Saturday, October 12, 2002

Why Bodhisattvas Work?

A friend asked me why Bodhisattvas work at helping all beings when each being has his own karma to resolve. The answer is simple- the dynamics of karma are such that the karma of individuals interact collectively too. Who is to say that one will not deserve the good karma of receiving assistance from someone else while one is experiencing bad karma? Karma is mixed, or rather, it alternates between the ripening of the good and bad kind very fast.

If you see someone drowning and decide that it is his karma to drown, and that he indeed drowns because you do not rescue him... well, you are right- it is indeed his bad karma to drown. But by your "active passivity" in helping him when you can, you have created for yourself the bad karma of letting someone die when you can do something to save him. If you are to save him instead, it is the fruition of his good karma amidst his bad. And you have planted the seeds of good karma in helping him.

The difference between us and the enlightened Bodhisattvas is that while we might hesitate whether to help someone due to uncertainty of the results, they are able to discern with perfect wisdom as to whether action or inaction is the best course of action to help someone. Perfect Compassion is a perfectly natural response; hesitation is the lack of wisdom- it is unnatural, the lack of the ease of the Bodhisattvas. When in doubt, listen to your heart- your Buddha-nature. So the answer to why the Bodhisattvas work is simple- it is only natural- answering the call of suffering beings is as natural as, pardon me for saying, answering the call of nature! reply

No comments:

Hopefully Somewhat Enlightening & Entertaining Thoughts... Stuff discovered on the path to the natural unshakable peacefulness of a stone...