The Heart as Its Cause

Ajaan Lee

The Heart as Its Cause

When all of this was related to me while I was in India, I couldn’t help thinking of the Buddha, who was pure by virtue of the peerless quality of his heart to the point where he was able to invest the properties in his body with power, making them more pure than any other properties in the world. His relics, for example, have appeared to those devoted to him and, I have heard, come and go on their own, which is very strange indeed.

All of these things are accomplished through the power of a pure heart. When the heart is pure, the properties also become pure as a result. When these properties exist in the world, they can have a refreshing influence on the environment—because all properties are interrelated.

If we Buddhists set our minds on training ourselves in this direction, we can be a powerful influence to the good in proportion to our numbers. But if we don’t train ourselves and instead run about filling ourselves with evil, our hearts are bound to become hot and disturbed.

The flames in our hearts are bound to set the properties in our bodies on fire, and the heat from these inner fires is certain to spread in all directions throughout the world. As this heat gathers and becomes greater, it will raise temperatures in the atmosphere around the world. The heat from the sun will become fiercer. Weather will become abnormal. The seasons, for example, will deviate from their normal course.

And when this happens, human life will become more and more of a hardship. The ultimate stage of this evil will be the destruction of the world by the fires at the end of the eon, which will consume the earth.

All this from our own thoughtlessness, letting nature by and large go ahead and follow this course—which shows that we’re not very rational, because everything has a reason, everything comes from a cause. The world we live in has the heart as its cause.

If the heart is good, the world is sure to be good. If the heart is corrupt, the world is sure to be corrupt.

This reflection by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo is from the Chanting book, The Divine Mantra, “Introduction,” translated from Thai by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu.