Why some people seem to get away with the bad actions they did and don't suffer the "Karma"?

I have thought about this question and have also been asked this question.
Before learning Buddhism and Lamrim, I would have been stumped for a coherent answer.

With understanding the four aspects of Karma (check out Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim commentary here, Track 50B: , it all seems so much more obvious:

1 The certainty of karma:

2 The magnification of karma

3 Not experiencing the effects of actions that you did not do.

4 The actions you have done do not perish.

All these 4 aspects will essentially confirm that everyone experiences Karma - your bad or good deeds (the actions) will catch up on you one day as suffering or happiness (effects). :thinking:

Here is another link to a discourse by Venerable Thubten Chodron on the General Characteristics of Karma where one answer has been provided:

When we’re thinking and meditating about karma in this way, it’s very helpful to make many examples in our life. The question often gets asked, “Why sometimes do good people have unhappiness, and people who are harmful have good results?” Well, there are certain conditioning factors in this life—social systems and stuff like that. But there are also karmic things. A person who does a lot of harmful actions this life but experiences some degree of fame or wealth is consuming their good karma that they created in previous lives. They’re consuming it by having fame and wealth, but they’re also creating a ton of negative karma that’s going to lead them to unhappiness in the future.

Sometimes we see very wonderful people experiencing suffering in this life. Some of that suffering may be due to diet and external conditions, social systems, and so forth. But some of it may also be due to negative actions they did in a previous life. This way of understanding can be very helpful.

I do not recommend explaining this to people when they are in the middle of grief when they have no understanding about karma. This is not a skillful way to introduce karma to people who are grieving and who don’t have faith in cause and effect. I say this because they very easily misinterpret it to mean we’re blaming the victim and saying they deserved to suffer. We‘re not blaming the victim and saying somebody deserves to suffer. We’re just saying causes bring results and results happen because of causes. Nobody deserves to suffer, nobody is worthy of suffering. As much as possible we should do what we can to alleviate suffering.

hope this helps in our practice. happy contemplating! :grinning:

I find the following images helpful in explaining karma (for the engineers among us who are used to vector diagrams)…

36 PM

58 PM

40 PM

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thx @Jereme!

I remember the diagrams from a book you passed to me many years ago.
That book was one of my first encounters with Buddhism! 感恩 :heart_eyes:

you have the title of the book?

Karma - For Today’s Traveler.

here is an except from 如性法師翻譯 addressing the question
“why some people who commit so much wrong doing but still seem to live life so happily and without care whereas I who have done so much good has such a dismal life”

The discourse ties in what I understand - the fruit of your actions may not occur in one’s lifetime. “Karma” is not linear!

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I believe that it’s just that the time for their karma is not up yet. Don’t we Chinese have a saying that says 善有善报,恶有恶报。 不是不报,时辰未到。Either that or the karma shows up in different ways which is not obvious to us - eg. the bad karma can appear as dishonest friends etc.

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In some cases not only do they seem like they don’t suffer from karma, they even seem to have good karma like riches and prosperity! But I guess after understanding what Master Ri-Chang says about karma - the non-virtuous deed will definitely not create happiness, it’s just that the karma ripens later or in future lives, and worse still not only that, a small non-virtuous deed can create serious negative karma. Hearing this is like a warning for me to watch my actions - “Karma has no menu, you get served what you deserve.”

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Karma appear when movement observed. Thought is movement, every thought per second is 1280000000000000 movement ( hopefully my conversion is correct ) .Every movement appear and disappear continously. For karma to take place it need conditions . Since karmic energy is infinite so do our ARAYA ( memory volt) .
By knowing the above , is better to think wholesome.

Namo Amithabaya




Wow,…learnt alot on karma from this thread. It is like fighting against time for these ppl. If bad karma bear fruits on any of these ppl, means another one more dropping into unhappy realm, which is not Buddhist want to see. What can we do to help them?

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如俊法師 gives his reply to a question on “Why I don’t seem to get any benefit or ‘good karma’ from doing 35 Buddha Confession (or any other good deeds)?”

Good stuff.