• Lim SJ

SUNYA TALK: DOES KARMA EXIST?

Through real stories, I want to talk to you about Sunya and its benefits. I am telling real stories because people tend to relate to them more often. In 1998, I was working as an irrigation engineer for MADA in Kota Sarang Semut. One morning, I was on my way to grab a cup of coffee, and I heard someone call me. I recognized him instantly. He was Chong, an engineer who was working at an office not far from mine. He joined me for coffee, and we started having a conversation. He asked me an interesting question. He asked if I believe in karma. I told him that karma is just a result of cause and effect, and of course, I believe it. He shook his head in disbelief. He told me that he used to believe in karma till a certain point, and he doesn’t believe in it anymore. He claimed it to be more of a superstitious belief than a logical one. I was curious to know why he stopped believing in karma, and I asked him the same.



He told me that his job contract was ending, and he tried interviewing for many other jobs, but nothing worked out for him. He said that he never troubled the contractors and was also a regular contributor to donations or anything that could help the needy. He was surprised that his coworkers could land new jobs despite their bad habits, which saddened him. This affected Chong, and he questioned why a good person like him could not have better luck. I told him that donating to the poor and doing good things for society was not enough for clearing an interview. One has to prepare for it as well.


A better way of approaching an interview is to carry some documentation of work that you have done. It would be easier to answer questions about a project you have worked on, which would improve your chances of getting the job. I handed him the documents of a project I had been working on, which helped him learn a particular skill. The skill I am referring to is the ability to calculate the loading capacity of a pile. He spent a considerable amount of time practicing this skill, and he landed a job interview. It was at 8 am, and when he reached the venue, he realized that he was the last candidate in line for the job. He was disheartened since they usually give more preference to the people who interview in the beginning. When it was his turn, the interviewers were tired, and they wanted to get done with the process. So they began by asking casual questions like what he was doing at the moment. He pulled out the documents that I had given him, and he started explaining the entire process of using a rebound hammer test for calculating the load capacity of a pile. Everyone gathered around him and went through the whole project. After he was done with the explanation, there was no follow up questions from the interviewers. The chief interviewer requested him to sit outside for a while.



Time passed by, and they called him back into the interview room. Chong was surprised by their decision as they decided to employ him. They offered him a salary of 2500 ringgit along with miscellaneous perks. This was a great offer, compared to what his former employees and I had. His hiring was that the company had received a massive contract that involved a large amount of piling. The rebound hammer test that Chong demonstrated would save them a lot of time and money. Later that day, I got a call from an ecstatic and enthusiastic Chong. He was excited about the job offer, and he treated me to coffee the next morning. He asked me if I was psychic, and this amused me. His peculiar question was that out of all the projects that I had documented, I chose the piling one instead of the others. This decision led to him landing a decent job. I was working on multiple projects at that time, and the documentation for piling was the only common one in all of them. This pushed me to share those documents with him since piling is an integral part of the construction.



However, Chong still believed that it had something to do with psychic powers, despite the explanation! I told Chong that I was not a person who believed in psychic abilities, and I began to talk about the concept of Sunya. He felt like I was promoting Buddhism, and he stopped me from explaining further it. He had recently converted to Christianity and was not in a place to have a religious conversation. I reassured him that Sunya deals with the practice and not belief. Anyone can practice Sunya, regardless of their religious beliefs. I assured him that Sunya was just Buddha’s teaching and was not Buddhism. This confused Chong, and he asked me to elaborate further. I explained that Buddhism was related to faith, whereas Sunya is a practice. Sunya is based on the Diamond Sutra, and it has helped countless individuals. In Sunya, only peace and prosperity is spoken about in detail. This cleared up so many things for Chong since he initially mistook my explanation as a way to convert him to Buddhism. We had a wonderful conversation thereon regarding peace and prosperity, and it was a conversation I will genuinely cherish.

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