Original Article: Golden Lotus Rain (金色莲华雨露) Blog (Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD) Translator’s Note: Buddhism has had to integrate into an essentially Confucian culture in
For the Buddha, delusion generates itself in cycles of endless repetition. Causes lead to consequences, and this systems appears to transmit itself from one birth to the next. However, this should not be interpreted in a theistic or mystical fashion. Whatever the Buddha is referring to, it can not be obvious reincarnation favoured by certain religious theories, as the Buddha fundamentally rejects such notions in his teachings. Rebirth and karma, as used by the Buddha, appear to be a method of interpretation that avoids the trap of gross materialism, whilst using the rational mind.
There are a number of Buddhist monks from Myanmar and Thailand, who are advising the lay people in their communities to attack and kill their fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim. A recent BBC Radio Four documentary investigating this phenomenon found that it was a minority of high ranking Buddhist masters (in Myanmar) who were responsible for this behaviour, and that the majority of masters did not agree, or had no opinion. This demonstrates that theses rogue masters are behaving in an unBuddhist manner and not only creating hellish karma for themselves, but also causing hellish karma for all those who unthinkingly follow their delusion without question.
‘The Buddha ascribes a special status to in the human realm (this realm is number 5 of the 31 – which occurs as a karmic stage within the broad category of ‘kama loka’, and is known as the ‘manussa loka’ – with ‘manussa’ meaning ‘human), and in so doing automatically elevates this karmic formation as being superior in potential to all other realms, or types of re-birth. It is true, of course, that as long as an ordinary human remains with a mind driven by craving (tanha), no progress can be made and the individual, as a collection of habitual tendencies will bob around on the karmic seas for innumerable ages, experiencing the painful fruits (vipaka) of karma. However, despite this immense image of futile suffering, the Buddha teaches that salvation is possible on the human plane through the understanding and practicing of the noble eightfold path – which is contained within the teachings of the four noble truths.’