The Law of Cause and Effect 3
When using the term Three Worlds, it means the past world, the present world, and the future world.
The past world and the future world are both related. The Law of Cause and Effect penetrates the Three Worlds. Our true self, our deeper sense of life, is not limited to this physical body. The physical body and its six billion cells disappear at death. Our True Self, our true life, penetrates the Three Worlds. So once the physical body is gone, this True Self remains.
The True Self is also referred to as the Araya Mind. The original Sanskrit is Arayashiki. Araya- means storehouse, and -shiki means mind, or consciousness. Therefor it can be referred to as the storehouse mind. It is like a safety deposit box, or a storage unit. Buddhism teaches that there are eight minds within human beings. Seven of them disappear at death with the physical body, but the Araya Mind remains.
The Araya Mind is our self since the countless ages past. It lasts forever, long after our death. It flows from the beginning-less beginning into the never-ending future. It is the invisible flow of life.
Throughout life, we perform various deeds and actions that fall into three categories. They are also known in Japanese as Go, or karma.
We perform countless deeds with the body, mouth, and mind. These are the seeds which create our fate. The mind is performing them the most and has the strongest power. What moves the body and mouth is the mind. My mind is causing these letters to appear on the screen as I type from my notes on the lecture from Takamori-sensei. You are reading this blog because your mind brought you to look into Buddhism, and you then found this blog.
The mind is therefore the strongest, because it is invisible. Because of this, wrong thoughts cannot be enforced at this level. Mouth and body can be regulated. In criminal cases, people discuss and debate whether or not the act was premeditated. The law examines what the murderer had in his mind. The mind has this strong energy, so a greater emphasis must be placed on it.
We have learned about good causes, bad causes, and own causes. So what kind of seeds do we have in our hearts and minds?
Even without knowing these causes or the Law of Cause and Effect, the actions of the mind, mouth and body are converted into invisible karmic power. The terms karmic power and seeds of karma are interchangeable. These energies are what is stored in the Araya Mind. All our actions are recorded invisible and stored in this storehouse mind. The karmic power within it flows through the Three Worlds (past, present, future).
Karmic power thus becomes the cause, but cause alone cannot bring an effect. It requires a condition. You reap the effect only when the condition arrives. Karmic power lasts forever, and it never disappears. So all our actions become invisible power stored into our Araya Mind for all time. It’s like the data on the hard disk of a computer, or the call log on a cell phone. Input in Japanese means “entering the power.” When we use a computer, we are “entering the power” to be stored into a hard disk. Putting weight on the keys of the keyboard is the condition. The commands or words we see on the monitor are the effect. Society and our world begin to look very familiar when integrated with Buddhist fundamentals.
So the Araya Mind flows through the past, present, and future. At birth, we receive the effects of certain characteristics like being American, Japanese, Male, Female, etc. These effects had to be determined before the result took place. How could they have been determined? They were made in the past life. This is why though we are all human beings, no single person has received the same result. These different effects were determined in the past life and the past world.
It is not accident. It does not occur without cause. Different causes mean different effects. Karmic power from the past flowed into the present life. Our parents were the condition. Some others may claim the father is the cause and the mother was the condition. But then why do siblings have different effects? It must be the karmic power from their past. A cause itself doesn’t make a human become born. It must combine with a condition in order to make the effect. We have repeated birth and death ceaselessly in this way.
To know the cause of the past, look at the present. To look at the future, look at cause in present. This concept penetrates the Three Worlds.
Happy now = good effect = you’ve done good things
Miserable now = bad effect = you’ve done bad things
What we are suffering from is the deeds of the past. So what about the future? How about after we die? Look at the cause in your present through the actions of your mind, mouth, and body. If you’re doing bad, you must then suffer in the suffering world.
If there is no past life, then there is no cause to be born. There is then no future. If someone kills one person, they can be executed once. But if they kill 10 people, they can still only be executed one time. Karma dictates that if you kill 10 people, you will be executed 10 times. What about the other nine times? It must be reaped in the future life. It must occur to the killer in their afterlife.
If the Law of Cause and Effect were false, it would not be able to penetrate the Three Worlds and Ten Directions. It is the Law of Cause and Effect of Three Worlds and remains valid for all time. Master Shinran bases his teachings on this principle as it is necessary for any understanding of Buddhism.
Your future is contained within the causes of your present. Look deeply at yourself and the actions of your mind, mouth and body. Look closely into the image reflected on the mirror. What is your body doing? What is your mouth saying? What is your mind thinking? Listening to the words of Buddha shows us our True Self. Without Buddhism this cannot be clear. Look within the Mirror of Dharma at present. Listening to Buddhism is essential.