Re: How to explain the death of a large number of people (e.g. bomb explosion) at the same time?

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Posted by David S. ( on October 22, 2000 at 07:10:09:

In Reply to: How to explain the death of a large number of people (e.g. bomb explosion) at the same time? posted by Paul on October 21, 2000 at 00:49:35:

Hi Paul,

While indulging people in their "challenges" is definitely not of value, there are people who will ask questions like this who are seeking faith and/or understanding in the Dharma. For these later people, the question should be answered, since it provides them with one or both of these valuable tools for their practice.

I have both heard and read the answer to this same kind of question by various master from various schools of Buddhism. And yes, they do answer the question. But they won't and can't give anyone the exact details, only the underlying principle of what occurs.

Basically, it's what Rockie wrote. Everything that happens to us and others is a result of karma. Our livs are not "determined", since we create our own karma, but when "good or bad" things happen to us, it's a result of our past actions of body, speech, and mind. None of it is random, although it appears that way to those of us who can only see this one life (such as myself!). Simply, again as Rockie already pointed out, when a similar thing happens at the same time to many people, a similar karma is ripens for those people. Whether it is karma for an action that they all took part in together previously, or karma for actions they all did on their own at different times, the ripening takes place together. And, in some cases they are also drawn together by their similar habit energies. Other times, though, like when a plane crashes, it is just a similar karmic result ripening for different people at the same time.

If people want the detailed specifics, then that is foolish, but the principles are there to explain everything we see. If the Buddha did not see these things for himself, teach them to us, and show us how to see them also for ourselves with gradual practice, then why would any of us believe in the Buddha?

When to answer a question like that takes time and observance to know. It is important to know though. Because answering a question like that for some will only strengthen their views against Buddhism, and provide more ideas for them to twist around to use against Buddhism. They ask without really wanting to know why. While others can benefit from getting a useful basic answer. Because they ask really to know why.

Best wishes,

: Hi,

: I am a Buddhist but one day when confronted by one of my Cathlic relatives I could not answer one of his questions, which was how to explain through Buddhism the sudden death and destruction that happens to thousands of people at the same time. For example when the Atomic bomb was dropped off Hiroshima about 75,000 people died instantly. Also what about the cases where thousands of people die instatly like, earthquakes, tonardoes, typhoons, storms, floods etc. Can anybody explain.

: Regards,

: Paul.

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