How Good Deeds Can Bring Good OutcomesHow to Teach Children the Law of KammaIt has always ben a challenge to develop human beings to resist the temptations to do bad deeds, and to do good deeds wholeheartedly without any expectation of reward or recognition. If parents can teach their children to be good people through and through, then they will have no worries, for their children will always be on the righteous path, and they will not cause trouble for themselves and others.However, it is rather difficult to train children to love to do good deeds and hate to do bad deeds, because it is hard to resist temptations. Besides, it is impossible for parents to keep an eye on their children all the time. At some point the children must be able to govern themselves.But to be able to control their own behavior, they must fully understand their own behavior, they must fully understand the Law of Kama. Then, when there is the opportunity to commit bad deeds, and nobody is watching, they will be able to control their urges. And when occasions for good deeds arise, they will perform them quickly, not caring if anyone is there to offer praise.How to Teach Children the Law of KammaSince the writer’s knowledge on this subject is limited, I have researched a book by a researched senior monk, and this is his explanation:
“If you ask me whether it is difficult to make somebody appreciate the Law of Kamma, I will have to say no, it is not provided you grasp the essence of this law.First of all, if you ask anybody if they are sure that good deeds will always bring good outcomes, most of them will say no.I started studying Buddhism four to five years before I was ordained. But before that I was not sure that good deeds always brought good results either. Hence, I was not able to control myself. Most people who have doubts about this law do not realize that there are two sets of conditions, namely:1. The conditions inside oneself2. The conditions outside oneselfThe Conditions InsideThe conditions inside oneself have three parts:1. Knowing the Objective.Your effort has to be for the correct objective. Simple put, before plunging into any work, one has to know what the objective of that endeavor is.And while doing it, one must make a full effort to achieve it. This theory is analogous to washing clothes. Generally, clothes will get most stained around the collar and the cuffs. So if one scrubbed the whole shirt, but not these two areas, is that shirt clean? The answer is no. Since effort was not directed to the right areas, the objective was not met, and that shirt remained dirty.The failure to meet this objective is like a person who is diligent but ignorant. He can work very hard, but his efforts will achieve little if anything, and sometimes, his efforts can even bring about more problems. To reach the goal, one must be fully aware and understand the objective of that undertaking before getting started.2. Make a full effort to reach the objective.One must put a full effort into any project to obtain the best quality outcome.Knowing th eobjective of an undertaking is not enough to guarantee the quality of that effort. If a person stops short of a wholehearted attempt, the objective may be realized, but the quality is poor.Going back to the clothes washing example, we now that we have to pay attention to the collar and the cuffs, and we also know that it will take 30 scrubs to get rid of the stains. Unfortunately, if we stop at just 10 scrubs, the stain will be lessened but that shirt is still not clean. This rule is applicable to any task. Acting with the right objective, but not to the fullest extent, will only bring a second-rate result.The failure to exert oneself to the limit can be likened to a smart but lazy person. He knows the objective, and he knows what it takes to reach it with flying colors. But halfway through, he will lose motivation and resort to shortcuts. Therefore, knowing the objective and pursuing it to the fullest extent are the only ways to achieve the best result possible. One must not be lazy, procrastinate or be discouraged by obstacles.3. The third condition is to remember not to overextend oneself.Acting on the right objective to the fullest extent does not guarantee success. A person should also apply the appropriate degree of effort, meaning not too much and not too little so that the effort does not cause any harm.Going back to the clothes washing illustration, if we scrub at the right areas, but instead of 30 scrubs, we go overboard and do 100, we may in fact put holes in that shirt.Another example of how some people can extend themselves too far: They work too hard without getting enough rest until their health is ruined. On top of this, they work on borrowed funds. Their hard work hurts them physically and financially.Therefore, to achieve the right outcome, we must meet the three criteria: knowing the objective, putting forth the right effort, and realizing the natural limitations.The conditions OutsideEven when we have been able to focus on the objective, give it our full effort, and stay within our limitations, there are still two outside conditions which and influence the outcome. They are:1. TimingIf we plant a banana seedling today, can we expect to eat the banana tomorrow? Naturally no. but if we planted it yesterday, and there is no banana for us to eat today, does that mean that our effort has come to naught? Not exactly. It just means that it may bear fruit someday.After three or four months, although there is still no banana to consume, there will be banana leaves that we can use for wrapping. After eight or nine months, there is yet no banana to eat, but there will be banana blossoms to eat with condiments. After we have been watering and turning the soil for a year, then we get to enjoy bananas.A banana plant is one of the easiest plants to grow, and yet it takes 12 months before we get to enjoy the yield. Similarly, favorable outcome of good deeds also take time to come to fruition. So when someone complains that he has pursued the right objective, exerted the fullest effort, and kept within bounds, and yet has not seen the fruit of his good deeds, then he must be told to be patient.2. LocalityTake for example the banana tree that grows next to a big water jar as opposed to one that grows in a dry area. The one next to the jar will receive water each morning as the landowner wakes up and splashes his face. After each meal, Whenever someone bathes, or the maid washes clothes, whenever the water is dumped on the ground next to the jar, the tree benefits. It will grow faster than others since it happens to be near the water source.It is the same when we carry out good deeds. If the locality is conducive the outcome will materialize sooner than it would in a less favorable locality.A word of caution, we should know the mentality of the people around us. Initially, they may give us moral support. But once we advance too far and too fast, they may turn antagonistic, and try to bring us down.So wen we are doing something worthy, we have to pay attention to timing and locality, and adjust our actions accordingly. If we believe firmly in the Law of Kamma, we nobody is watching, and embrace doing good wholeheartedly at any opportunity.How Good Deeds Can Bring Good OutcomesWhy do some people doubt that good deeds will bring good outcomes?We know that when someone does a good deed while meeting the criteria, good outcomes will be realized. This will encourage him to do more good. On the contrary, if he does something bad even while meeting the three criteria, it is certain that he will receive bad outcomes.If we look closely, we will realize that we often have not kept full account of the bad deeds which we have committed in the past. So when we perform good deeds, sometimes we are suddenly hit with the bad outcome. By the same token, sometimes we see somebody doing something bad, but they are hit with windfall. It looks like bad deed is being rewarded. Since the outcomes are not instantaneous, some people being to doubt the effectiveness of the Law of Kamma. This can really mislead anybody into thinking that good deeds do not bring about good outcomes. They may go as far as to abandon any good behavior.But sooner or later, immoral actions will come to light and get punished whether in this life or the next. The Law of Kamma is universal.Criteria for PromotionThe concept of having the right objective and exerting a full effort while staying within bounds can be employed when considering a promotion.For example, a banker was sent anonymous hostile notes by his subordinated. The reason behind this attack was that the subordinates received different levels of promotion: some received one step up, some two, and some three.This is very human reaction. If none of them had received any promotion there would not be any problem. Antagonism and jealousy only arise when the rewards are different. Therefore, there must be some clear-cut guidelines for this kind of situation.The banker asked for the senior monk’s advice when he was questioned by the board. The senior monk suggested that he should explain himself as follows:A particular person did not receive a promotion because he missed the objective. He might have worked hard but achieved nothing. The success of a company does not come from hard work alone. Moreover, missing the objective of Kamma is universal.The banker asked for the senior monk’s advice when he was questioned by the board. The senior monk suggested that he should explain himself as follows:A particular person did not receive a promotion because he missed the objective. He might have worked hard but achieved nothing. The success of a company does not come from hard work alone. Moreover, missing the objective of any endeavor can bring about monetary loss to the company.Another employee might have hit the nail on the head, but he did not hammer the nail all the way down. This kind of person did not do anything wrong, but he has nothing to show for his performance. He might have moved forward an inch, but he would brag that he had gone a yard. Therefore, if we have this kind of person as a subordinate, we should be ready to prove his actual accomplishments. It even happened to me once before.If a person has fulfilled al three requirements, he deserves a two-leveled promotion.For the one who has only stuck to the objective, but failed to carry it through, he only deserves a single-leveled promotion..And for the one who has missed the objective entirely, he deserves nothing. And let him know that he is lucky to keep his job.And for those who have worked hard but caused more damage than good, they should be told to work less and think more.From what I have told you may have to modify your efforts to fit with different circumstances. And soon you will find that the Law of Kamma is absolute, and the right action, thorough and not exaggerated, will bring favorable outcomes at the right time and at the right place.”ConclusionThis teaching by the senior monk should clarify the essence of the Law of Kamma to parents, enabling them to impart this knowledge to their children so that the children will become righteous wherever they happen to be.
How Good Deeds Can Bring Good Outcomes
It has always ben a challenge to develop human beings to resist the temptations to do bad deedsDhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Peace
[ May 8th, 2012 ] - [ : 11602 ]