Understanding Karma in Thailand

In theory, I like the whole idea of karma, which basically translates as cause and effect. If you do something wrong now, it will catch up with you in a later life. Many Thai Buddhists believe this, as well as people from other religions around the world. It is good as it keeps the population in check. They won’t do any bad deeds because they know that they will be punished later. But, it also has it drawbacks. People in Thailand are very subservient which means that they often accept whatever is given to them without complaining. If they are poor in this life it is because of consequence of a bad deed in a previous life.

Quite often at Thai temples, I have seen notices that teach you the consequences of your actions. You may remember a temple I wrote about where they had models depicting a Buddhist Hell. It quite clearly showed what would happen to you if you did bad in this lifetime. But, have you ever wondered why not everyone is rich or very beautiful? It is all to do with their past deeds. Here are just a few of the things that Thai people believe in:

* If you build or maintain public roads in this lifetime, you will have your own car in the next.
* If you donate robes to a monk in this lifetime, you will have fashionable clothes in the next.
* If you donate food to the poor in this lifetime, you will have plenty of food in the next.
* If you are stingy with your money in this lifetime, you will be poor in the next.
* If you donate money to the temple in this lifetime, you will have a large house in the next
* If you put flowers on the shrine in this lifetime, you will be beautiful or handsome in the next.
* If you pray often in this lifetime, you will be clever in the next.
* If you release birds or fish* you will enjoy a long life in the next.
* If you kill people in this lifetime, you will die young in the next.
* If you abuse your husband in this lifetime, you will be a spinster in the next.
* If you have affairs with married women in this lifetime, you will never find a wife in the next
* If you donate oil for lamps at the temple in this lifetime, you will have bright eyes in the next
* If you are rude to your parents in this lifetime, you will be deaf and dumb in the next
* If you didn’t pay your debts in this lifetime, you will be born as a cow in the next.
* If you donate medicine for sick people in this lifetime, you will be healthy in the next
* If you are cruel and cold-hearted in this lifetime, you will be all alone in the next.
* If you like to look at nude pictures in this lifetime, you will be blind in the next.
* If you gossip about people in this lifetime, you will have a harelip in the next.
* If you like cheating people in this lifetime, you will be born as an animal in the next.
* If you don’t help people in danger in this lifetime, you will be in prison in the next.
* If you sneer at beggars in this lifetime, you will starve to death in the next.
* If you look down on servants in this lifetime, you will be ugly in the next.
* If you don’t believe in the Buddhist teaching in this lifetime, then you will be deaf in the next.
* If you hurt animals in this lifetime, you will have leprosy in the next.
* If you are envious of other people in this lifetime, you will have body odour in the next
* If you make a false charge against a monk in this lifetime, you will be struck by lightning in the next.

There is a lot more of course but that will do for now. Hopefully, you will now understand more fully why you are in your present predicament. Although there is nothing you can do about it for this lifetime, you can take steps to give yourself a better time in the next life or the one after that. It all depends on how bad you have been!

One response to “Understanding Karma in Thailand

  1. Sukchai Satta

    What’s the difference between hinduism and thai karma?

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