The Merit Will Run Out

The Merit Will Run Out

Date of Advice:
September 2020
Date Posted:
April 2022

Rinpoche explains that a wealthy hotelier who appears happy and successful may be just collecting negative karma, while a simple monk who is practicing Dharma purely  is creating the cause for happiness up to full enlightenment, even though they are experiencing many problems in this life.

Mantra calligraphy by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

I am sure the government also makes mistakes, for example, they often don’t know feng shui at all, but [the government officials] experience so much merit. At that time things are in right place so they become very successful and have an easygoing life. There are many people in the world like this.

There are people who have very little merit or who don’t collect merit at all, and only collect heavy, heavy negative karma. Even though they are successful now, soon it will run out and for so many lifetimes, for many hundreds of lifetimes (that is short) and even longer, they will have so much poverty, so much suffering, and difficult lives. Besides being born as a human, they will also be reborn in the lower realms.

That person who creates the most unbelievable bad karma may have success now, but that is the result of past good karma. Soon that will run out and then they will have the most unbelievable suffering. This is due to a lack of understanding of holy Dharma and practice of the holy Dharma.

Generally sentient beings want happiness, but due to ignorance we distort the cause of happiness or by being afraid we run away from happiness. We don’t want suffering, but we always create the cause of suffering, day and night, like rain showers, by strongly believing this is real and that this is the only method to bring happiness.

A good example is the person who is a monk living in pure, holy Dharma practice, but experiencing many problems, sickness and so forth. The wealthy person looks like they have a long life with lots of people coming and so much money coming, so for the people who think and work only for one life, it seems that the wealthy person is very successful and the best. We do not see that they will still have to suffer for eons in the lower realms, besides even the upper realms.

However, the meditator, a very pure holy Dharma practitioner, experiences many problems in this life, such as sickness. This is because of strong Dharma practice and all those things are signs of unbelievable purification. Their future will be like the sun shining in the world, from happiness to happiness to inconceivable happiness, up to full enlightenment. Each life is more and more beneficial for sentient beings.

This is important to understand. It helps to generate so much compassion for sentient beings and it helps us to achieve full enlightenment for sentient beings.

Maybe the hotel man has to order so many chickens to be killed day and night, and also pigs and sheep and many other animals every day, for the hotel kitchen. So even though that person is very rich now, their future lives have so much suffering. The simple monk, who is pure in strong, holy Dharma practice, purifies all the past lives’ heavy negative karma. Then when the monk dies, he will go to pure land or achieve a perfect human rebirth. However, this wealthy hotel man will experience extremely heavy suffering in their next life and may even be reborn in the lower realms and experience eons there.