Monday, October 14, 2013

Law of Cause and Effect -- Karmic Power

            So let's recap what we've learned so far about the Law of Cause and Effect before explore karmic power in more depth.

  Good causes produce good effects. 
Bad causes produce bad effects. 
 Own causes produce own effects.

Causes mean our actions, 
or in other words what we do.

Effects mean the result of our actions, 
or in other words what we experience in life.

            Good deeds bring us good experiences, and bad deeds bring us bad experiences. Our own actions determine what kind of experiences we bring into our lives.

Original Photo by Nicole Yeary available on

            The concept of individuals determining their own future through the power of their own deeds is known as karma.

             Karma is an invisible, indestructible energy that never fades away. It is this karma that has the power to determines whether events are favorable or unfavorable to us in any given situation.

             This karmic power is stored in what is known in Sanskrit as Alaya-vijnana, or "storehouse mind." It is like a spiritual storehouse holding all your karmic power. All our karma is stored here eternally without limit. This is the true self that transmigrates lifetime to lifetime within the cycle of birth and death.

            We can imagine this mind works almost like documents stored onto your computer. You first input data into the word processor by typing with your keyboard. All the letters and spaces you type translate into digital information which the computer then stores invisibly within its hard drive. The hard drive is very compact giving it the power to store a lot of information.

              Likewise, our physical brains also hold a lot of data. Over a lifetime, the brain of a scholar can often hold the contents of an entire library. His head doesn't have actual paper books in it. The contents of the books are stored invisibly within his mind.

Original Photo by Tulane Public Relations available on

                Now because of the invisible nature of karmic power, it can often conceal certain causes and effects from our perspective. Let's look at an example that demonstrates this idea.
                Every year in Japan, the cherry blossom trees bloom in the springtime. It is a national pastime to have a picnic under the trees to observe their beautiful pink, white and rose colored-leaves.

Original Photo by rumpleteaser available on

                 However, one creative Japanese poet wrote about the cherry blossoms during the winter and composed this curious work:

Year after year
Cherry blossoms bloom again
on Mount Yoshino
Split the tree and look inside -- 
where are all the flowers?

               In spring, we can see all these beautiful cherry blossoms in abundance, but the poet is asking us here... where is the power to bloom flowers in winter?

               Hidden within all of them is the power to bloom a flower. You can't chop the tree in half and see with your eyes where these flowers are hiding. Science may be able to pinpoint the location of where the organic chemistry of the flowers can be found, but you won't find actual flowers anywhere in the tree. So where are they?

                Sure, all the trees contain the tiny biological energy that make cherry blossoms. This power is a cause that remains dormant until the right condition comes along. That right condition is warm, spring weather. When this cause and condition combine, beautiful flowers bloom as the effect.

                 Trees that are sickly or malnourished no longer carry the biological energy required to create flowers even in spring. So a condition alone isn't enough. Without a cause, there's just no result. There must be a cause and condition for an effect. 

                 If cold weather makes spring arrive late, then the blossoms arrive late as well. In that case, the cause was ready, but the condition delayed the effect. If the winter is mild, then cherry blossoms can bloom sooner. The sooner a condition comes, the sooner it can become an effect.

                 So the energy in the cherry blossom trees is unseen. With the right condition, only then can the visible result of cherry blossoms emerge.

Original Photo by Zdenko Zivkovic available on

                  Karmic power is invisible too, but once it combines with the condition, it becomes an effect. If you where to look for it with a microscope in our body, you wouldn't be able to find it.

                   As we learned earlier, the Law of Cause and Effect runs through the Three Worlds. In the next post, we will learn how our karma relates to our past and future.


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