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 Post subject: Arising through causal condition
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:39 pm 
Arising through causal condition

Ven. Guren Martin
@ DN / 28Feb2006


In Buddhism there is the fundamental teaching, ‘Arising Through Causal Condition.’ This is an important teaching or truth in Buddhism, ‘Arising through causal condition.’

All phenomena arise through causal condition.’ Some people perhaps have not heard about, or do not understand causal condition. For this reason, it is important to make an explanation here. The meaning of causal condition is explained using the following example.

A plant is produced from a seed. And due to the influence of various causal conditions; the sun, the rain, the soil, the seasons, a seed may develop into a plant. Various causal conditions act upon the seed, and the seed grows into a plant.

Causal condition also refers to sounds, sights, smells, tastes, thoughts, and feelings, the six sense-objects. Sometimes the word causal condition is also translated as relation, and affinity. The world that we live in is a vast concurrence or coming together of causal conditions.

There is a poem about causal conditions that I would like to introduce to you.

‘A caterpillar on a willow branch,
The wind blows, the caterpillar rolls off.
A butterfly on a pear flower.
Rain falls, the butterfly flies off.’

This poem is about our life. It is about each and everyone of us. It is about the coming together of causal conditions. The various causal conditions that influence our life, or which can move us in life. In the poem, ‘The wind blows’ and ‘rain falls’ can mean gain or loss. It also can mean favourable conditions, or unfavourable conditions. Doubts or problems also are causal conditions.

It is not uncommon that people may think of a problems as a bad thing.

However, problems also are the working of enlightenment. That is, in cause and effect, problems can be the seeds of solutions.

We should understand, however, that life is not instant, like instant food. Opening the lid, adding boiling water, and in two to three minutes everything is ready and complete. It is not that in two to three minutes our problems in life may all be solved.

For this reason, the Buddhas and Patriarchs who have clarified life and death, have taught forbearance (patience), and perseverance as important virtues. And it is taught that we should be grateful for small gains, persevering in the Way in life. Day by day, being diligent, and not wasting time, we make our world.

Furthermore, it is taught that we should endeavour to be one with causal conditions. Being one with causal conditions. For some people, this may be difficult to understand, perhaps. For example, in the morning when the alarm clock rings to wake us, being one with this condition (the ringing), we wake up.

Then we wash our face, we take our breakfast. Then we dress appropriately for our work. And in Buddhism it is said that we should wear clothing that is decent, or respectable; putting on clothing which is good. Then we go to work, and earnestly we perform our daily activities.

A baker would earnestly bake bread doing one’s best. And of course the baker should make a profit. A student would earnestly study. Studying sincerely for a future occupation, not wasting time.

Similarly, if we have an illness, when there is the condition of sickness, we wholeheartedly make an effort to recover as soon as is possible. This is being one with causal conditions. Like this our life will teach us, all things will teach us.

All things are important. There are the words,’ All the earth is medicine. The Universe is the highway, vast and wide. ‘So sincerely, carefully, politely, and energetically we should live our lives. And we should go straight ahead.

There is an old story of a person who once saw a fine house with a splendid top floor. The upper storey of the house had large windows, a fine roof, and a grand balcony all around.

And there was a fine view of the surrounding mountain scenery and nature. Truly a beautiful place in which to live. So this person seeing the house with the splendid upper storey wanted the same for their own.

The person then spoke to a construction company, and asked them to build this fine upper storey on his own land. Accordingly, the construction company began work. First, laying the foundation for the house, and then starting to firmly build the lower floors.

However, upon seeing the foundations being laid and the work being done on the lower floors, the person became upset and said, ‘I did not ask for foundations and the lower floors to be built, I just want the top floor.’

Of course, this is foolishness. This story serves to point out that often in life it is not possible that immediately, or instantly, we have things the way that we want them to be. Or that things in life will immediately or instantly turn out just as we would like them to.

Fortunately, the Buddhas and Patriarchs have taught the Way for the benefit of sentient beings. With our feet firmly in the Buddhist Way, our life can improve. And our life will be a life that is worth living. And we will never abandon ourselves to a feeling of hopelessness which may occur due to various causal conditions coming together.

Owing to the great compassion, self-sacrifice, and constant practice of the successive Buddhas and Patriarchs, today we are able to know the Buddhist Way which benefits both self and others equally.


Courtesy: Lin Kok


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