Bad Karma

“Okay, so all I know is this very traditional Thai story, which was told by my grandfather. There was this guy, in his mid 30’s started hearing, like, dragging sounds everywhere he went. When he stopped walking, the sound stopped. It was almost as if someone was following him. He didn’t know what to do so he didn’t do anything. This happened for about two weeks. During the second week, an accident happened. This guy fell down the stairs in his own house and was admitted to the hospital as he injured his knee. He told the doctor that he felt like someone grabbed his leg, causing him to lose balance and fall. While he was lying in bed, he would hear the dragging sound again, which was strange because he wasn’t walking. Then he began to hear other noises, like people chattering but he was unable to make out the words at first. One day he figured out that the words were something like “kill…us…revenge…you died…killed…you killed…” but they weren’t proper sentences. He asked the doctor if he could leave the hospital because he wanted to pay a visit to the temple but the doctor said no. The guy had to tolerate the voices for three whole days. Finally he was able to leave the hospital. He went straight to the temple to make merits. The voices softened and then disappeared. The guy thought all was well so he stopped going to the temple. About a month later, the guy was crossing the road when he heard the voice whisper “revenge” and suddenly he was unable to move his legs. The guy was hit by a car, but luckily, he was only paralyzed. After he was able to leave the hospital, he went to see a monk. The monk told him that he had killed many people in his past life, so bad karma never left him, even in this life. The guy decided to spend the rest of his life as a priest so he could spend everyday of his life making merits and virtue to compensate for the sins from his past life.”

This story was memorable to the informant because he is Buddhist and his grandfather was an especially strong Buddhism devotee. The majority of Thai people are devoted to Buddhism, which highlights Karma as one of the main concepts. Karma is the belief that when one’s actions, speech, or thoughts are unethical, it would lead to consequences that follow one to either in the present life or the after life. In this story, the man was completely oblivious to what sins he had committed in his past life. Because this man had supposedly killed countless lives in his past, it resulted in consequences that almost took his own life in the present. This story demonstrates the fact that people cannot escape their sins and paying for their evils deeds is inevitable, if it does not occur in the present life, then it will occur in the life after.

I personally believe in this story. This is because I have heard from my family members and other friends that told me similar stories about good and bad karma. I also feel like every time I tell lies, even when they are just white lies, I am always guilty and always remember the Buddhism teachings. This story could be true or made up, but the message remains the same. What this story expresses is the fact that Buddhists should attempt to preform only good deeds and if they fail at doing so, they have to find a way to make merits to lessen the consequence. Making merits do not cancel out the sins committed, but people do feel better after, even if it is just psychologically.