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Buddhism: Karma is NOT Destiny

According to teachings other than Buddhism, views about humanity can be divided into three major classifications:

1. The view that God controls the destiny of man.
2. The view that the destiny of man is determined by coincidence.
3. The view that man’s life has been determined by destiny or fate since the eternal past.

From the viewpoint of Buddhism, each of these views is shallow and partial. Buddhism teaches that all human suffering or pleasure is based on a realistic law of cause and effect, and is determined by each individual’s karma. Each of us is born with different abilities and appearances. The causes that give rise to such differentiation are the deeds which each of us has committed before we were born, which Buddhism calls “karma.”

This view of karma is different from the theory of destiny or fate. The reason for this is that karma is the causal actions through which we receive our resulting fortune. Likewise, we are freely able to change our future lives through our causal actions in this lifetime.

For this reason, the view of karma is totally different, both from the view which posits that our lives are determined by an absolute being like a god, and from the theory of destiny, which expounds that life is just coincidental.*

Learn How To Change Your Karma, Your Destiny

Visit Myosenji Temple Sunday, September 16th, for a brief lecture on the Buddhist concept of Karma by our Chief Priest, Rev Sakabe.

  • Learn how to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and properly use the Juzu Beads, Buddhist prayer beads.
  • Q&A with our Chief Priest.
  • The meeting starts at 2:00 pm and concludes around 3:15 pm. Open to the public.

If you have decided to become a Buddhist or are interested in learning how to become a Buddhist, after Sunday’s meeting (about 3:30 pm) Rev Sakabe will be performing the Acceptance of the Precept Ceremony, the ceremony where you become a Buddhist.

Excerpted from: Concerning Karma, Lectures on Basic Study Materials from Dai-Byakuho, Issue #368