Karmic Hindrance

Yutang Lin

When people encounter the suffering of sickness or calamity
Dharma explains the causes as owing to “Karmic hindrances”
Upon hearing this kind of expression
Some are upset and unhappy
Taking such statements as lack of sympathy and
Charging others as receiving self-inflicted pains that are naturally due
Alas! Indeed the intention is certainly not so

Just as a physician facing a patient with diarrhea
Explains that it is due to having consumed spoiled food
That does not amount to blaming the patient for intentionally eating bad things
But simply to diagnose the causes of the illness so as to treat it right
What Dharma refers to as “caused by Karmic hindrances”
Does not imply blaming sentient beings for intentionally committed bad Karma
But out of compassion for beings’ incessant creation of Karmas
That hinders themselves and all others
Due to their ignorance, greed and temperaments
To help beings escape from transmigrating in the cycles of
Creating Karmas and then suffer for the consequences
Dharma points out the fact of suffering in life and their causes
So that beings may extinguish undesirable habitual tendencies
And then gain new life and ultimate peace and happiness

To listen to Dharma teachings, and to receive Dharma instructions
One need to, first of all, purify one’s own state of mind
So that it is free from self-imposed prejudices
And then one may better appreciate Buddha’s compassionate intentions
Only then will one be able to receive the benefits of learning Dharma
Instead of creating hindrances by blaming others and hindering oneself


Early in the morning at 4 a.m. the inspiration for this work arrived, so I got up to write it down in one sitting. If I waited till later at the usual time of getting up, I might have forgotten about it. For an author to be prolific, diligence is indispensable.

Written in Chinese and translated on January 30, 2010
El Cerrito, California

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