This is my ‘Word Wednesday’ posting.
According to Buddhism there are five orders or processes (Niyamas, accent over the first ‘a’) which operate in the physical and mental realms and explain why things happen. One of the laws or processes is the law of karma, a much misunderstood teaching. As Narada Thera says rather poetically in A Manual of Buddhism:
As surely as water seeks its own level, so does Karmma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result–not in the form of reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.
Other references to the Five Niyamas, or the Five Laws of the Universe, can be found here:
Zen is Eternal Life, Rev. Jiyu-Kennett
Chapter 2, Basic Original Doctrines Essential to Zen.
An Introduction to the Tradition of Serene Reflection Meditation
Sixth article in this booklet is titled, Five Laws of the Universe
A Manual of Buddhism, Narada Thera
Chapter 11, Karma. The five niyamas are listed and explained at the end of this chapter in answer to the question, Is Everything due to Kamma?
A Buddhist Approach to Patient Health Care, Kusala Bhikshu Urban Dharma website.
Within this article can be found an explanation of the five niyamas. Also in this article is information relevant to hospital chaplains, staff and others about Buddhist patients and their particular care and needs.
This evening we talked about the five laws (niyamas) during the class which follows the meditation period. The thing to keep in mind is, quoting directly from Kusala Bhikshu:
There is no ‘One Thing’ that determines anything in Buddhism it is always the interconnected and interdependent flux of many things.
As I mentioned to the group this evening, it’s great having to do classes because it makes me study stuff. For the most part I don’t have need to think about Buddhism during my day.