The Buddha teaches us to rely only on ourselves because we are the creator of good and evil, and the one who will reap their corresponding results of happiness and pain.  The creating mechanism of good and evil, joy and sorrow, heaven and hell are inside our mind.  Mind is the principal architect.  The Buddha therefore concludes that the mind is the chief, the forerunner of all things.  It is both a doer and a receiver of its own actions. The mind is the master who gives order to his servant, the body, to do and say things.

There are three kinds of actions or kamma namely physical, verbal and mental.  When we do good kamma, happiness, progress and heaven will be the results that follow. On the other hand when we do evil kamma, then pain, worry, anxiety and degradation will follow.  After death, the mind will go to one of the four states of deprivation (apaya-bhumi) such as hell for example.  Therefore, the Buddha insists that we must rely only on ourselves.  We shouldn’t wait for someone else to create happiness and prosperity, heaven and nibbana for us.  We must do it ourselves.  To pray to Buddha images or to ask monks for blessings of success and prosperity is not the Dhamma teaching of the Buddha because he can only point the way to peace, happiness, and prosperity, and the way to suffering and deterioration.  His teaching can be summarized as follows: avoid doing evil, do good and cleanse the mind of all impurities.

Doing good kamma or making merits such as giving to charity is like depositing money in a bank.  The more we deposit the more money we will have accumulated. The interest will also increase and soon we will be rich.  On the other hand, doing evil kamma is like borrowing money from the bank in which we would have to pay back the loan plus the interest as well. It can become a heavy burden to bear.  People in debt are always anxious and worried, unlike those who have money in the bank, who are always smiling because their money keeps growing all the time.  It is the same with making merits.  It gives us peace of mind; make us feel happy and content.  But when we do bad kamma, our mind would be set on fire.  We become worried and restless.  This we can see because it’s happening in our mind instantaneously, here and now, not in the next life.  Therefore, if we want to be happy and prosperous, to sleep well and suffer no pain, then we must do only good kamma and avoid doing bad kamma.

There are ten ways to make merits or do good kamma as recommended by the Buddha namely,

If we did something wrong, accept it and be ready to face the consequences.  If we should lose everything, so be it. If we think like this, there would be nobody committing suicide. But these days when we are confronted with unfavorable outcome, we wouldn’t know what to do except thinking of killing ourselves to escape from it, not realizing that we could only kill only the body. The mind would continue to suffer in hell. When we are reborn as a human being again, we would commit suicide again when we run into troubles that we couldn’t cope with. The Buddha says that for each suicide committed another 500 suicides would follow in future human existences because it’s habit forming

The only way to break this vicious circle is to turn to Dhamma and use it to cope with our adversity.  Use patience, perseverance and tolerance to face up to our problem, however severe it may be. We must not run away, even if it means going to jail or condemnation, just think of it as the consequence of our past unwholesome kamma. Once it’s paid off it would be gone forever.

Most of us probably think that to make merits is to give to charity only when in fact there are other ways to make merits. Like eating, we don’t eat rice alone; we also consume vegetables and fruits. Our body needs the five food groups in order for it to be strong and healthy. Similarly, our mind would only develop if we cultivate the ten ways to make merits.  It is therefore incumbent on us to put what we hear today into practice.  Then and only then would we reap the favorable outcome of bliss and prosperity.

Wat Buddhananachat Austin
Merits of Good Karma

Thai Buddhist Temple of Austin Texas for all Nationalities

"An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.. " Buddha

8105 Linden Road, Del Valle, Texas 78617


Buddhist temple of Austin

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