“To speak or act with a defiled mind is to draw pain after oneself, like a wheel behind the feet of the animal drawing it” (Dhammapada 1).
Suffering is inevitable for the person with a defiled mind, for it is impossible not to act or think (which is speaking inwardly, even if not outwardly). “Good” or meritorious acts done by a person with a defiled mind will bring suffering–perhaps not as much as evil acts, but still the suffering will not be avoided.
This is imperative for us to comprehend: Action is not the determining factor in our life–Mind is. And mind alone. This why in the seventeenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Krishna describes how bad people do good in a bad way and thus accrue more misery to themselves.
It is very important to understand this fact, since we tend to mistakenly assume that “good” acts produce “good” karma, etc., when in reality the actions mean nothing–it is the condition of the mind that determines their character and therefore their consequences. (Buddha was very insistent on this.) Selfish people do “unselfish” deeds to either cover up their selfishness or to get merit for themselves so they can enjoy this or a future life. Their intentions defile the actions and so little good (if any) accrues to them. Instead their selfishness and pettiness is compounded. This is the plain truth.
False religion gets rich on such persons through promises of merit and remission of sins. Even after death the deception goes on as their relatives and friends offer prayers and almsdeeds that supposedly will mitigate their negative karmas and alleviate–or even eliminate–the after-death consequences of their defiled thoughts and deeds. It is common to hear patently evil people excused on the grounds of “all the good” they do along with their evil actions. [Read more…]