The Spirited World

Vimala Vanara from Wat Phra Kaew

Local deities and ghosts were as much a part of Phu Tai vil­lage life as the sun, the rain and the morn­ing fog; as inescapable as birth, life, and death. This Ajahn Sao did not refute. But he taught [the vil­lagers] that every non­phys­i­cal being expe­ri­enced the karmic con­se­quences of its own actions; each was the prod­uct of its own kam­ma, just like the vil­lagers them­selves. Wor­ship­ping these beings was, in effect, attribut­ing to them a pow­er that they did not pos­sess. The essence of Ajahn Sao’s mes­sage was per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty. Plea­sure or pain, hap­pi­ness or suf­fer­ing, hav­ing or lack­ing; all are a result of an individual’s past karmic deeds, com­bined with one’s moral behav­iour in the present.

From ‘Mae Chee Kaew’ by Bhikkhu Sila­ratano

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