Question: If we have not taken the precepts, and have broken all of them, what happens if we later commit to take them all?
Answer: There will be more regular and good (positive) karma generated throughout life as it is a resolution to not harm others for life. This good karma will help to dilute the effects of past bad (negative) karma created through breaking the precepts.
Q: Will karma still catch up with us for the past wrongs that we have done when we broke all the precepts?
A: This might or might not happen. It depends on whether there is sufficient good karma generated to effectively dilute the effects of past karma. Just do your best!
Q: After taking the precepts, but later breaking them, how do we ensure that we resolve not to break them again in the future?
A: One can go through the ceremony again if there was serious breaking of precepts or repent before a Buddha image for less serious breaking. The idea is to be as sincere as we can in expressing our realisation of a mistake, and to resolve not to do it again.
Q: If someone has hurt us by breaking the precepts, but is sorry and ask for our forgiveness, will us forgiving them mean they have not broken the precepts earlier?
A: It is still breaking of precepts on the wrong-doer’s part. But the sincere apologising, which is the right thing to do, will help to mitigate the effects of the negative karma created.
Q: Likewise, we should repent for our mistakes, resolve not to do wrong again, and also forgive ourselves?
A: Yes, but the repentance and resolution should be sincere or it would be pointless.