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Re: Theos-World More on Karma and forgiveness

Mar 21, 1999 00:56 AM
by LeonMaurer

>>>The notion that we can disolve our Karma along with the 'defilements'
>seems, to me, to be a variation on the Christian theme where we can live
>an immoral life, doing great harm to others, providing we have
>forgiveness at the end.>>
>Well, I agree that the Moll Flanders or Darth Vader approach 
>doesn't work. Probably the best example I can think of here
>is Milarepa, the great Tibetan saint and yogi who eliminated
>his personal karma in a single lifetime. His life was not an
>easy one. He toiled, studied, etc for long years until at least
>he was enlightened. It is not a life that many of us would care
>to go through, but it does demonstrate the possibility.

Milarepa might have been able to achieve enlightenment by hard study and toil
in one lifetime--(applying "self devised and self determined efforts" as we
say in theosophy)--during which he previously created great evil...  However,
this didn't relieve him of his karma.... Since, by becoming enlightened and
taking the oath of repentance and compassion--in essence the "Bodhisattva
Vow"--he assigned himself to endless lifetimes of toil and trouble in helping
achieve enlightenment and keeping from harm those who are (possibly even until
today) the reincarnations of all the beings he originally wronged.  (I'm sure
Milarepa is still around doing his thing.  In fact, I may even have once
bumped into him cleaning out the toilets after a ULT Lodge meeting.:-)

Therefore, forgiveness is only valid for the one harmed, since forgiving the
person who harmed one is a sign of enlightenment and serves as a compassionate
means to help rid the former evil one of his karmic burden.  To forgive
oneself becomes valid only when one truly repents in the heart and takes and
lives out a compensatory vow to return good for bad to all beings in the
future.  This is the only true means to transcend ones karma.  But, there is
no escape from it, since the laws of cycles govern all causes and effects, and
the only way to stop a wave of bad karma is to set up an equal and opposite
wave of good karma... (Just as we can now eliminate loud and harmful noises by
recreating and reflecting their sound waves in the opposite direction.)  And,
this takes much toil and effort, sometimes long after the forgiveness has been
acknowledged within oneself.  That, incidentally, is the true meaning of the
"Confession" in Christianity and the yearly "Yom Kippur" repentance and
forgiveness in Judaism.  To "forgive oneself" is actually meaningless unless
true repentance and full restitution has been avowed in the heart.  Such is
the Bodhisattva Vow.  Anything else is no better than the "vicarious
atonement" of fundamentalist Christianity.

I pity the Pratyeka Buddha with many lifetimes of evil behind him who comes
out of Nirvana after Pralaya and has to face the Tsunamic wave of all his bad
karma and be constantly drowned in it during the entire next Manvantara.  If
such compensation is simply a matter of Universal cyclic law, then one can
hardly imagine the nature and extent of the suffering that might entail as he
starts again on the path of experience from ground zero.  This is something to
say about "karmic responsibility."  What a great release of ones own karma it
would be to enlighten such a one to recognize the true meaning and value of
the Bodhisattva Vow.

Best wishes for good karma,


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