By Charles S. Prebish, Damien Keown
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Additional info for Buddhism-the Ebook
As already noted, Buddhist ideas about cosmology dovetail with its meditational theory, and the names of the two highest levels of rebirth (levels thirty and thiry-one) bear the same names as the two highest stages of meditation. Access to these places or states can thus be gained either by being reborn in them or by tuning into their “frequency” through meditation. Here again we see the close association between psychology and cosmology in Buddhist teachings. Karma 39 Karma In the cosmology set out above, karma is the mechanism that moves people around from one realm of rebirth to another.
The precise manner in which karma operates, and the mechanism that links given acts and their consequences, is a matter of debate among Buddhist schools. 77). It is important to grasp that the doctrine of karma is not the same as Determinism. This is the belief that everything that happens to a person is preordained and brought about by fate or destiny. The Buddha made a distinction between karma and deterministic fate (niyati) in this sense, and accepted that random events and accidents can happen in life.
To these four Buddhism adds another by subdividing the world we now inhabit into separate domains for animals and humans. It then adds a final one, namely the domain of the asuras mentioned above. These are figures from Indian mythology who did battle with the gods as part of an eternal struggle between good and evil. In Buddhist teachings they are depicted as warlike demons consumed by hatred and a lust for power who cannot refrain from expressing their violent impulses in a futile struggle for a victory they never achieve.