If you have read my previous articles you must have come across the words karma and samsara. Rebirth and Vijñāna on the other hand are new words that I need to explain before going deep into karma and samsara. My target is to explain these words for you so that at the end of this article you should have a clear understanding of these concepts.
In Buddhism we can divide all the deeds that we do into two categories as good karma and bad karma. If you do a good deed it will be considered as good karma and if you do a bad deed it will be considered as bad karma. Lord Buddha has clearly shown in his suttas what’s good karma and what’s bad karma and how to distinguish between them. For lay persons ( people who are not monks ) :people who live a normal household life, lord Buddha has given five precepts to protect (not to be broken) .
and they are
🔴 Staying without harming or hurting any living being
🔴 Staying without stealing or getting things which are not given to you.
🔴Staying without indulging in wrong sexual conduct , i.e : having sex with some one who is not your wife/husband.
🔴 Staying without saying lies
🔴 Staying without drinking or taking any alcohol or harmful drug. I.e cocaine, marijuana, alcohol
If you indulge in any of these activities it will be considered as bad karma.
On the other hand, giving food and money to people in need, protecting five precepts and spreading kindness and mindfulness can be considered as good karma.
Vijñāna can be considered as a bank account or ledger which records all these good and bad karma and their severity. In Buddhism we believe in the concept of rebirth. and that’s Once you die you will get your next birth according to the karma in your ledger (Vijñāna). If you have more bad karma than good karma you will get born in a bad world or in a good world with bad circumstances. If you have collected more good karma in your life, you will go to a good world with a life with good wealth and status. Karma causes birth and the type of birth that you are going to get. And Vijñāna is the ledger which records your good and bad karma. It’s a force of nature. It goes from one life to another life. And this life that we are talking about can be in the human world, animal world , heaven or hell. (there are many more worlds explained in Buddhism, I’ll get to them in my future articles)
I believe now you have some idea about karma, Vijñāna and rebirth.
Samsara is this cycle that we go in with karma and life. We make karma because of greed, and that karma makes us go in the loop of samsara. We cannot control our actions all the time, so we might do bad karma and go to a bad world which normally has more life span than the human world ( 1 day in hell > 1000 human days in some cases ).
So we are going in this sansara in different worlds at different times, it is an endless pain. Getting born doing the hustle and dying . If you ever need to get out of the samsara you should first remove greed as lord Buddha said in four noble truths. If you missed my article about four noble truths click here.
You might be thinking how lord Buddha knows all this,
As he explains, only an enlightened being can see all this. So in order for us to see this reality by ourselves we have to follow the path of enlightenment, the noble eight fold path which is described in the fourth noble truth. Buddha is a person who came to the realization of all this by himself. Time to time ( in many many many years) bodhisattvas (person who is on the path of becoming a Buddha ) get born in this world and spread this truth and establishes Buddha sasana (monks) so that people like us get to know about karma, sansara and Vijñāna.
I will be discussing more topics on the path to enlightenment and many more .Stay tuned and subscribe to my newsletter to get more insight into the real Theravada Buddhism which follows the true teachings of Buddha. Until then may triple gem bless you.!