Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Karmic Consequences - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1490 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Karmic Consequences - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: February 27, 2016, 05:15:40 pm »

Karmic Consequences

Today I visited a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine reputed to be a modern Huatuo. Having me first go through a deliberately mystifying examination, the “Huatuo” then handed me his prescriptions. He repeatedly cautioned me that I should adhere to his medicines only; any other formulas should absolutely be avoided. He then went on in a brassy manner to denigrate Western medicine in all aspects of theory and treatment modality.

As he talked gushingly, many thoughts ran through my mind. Chinese medicine and Western medicine usually interpret the same disease in different ways. In Synopsis of Golden Chamber it says: “Human beings with the five elements are nurtured by external climate chi. The climate chi that sustains the growth of all living things, however, can also turn around to cause harm, just as the water that bears the boat is the same one that swallows it. When positive chi flows smoothly throughout the five major organs of the human body, health and peacefulness follow. When the internal chi is weakened or invaded by external foul chi, then illness or even death ensues.” Thus Chinese medicine regards the blockage of nine vital points and the disturbance to the energy channels as the major causes of illness. Western medicine, on the other hand, holds the weakened cellular immunity of the human body as the culprit. Although these viewpoints are different, we should acknowledge that each has its own merit, and not haphazardly take one side while belittling the other.

Similarly, there is a huge difference in the perception of the universe between Buddhism and science. Many people, failing to find a definitive answer after long pondering, eventually resort to their wisdom-less, conceptual thinking. They presumptuously conclude that because the Buddhist’s description of Mount Meru and the four continents disagrees with modern scientific findings, Buddhism is contradictory to the truth.

In fact, such deviations are similar to the differences between theories of Chinese and Western medicine. Anyone with some understanding of the Dharma knows that the profound secret of perception lies in the unique predisposition of each individual. The fruit durian, for instance, is an absolute delicacy to some people, but to others it is totally repugnant; a woman could be seen by some as beautiful as the divine goddess, while to others she might as well be the incarnate of ugly Wu Yan.

As ordinary beings, we should not make hasty conclusions on uncertain issues without prior thorough investigation. Do not slander recklessly. Otherwise, the negative action of speech will result in unimaginable karmic consequences. The Sutra of One Hundred Stories on Karmas describes many cases of people who, through verbal misdeeds, are reborn in hell and suffer from the horror of their tongues being ploughed as the farmland. Koans like this, I bet, will make the readers do some hard thinking!

10th of January, Year of RenWu
February 22, 2002


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