Sunday 2 December 2012

Can we escape Karma?

Can we escape Karma?

"A wealthy and arrogant young merchant came to visit a famous Monk.

People who came to the Monk usually came to ask for guidance in their service to Buddha, or for advice and blessing in their material affairs.

But this visitor lost no time in telling the Monk that he had no special needs or problems that needed Divine intervention or blessing.

In fact a large lucrative deal had bought him to the area and he had heard so many stories about this famous Monk that his curiosity led him to see for himself.

The Monk replied, "If there is nothing I can help you with at least stay a while and listen to a story."  The man agreed and the Monk began the story.

"Once upon a time there were two childhood friends who were inseparable as they grew up, however, as they became adults their ways parted.  One became wealthy and the other was very poor.
In order to save his family from hunger the poor man sought out his childhood friend and asked the rich man to help.
The wealthy man did not hesitate, "Didn't we always promise each other that we would remain friends forever and share everything we have?"  He then offered his friend half his fortune.

As so often happens with the passing of time, the wheels of fortune reversed and the one who was wealthy now became poor and the one who he helped became even more wealthy.  Confident that he would receive the same help he gave, he asked his now wealthy friend for help.  His friend however refused to part with anything, not even food.

Time again witnessed a reversal of fortunes so that the poor man became rich and the rich man became poor, as each returned to their original situations.

It happened again of course that the poor man felt the hopelessness of despair and went to his friend for help and to beg his forgiveness.  He was readily forgiven, but this time he was asked to sign an agreement that if he were in need of help again, the friend would share his blessings with him."

The Monk continued, "ln the passage of time the two men experienced reversals of fortune. True to form the man who had signed the agreement refused to honor it and his friend and his friends family found themselves homeless and penniless.

Years passed and the two men died. When they came before the heavenly court to account for their lives, the mean spirit of the selfish mans life weighed heavily against him and he was condemned to eternal punishment.

The good kind and forgiving friend was sent to his eternal reward in paradise.

However the good friend could not accept the destiny of his friend's soul and asked the Heavenly court to reconsider as he still loved him and didn't wish to see him suffer on his account.

The heavenly court was in an uproar, this was an unusual case and the only way to solve it was to return both men back to earth so the sinful one could have one last chance to atone for his egotistical behavior.  So the sinful man was returned as a wealthy prideful merchant and the other as a common beggar.

And so it came to pass that one day, the righteous beggar knocked on the door of the rich man begging for food.  He had not eaten for days and he was close to starving but was rudely and callously turned away.
And so the beggar died."

At this point of the story the rich man asked the Monk to stop, "No more", he cried with a lump in his throat,
"Yesterday I turned away a beggar from my door and later I heard he was found dead in the street.
Was he the beggar on your story?"

No answer was necessary.

By now the tears were flowing freely and the man was overcome with remorse and repentance.  He was desperate to know what to do to make amends for his shame.

The Monk explained that his former friend, the beggar, had a widow and orphaned children and that he was to go and give three quarters of his fortune to the family in order to atone for his sins.

The Universe and Karma does work in mysterious ways.........


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With love