Is disability a result of karma?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:00 pm

Nemo wrote:As Sutras go the Lakkhana is the most likely to be apocryphal IMO. But it is still Buddhism.

Sure. Buddhism includes the poetic and metaphorical.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby flowerbudh » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:42 am

My take is... one cannot fully know what caused what. Out of suffering, the wise person will learn a lesson and change for the better, whereas the foolish person will learn a lesson but deliberately choose not to act upon it or they will miss the lesson altogether out of ignorance and stubbornness. Good and bad are subjective and like everything else in this world, not concrete or very real. I can choose to have an equal stance on my disability, accept it as it is, and use it to cultivate kindness and compassion. A little divergence, but Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. How do you view this? Karmically, aren't the reactions equivalent to the action? i.e. (very generalizing) but good karma reaps non-suffering, bad karma reaps suffering. Thanks for all the input, my dear dharma family! :smile:
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:30 am

flowerbudh wrote:My take is... one cannot fully know what caused what. Out of suffering, the wise person will learn a lesson and change for the better, whereas the foolish person will learn a lesson but deliberately choose not to act upon it or they will miss the lesson altogether out of ignorance and stubbornness. Good and bad are subjective and like everything else in this world, not concrete or very real. I can choose to have an equal stance on my disability, accept it as it is, and use it to cultivate kindness and compassion. A little divergence, but Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. How do you view this? Karmically, aren't the reactions equivalent to the action? i.e. (very generalizing) but good karma reaps non-suffering, bad karma reaps suffering. Thanks for all the input, my dear dharma family! :smile:
Your take on the situation is perfect my dear flowerbudh. Of course we cannot know exactly which action led to exactly which outcome. It is beyond our capacity right now. All we can really do, right now, is view our current situations with equanimity, avoid actions and mental states which obviously cause harm and foster actions and mental states which are obviously beneficial. Practice will help us develop the wisdom to choose between harmful and beneficial actions.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby Simon E. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:37 am

I will happily second that.

:namaste:
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby undefineable » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:48 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Out of suffering, the wise person will learn a lesson and change for the better, whereas the foolish person will learn a lesson but deliberately choose not to act upon it or they will miss the lesson altogether out of ignorance and stubbornness.
Some wisdom may eventually grow in the unenlightened person who is so foolish (as you put it) as to miss the lesson that suffering itself (rather than whatever may have encouraged him or her suffer) is the problem. Rather than speculating that this may have come too late to amount to anything but an 'end in itself' (and too late to make any difference to either the present lifetime or any future ones), that person can reflect that the underlying mental conditions for a fresh mental approach to life and reality have been ripened, and that this (rather than philosophising ;) ) is what most 'serious' orthodox Buddhists apparently agree on as the gist of Buddhadharma in layman's terms. {In any case, the 'Threeforld Purity' teaching seems to advise the meditator to treat meditation as an end in itself as well.}

This thread seems to fall into the category of 'emotive topic' (perhaps because those who aren't even marginally disabled will likely know atleast one person who is) that keeps some members posting for longer than they admit might be good for them, and that keeps the content going 'round in circles. In that light, this will atleast be my last post on this thread unless some completely new material comes up.

Beneath the harsh language, the point of flowerbudh's and other similar posts seems to be that one should guard -for the sake of one's own karma-vipaka as well as of other beings- against the tendency to view conditions in negative terms rather than using one's human characteristics to turn apparent negatives, whose nature is completely devoid of negativity in any case (as I explained earlier), into positives. The last few posts all seem to support this conclusion, so the thread seems to be neatly 'tied up' :smile:

P.s. post re-written and re-posted
Last edited by undefineable on Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby smcj » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:08 pm

Itzhak Perlman contracted polio at age 4. Being barely able to walk, and therefore unable to play with the other kids, probably contributed to the many hours he spent mastering the violin. So his 'disability' may have been a substantial contributing factor towards achieving his true calling in life--the classic 'blessing in disguise', or perhaps a karmic imperative.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:11 pm

Nearly every Buddhist in the world, if not every one of them (us) is not Bill Gates.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby smcj » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:36 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Nearly every Buddhist in the world, if not every one of them (us) is not Bill Gates.

I wouldn't trade places with Bill Gates. He doesn't have the 'precious human rebirth'. He may be richer than King Midas, but he still hasn't poked his head through that floating yoke.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby Benten » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:48 am

I think the argument of the Niyamas was relevant and not ad hominen to say.... it went over your head look again.

One can become seriously ill by not eating the right foods at the right season time. Or engaging in improper behavior according to season. A fetus is subject to the interdependant choices of the mother. Conversely cant a bodhisattva's practice mitigate karmic obstacles even for others? And some one in a habit of eating rice will continue to like rice.

Two questions? What about all the stories in the sutras where Maras just hurt people out of pure malice? Their malice?

So I am the first maha wheel turning buddha, everything is JUST my karma, I am now fully enlightened, never had any eterouge and no need for any teaching or activity??? It was all my karma alone and I have liberated it all??? We're already done here so why is the world looking like hell in ahandbasket?

So? I think since you can only liberate yourself from this interdependant disaster, people get stuck on 'everything is all my karma'. I can only liberate my karma but karma is interdependant, and we pick up the habits of those around us.
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:53 am

Benten wrote:I think the argument of the Niyamas was relevant and not ad hominen to say.... it went over your head look again.
The Niyamas are not Canonical. Not that seasonal conditions are not a factor, but why would one person be affected by seasonal conditions and another not be affected by the exact same conditions occuring at the exact same time? Luck? Fate? The hand of God?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is disability a result of karma?

Postby undefineable » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:09 pm

Benten wrote:One can become seriously ill by not eating the right foods at the right season time.
There are still causes and conditions that determine whether this kind of thing happens. When it falls outside your control, then you're back in the Third Imponderable _ _ _
Benten wrote:Conversely cant a bodhisattva's practice mitigate karmic obstacles even for others?
IMHO, the most significant effect of 'mitigating karmic obstacles' -whether for oneself or for others- is that any success temporarily makes the generation of negative karma far less likely. This counters the obvious argument that positive actions merely postpone the fruits of negative karma and store up trouble for the future. After all,
Benten wrote:we pick up the habits of those around us
, so doing something to interrupt those habits can go a long way _ _
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