August 27, 1973, Monday evening

On Cause and Effect

Ven. Master Hua


Why do people violate the precepts? It is because they do not understand. They are confused. That’s why they create karma. And, having created the karma of killing, they will undergo the retribution of killing. The karma of theft will bring about the retribution of theft. The karma of lust (sexual misconduct) will bring about the retribution for lust.

This morning a laywoman said that her sister and brother-in law do not get along. That’s because the husband misbehaves and the couple cannot see to eye; they have diverging opinions. I said to her. “ This is what you should tell your sister: when you were a man in the past, you treated women this way. Now a man treats you the same way you treated others- this is your retribution.”

You will undergo the retribution for whatever karma you create. If you kill someone’s father, someone will kill your father. If you kill someone’s brother, someone will kill your brother. Retribution is evident in many situations. That is the process of becoming deluded, creating karma and undergoing retribution. Take a look at how much karma people create. The karma each individual creates is very complex; it is not only one kind of karma. Therefore, their karma is a powerful as a great sea. People are blown and tossed about by its winds.

Timely Teachings, page 198.