|Original Photo by Nicole Yeary available on Flickr.com|
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 Flickr.com|
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 Flickr.com|
However, one creative Japanese poet wrote about the cherry blossoms during the winter and composed this curious work: