5. sesija – nastavak – Druga plemenita istina
Thank you very much for your hard work. It delights me to know that our Dharma studies are prompting some very interesting conversations.
Please read chapter 3 from What the Buddha Taught. It’s about the Second Noble Truth, the origin of suffering.
Note that “interdependent arising” will be covered in some depth in Chapter 6. Rahula’s translation of this term is “conditioned genesis.”
Also note that he uses the word “thirst,” a literal translation, for a term we often translate as “craving.”
I would like to begin our study time with a discussion about “thought” in the context of the skandhas, then continue through the chapter to see if there are any points that you have discussed together and that could use some clarification.
I think it would be good to look more closely at karma.
For example, in our discussion you understood from the text that karma depends on volition. If this is the case, then how can we explain this story that Shamar Rinpoché told:
During Buddha’s time, there was a shopkeeper who intended to practice Dharma and so he met with Kashyapa, who analyzed his qualities and told him, “No, I will not teach you. You will not be able to absorb my teachings because I don’t see any karmic support for your practice.” The shopkeeper then went to a few other disciples. All of them had the ability to see past merit, but since they were not buddhas, their understanding was limited. None of them found that this shopkeeper had the karmic support to practice the Dharma for enlightenment, so they all refused to teach him.
Finally, he managed to meet the Buddha. The Buddha said, “You do have the necessary karmic support. Many, many lifetimes ago you were on one of the planets where a buddha was teaching. There was a kind of stupa which was blessed by this buddha, and you were one of those black beetles which is always digging in the ground.” There was a small flood which washed the earth, and the beetle hung on to some dry manure which was carried by the water. It passed through a stupa. That stupa was a wish-fulling stupa and because he passed through it he received its blessing! Due to that support he was qualified to practice! He gave up everything, followed the Buddha, and became an arhat. He was a very great vinaya master of his time.
There are lots of stories like this, where a being accumulates positive karma just by being near a sacred place. In the Chenrezi practice commentary by the 15th Karmapa, he says that if the 6-syllable mantra enters the consciousness of a dying ant, it will help it enter the path to liberation. How do we understand this in light of the statement that “karma is dependent on volition”?
Please remember: there is more than one plausible explanation, as far as I know.
How do we understand “karma”? How does Walpola Rahula explain it? Does the notion of karma influence how you live your life?