sowed that created the karmic consequences, either on a large scale or on an individual scale, are something we have to bear. No matter how great the power is of a Bodhisattva is, those who don’t have a karmic affinity with them can’t be saved by them. There are three circumstances where Bodhisattvas aren’t able to save a person:


1. If that person has no karmic affinity with Buddhism, then the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas aren’t able to help them. If the person has a karmic affinity with Buddha and the Bodhisattvas, then they can help them, and their powers can bless them. However, if a person with no affinity with Buddhism, in their hour of peril, prays to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, a new karmic affinity with Buddhism will be born out of this, then it gives Bodhisattvas the ability to give help. If you don’t, they can’t help you.


Andywin08’s commentary:

I thought I would just elaborate on this as Master Lu mentioned that Bodhisattvas don’t tamper with karma, but disasters are a karmic consequence (collectively or individually). So why now does Master Lu say that Bodhisattvas can help you despite it is karma? In actual fact, the Bodhisattvas uses their power to convert the merits that you’ve accumulated from the previous lifetimes (which you’ll be unaware about) or cultivated in your present lifetime to save you. Everybody has different levels and kinds of cultivation, merits and karma when they were born into this Human realm, which is the reason why no life is the same. But this will be touched in a later chapter.


Here’s an example, if a selfish so-called Buddhist (who believes in Buddhism but doesn’t practise it) who had done a lot of bad things and prays for Bodhisattvas for help, although they have a karmic affinity with the Bodhisattvas, but because their merits would’ve been depleted and their negative karma is too great, they can’t be saved. Whereas, if a non-Buddhist who had accumulated merits in the past (in the present lifetime or previous lifetimes) decided to give it a go and pray to the Bodhisattvas for help, then the Bodhisattvas can use their merits to save them. That’s why accumulating merits are so important for a Buddhist practitioner because it not only helps them in the present lifetime but also in the future lifetimes.

2. Bodhisattvas can’t resolve karmic consequences that are predestined to happen in your present lifetime. What we had sowed in the previous lifetime is what we will reap in the present lifetime, that is fixed karma, which the Bodhisattvas can’t change.


3. Bodhisattvas are unable to rescue every single sentient people because not everybody has a karmic affinity with the Bodhisattvas. For example, today Master invites you to listen to my class, but you respond that you don’t have the time. Then how can I help you? The reason lies within affinity.


Andywin08’s commentary:

Just to add an extra point, although all sentient beings possess a Buddha nature, so everybody has the potential to awaken and enter a Buddha state, but everybody’s maturation of their karmic affinity with Buddhism is different due to karma and the degree to how much they are defiled by greed, aversion and delusion. So for those whose karmic affinity hasn’t matured, then Bodhisattvas aren’t able to rescue them.

在世界上无缘与佛法者,称为大地土。就是与佛法和佛菩萨没有缘的人,称为大地土,大地土就是大地当中的尘土。有缘和菩萨在一起,能够一起救度众生的人,称为掌中土,掌中土就是菩萨已经把你放在手掌中了,与菩萨有缘,菩萨才可以救度你。人在这个世界上定业是不能转的,定业是前世所做的一切事情,造成了你命运的定数,是已经定下来的业,这叫定业。定下来的业是不能转的,人的运可以改,但也只能一年一年的改。佛法纵然无边,但是也要遵循因果定律,如果你做了很坏的事情,菩萨是不能帮你消除罪业的。不要以为今天作了好事,可以把以前做的坏事抵消,那是不可能的。因果是自己种下的因,自己尝受这个果报,他人是永远不能替代的。否定因果定律就是否定了人生宇宙的真理,因果在人生的宇宙真理当中是定下来,那是天律,是不能动的,是宇宙空间不能改变的真理,是永远不会变的真理,众生界也是如此。比如当你做了罪恶之事,一定会得到恶报,受地狱之苦。地狱只是一个执行天律的地方。菩萨这么慈悲,为什么看见地狱里有那么多人受苦,而不能全部把地狱里的人救出?因为这是因果,谁都不能动的。要记住不要动因果,不要做坏事,不要种恶因,只要做了就一定会受果报,造什么因一定会受什么果报的。佛法讲佛法无边,是特定所指,特定所指,就是这个佛法无边是救好人的时候佛法无边,救度有缘众生的时候才显出法力无边,有善业的人,对他们来讲,佛法是法力无边,对有重罪业的人,当然佛法也是法力无边,有句话叫:“天网恢恢,疏而不漏,”只要做了坏事,就无法逃脱法律的制裁。


In Buddhist philosophy, those who don’t display an affinity with the Buddha-Dharma are called ‘the soil of the great earth’ 【大地土】. Those who do display affinity with the Buddha-Dharma are called ‘the soil that rests in the palm’ 【掌中土】. As described in the name, thus, those people are already in the hands and protection of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Fixed karma can’t be changed because it is something that was predestined from what you did in your previous lifetimes. What’s fixed can’t be changed. However, luck can be changed, although it can only be changed on an annual basis.


Andywin08’s commentary:

Illustrating this with an example, let’s assume you were destined to be collided by a car due to somebody’s negligence in a particular year (who would be considered as somebody you also accidentally hurt in the previous lifetime in Buddhist philosophy). This collision can’t be changed because it is fixed. However, in Buddhist philosophy, you possess the ability to influence how that collision or that negative karma affects you, which is by accumulating merits. Why are there some people who get killed immediately when collided by a car, while some were fortunate that although they got hit by a car, they were left unharmed?


Although Buddha’s power is limitless, it must still adhere to the law of karma. If you committed a lot of malicious deeds, the Bodhisattvas aren’t able to resolve your karma. Don’t think that just because you did some good deeds today, it would offset all the malicious deeds you did in the past. That’s impossible. Nothing can substitute the karmic consequence of something you did. To reject the law of karma is to reject the absolute truth of the universe and all realms, it is the law of Heaven. Just like if you committed evil deeds, you will definitely suffer from karmic retribution and suffer the agonies of Hell. Hell is just a place to carry out the law and punishment of Heaven. The Bodhisattvas are merciful, so why when they see so many spirits suffering, they don’t rescue them? It’s because of karma, and it can’t be tampered with. That’s why remember not to commit any bad deeds, do not sow negative karma seeds, if you do it, you’ll definitely suffer karmic retribution. You reap what you sow. When the Buddha-Dharma says that the power of the Buddha-Dharma is limitless, it’s only under certain conditions that it’s limitless. If it was used to rescue benevolent people, its power is limitless. If it was used to rescue sentient beings with a karmic affinity with Buddhism and possess goodness within them, its power is also limitless. There’s a Chinese saying, “The capture net of Heaven although is sparse, never leaks” 【天网恢恢,疏而不漏 】. Its meaning is that Heavenly retribution is slow but sure. As long as you commit a crime, you won’t escape from the punishment of the law.


人有诚心佛有感应,一个人只要诚心改过,佛菩萨一定会有感应的。世界上的一切灾难,都是共业所为。菩萨救度那些在共业所为中,受到伤害的有缘众生,而且都是好人,只有好人菩萨才会救,比如得同样病的人,为什么有些人就能活下来,而有些人年纪轻轻就死了,而那些年轻人是因为与佛菩萨无缘。佛法必须按照天律,按照因果和业报来做,因果是不能动的,业报也是不能动的。


As long as a person is sincere, they will resonate with Buddha. As long as they sincerely change, the Bodhisattvas will definitely resonate with them. All the disasters of the world are the effect of collective karma. When collective karma is triggered, and disaster happens, the Buddha and Bodhisattvas will save the victims who are good people. Why is it that some people who have the same sickness as others, some live while others die young? It’s because these young people have no affinity with the Bodhisattvas. The Buddha-Dharma must comply with the laws of Heaven, and comply with the law of karma. Karma can’t be tampered with; karmic consequences can’t be tampered with.


因果全在命中,修心的人,如果不修命是不行的,如果不把自己的命改变,就会有邪见,贪爱,无明。邪见是以为自己总是对的,无明就是不明白真相,什么都不知道,贪爱就是什么都喜欢,都想贪,人要学会舍,就能制止自己的贪。如果修行修心把邪见,贪爱,无明没有消除,他所修心一定会有漏。


One’s karma is already written within one’s destiny. You can’t not cultivate. If you don’t change your destiny, then you’ll possess prejudice, greed and ignorance. Prejudice is where one feels they are right, greed is a desire for possessing anything and everything, while ignorance is not understanding the truth, and ignorant about things. We must learn to give and be charitable; this will subdue our greed. If when cultivating, you don’t totally get rid of your prejudice, greed and ignorance, then there will definitely be outflows.


师父跟你们讲,心态决定着你的将来,有好的心态就会有好的将来,心态不好就不会有好的将来,共勉之。


Master tells you, your state of mind determines your future. A positive state of mind will create a positive future while a negative state of mind will create a negative future. Let us encourage each other in our endeavours.




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