Chapter 05: Karmic Result from Bad Deeds to Bees


Phra Dhamsinghapuracariya

Today I would like to tell a story about the law of karma to monks and novices. Law means pushing. Karma means dressing or making things happen. If it is good karma, it will push you toward merit with uplifted mind and wisdom. This is comprised of the Five Precepts, which can be proven through meditation.

The following story was my first hand experience when I was young. It happened at Baan Bangpatune or Baan Koh. The land there was shaped like half of an island north of Bang Pudsa estuary. Later on it was also called Bangpatune because it was also shaped like the arched roof of a boat. I used to ask old folks why it was called Bangpatune. The reply was that the area was curved, neither deep nor shallow. There were plenty of Manila tamarind trees. The treetops also curved toward each other to form an arch shape like a boat roof. So, it was called Bangpatune. Now the land has been filled. There is no more Bangpatune. It was my hometown. Older people called it Baan Koh. The middle generation called it Baan Bangpatune. The younger generation called it Bang Muang Moo SubDistrict. It used to be in Ton Bo Sub-District and was later separated to become Bang Muang Moo Sub-District.

Yesterday, guests from Baan Prag, Summaniang in Ayudhya Province came to express concern about lack of unity among the younger generation of their family. They told me their story. That reminded me of an old story in my life when I was a boy of 12 and had already been to school. In my generation, children went to school at the age of 9, unlike yours, going to kindergarten and primary school at the age of 4. I went to preparatory school at 9 years old, then went on to primary 1 and finished after primary 4. Now they have extended compulsory education to primary 5 and 6. At that time, Uncle Prong, an uncle who was my mother’s cousin, lived in the neighbourhood. I called his wife Aunt Kheo. My cousin, the daughter of Uncle Prong and Aunt Kheo, was Somboon, whose first husband was Gliang and whose second one was Prohm.

Well! I was reminded after this story about a story of my old folks which had long been forgotten, since I was 11 – 12 years old. I had also been away from home, to study in Bangkok. There I stayed at the house of Uncle Sorn Silpabanleng (Luang Praditpairoh), Luang Dhara who had served hot water to His Majesty King Rama VI. I had stayed for 2 years in Bang Waek, performing a mask dance and playing the ranaad1 . By a coincidence Mr. Taibuan and Mrs. Lamai Maglamtong who resided in Baan Prag Sub-district had come also. Phra Khru Sangharaksa said that the village where they lived was called Baan Sammaniang, where Luang Poh Kheo’s monastery was located. Phra Khru and I had been invited for a meal at their house once, for a merit-making ceremony. This family was kindhearted and reasonably rich. Every child of the family was good and made merit. The parents also made merit and taught their off-spring to do the right thing. They have gone from poverty to wealth by way of trade at Baan Prag market.

Later there was chaos. A group of children went to see a sorcerer who told them that the house had been put under black magic. Brothers and sisters were no longer united. They kept quarrelling with each other. There was no more happiness. I don’t know why one of the children had become twisted enough to believe in the possession of humans by deities. The other group hadn’t. They had confidence in monks. So, troubles occurred. One side accused the other of being thus and so. When considering the Law of Karma, there is none. But I don’t know the whole story. There must have been a reason.

Mrs. Lamai continued to say, “Your reverend, I’m not sure if it was because of this. During the time when our house was being constructed, there was a hive of bees forming up at our place.” Mrs.Lamai was afraid that the bees would sting construction workers. So, she thought it would not be a sin to chase them away while the house was being built. She would allow them to return later after construction work was finished. Thus, she asked her children to chase them away with bad smelling insect repellent. The spray must have been too much. Bees either dropped dead or were gone.

From then on, the tide turned. There has not been happiness in the house any longer. Children row with each other. Or, they take turns falling ill. That was why one of the children went to see the sorcerer who said that there was a black magical object under the house. I said that was not the case. It was because of the bees. Don’t you ever do this.

I have been thinking of my own story then. When I was about 11 or 12 at Uncle Prong and Aunt Kheo’s house, my cousin Somboon got married, when I was going to preparatory school. There was a group of bees building a large hive at my uncle’s place next door to ours. One day, there was no one home. My uncle had gone to tend to the buffaloes. Aunt Kheo went selling at Bang Kham market, together with cousin Somboon, who was expecting a second child. Only my cousinin-law was at home. He asked me to set fire to the beehive together with him. Although he was the one who initiated the idea, I was still young and did not realize it as a sin.

My uncle was so furious upon his return. He was a strict practicing Buddhist who regularly undertook the Eight Precepts. He reviled his son-in-law for 3 days and nights. As a result of this revilement, both physically fought with each other for 3 days and nights, resulting in cuts and bruises. Then they continued to say rude words to each other. This was because of the law of karma.

In the end cousin Somboon and Gliang had to separate, not because of any conflict between themselves. Gliang had to leave because his father-in-law tried to slash him with a sword. He didn’t know what to do since he was afraid of attacking his own father-in-law. If my uncle had done that to a sinner, a blow on his head would be his return. I was there. I’ve just thought about it. This story corresponds with what the guests have said. This certainly is the law of karma. There would be no happiness. Good people can quarrel and separate.

My cousin-in-law told me that he could not stay any longer and had to leave because of the bees. My uncle kept reviling him non-stop until he could not stand it. Once he talked back, my uncle took out the sword and tried to slash him. I was there and saw it.

My cousin asked her father why he put the blame on her husband alone. Then she passed the blame on to me, saying that I had set the fire not her husband. Cousin Gliang packed his bag to return home. His home was 5 – 6 piers to the south of Wat Chaiyo. I had been there on a visit. There he had a new family. Although he had never quarreled with his ex-wife at all, they had to part because of the law of karma. They still kept contact though. Their son was named Sawn. He has since passed away. The sight of Sawn still reminded my uncle of his son-in-law. So, he scolded the grandson instead. Not very long after that my uncle also passed away pathetically. This was really the law of karma.

As for myself, I grew up and entered grade 4 and did not even have my braid shaved off yet. It was the law of karma that I performed bad deeds to bees, I was punched every time I went to any fairground. I used to ask, “Why did you hit me?” They said, “I’m sick of your face.” When I went to Wat Tuk, children of the same age chased and hit me. The same case happened when I went to Wat Saddhabhirom and Wat Ma-prang. I could not quite figure out why. Only after I had been ordained did I realized that it was my own karma. I set fire on the bees. When they stung, I crushed them with my foot. I was young and did not know much. That was why I was hit wherever I went.

I would like to inform you today that this is the law of karma. One might have to go a wandering. Brothers and sisters might quarrel. There will be no happiness. Please do not do bees any harm. They come to stay with us. People get beeswax to make candles. Apart from using the candles in the rites, it also teaches us dhamma.

We have to find someone to depend upon, no matter where we go. When you light a candle, it is so hot that tears run down. The heat is ra-ga (passion). The heat is dosa (anger).

The heat is moha (ignorance). These cause tears to run down. The bee is the candle. If it is not hot, how can the tears run down? If the candlewick and the beeswax are gone, we can no longer find anything to depend upon.

So, a bee is a sign that you can find something to depend on. Wherever you go try to find something to depend on. Look for residence as one of the four requisites, so that we can live well and prosper.

If you go to anyone’s house, talk them out of such deeds because the fruit of this sin can be seen very quickly. You can try it. If the bees come to build a hive at your house and you set fire on them, you will be in trouble within 7 or 15 days.

May happiness and prosperity be with elders, teachers and newly ordained monks. May all of you prosper in the Buddha’s teachings. May you have long life, fair complexion, happiness, strength, wit and wealth. May every one of your wishes come true.

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