THE CAUSE & EFFECT SUTRA

There was a novice monk who has only 7 days left to live. One day on his way back home, he noticed an army of ants about to be washed away by the current of sudden downpour. Spontaneously, he used mud to block the flow of water and thus, saved the lives of the ants.

As the saying goes: "Good actions produce good results", the novice monk lived up to a ripe old age, above eighty, before he entered Nirvana.

To understand your previous life, look at what you have in your present life;
To have a preview of your next life, examine your daily act in this life.

Of The Myriad of Dharma, The Kindness of Parents is The Greatest! The verse of Maitreya's advice on filiality says:

In the family there are two Buddhas, regretfully, people in the world do not know;
No need to use gold and color to adorn, also no need to use chandana to carve;

Just look at your present father and mother, they are Sakyamuni and Maitreya;
If you can mark offerings to them, where is the need to do other merit and virtue.

Thus have I heard:

Once upon a gathering at Lin Shan Assembly, where 1,250 followers attended, Ananda, one of the chief disciples, after circling thrice with folded hands around Sakyamuni Buddha, bowing in respect, humbly asked, "In the present dark age, where the majority of our people are indulgent in unrighteousness, disrespectful to the Buddha's teaching, unfilial to their parents, immoral, miserable and sordid, among them some are deaf, some blind, some mute, some idiotic, some handicapped in other aspects, the most people inured to killing. How could we understand the cryptic and fundamental principle or what consequences each individual is to suffer eventually for his deeds. My Lord, would you kindly explain there to us?"

Sakyamuni Buddha told Ananda and the rest of the disciples to listen carefully, "I will now expound the Law of Karma. Because of Karmic effects inherited from previous life, some people are poor, some rich, and some miserable. There are four rules inseparable in obtaining happiness and prosperity for your next life.

They are to be filial to parents; to be respectful to Buddha's teaching, and to Buddhist monks; to abstain from killing and set free sentient beings; and to abstain from eating meat and be charitable."

Then the Buddha proceeded on the Karma Sutra: "Destiny is the aggregate Karmic effects from past life. Past karma determined your present destiny. Present karma are to mould your next life. Learn the Law of Karma expounded as follows. For karma are consequential and my words truthful."

Effect: Why in this life you have cars and various transportation facilities?
Cause: Because you have repaired broken bridges and paved roads for the benefits of other in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have clothing in great variety?
Cause: Because you have donated warm clothing to monks in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have splendid food?
Cause: Because you have donated food to the poor in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are starving and clothless?
Cause: Because you were to stingy to donate to charity in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have houses and building?
Cause: Because you have donated food to monasteries in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are prosperous and happy?
Cause: Because you have donated money to temples and public shelters in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are pretty and handsome?
Cause: Because you respectfully offered flowers to the Buddha's altar in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are so intelligent and wise?
Cause: Because you were a devout Buddhist and sober vegetarian in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are liked by others?
Cause: Because you have created good relationship with people in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life husband and wife are faithful to each other?
Cause: Because you have decorated temples with scrolls and tapestries to Buddha in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you both parents?
Cause: Because you have respected and helped the lonely in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are an orphan?
Cause: Because you were a bird shooter in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have many children?
Cause: Because you have printed and distributed sutras in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life a son dies young?
Cause: Because you have committed killing by drowning a baby girl in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are heirless?
Cause: Because you have destroyed flowers habitually in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you enjoy longevity and good health?
Cause: Because you set free sentient beings in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are short-lived?
Cause: Because you committed too many killings in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have no spouse?
Cause: Because you have committed adultery in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are a widow?
Cause: Because you have ill-treated your husband in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have clear and good-sighted eyes?
Cause: Because you donated oil to light up the Buddha's altar in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you suffer from blindness?
Cause: Because you have distorted truth and misled others in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have wry mouth?
Cause: Because you have intentionally blown out candles before Buddha's altar in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are hunch back?
Cause: Because you jeered at Buddha's followers in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have disabled hands?
Cause: Because you have committed evils with your hands in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have lame legs?
Cause: Because you were a robber in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are born as a horse or an ox?
Cause: Because you never paid your debts in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are born as a pig or a dog?
Cause: Because you have deceived and harmed others in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you suffer from constant illness?
Cause: Because you have offered meat to monks in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are healthy?
Cause: Because you have offered medicine to cure the sick people in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are imprisoned?
Cause: Because you have relentlessly commited evils in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are starved to death?
Cause: Because you have plugged snake pits and mouse holes in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you die of poison?
Cause: Because you have intentionally poisoned a river or water source in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are forlorn and friendless?
Cause: Because you were unfaithful and deceitful to others in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are born as dwarf?
Cause: Because you have read and written sutra on the floor in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you spew blood?
Cause: Because you have eaten meat while praying in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are deaf?
Cause: Because you have attended Buddhist' instructions with levity in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are afflicted with ulcers?
Cause: Because you have offered meat before the Buddha's altar in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you have bad bodily odor?
Cause: Because you have sold incense with dishonesty in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you die by hanging yourself?
Cause: Because you hunted animals by using ropes and nets in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are bereft of a spouse?
Cause: Because you have been unduly envious and jealous in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are struck by lightning or burnt by fire?
Cause: Because you have committed dishonest trading with customers in your previous life.

Effect: Why in this life you are wounded by beasts or snakes?
Cause: Because you have created enemies in your previous life.

Whether you reap or you sow,
Effect: If you suffer in hell, blame yourself for what you did in your previous life.

Cause: If you in this life recite the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: You will be respected by many people in your next life.

Cause: If you in this life print and distribute the Cause and Effect Sutra free to all;
Effect: You will become a leader to humanity in your next life.

Cause: If you doubt that eating vegetarian is cultivating charity;
Effect: Witness the happy and prosperous people around you.

Cause: It is good to cultivating giving to the Triple Gems;
Effect: You will be rewarded in return.

Cause: If you carry the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: You will be free from disaster and calamity.

Cause: Do not think that the Cause and Effect Sutra is fallacious;
Effect: It will manifest either immediately or later in your life.

Cause: If you spread the truth of the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: You will be wise and intelligent in your next life.

Cause: You are a Minister or an Officer in this life;
Effect: You gain the fruits because you cultivated pains in your previous life.

Cause: If you in this life insult the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: You are no longer a human being in your next life.

Cause: If in this life you transcribe the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: The generations will be smart scholars and live happily.

Cause: If you recite and act according to the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: Whatever you do will be witnessed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Cause: It is impossible to exhaust the speaking of the Law of Cause and Effect;
Effect: The fruit of a good deed will come in due course.

Cause and Effect: The good cause you have accomplished in your previous life will be the foundation of your good fortune.

Cause and Effect: The good seeds you have planted in this life will give you good fruits in your next life.

Cause: If you doubt the efficacy the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: See how Maugalyayana could save his mother from suffering.

The Cause and Effect must not be treated as small matter,
The Buddha's words are truth, you must not slight.

Cause: If people deeply believe in the Cause and Effect Sutra;
Effect: This will bring them all together to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Having spoken the sutra to Ananda and the other followers, Buddha added, "They are innumerable examples of the Karmic law. But I have only mentioned them generally."

Then Ananda said, "Until the end of the present dark age most human beings would have, through successive life, accumulated countless misdeeds because of their ignorance of the karmic consequences. But thanks to Our Lord and the Sutra he has so kindly given us, whoever writes and reads, prints and distributes this Sutra, upon venerating the Buddha, will blessed with eternal happiness and be able to see Amitabha Buddha, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and all other Buddhas in the heavenly realm."

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