Karma – Story 03 About the bird that died in the wildfire

Not in the air, nor in the middle of ocean,
nor in the caves of hills, nowhere in the whole world
could a man find a spot
where he might not be overcome by death.
–Dhammapada

A group of bhikkus on their way to see the Buddha, saw a bird that had perished in a wildfire. They asked the Buddha why this was so.

According to the Buddha, this happend because the bird, in a previous birth as a farmer had got so angry with an unmanageable bull and killed it by tying a load of hay onto its back and setting it alight. This is the karma that caused him to be burned in a wildfire even though he could fly.

Your deeds follow you like the wheels of the cart follow the oxen. There is no escaping that.

Visit AccesstoInsight.org to learn more about how to break this cycle of death and birth through mind culture.

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Karma – Story 02 About the iguana in the anthill

A group of bhikkus who came to visit Buddha from far was resting in a rock cave, taking a break on their journey. There was a rock slide and the entrance to the cave was blocked. They were trapped inside without food and water for a week. They resolved to ask the Buddha what karma they had commited that caused this event.
The Buddha looked back (with his ability to see into the past events) at their past births and replied. When the seven bhukkus were shepherd boys in a past life, they had seen a huge iguana going into an anthill. They had covered all the holes in the anthill and trapped the lizard in there and released it only after seven days. This was the karma that caused them to starve for a week in this life.
Big or small, our thoughts, words and deeds have consequences. You cannot escape them hiding in caves.

Karma – Story 01 About Drowning in Mid-ocean

In my last post, I quoted a part from the Dhammapada about how we cannot escape the consequences of our actions; if we try to hide in the skies, in mid ocean or in rock caves. This story is about the ocean.

A group of bhikkus (priests) came to see Buddha, after journeying by ship. The ship stopped in mid ocean. The Captain looked around to see who the unlucky person was that was causing the ship to stop moving. In order to go forward, they held a lottery draw to select who was to be sacrificed. It turned out to be his own wife. She was drowned by tying a pot full of sand to her neck.

The bhikkus asked Buddha why this had to be so.

His reply was that in a past birth, she had drowned a dog that started following her wherever she went, by tying a pot of sand to its back.

So wherever you go, mid ocean even, you cannot avoid the consequences of your past deeds.