Update: 27/09/2021
During the 45 years of preaching Dharma, Buddha had enlightened the world with a source of knowledge and thổughly understanding of human beings in the universe. He had clearly shown us the operating principles of all things in this world. Those principles are included in the teachings that He had mentioned such as Dependent Origination, Cause and Effect, Samsara...



However, these principles are not created by the Buddha, they already exist in the universe. Before Buddha was born, no one knew about these principles. Buddha was born, he brought the obvious existence that no one knew to tell everyone. From that moment, human kind stepped out from the dark mist and saw the light of sunrise. Relying on Buddha's teachings, people know how to live better, improve their own body and mind, and direct their lives forward on the path of finding enlightenment. Cause and effect is one the most important things out of the principles which are taught by Buddha. By understanding cause and effect, people know what is good and what is bad, what should be done and what should not be done, people often actively do good deeds and they enjoy a lot of peace and happiness consequently. Out of many sutras in the Nikaya sutra system, Buddha had shown us the operation of cause and effect law clearly.

In the Khuddaka Nikaya III, Devapura, chapter V, Chatta's Castle Sutra, a male Brahmin tells a story of a Brahmin named Chatta who studied with a teacher at Setaviyà. One day Chatta went home to ask his mother for money to continue his studies, and after having the money he returned to his teacher at Setaviyà. A group of robbers learned that he was bringing money, so they planned an ambush to kill him and steal the money. At that time, the Buddha had just emerged from the Samadhi. He observed and knew the predestined conditions of this young man, so he miraculously appeared to sit under the tree on the way that Chatta with go through. When the young man passed by, Buddha inquired and when he knew that Chatta had not taken refuge, he instructed him to take refuge. Then Chatta left and was killed by robbers in the middle of the road to steal money. Because he already took refuge to three refuges, with this kind heart, after death he was reborn to heaven and own a palace. When his relatives were at his funeral, the celestial son came to earth with his palace and explained the reason he was reborn in heaven was because of his belief in the Three Jewels. Finally, he encouraged his relatives and returned to heaven. Through the above sutra, we have learned many lessons for ourselves.

1. Facing karma:

In the story, although Buddha knew that the Brahmin was about to die, he himself could not save the Brahmin from death. This has shown us that there is no force that can involve deflecting the wheel of cause and effect. People who have sown causes must definitely reap the results. Although not mentioning the past lives of the young man, if we think about the results to find the cause, we can also know; The reason why in this life, the young man was murdered by robbers was because he had sown bad predestinations in the past life. Through the story, we have learned for ourselves a lesson that Buddhist learners must actively do good things to achieve good results. On the contrary, if we have sown evil causes, we must face the consequences of suffering. When we do not understand the Buddha's teachings, we do evil things and are afraid of bad karma, so we actively go to holy places, worship gods and ask them to help us solve our karma. This will never happen. Nowadays, we have accidentally understood and believed in Buddha's teachings; If we want to transform the bad karma that we created in the past, right now when the karma is not ripe yet we must actively do good things, the results of good deeds will help us transform consequences of the bad deeds that we had done.
2. Buddha's blessing:

Before the young man had to receive retribution, Buddha had come to him and planted the Buddha seed in his heart by taking refuge to the Three Jewels for him and directing him to become a kind lay person. Thereby, we can see that Buddha was not able to change the karma of all sentient beings, but with his capacity and ability to observe causes and conditions; Buddha subdued the young man and made him change himself and his own karma as well. Buddha changed him from a person who did not know anything about Buddhism to a Buddhist with consistent faith, from a person who did not know where to go after death to a heavenly son enjoying many blessings in the world. The Buddha's blessing is shown by the fact that Buddha does not affect the good and bad causes of sentient beings, but Buddha causes sentient beings to change their own karma. So when we bow to the Buddha and pray, we should not ask Buddha for anything or ask Buddha to help us solve our karma, but we should ask for Buddha's blessing to help us maintain our faith and will to walk straight on the path of cultivating Buddhism, improve ourselves to achieve peace and happiness.
3. Understanding dead-proximate karma:

Although his whole life had not created any good karma, with the firm faith in Triratna the young man was reborn in heaven after being killed by the robbers. This is a typical image of the dead-proximate karma. Maranasanna karma means karma at the time of death or ideas in the mind of people before dying. This karma has an important influence on the matter of rebirth of a being. It is possible that we don't create any good conditions for a long period of our life, but before we die we generate good thoughts, so we are reborn in a good realm. On the contrary, there are people who do many good deeds while they are alive, but when they die, they lose their mindfulness, causing their mind to be scattered and evil thoughts arise, which also causes that person to be reborn in an unwholesome realm. Pure Land cultivators need to pay attention to this issue, we must practice daily recitation of the Buddha's name in their hearts, so that at the end of our lives, we will have firm mindfulness and not forget the Buddha's name. Thus, we can be reborn in the Western world of Ultimate Bliss after death.

4. The Power of Belief:

Relying on the belief in the Three Jewels that the young man was reborn in heaven. Through this, we must also consider our own beliefs. Do we really believe in the Three Jewels or not? When we take refuge as a Buddhist we are told about the Three Jewels which means the three precious Triratna: Buddha Dharma Sangha, this is the true refuge for us, Buddhist practitioners must be convinced of this. However, do we believe in it or not? And when we believe, will that belief be strong or not? Most people have that belief, but when they meet disadvantages and are manipulated by force which is using money and power, we can turn around and curse the Buddha, destroy the Dharma, and slander the Sangha. Thus, our faith is not solid, faith is the first step to enter the path, without faith, it is difficult to achieve success on the path of cultivation. Therefore, on the path of studying Buddhism, to achieve results, we must build true belief in Triratna, no matter what happens, our faith must not be shaken.

Through the sutra, we have learned many lessons from experience. In general, the most important lesson is that Buddhist learners must have faith. That are belief in the Three Jewels, in Cause and Effect. By believing in the Three Jewels we have refuge, by believing in Causality we know how to do good and avoid evil, and we know how to transform ourselves from a not-so-good person into a good person. That way, we can improve our spiritual life.

Tâm Thiện 


  Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Tham

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