Buddhism recognizes the free
will, which has the ability to change and undo whatever negative
actions done in the past. Even the worst criminal can change
to become a pious individual. This is a fundamental teaching
of Buddhism. Hence there is no fatalistic attitude, or divine
ordination, for life and living.
Committing suicide is an unwholesome act rooted in greed/hatred
and ignorance - not knowing the karmic law is a great disadvantage.
The Buddha said "we ourselves are responsible for our
own happiness and misery. We create our own hell and heaven"
This bears out that each person is responsible for his own
actions good or bad which yield karmic results.
There are five laws of nature which which operate, according
1. The laws of physical changesJn the enviroment eg: seasons
2. Biological laws eg: genetics
3. Law of karmic results of past action eg: sensory contact
with the environment giving happy and unhappy sensations
4. Law of karmic actions created in the present, by way of
responding to these sensations
Human psyche and the nature of the environment thus mutually
interact and influence each other. We are more less subjective
to these laws except for the 4th law where karmic actions
are created by the free will, entirely.
Actions of the free will could be unskilful having thoughts
rooted in greed, hatred and ignorance or could be skilful
having thoughts rooted in non-greed, non-hate and wisdom.
Ignorance leads to unskilful unwholesome thinking while wisdom
leads to skilful, wholesome thingking. When the thinking is
wholesome speech and action become wholesome, when the thinking
is unwholesome, speech and action become unwholesome. Thus
moral behaviours ultimately is the consequence of thought,
that create karma. We ourselves are the creators of all the
happines and unhappiness in the world. The precepts of practice
eg: refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct,
lying and partaking of intoxicants etc. laid down by the Buddha
are not commandments, but rules of training undertaken for
short/long periods for one's own sake in order to make good
karma or merit. Such acts spell harmony and goodwill towards
others as well. If one denies karmic consequences, one follows
the "nihilistic view" which is ignorance and gets close to
subhuman level of consciousness. It is this wisdom of karmic
law that prevents a person from committing crime. It has no
religious bjas. Thus actions of the free-will if not monitored
by wisdom can degenerate a person to subhuman level, or even
worse, to commit any heinous crime.
Unfortunately karmic law cannot be proved at a conceptual level but it can be acutely understood at a meditative level. Those who commit sucide, if they consider the enormous pain they inflict on their loyed ones, and themselves and also the bad karma they make, they will not resort to such self defeating acts. Neither will they resort to immoral behaviour eg: transgressing precepts of practics, which eventually lead them to a point of no return. Hence knowledge and wisdom are crucial for life.