Even existing is creating negative karma

A discussion on Snakes, Roosters and Pigs

Comments Off

First of all, the book Snakes, Roosters and Pigs (Kechara Media & Publications’ latest book from our Spiritual Guide, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche) is not about the zodiac, Feng Shui or even zoology. It is a profound teaching on the three negative qualities, as represented by the three animals, which compel us to make wrong decisions, travel on an emotional rollercoaster ride and eventually, return to this cycle of uncontrolled deaths and rebirths.

The book is a short, sweet, concise explanation on karma based on these three qualities with ignorance represented by a pig, hatred represented by a snake and desire represented by a rooster. At Manjushri Class last Sunday, Liaison Jamie Khoo, one of the editors of the book and a Manjushri Class speaker, read out a thought-provoking excerpt of the book – one of the sub-chapters entitled Even Existing is Collecting Karma. The title itself is intriguing!

This excerpt addresses in particular people who think they are “good people” because they don’t do anything obviously harmful such as drinking, lying, killing, etc. They proclaim to everyone they know, “But I’m a good person, I don’t harm anyone!” and they feel that this is enough.

Rinpoche pushes the envelope by saying that just abstaining from all those things doesn’t exempt you from creating more negative karma. Even if we didn’t harm others, we also don’t challenge our self-cherishing mind and whatever we do or not just reinforces this unhealthy and selfish state of mind. In other words, just sitting at home and watching TV all day long can collect negative karma because we are reinforcing that selfish mind that only thinks of pleasing itself, or keeping itself safe and comfortable.

This little excerpt sparked off a series of discussions centering on the reasons behind this self-cherishing state of mind and what we can do to stop this. At the heart of this self-cherishing mind are the three negative qualities, these beasts, that reside within us – ignorance, hatred and desire. To stop this mind would mean listening to more Dharma teachings and applying the relevant methods to practice those teachings. One such method is devoting ourselves to one Lama, one centre, one practice and going all the way with our Dharma work.

Comments are closed.