Compilation of Speeches in the Academy of Synology, UK


No.       Content
1 Cause and Effect – The Inevitable Way of Karma——Address at the Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony, Wales, 2017
2 Religions Are Indispensable For World Peace——Address at Inter-Faith Symposium, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
3 Why are we here? ——Address at the first Lampeter Friendship Dinner
4 How to Realize the “Six Greatness” and Achieve Great Success——The Opening Ceremony of 2017 Autumn Class of the Academy of Sinology, UWTSD
5 Friendship Dinner for a Town of Harmony
6 The Returning to the Start of a New Year, and the Renewal of Everything An Addreess at "Chinese New Year Friendship Dinner", Lampeter
7 Exceptional Times: Exceptional Commitment Address at the Opening Ceremony of the Academy of Sinology Year 2018
8 Establishing a Harmonious Paradise by Learning God’s Love for All——Friendship Dinner in Lampeter, December 2018

Cause and Effect – The Inevitable Way of Karma——Address at the Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony, Wales, 2017

Respectable Vice-Chancellor Hughes, Distinguished Guests, Colleagues, teachers and students, Good morning! 

I am very delighted to welcome you all to join our Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony. We held the ceremony for the first time here last July and everyone had enjoyed the event. 

Time really flies! A year has passed and we are having our second ancestral ceremony today. We hope that the Ceremony will be held here once every year.

The significance of the ancestral ceremony is to remember our ancestors and pay respect to their kindness. Our ancestors are closely linked to us and they are inseparable from us. Our existence is owed to our ancestors. The invaluable wisdom and experiences that they passed down to us have guided our life. This is tremendous kindness of our ancestors.

Ancestors of all races and the saints of all religions in the world pass on to us the ethical and moral education, the education of causality and the teachings of saints. These four types of universal education are extremely important for purifying our minds and bringing harmony to the society. Therefore, they are worth our learning diligently. 

Among the four types of education, the education of causality is particularly important in helping people cultivate their righteous mind in our society. However, this type of education is the most neglected one in our society. This is one of the main reasons why the society is chaotic today. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to talk about the education of causality.

Both Eastern and Western cultures have talked about the rules of causality. Due to time constraints, I can only give brief introduction to the rules of causality.

1. The cause and effect correspond to each other: the cause and effect share the same attributes.

Good cause will naturally result in good effect, whereas bad cause will certainly induce bad result. It will not be mixed up. The ancient Book of History in China Shangshu《尚書》, said “If one favours righteousness, he will enjoy good fortune. If one follows the evils, he will induce misfortune”. Similarly, in Christianity, it is said “Evil pursues the sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repaid.” In Judaism, it is said “There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief”. In Hinduism it is said, “…none who performs good deeds come to an evil end” (Bhagavadgîtâ, Tr. Kashinath Trimbak Telang, 6.72). In Islam it is said, “Whoever does a good deed, it is for his own-self, and whoever does evil, it is against (his own-self)” (Qur’an, 45:15).

2. It takes time to ripen:  From cause to consequence, it will take a period of time to show the effect.

It is like planting a seed.  It will take a period of time for the plant to grow before it blossoms and bears fruits. It will not instantly bear fruits. By the same token, when the bad or good deeds are committed, they will not immediately show the consequence. It will take a rather long time for them to show the consequence.

Many people do not believe in causality because they do not understand the rationale behind it. People often times see the kind people not being reciprocated with good rewards and the wicked people not being punished with retribution. On the contrary, some good people come across misfortune and some wicked people end up enjoying good fortune. As such, people start to deny the notion of causality. In fact, this is caused by our short sighted view. If we look at the longer period of several years or even several decades, we will be able to see clearly the cause and effect over time. Like the old saying, “it is not without the consequence, it is just not yet the time”, and “the good and the evil will eventually result in their own consequences, it is just a matter of time”.

As mentioned earlier, some good people come across misfortune. That is because the bad deeds that they committed previously have born fruits first. Some wicked people receive good fortune. That is because the good deeds that they performed before have born fruits sooner. Over time, when the old karma is exhausted, the new karma will emerge. Hence, one can observe the cause and effect are in sync with each other.

At the beginning of last century, there was a very rich man in Shanghai.  He was kind and generous by doing lots of good things for the society. However, when he was dying, he suffered tremendously. After he died, he went to the hell. When people learned about how he suffered at the end, they started to doubt the notion of causality. Subsequently, it was discovered that this rich man was a government official in Qing Dynasty. He pocketed the money that the Emperor assigned to salvage the people suffering from the famine, which caused lots of innocent people to die from starvation. This was a great sin that he had committed, and could not be alleviated by his subsequent kind deeds. As a result, the retribution of his sins emerged first as he was dying, and he suffered a great deal.

3. Karma will not disappear: The cause will not disappear, for however long it has gone, until it eventually bears fruits.

When we commit a bad deed or perform a good deed, the cause of a bad deed or a good deed is like a seed, being planted in our subconscious mind, which is called karma. The karma will not disappear, nor will the good karma and bad karma cancel each other. The karma will not disappear until it bears fruits of the seed that was planted previously. In Buddhism, the scripture says “Even through the longest time, all the karma will not disappear, until the right time comes, one shall bear the consequence of his karma.” Namely, as long as one still lingers in the reincarnation, one cannot escape from the law of causality. All the good and bad karmas are like the boomerangs, they will eventually come back to us.

In Catholics, one of the psalms quotes “His evil intent recoils upon his head; his wicked design comes back in his face” Psalm, 7:17, CCB). In Christianity it is said, ‘The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast’ (Proverbs, 5:22, NIV) and ‘God will give to each person according to what he has done’ (Romans, 2:6, NIV). In Judaism it is said, ‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him’ (Proverbs, 26:27, JPS). In Buddhism it is said, ‘If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, suffering follows him just as the wheel follows the hoof-print of the ox that draws the cart’ and ‘If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him’ (The Dhammapada). In Hinduism it is said, ‘Everybody reaps the fruit of his own deeds’ (Bhagavata Purana, 10.413).

4. Transformation will change the effect: From cause to effect, there could be change in the magnitude of the effect.

Good karma and bad karma cannot offset each other.  However, they can affect each other to induce different result. The subsequent good karma will be added on top of the previous good karma to repress the emergence of the bad karma. Same rules apply to the bad karma. Namely, if one continues to commit sins on top of the bad karma that he has already accumulated, it will aggravate the bad karma that he will suffer. On the contrary, if one makes efforts to accumulate merits of good deeds after committing the bad karma, one will alleviate the degree of bad karma in the future. By the same token, if one continues to perform good deeds after having accumulated good karma, it will strengthen the merits in the future. If one commits bad karma after accumulating good karma, it will adversely affect the future merits.

For exactly the reason that the good and bad karma affect each other, one can change the course of his life and his fate. As it is said in The Treatise on Response and Retribution of Daoism, “if one commits sins and subsequently repents for his sins, refrains from all the evils and practices all the good deeds, over a long time, he will be able to turn misfortune into blessings”.

Liaofan’s Four Lessons is the family teachings written by Mr. Liaofan Yuan around 1600 AD. This book describes in details the rationale and the process of how he changed his fate. It is a great story.  Mr. Yuan was not meant to have wealth and fame, nor was he meant to have any children in his life. After he made great efforts to perform good deeds, he was granted a good position by the Emperor and eventually got children. His life was extended from 53 years to 74 years before he passed away.

Around the same period of time, there was another person, Mr. Jin Yi Yu. He was very talented and followed all the good deeds in front of people, but he liked to bad mouth others and had serious problems with his evil thoughts. As a result, his life was going downhill. He was not only unable to obtain the recognition from the Emperor, but also suffered from losing 4 sons and 3 daughters who died at young age. His only son got lost and never returned home as he went out. His wife cried so hard that she became blind. His only daughter also suffered from mental disorder, the whole family got into distress without sufficient financial support. Luckily, he got the help from the God of Stove who pointed out his faults of evil thoughts and the fact that he was not sincere when doing good deeds.

As a result of the advice from the God of Stove, he was determined to repent, rectify his wrong doing and perform good deeds with kindness from the bottom of his heart. Within 3 years, he was able to completely change his life: he passed the examination of the government and got granted a good position by the Emperor, he found his lost son, his wife recovered her vision, and his family finally enjoyed peaceful and healthy life. One of the people from his home town recorded this story into “The Legend of Jin Yi Yu Meeting the God of Stove.”

5. Small Cause Could Induce Great Effect: Small cause could lead to bear serious consequence.

It is like planting small seeds of watermelon into the soil, and they will eventually grow and bear many large watermelons.  The ancient Book of History in China Shangshu《尚書》, said “if one does good deeds, countless good fortunes will follow. If one does bad deeds, countless misfortunes will follow.” In Qur’an, it is said, “Whoever brings a good deed … shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed … shall have only the recompense of the like thereof …”. In Buddhism, it says that giving one thing to others will entail ten thousand times of rewards in return. All these examples give us evidence of “small cause could lead to serious consequence”.

Why would there be phenomenon of small cause generating serious consequence?  The rationale is the creation of karma is through our thoughts, and the formation of our thoughts is very fast. In Buddhism, The Sutra of Bodhisattva Dwelling in the Womb indicates that within a snap of finger, there are 3.2 trillions of thoughts being formed, each one of the thoughts generates substance and each substance has consciousness.” 

Simply because the speed of generating the thoughts is so fast that lots of karmas are formed within a very short period of time. All of these karmas will eventually lead to consequence that we have to bear. As the karmas are added on top of one another, the accumulation of karmas will increase the degree of the consequence that we have to bear and the length of time in bearing the karma will be extended in the future as well.

The manifestation of small cause leading to great effect is that the cause will generate 3 kinds of karmas such as “the immediate karma”, “the core karma”, and “the lingering karma”. If the good or bad karmas are very serious ones, one will induce the effect to emerge immediately, which is called “Immediate Karma” or “Flower Karma”. This “Immediate Karma” is the not the most serious one. The most serious one is the “Core Karma”, which usually occurs in the next life. In addition, there will be “Lingering Karma” in the longer term. This is like dropping an object into water to cause ripple, the effect will linger for a long time. The lingering karma will pass on the fortune or misfortune to the descendants. As The Book of Change indicates that “the family with accumulation of merits will have lingering blessings and the family with accumulation of evils will have lingering retribution”. This is also the evidence of lingering karma.

Exactly for the reason that small cause could lead to great effect, it is said in Buddhism that Bodhisattvas are fearful about the cause, and the ordinary people are fearful about the consequence.” The Bodhisattvas are enlightened people. They fully understand that committing evil cause will generate serious karma. Therefore, they are extremely cautious about not committing any negative cause. As for the bad karma, that is the result of the bad deeds committed in the past. Once negative karma is “exhausted” by bearing the consequence, one should not be fearful. Hence, the Bodhisattvas will calmly accept the karmas as they emerge, and will not suffer from them. On the other hand, the ordinary people are distracted with confusion. They know the bad karma is terrible and try to escape from them, without knowing that stopping the generation of bad cause is the only solution to shy away from the bad karma. As the ordinary people suffer from the bad karma, he will generate more evil thoughts which continue the vicious cycle of generating even more bad karma. The ending of his life will be terribly miserable, and the suffering will be endless. This is what the Buddha and Bodhisattva describe as “the pitiful people”.

All the above was simply citing some simple rules of causality for your reference. When one fully understands the rules of causality, one will not dare to commit any sins, and will make great efforts to do good things. As the famous scholar in the early Qing Dynastry, Mr. Anshi Zhou indicated, if everyone believes in causality, the country will enjoy stability and prosperity; if everyone disregards causality, the country will fall into chaos.

I sincerely hope that by learning and promoting the education of causality that is passed down to us from our ancestors, we will be able to help purify our minds, to bring harmony to the society, and to achieve world peace eventually. This is the best way to remember and respect our ancestors and to repay the kindness of our ancestors. This will also be the greatest reward of our ancestral ceremony. May we encourage one another with these best wishes for many years to come!

Lastly, I would like to wish you the joy of good health, happiness, good fortune at all times, wisdom and longevity. Thank you very much.

因果報應 絲毫不爽——二〇一七年威爾士祭祖大典 談話














  天主教《聖詠集》說:「他的凶惡必反轉到自己頭上,他的橫暴必降落在自己頂上。」基督教《箴言5:22和合本》:「惡人必被自己的惡孽捉住,他必被自己的罪惡如繩索纏繞。」《羅馬書2:6 和合本》:「神必照各人的行為報應各人。」猶太教《聖經.箴言26:27》:「挖陷坑的,自己必掉入其中;滾石頭的,石頭必反滾在他身上。」佛教《法句經》說:「若以染污意,或語或行業,是則苦隨彼,如輪隨獸足。」又說:「若以清淨意,或語或行業,是則樂隨彼,如影不離形。」印度教《薄伽梵往世書10.413》:「人人都自食其行為之果。」