Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part VII by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(115) Explanation given in the light of the present Kamma

(2) If one does not care for his own health without taking regular physical exercise and without taking wholesome food which will give him nourishment, he may be afflicted with health problems. Indulgence in sport activities and living on a balanced diet avoiding food which is not health-giving are conducive to good health. There is possibility of doing so only if he has no great akusala-kamma.

(4) [i]. Doing charity or alms-giving, [ii] Gentleness in speech – speaking sweet words of affection, [iii] Rendering assistance to others for their welfare, [iv] Treating and befriending others as his equal, or rather, on equal footing. These four kinds of noble conduct will bring about many attendants and helpers in the present lifetime. These are the teachings of the Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One. If these four sankhara-dhamma are practised and fully accomplished, one is likely to have a large number of attendants and numerous friends. If it is done to the contrary, one will have few attendants and friends.

(5) Practice that will lead to become opulent has been explained in four kinds of accomplishments, namely the Four Sampada(s). These are [i] Utthanasampada. – accomplishment of manly vigour and perseverance i.e. to perform the work or duties relating to his business or occupation with proper knowledge and experience, and also with heart and soul, [ii] Arakkhasampada – to protect his own property and wealth from destruction, [iii] Kalyana-mattata – to have good friends and close acquaintances, [iv] Samajivita – to live within one’s own means, i.e. to be modest in the way of living without being extravagant. By living in conformity with these Four Principles of Conduct, one can become wealthy and opulent. If not fabulously rich, he can be moderately wealthy. Contravention of these four principles of conduct will surely make one poor.

(7) In regard to the, matter of lacking in knowledge and attainment of high intellect, mention has already been made earlier. (1) Cause of short and long life in the present lifetime has been included to some extent in the explanation given relating to the cause for poor health and good health in number (2). As regards number (3), in the matter of causing ugliness and handsomeness in the present life existence, there is nothing much to be said. In regard to (6), low or high birth in the present lifetime, there is hardly anything to be mentioned. However, according to times or circumstances, if endeavour is made with the strength of wealth, companions and friends, good intelligence and education, with a view to earning respect, modest achievement can be realised within the bounds of possibility.

As stated in the foregoing, all beings are conditioned by their own actions of the past and present according to circumstances; happiness, bad or good resultant effects will be brought by their own kamma, immoral or moral. Good kamma will produce good effect, and bad kamma will produce evil effect. That is the law of kamma to which all being are subjected. It is nobody’s doing and cannot be repaired or avoided. Man himself is responsible for his own misery or happiness. No one can create the conditions of the life of a being, it is his own doing.