Concepts of Karma

Venerable Ru Jun answers a question on how we can better let go of the unhappy things in life:

I got it from it that from better understanding how karma works, we can use the concept to help us in our present suffering. Going more good and thinking of others to alleviate our afflictions. In fact, Venerable Ru Jun quoted Master Ri-Chang saying that “when you truly believe in Karma, all your problems will be solved”

From this session, I also picked up concepts about Karma that I previously didn’t think about. For example, if I were to help someone else, it is the result of that person’s good karma ripening rather than through my effort. However, I will still have done good karma and this will definitely benefit me.

Watch from thr 559 min mark where Venerable Ru Jun dives into explaining Karma:

In Lamrim class, we are taught the 4 laws of Karma ( I attend the Chinese classes so do forgive me for my inaccurate translation):

  1. Karma Is Definite – Reaping What Is Sown
  2. Karma Is Dynamic – Reaping More Than Is Sown
  3. Karma Is Specific – Not Reaping What Is Not Sown
  4. Karma Is Never Wasted – Reaping Now and Later

Venerable Ru Jun’s latest discourse seems to be touching more on rule 2 (Karma is dynamic i.e. it grows) and rule 4 (Karma is never wasted).

Venerable also encouraged us to make a habit of doing good karma.

Have a listen and let me know if you agree:

It is true. We don’t usually train our mind to contemplate using karma to view our afflictions. We often look at the external conditions rather than trying to change our internal views.

In Global Lamrim II, Teacher ZR established the fact that we lack this practice of viewing things from a cause and effect perspective.

Venerable Ru Jun further contrast and explained how someone holding the concept of karma could apply it to change his mindstream and combat his afflictions.

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Venerable talks about another way of looking at
业决定一切, changing it to 一切由业决定.

I see the former can be seen as more resigning to Karma and leaving it to fate while the latter demonstrates understanding that one can determine one’s Karma and thus fate.


Venerable Ru Jun highlights the importance of looking at Karma with respect to our 无限生命 (Infinite Life? not sure the proper English term) rather than just a current lifetime.

Watch from 1:21 min mark:

My takeaway is that if I don’t view from the perspective of my 无限生命 when encountering the bad things that happen to me, I can easily dismiss the concept of Karma as untrue.
This is a reminder to me to not be short sighted in linking cause and effect to just one lifetime.

Venerable Ru Jun relates a story on the danger of making one’s own conclusion on how Karma works.

In the story, the main character equates his slaughtering of livestock as the cause of the good karma of him going to heaven. This is because the two events happened sequentially.

My learning is not to make our own assumptions on how Karma works by connecting too superficially cause and effect events.
Such flawed thinking can lead to questionable judgement.
We should rely on Buddha’s Teachings to guide us instead.

Venerable Ru Jun explains why Karma will grow
(1:41min mark onwards)


My understanding from this discourse:

  • once a Karmic action is done (the cause), the fruit (the effect) of it will definitely happen. In fact, the Karmic effect will continue to grow if we do not counter it.
  • our thoughts (the motivation behind our Karmic actions) will influence everything
  • Venerable illustrates this effect with throwing a stone into a water body. The waves go out and affect the whole water body. And the reflections come back to affect the stone. (with my engineering background, I liken it to the oscillation of the original wave getting bigger due to the feedback from the waves that are bounced back)

anyone else has an interpretation?