How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

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How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

Postby DeeHarry » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:39 am

Hello Everyone,

I have a question about "passing on" good karma once somebody is dead. I havent learnt Buddhism in English so bear with me if I am not using the correct terms. Here goes:
Through out life you are told that what good or bad things you do will result in the accumilation of good or bad karma that will ultimately decide how you get to life y our next life/lives. However there is a ritual or process in Buddhist funerals and thereafter that you hold various forms of dana and is able to pass on the good karma to those who died. It is practiced to the extent that the priests will say that if the dead in whose name you are holding the dana, is in a bad place they should take these bleassing and move on to a better place. Of course it is said that you have to be born in a place that you are able to recieve such blessings.

But for me there is a fundamental flow in that concept. How is it that some one else can give you good karma after you die when you are told all your life that what you do is what comes with you? I am thinking that there is something wrong in the way I have understood this or is being preached.

Once again I apologise for my limited knowledge of terms

Thank you
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Re: How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:44 am

Hi DeeHarry

You might find the following useful:
Merit: A Study Guide by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/merit.html
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

Postby Vepacitta » Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:43 pm

Hey there - there is also a passage (and it was posted on this board somewhere) where the Buddha describes that merit can only be passed onto beings in (I believe - I could be remembering incorrectly) the peta (hungry ghost) realm - and it discuses the circumstances, whys and wherefores in detail.

Anyone with a good memory here who can find that post? I think it gets to the heart of Dee's question.

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Re: How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

Postby Sobeh » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:55 pm

I think that text is the Petavatthu, from the Khuddaka Nikaya.
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Re: How is it that you are allowed to pass on good karma?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:17 pm

Sobeh wrote:I think that text is the Petavatthu, from the Khuddaka Nikaya.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... index.html

The point is that others (possibly deceased) can rejoice in one's merit, not that one can "give it away".
See, for example, http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1068

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