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Practitioners Never Misunderstanding Cause and Effect Rule

Update: 09/10/2015
Q: Are Venerables and monks with great practice still under control of Cause and Effect rule?

Practitioners Never Misunderstanding Cause and Effect Rule



Cause and Effect rule is the one of the universe, and no one could get out of it. The practitioners achieving enlightenment would not misconstrue Cause and Effect rule, but it does not mean that they would be no longer under control of this rule. This is linked to a case of the Zen Sect. One day, the Venerable Ba Truong came to deliver a lecture to the assembly. After the end of the lecture, everyone left, but the only old man remained, and went to pay homage to the Venerable:

- Dear the Venerable! I was not a person.

The Monk asked:

- You were not human, so what were you?

The old man replied

- Dear the Venerable! I was a monk in this mountain five hundred lives ago. One day, a man came to ask me: “Are the enlightened practitioners under control of Cause and Effect rule?,” then I answered: “No longer under control of Cause and Effect.” Only that saying which I was made to be a mink (weasel) living in the mountain five hundred lives. Now I sincerely request the Venerable to compassionately give me some words in order to set free from a mink’s life.

At that time, the Venerable Ba Truong told the old man:

- Can you ask me that question again?

The old man asked:

- Dear the Venerable! Are the enlightened practitioners under control of Cause and Effect?

The venerable replied:

- The practitioners would no longer misunderstand Cause and Effect rule.

When the old man heard those words, he prostrated to the Venerable and made a request:

- Please conduct a funeral for me as for a monk this afternoon.

After saying this, the old man bowed down to the Venerable and left. The Venerable hit the mallet to gather the assembly and said: “There is a monk who has just died today, we should go to attend his funeral,” in the afternoon. Everyone was amazed when seeing that the number of the monk in the temple was the same; no one had a vital rest. Then, the Venerable led the assembly to a cave behind the mountain, and they saw there was a mink that had been dead in it. He and the assembly together conducted a funeral procession for the mink as a monk. Thus, even the monk who still has not achieved the ultimate practice may make mistakes in Cause and Effect rule and make others go astray, which leads to wrongly retreat. Consequently, the old man was punished to be a mink five hundred lives. Concerning Cause and Effect rule, we all must be very cautious, and never have wrong speech. The practitioners just do not misunderstand Cause and Effect rule, since they are clear about this rule, and it does not mean they may no longer get into Cause and Effect rule.

Cause and Effect rule covers all living beings in the Universe. There is no place that is unable to carry out from thousands of years ago to thousands of years later. There will be no change. For example, after we plant the seed of orange and fertilize and water it, it will grow up a tree with sweet oranges next few years. On the contrary, if seeds of lemon or chili are planted, there will be sour lemon trees or spicy chili trees. The story planting the seeds of lemon but growing sweet orange trees have never happened from ancient times until now, as what goes around comes around, there might be out of order. Cause and Effect rule applies not only in plants, but also animals or retreat, even trivial notion cannot go beyond the rule. For example, when one reproaches someone, the victim surely find the way to retaliate. Or one always think someone is bad, which would become mental action according to Cause and Effect rule, hereafter they will think of something bad of yours. Cause and Effect rule is like a shadow following the subject, an echo following a voice. Although experiencers lead thousands of lives, the rule will never disappear. When cultivators have a clear understanding of Cause and Effect rule, they should choose good seeds to plant not only thoughts, but also words, even action at the present and should not sow the evil ones to take the suffering effect later.

Thich Minh Thanh.

Translated Into English by Nguyen Hoang Thoai.

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