How Do You Prove Karma?

10 Oct

At Kechara Forest Retreat, we have a group blog discussion every Thursdays evening and recently, we have been discussing on  the topic of devoting to a spiritual teacher. Somewhere in mid-discussion, someone asked how can we convince people of the existence of karma and the next life. That was a pretty interesting question and I took a moment to ponder an answer and naturally, there is no concrete evidence I can come up with at that moment.  

However, now I recall that rinpoche had me watch a dozen or so documentaries that were pulled from YouTube that scientifically documents various authentic cases of young children who recall a previous life. These cases have all been documented all over the world, from across various cultures and nationalities that very young children have memories of previous lives and they recall details of their previous lives that they could not have possibly have known. Researchers who document these cases are approaching it from the skeptical view of scientific research.

The following youtube video is just one example of many that is available these days (click on the picture to watch the video) : 

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What’s incredible is that the growing body of evidence has become so large that many respectable Western educational institutions are offering it as courses of study. Thus, it was apparent that the scientific community are reluctantly accepting the notion of a previous live. Scientists still do not openly accept the notion of a previous life but at the same time, they cannot ignore the massive amount of data collected using reputable methods. 

However, there are other ways to derive a logical conclusion on karma and previous lives. One way is to look at inequality in the world and see how some people are born wealthy and live in luxury while others are born in poverty and live in squalid conditions. If there was a god-head figure creating everything, it would be logical that the god-head figure would make it a level playing field for everyone. It does not make sense that some people are born in a situation where they struggle to learn their lesson (as how some religions claim that god intend for those who are born in poverty) while others just have it easy the moment they are born. It makes more sense if one uses karma and previous lives to explain inequality in the world. Therefore,  it was due to the results of past actions that created their current situation that some people are born in a comfortable situation or otherwise.

Another way of coming to a logical conclusion that previous lives exists is a little subtle. It involves contemplating on the fact that we exist right now in this moment and when we recall the previous moment, we realize that we also existed then. Then, we look at the moment before the last, we had also existed back then. Then, we look back all the way to the moment when we were born and we also existed back then although our memory of that time would be sketchy at best. Nevertheless, we look back to the time when we were born, we must have a previous existed prior to this lifetime otherwise, where would we be? There are a lot of other theories about how we come into being but the best would naturally fall on the fact that we had existed in a previous lifetime. 

In fact, the idea of karma, which is cause and effect supports the idea a of a previous life. They go hand-in-hand. Collectively, our current life is the result of the actions committed in a previous life. It is said that the circumstances in this life is the environmental effect of the actions committed in a previous life. Therefore, if we are human in this life, we must have done some pretty good actions to take rebirth in this present circumstance. That would have been how I would answer that intriguing question.  


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