佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - How does karmic retribution come to ripen into fruit of seed sown through many births, many lifetimes?
How does karmic retribution come to ripen into fruit of seed sown through many births, many lifetimes?

The journey through lifetimes past, present, and future is the result

of transmigration between cause and effect: a certain cause in place

duly begets its result; a melon (seed) planted duly begets its melon,

and a pea sown, its peas. Such is the process from seeding to fruiting.

Timing, somehow, is a variable with no frigid stipulations whatsoever.

In the Buddhist teaching, it is when condition is added to cause that

effect comes to be, like a papaya seed, when put in soil, requires care

and watering to sprout, the right amount of light, temperature, and

humidity together with time aplenty to flower and, eventually, to fruit.

Such is the process of constituents variably blending, what conditions

are about. But the conditions whether turning out positive or negative

are going to hinge on the extent of subsequent efforts.

Such is the process of karmic retribution ripening. In the relationship

between cause and condition, emergence of multiple positive

conditions speeds up fruiting, bringing about a good reap, but that

of multiple negative conditions slows down fruiting, bringing about

a bad reap.