Learning the law of happiness from Shakyamuni Buddha Lesson 5 of 12
Whether good or bad, all the results we face are generated from the seeds that we ourselves have planted. To put it another way, our seeds (actions) will produce the results we will face in the future. This is the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha. Let’s learn the three types of actions (seeds) in this lesson.
Takeda Shingen Shot a Dove Before He Went to War
When Takeda Shingen, a pre-eminent daimyo in feudal Japan, was about to go to a war aiming to conquer Shinano Province, a dove perched on a tree branch and soldiers shouted for joy. This is because they held the belief that a dove would bring them a great victory. Seeing this, Shingen shot the dove with a gun as quickly as lightning. He then explained the reason to the stunned soldiers. “A person who delights in a dove as good luck will be consumed with worry for upcoming wars if he cannot find a dove. He has practically lost already. Instead of believing in good luck, we should dedicate our time to self-improvement for wars and have an absolute conviction to win wars at any cost." Shingen paid no mind to superstition. Rather, his preparedness to fight his way to victory on his own was what formed the unbeatable Takeda Army Corps.
Shinano Province: Modern-day Nagano Prefecture
What are Karma of the Body, Karma of the Mouth,
and Karma of the Mind?
Shakyamuni Buddha clarified that “our own actions (karma) determine our own destiny.” Actions are performed in three ways: through the body, the mouth, or the mind. These are referred to as the “three karmas of the body, the mouth, and the mind.” For example, actions such as planting flowers, carrying luggage, cleaning, stealing, and killing living creatures are done by the body and are called “karma of the body.” Praising somebody, scolding somebody, gossiping, or badmouthing are examples of “karma of the mouth.” When we hear the word “action”, most of us visualize these two types. However, there is one more type of action taught in Buddhism.
You reap what you sow. (Your own deeds [karma] are what create your own destiny.)
Even Our Thoughts are Seeds?!
What we think in the mind is known as the "karma of the mind."
“I would like to eat something delicious,” “I want money,” “I don’t like that person,” and “This work is troublesome” are examples of karma of the mind. Can you imagine the amount of karma made by the mind in one day? One well-known great priest said, “In a single day, eight hundred million four thousand thoughts pass through the mind.”
Eight hundred million four thousand is an exceedingly large number. In other words, we are planting myriad seeds with our minds every day.
Planting Seeds Through the Mind is Actually
Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that these three deeds of the mind, the mouth and the body determine our happiness and unhappiness.
It is not only the deeds of the mouth and the body that create our destiny. The deeds of the mind also bring about our fate. So if you are cursing others, that too is a deed of the mind. By doing this, you will bring a bad fortune upon yourself. You need to be aware that the action of cursing others in your mind is a very bad deed. On the other hand, if you try to appreciate the people around you all the time, a happy destiny will unfold for you. This is because being grateful is a good action of the mind. Buddhism considers the seed-planting of the mind as most important.
The actions we do determine our destiny. Actions are performed in three ways: through the body, the mouth, or the mind. These are referred to as the “three karmas of the body, the mouth, and the mind.” Shakyamuni Buddha placed the most importance on the seeds we plant with the mind.
"Change Irritation to Appreciation."
We should be more mindful of the seeds that we plant in our hearts in our daily lives.
Lesson 6 Why are the seeds of the mind the heaviest of all?