karma QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


Q. Does our past karma affect the present life? How can we believe it? What is the proof? Thank you.

M. It is not easy to prove this, but I can try. We do not need to talk about a past life which is unreachable for our mortal understanding. We will talk about the present. It's easier to understand. For example, if every day you drink alcohol, if in the morning you drink alcohol, then in the afternoon what do you feel? Lovely, no? Fantastic? Or you feel drunken, and terrible, with a headache, and lousy and sluggish? You feel terrible, right? Yeah! That is the effect of it, what we call, "the past karma affecting the present. If you did not drink alcohol so much in the morning, then at noon you don't feel so terrible, or in the afternoon you don't feel so terrible. You will feel clear headed and very happy, yeah, and very normal. That is the karmic effect, we call "the past affects the present". It's very easy. Now, these things are easy to understand because they are in the same time, and in the present time. But if something happened so long ago, in the centuries of times, then of course we do not understand. Every time we're born again we change into new clothes, and this body is the new clothes, and we've forgotten the last time we wore what kind of clothes.

The fact that we forget the past is also a blessing for us, because what is the use to us if we remember that last life we were a tiger, or we were a wolf, or we were a kind of very' terrible president or very terrible king? Understand? This will make a very, very heavy, how you say, pressure on us, yeah! We cannot even deal with our daily pressures, how much more so if we have to deal with past karmic burdens, mental burdens. Understand?

So it is a blessing that we don't remember our last life. This is especially designed by God, by the lord of karma, that we do not remember, so that we may live a bearable life. But actually, when we practice some kind of meditation, even just ordinary meditation, not to mention our method, some people would see their own past lives. There are some kinds of spheres which record every minute detail of our past existences, and when we reach that so-called library [Master laugh] We can see everyone's life like an open book, including our own. So actually, when we practice our method we can also reach there. If it's useful for you, the Master will let you see, if it isn't, and too much for your own enduring power, then the Master will cover it and won't let you see.

So the secret of life is nothing secret. It is a matter of reaching the right library and then seeing what is in store before and after. Understand? So you can prove it for yourself even. You can prove it for yourself, no one can prove it for you. For example, if you ask me how I can prove your karma, now I would tell you, for example only, don't believe it, I would say, "Oh, before you were a tiger". Yeah, and now you would ask me for proof. It is very difficult for me, because you are here and I am there. I see things differently from your seeing things. Understand? The one who is on the fifth floor sees more parts of the city than the one who is on the second floor, and the one who is on the second floor will not believe what the third floor is telling him because he himself doesn't see it. Understand that?

So proof or no proof, leave it till later. You should concern yourself more with your present life. For example, our past life we cannot change, it's gone, it's already happened. So all we can change, all we can worry about, is this present life and the future. No? And now we can change the future, and that is a good thing. The future and the present are so important to us, not the past. The past, we cannot do anything about. And we couldn't do much even with the present, but we could minimize it, could smooth it, by our own God power within us. Every day we take it out and use it.

For example, you have a treasure and inheritance from your parents, a million dollars treasure laid and hidden somewhere, and you don't know where it is; and every day you go and work very hard and earn a little money. But the fact that you know you have a treasure somewhere doesn't help you, does it? But, if you know where it is, then you will take it out and use it every day. And now, if you owe somebody a hundred thousand dollars, you cannot change that, because you've already borrowed from him and you cannot change this. But you can take your money and give it to him, understand? You can make your life more comfortable.

Pay him some money and you can avoid the lawsuit, and avoid people coming to drag you out to scold you and beat you because of owing money. That's how you can change your present life. Now, our present lives are fixed from our past so-called karma: As you sow, so shall you reap. Therefore, our happiness or sorrow are fixed because of our own past actions, just like when we owe somebody money we cannot change that because we've already spent it. So now we have to bear it, or if we have the money, we give it to him, and then we're free. In the same way, our present life may be miserable or unhappy because of our past lives or the past years wrong actions. But now, if we practice, we can take the inner blessing power to use, and then we can minimize this misery and that's how we can help and change the present. And of course, in the future there will not happen anything, how to say, unfavorable to us, because we have so much merit in store to alter our future. it is the same as when we have discovered our treasure, then we can give some money to our debtor. Is that not so? And then we even have a lot to use in the future. In the future we can avoid borrowing money, we can avoid being poor. Is that not so? Yeah! Same thing, same thing! We cannot change the past, we have to smooth the present and change the future. And that is the purpose of practicing the immediate enlightenment method- the Quan Yin method. Quan means contemplate. Yin means inner vibration, inner sound. So says Quan Yin. This is a Chinese word for contemplating the inner music.

.....

Q. Can we exchange karmas? Can those who were born with heavy karma change with someone who has a lighter karma?

M. Definitely, you could clean it all out. Even with a lighter karma, you still are not free. Better that you clean out everything. I can do that. It's my job, but you must follow some instructions, and we have to work together. You must allow me to clean your house, and don't cling to the garbage.

.....

Q. Why is it necessary to erase past karma?

M. It's not necessary if we want to continue living here. But if we want to go back to where we belong, then we have to pay all the debt, either by suffering or by enlightening medicine. Once we're enlightened, the past karma is erased, but the present karma continues. The future karma is nonexistent, and that's how we can be free to go back to the Kingdom of God. What keeps us here is the storage of past karma.

What does it mean by karma? It is a Sanskrit term for cause and effect, for what we call, As you sow, so shall you reap, in the Bible. We have been sowing a lot of bad and good deeds since thousands of millenniums, since time began. That's how we continue to exist here, because we keep paying and borrowing, and paying, repaying. All the time, we come back to repay the past debt. So in order to be clear of this and to be free of bondage, we have to erase the past karma. The only thing that we can do to erase the past karma, once and for all, is enlightenment. Once we're enlightened, the past is gone. Just like you switch on the light, doesn't matter how many thousands of years that darkness has been residing in this room, in one instant, it's gone. There is no other way we can erase the past karma because it's too much. It's too much. That's why enlightenment is very necessary.

.....

Q. You spoke earlier about karma, do we have control over what we want to be in our next life, or will someone tell us what it will be?

M. No one will tell us what it will be, because it is our own actions and the fruits thereof that will determine what we will be in our next life. If you want to control your next incarnation, you must have the wisdom to find your own path and regain your own greatest strength. Then you will be able to have control. But now you are too weak.

.....

Q. Can we reduce our karma by praying?

M. Yes, we can, if we are sincere enough. Because a very sincere and deep prayer is a kind of meditation. We are in a meditative mood, therefore it reaches the deepest recesses of our grace, our merit and our storehouse of blessings, and it has an affect, it cleans. Only when we are truly sincere and deeply longing for forgiveness, then it helps.

.....

Q. Could we distribute our karma over several lives, so we suffer less each time?

M. Yes, you can do that, but you will suffer more. I will tell you why. Because each life we have karma already, and if you add the karma of this life, you'll suffer more only. Each life, you have enough karma even to spare, to suffer and if you add this life's karma, I think that you will suffer, more and not less. You understand?

.....

Q. Do the sins of the father follow the son?

M. To some degree, yes. We call this collective karma. It means the collective retribution within the family. On top of that, each one has his or her individual collective bad deeds or good results from good deeds. Karma means both good and bad actions and good and bad results, not only bad ones. Most people use it in a negative sense.

.....

Q. Does karma oblige us to have children, or do we have the children because of the karma?

M. Yes, we were connected with the child in a past life through something, sometimes bad karma, sometimes good karma. Okay! So karma mustn't always be very bad. Yes, maybe last life you helped a person, and then this life you get enlightened and unconsciously want to help that person also get enlightened; then he'll be born into your family and become your child. In that case it's very good. The child sometimes comes from the wish of the parents to help that child, because maybe that child helped the parents somewhere in the past lives; and now the parents are enlightened and wish to repay the kindness. In the subconscious mind they wish that person also can be enlightened and liberated, therefore the person will be born into that family and become a child. In that case, it is good; it is not bad karma, it's good karma.

.....

Q. How can we understand the karma of a couple?

M. If the couple is in harmony, then they have good karma; if the couple every day strikes out at each other, then you know what kind of karma that is. Easy to understand, no? If your couple is in harmony, then be happy; if it is not in harmony, then try to adjust and be tolerant, to avoid next time coming back again as a very undesirable karmic couple again. Tolstoy had a very terrible wife. You know Tolstoy? Yes, the author of "War & Peace." He had a very terrible wife, so it's told. Every day she nagged him, cursed him, and scolded him, and even beat him and threw him out sometimes. One day his friend couldn't bear it any longer, so he told Tolstoy, "Why don't you kick that devil out of your house and then we can have peace?" Tolstoy said, "Shh...!" "Don't talk too loud. Last life I did that already, therefore it got worse this time. I don't dare to do it." [Laughter] Understand that? The more you struggle, the worse the situation becomes. So just accept anything as given by God, and try to get through it and train yourself in patience, tolerance and love thy "enemy." Even as wise a man as Tolstoy couldn't deal with his terrible wife, so we ordinary beings had better keep silent. [Master and all laugh]

.....

Q. Do we pay karma in our dreams? How do we pay karma?

M. We pay karma in our dreams only if that is the grace of God. Otherwise, most of the time, we have to pay physically, like an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. When initiated, or enlightened, then we live by the grace of God. We don't live so much by the law of karma anymore, except for some already fixed karma, like we have to have some certain karma in order to exist in this life. That karma we have to continue with. But then, it can be erased to a certain extent, it can be lubricated, it can be lessened a lot of degrees, or it can be paid in dreams, only at that time.

.....

Q. Dear Master, please explain what kind of karma it is for there to be dictators like Hitler, Lenin, Ho Chit Minh, who caused wars that killed millions of people, and made millions of others suffer?

M. That is the collective karma of mankind which, as I told you, are by-products of the inter-relationships between humans and other beings in this world or other worlds. And those kinds of by-products became a kind of very forceful strong energy hanging around our earth's atmosphere. And when it is too condensed, then it has to manifest into something visible, such as a very great dictator who kills millions, etc.

So therefore, these people are not to be blamed, in a sense. But, we ourselves are to blame. If each one of us had led a life of virtues, keeping the commandments, and refraining from killing of any kind, including the indirect killing of not keeping the vegetarian diet, then the world would never have bred these kinds of dictators in the first place. There are these terrible experiences to remind us of the virtuous way, and if we are not awakened yet, then these things will continue to remind us until the whole of mankind is awakened.

.....

Q. Could you address the issue of karma, how we dissolve our previous karmic debts, and how this relates to enlightenment?

M. Karma is a Sanskrit term for the law of "As you sow so shall you reap," which is the law of the lower universe. When the Master gives you initiation, he pulls you up further. Therefore, the karma downstairs can be burned and does not affect you. He just leaves a little bit for you to carry on this life, which is already smoothed out and lubricated by the Master's power. After initiation, you have no more stored karma, so you don't have to be reborn again, if you don't want to. If you want to be reborn again, it is very easy. We can create karma or we can borrow it from many sentient beings to come down. Initiation is the destroying of all karma in the past, leaving no more opportunity for the beings to come back in the future.

.....

Q. How do you understand the karma of a couple?

M. If the couple is in harmony, then they have a good karma. If the couple is in everyday strife, then you know what kind of karma that is. Easy to understand, no? If it's in harmony, then be happy. If it's not in harmony, then try to adjust and be tolerant, therefore to avoid next time coming back again as a very undesirable karmic couple. Tolstoy had a very terrible wife. You know Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace? He had a terrible wife, so it is told. Everyday she nagged him and cursed him and scolded him and even beat him and threw him out sometimes. One day, his friend couldn't bear any longer, so he told Tolstoy, Why don't you kick that devil out of your house and then we'll have peace? Tolstoy said, Shhhhh. Don't talk so loud. Last life, I did that already. Therefore, it got worse this time. I don't dare to do it. Understand that? The more you struggle, the worse the situation becomes. So just accept anything as given by God and try to get through it and train yourself in patience, tolerance and love thy enemy. Even as wise a man as Tolstoy couldn't deal with his terrible wife. So we ordinary beings better keep silent. Silence!

.....

Q. Dear Master, when we have a few problems, how do we know which one is fixed karma and which one is Master's testing? Which one takes priority?

M. Actually there is no testing for us; we test ourselves. Just like when we have some hardship, we say, "Oh, God has tested me!" It is not true. It is because of our karma, because of our tendency toward the negative way that we experience hardship. So the only way is to turn back to the positive, and then we experience a different way. We can do it by self-discipline or by prayer. Then we turn everything into a better way. Whether it's karma or God testing, it will be better.

.....

Q. Master, I was thinking. Because how you said don't kill sentient beings, does that include pests, bugs, termites and mosquitoes?

M. Well, we have to do what we need for the environmental care. But then, we have to pay for that. But they are small bugs. They are not so big, bigger of life, then we meditate for them, and they will be all right. The important thing is not the act of killing. The most important thing is that the violence in your heart that must be terminated, you know what I mean? Some people, they don't kill actually with their hands but they kill with their thoughts. That is more important than even the act of killing. So what we try to minimize is the violence in our heart, the tendency to want to destroy other beings. But if we have to do it for environmental hygiene, we must do it. And pray for these in our meditation. But it is best when we avoid it. Like we keep our place very clean, so that the ants and other insects won't come around. And if you spray around so that they will leave, they will not die. There are some ways to avoid not to kill. You have to take care of that. The less killing, the better, even the small insects! But sometimes they are too harmful for the children and babies, then the mother has to do it. Because after all, human beings... human life is more precious. We don't do it because we are bad or we are malicious. It's just the situation.

.....

Q. I work in a hospital; sometimes I work with children who are very sick. I was wondering how should we understand why it is that some small children, who have no choice and who can make no mistakes, have to suffer so much?

M. I understand your heart. I used to wonder like that also. I used to say, "Well, if we are adults, we can make some mistakes or can take the retribution for it. But the children, they are so innocent." But now I know. That is the law of reincarnation. What you sow, so shall you reap. If you do not reap enough in this life, you reap in the next life. You reap the minute you are born. Otherwise, how can we explain God's mercy, which is so differentiated. Some are born with disease, some are born having some trouble, some are born blind, some are born deaf, etc. God is ever-merciful, just that we must reap what we have sown. Otherwise, we can't explain. Now, it may be difficult to believe this. But it isn't difficult. If we meditate, in some kind of transcendental way we may go to a higher plane of consciousness, we can see through the past lives of a person, and we can know why it so happened. Then we are satisfied or justified. I'm happy to know that you work from your heart. Anyhow, every time you work, try not to feel personally involved. Otherwise, you will be drained of energy. Just do your best and leave everything to God. It's God who cures or who severs. It's not in our hands to help. Actually, Hes only uses our hands to help those whom Hes wants to help, who deserve the help. The others have to go through some kind of lessons, some kind of cleansing process through suffering, in order to be greater in the next lifetime; because we are continually in eternity. We are not born only once. Otherwise, it is too depressing. One hundred years - what a waste of creative energy from God's part. Hes creates and we live all the time. What we do mistakenly this life, we make up in the next. What we cannot pay this life, we pay in the next. Just like you take a mortgage.

.....

Q. Some of science seems to be similar to the law of karma. Please explain.

M. Yes, but what we know by method of science is too little compared to what the Buddha knows or what Christ knows. That's all there is. But science has helped our life very much and has helped to prove many theories in Buddhism and Christianity. There's no harm from science, just science has discovered too little.

.....

MC. He would like to know if it is so wrong that he separates his parents for a good cause, because one of his parents does not allow the other one to practice meditation. And he would like to know if his action is related to karma? And if he practices this meditation, will that correct the wrong action of separating them?

M. Never mind, you should let time take its course. And whatever concern your parents, you don't worry. You don't worry because the time will come when things will change. If you try to force the issue before time is right, you incur some trouble and sometimes you incur, of course, the karma.

.....

Q. You mentioned the master can borrow people's karma. In that case the karma is erased, for these people? What is the consequence for the people?

M. Yes, yes, yes. Oh! The master can erase anybody's karma. If that's what the master chooses to do. In fact all the disciples, at the time of initiation, all the karma in the past has to be erased. I just only leave you the present karma, so we can go on to continue with this life, otherwise we die immediately. No karma, cannot live here. Therefore the master has to erase the store karma only, so the person is clean, and leaves a little bit karma for him to continue this life, to do what he has to do in this life. And after this, finished. That's why he can go, otherwise how can he go? Even if he is clean in this life, how clean? And how about last life, you understand? Yes. Okay.

.....

Q. And is there karma in all realms?

M. Hum, not all realms, up to the second realm only, because our mind, our brain, the computer, is manufactured in that second plane. When we go down all of the way, all the way from the higher planes down to this physical plane, supposedly to do some work. Right? For example, even the master goes from the fifth plane down to the physical world. Then he has go through the second plane and pick up this computer and fix it in, in order to work in this world. Just like a diver, you know, who dives into the sea. He has to go through a preparation of a mask, of oxygen and everything. Even though he himself doesn't look so ridiculous, but, when he wears the oxygen mask and the diving clothes, he looks like a frog you know. That's how we look like sometimes with our... this computer and the physical hindrances. Otherwise we are absolutely beautiful. Even though you think you are beautiful now, you are so ugly compared to what you really are. Understand? Because all the instruments that we have to wear in order to dive deep into this world to work. So after we pass the second level to go upward, we have to leave our computer there, we don't need it up there anymore. So, just like when a diver reaches the shore, he discards all his oxygen mask and all his equipment to dive, yeah, and he looks the way he was. Yeah? Okay! Yes, you continue if you wish. Here, here. We have only one microphone, so poor.

.....

Q. Thank You, thank You, Master. You said that at the end of the second world, before you're go up, that you leave all your karma behind or you have to resolve or clean all your karma. Does that mean that also all of the karma of the past lives that you come into this life with too?

M. Yes. Because no computer to register anything. We only have karma because we have this computer, the mind, the brain which is meant to record every experience of this physical world. That's why we have it. Bad or good we register it in here. That's what we call karma. Karma is what? Just the experiences, bad or good, our reactions, our learning experiences in many lifetime. And because we have a kind of so-called conscience, we know we should be good and sometimes we did bad. Therefore we call that is karma. And the bad things weigh down on us, just like a lot of garbage, luggage, because the law of gravity; it pulls us down and makes us difficult to climb the mountain. Understand? Because of a lot of moral disciplines in this world, a lot of rules, a lot of customs, lots of habits, in different nations, bind us within these so-called conceptions of good and bad, guilt and innocence. Therefore when we interact with people of this world, we have experiences of good and bad, guilt and innocence according to the custom, habits of that nation, laws of that nation. Understand? And it becomes a habit that we think that way, that we do this, we are guilty... we do that, we are bad person. And this, all is recorded it in here. That's what makes us transmigrate and makes us bound into this physical world or a little bit higher world. But not high enough. We are not, not..., we are not free enough. We are not light enough to float above. You understand? Because of all this conception... preconception.

.....

Q. Master Ching Hai, I have two questions. One is, what world do past life memories come from, if you were to have the memory of the past life. And secondly, how do past lives relate to karma?

M. To your present, right? To your karma?

Q. To the present karma and to one's present understanding? Are they part of the excess baggage?

M. Yes, yes. They relate very much. First question, where does the past karma come from?

Q. Past life memories. Yes.

M. You can read the past life record, that's for sure. And the past life records, as I have told you, came from the akashic record. Yes. And this is a kind of library in the second world which is accessible to anyone who can reach there. Not everyone can go to the United Nations' library and have accessed to it. But I can, for example today, because I'm invited to talk in the United Nations. Right? Not everyone can come in, but you can, because you are a kind of residents here. So, similarly, when we get access to the second world, we can read the past life, yeah! Also when we access into the first world, some of it, we can have some glimpse of the past life of a person. But that's not very high and not very complete record. And how do these past life experiences relate to the present karma? We can say that these are the experiences we have learned in order to cope with this present lifetime. You understand? What you assimilated in the past, you will bring into practice at this present lifetime. And similarly, too many unpleasant experiences in the past would make you frightened, when you see some symbol that is very much similar to the past life... For example, if last life... just now, you drop off from the staircase, yeah, by accident and then hurt yourself badly and in the dark, and nobody helps you. And now when you walk down the staircase, you would feel a little frightened, especially when it is deep and dark underneath, you would feel a kind of struggle whether you go or not. Or if last life you have already studied and researched deep into some scientific field. This life you will find yourself still very interested... interested in... This is Chinese tongue-twister (laughs). I'm sorry. Is my English still clear enough? Yeah? (Audience: Yes) Okay. Thank you. So you still feel very... you have kind of a pull to any kind of scientific research, even though you are not a kind of scientist now. Any kind of thing like that. That's why Mozart, he was so..., a genius when he was four years old. He went straight to the piano and he became famous up till now, still. Yeah? He was a genius because he had practiced in many other lifetimes until mastership, but then he died after that. Understand? Before he reached the peak of his career, he died and he wasn't satisfied just to leave... to leave his career because he loved music. So he came back and all his learned experience from his past musical talent came back to him, because he had so strong desire to continue when he died. Understand? And some of these people learn many things from the astral world or the second world before they are reborn in this world again. Therefore they are fantastically gifted with science, or with music, or with literature, or with any kind of inventions, which other people don't know. You see, kind of very extraordinary inventions that other people cannot understand it and cannot even dream of inventing. Okay? Because they have seen them, they have learned them. Therefore, two kinds of learning in this world or in the world beyond. Those who are gifted and excellent, like genius, they are the experts from the world beyond, like in the astral world, the second world... sometimes from the third world, if he choses to come back. Yeah? They are excellent. These are geniuses. Okay? Yes?

.....

Q. Are pain and illness always the result of present karma? If so, how do we clean them out?

M. We clean it out by enduring it. Alright? Because it's already too late now to reverse the wheel of karma. But we could minimize it, we could lubricate it by being enlightened, by meditation on the perfection of the Father every day through the guidance of a teacher, through initiation. Then, we minimize a lot of things. Yeah, um.

.....

MC. He would like to know if it is so wrong that he separates his parents for a good cause, because one of his parents does not allow the other one to practice meditation. And he would like to know if his action is related to karma? And if he practices this meditation, will that correct the wrong action of separating them?

M. Never mind, you should let time take its course. And whatever concern your parents, you don't worry. You don't worry because the time will come when things will change. If you try to force the issue before time is right, you incur some trouble and sometimes you incur, of course, the karma.

.....

Q. I know of the law of cause and effect as a universal law. Could you tell me more about other universal laws? Are there more than one?

M. Yes, there is a higher law than the law of cause and effect. It is the law of grace, the law of forgiveness which comes directly from God. The law of cause and effect is appointed by God to regulate the universe, but there are higher laws above this, such as the laws of love, forgiveness and grace. This is what Jesus brought down to us when He was in the physical body. And this is what any great Master would bring to people, whomever comes to them for refuge and help. This is the law of love and grace.

search

index

<<