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The Retribution of Merit

There are many advantages you can get by accumulating merit. For example, the merit leads you, in the worldly sense, to the fulfillment of your wishes; and in your spiritual practices, it brings you a better environment, fulfills your energy, leads your body to the state of joy, increases your light to pick out the phenomena and recognize them better, and gives you higher world experiences.

* The Retributions of Merit:

1. It brings you the external happiness

All phenomena in this world are based on karmas. If you do unvirtuous deeds, you will experience suffering; and if you accumulate merit, you will experience a happy life. So, one's life may be happy or unhappy, depending on the merit or the unvirtuous deeds that this person has accumulated.

2. It gives you energy to fulfill your wishes

Either to attain your desires in this world or to get progress in your spiritual practices, the energy of merit is an indispensable source of motive power. Once your merit has been manifested, all phenomena would be controlled by your wish.

3. It brings you the internal joy

If you accumulate merit, and avoid the leakage of energy by the observance of precepts, you will be able to experience the internal joy called the "joy of accumulation". Also, to get the state of joy in this body is indispensable in the next stage of Samadhi, in order to break away from the human body.

4. It increases your light and makes you recognize correctly the object

To accumulate merit means to increase your Sattva energy and strengthen your light to pick out the phenomena. In other words, it lights up clearly things which were unclear until then, and leads you to distinctly recognize the object.

What we need in meditation practices are calming and correct viewing; in other words the quietude of the mind and the light. And to attain these two, we need a lot of merit and the extinction of the afflictions. Through them, we can experience and understand our inside, the composition of this world, and everything.

5. It manifests clearly the internal elements

If we accumulate merit and increase our light, we can know and prove our inside. And if we light up a stronger light, the data that are in the essence of our mind begin to be manifested in this physical world. Through such a manifestation we can know and prove clearly our internal elements, shut off our evil karmas and know and prove the enlightened state.

6. It leads you to the experience of higher worlds

After death, one's soul leaves the physical body and transmigrates according to the karma accumulated until then. In the after death's Bardo, an intense light and several illusions appear. If we could jump into the higher world's light or into the vision of the Guru, we would be able to avoid unhappy transmigration and transmigrate into worlds of heaven or worlds in which the Guru is. However, it is not easy at all.
Two important elements on transmigration are merit and meditation practices. During the Bardo, one who has a lot of unvirtuous deeds will have a lot of visions leading to lower worlds, but one who has great merit will have a lot of visions leading to higher worlds. Also, one who can keep the continuity of consciousness through meditations will be able to make choices calmly even after death.

* Protecting yourself from devil's abode

Not only during the after death's Bardo, but also during meditation experiences, if we go only through technical practices without accumulating any merit, or if we excessively spend our merit, there is a danger of being linked to lower worlds and enter into the devil's abode. In order to protect yourself from entering into the devil's abode, or in order to escape from it once you are in, merits are indispensable. That is why we should do offerings before receiving initiations or participating in concentrated practices.




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