Subsidiary Causes And Karma

31 Jan 2016  Posted in Mind and Body 

I was translating the meaning of the Chinese word因緣 but I failed to find one English word which has the same meaning as the Chinese word因緣.

The English word “Cause” can partly explain meaning of the Chinese word因緣.

Breaking the Chinese word 因緣into two individual words, means principle causes and means subsidiary causes.

(Please read the basic concept of principle causes and subsidiary causes in my previous blog post.)


Karma is the manifestation of principle and subsidiary causes.

Principle and subsidiary causes are very important elements of our life.

They are why everything in the world appear and disappear.

If principle and subsidiary causes are heading towards the same way, things happen and go smoothly.

If principle and subsidiary causes are heading towards different directions, things will not happen.

For example,


Principle cause: one wants to buy an apple

Subsidiary cause: one has money to buy an apple


If one insists to eat an apple and does not have a penny to buy, one will be unhappy.

When one accepts he or she has no money to buy an apple, one does not eat an apple and will not be upset.

This shows our value and attitude (e.g. accepting everything or craving for something) are affecting our mind.

To achieve a stillness mind, one first needs to understand and apply the concept of principle and subsidiary causes in our daily life.

Then, one practices to stop the cause from the root which is to eliminate wants such as stop wanting to eat many apples.

When one is given an apple, one just eats an apple and will not ask for another apple.

It is easy to write it down.  When one practices this, one usually has to put much effort into it.


When it is a good Karma e.g. one wants to eat an apple and is given an apple, it is easily accepted.

When it is a bad Karma e.g. one persists to work in a company but one is fired, it is surely a challenge to accept it.

Principle cause is that a company has been downsizing by sacking employees.  This is uncontrollable by employees.

In this case, can anyone just say thank you to the employer who has just sack you?  That is a challenge.

One of my friends told me a theory that “Just do not take action and let the force of Karma dissipate.”

I find out that I have taken the action and try my best to keep a stillness mind.


Human Relationship and Karma


This is the pattern of my relationship with others which I have spotted.

Every time I meet someone new, I sometimes have a feeling that I have known him or her for a long time – many past lives.

Then, I will have chances to meet this person again and again.

Eventually, there is a chance that both of us interact with each other.

After seeing each other for years, either one of us will stop seeing each other because of different reasons.

Sometimes, it is stopped because of a bad Karma.

Therefore, next time, when I meet someone new and the similar situation happens again, I contemplate whether I shall take action or not.

At the end, I have decided to take action as I cherish the chance to meet and interact with somebody new.

When someone has gone, he or she may not have a chance to meet me again.

I will regret if I have not talked to him or her.

I cannot reject the karmic effect created by our relationship.  It will come to me someday.

A spiritual master said “Just think you are an actor or an actress in a movie with a stillness mind.”

I choose to take action and keep a stillness mind whatever outcome is.

I have this idea in my mind….


Everything changes constantly and this relationship will end someday.


Right now, I will try to be calm and flexible when meeting someone new.

Try to learn the lesson behind meeting this person and improve.

That is one of the ways to practise and realise the truths of wisdom.

Related Articles 

Karma – Part One

Karma – Part Two

Principle and Subsidiary Causes


comments powered by Disqus

Leave a Reply

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.