According to the Buddhist worldview, all beings accumulate karma based on their actions, and karmadictates their life circumstances. When a person dies, the karma accumulated in that lifetime (and all previous lives) determines his or her lot in the next life.
To many Buddhists, this means that a person born into a wealthy family has good karma, while someone who lives in a poor, disease-infested village would have accumulated negative karma.
Buddhists believe karma keeps one trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth (samsara), and the only way out is through enlightenment.
To become enlightened, one has to eliminate desire. Buddha taught that desire is the root of suffering; that it causes attachment, which leads to suffering, and in turn causes other beings to suffer. This produces negative karma. If one eliminates desire and stops causing suffering, one can become enlightened, as he had.
But, eventually, I began to question.
Who or what had set this law of karma in motion?
Who judged these beings’ actions and sentenced them to another life of pain?
Why were beings punished for actions they would be unable to remember?
Was desire always a bad thing? Wasn’t the desire for enlightenment still desire?
If so, how could one ever attain enlightenment?
So I strayed from the Buddhist path—the emptiness within me greater than before.