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Readers' Comments on "The Consolation of Karma"
Robert Thurman holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the United States, at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of the international best-seller "Inner Revolution," and the co-founder and president of Tibet House U.S., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture....
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Location: Malaysia
Subject: Reincarnation & Karma
Jan 30 2005 11:52 PM

In each life you choose and create your own settings or environments; and in this one you chose your parents and whatever childhood incidents that came within your experience.

You wrote the script. Like a true absent minded professor, the conscious self forgets all this, however, so when tragedy appears in the script, difficulty or challenges, the conscious self looks for someone or something (karma) to blame

Location: Canada
Subject: Tsunami and Belief System
Jan 19 2005 01:07 AM

A week back Larry King hosted people from various faiths following Bill Clinton's suggestion.

During the talk he asked each of them about the inportance of charity with each faith group and when asked to Buddhist from Sri Lankan monk he didn't give any convincing aswers in relation to charity.

I am wondering whether Theravedan practice the six perfections (six parimitas/Pharchin druk).

Perfection of charity / giving is one of them.

Another interesting observation I had was that Imam in Banda Aceh said during his preaching that Tsunami is wrath of the God for deviating from his teaching.

Many believe Buddhism seems to have best answer to Tsunami as all other faiths believe that Tsunami is God's punishment.

When ever there is faith discussion Buddhist are not represented adequately and those who represent are not able to project the Buddhist point of view succinctly.

Deepak Chopra's answer was most convincing during the Larry King show.

Even in the most developed nation like USA there is still a huge debate and conservatism regarding evolution.

In India evolution and Drawins theory are taught but not so in many schools run by faith groups in USA as it runs counter to the teaching of Church.

Jigme Pema  

Location: Brussels
Subject: Tsunami
Jan 18 2005 11:00 PM

It is about time Tibetan reincarnate lamas with tremendous assets built up over time to part with some of it for good causes. They were accumulated from people in pain and it is apt that they are given back to people in pain.

Location: US
Subject: a response to Donla
Jan 18 2005 08:58 PM


Many of those victims belong to other religous groups, which means they have their own belief systems. It is important that people respect the boundaries. So, I obsolutely don't agree with you. Otherwise, it would be seen as a Buddhist missionary. Buddhists don't do that. There is something called skillful means in Buddhism--keep that in your mind.

Location: Kathmandu
Subject: The law of karma
Jan 13 2005 03:48 PM

Dr.Thurman's answers could be aimed at his western " listners", but for some one like me who has taken teachings from Tibetan Lama, his answers are bit confusing and abstract.

The simplest way of presenting the law of karma is
1. Once one has earned a karma( by virtue of negative or positive action - digpa or geva respectively, one must face the karma. Karma does not diminish with passage of time, infact it accumulates , like a bank interest.

2. The second law of karma is that if you have not commited an act-- postive or negative , you have not earned any karma, negative or positive and hence you are not deemed to face any karma.

Out of the inmeasurable beings or lives-- human beings or sentient beings-- those who died as a victim of tsunami have the commonality of having committed negative acts such that they are deemed to face the wrath of this natural calamity togather. It is like the hundred of passengers meeting the fate of a plan crashe. A Buddhist who dies in such a situation should take " consolation" of having repaid for the negative acts committed in earlier lives. It is like having paid a long overdue loan with interest.

Inversely , those who enjoy wealth, fame etc. in this life must rejoice of having earned that through his positive actions and at the same time try to earn more of that in the next life by being a good person.


Location: new york
Subject: Rise, Lamas and Monks of India
Jan 07 2005 12:03 AM

One of the more meaningful and beneficial interviews I've seen on this site. Tibetan lamas and monks should be out there on the forefront, delivering the message of karma and the healing effects of meditation to the tsunami victims. I strongly urge the monks and lamas of the southern monasteries to visit the victims and offer religious help to the victims. Counseling and psychological comfort is as essential as monetary aid at this stage.
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