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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