Do people who get murdered deserve it?

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Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:31 am

I've begun to build my own understanding of kamma. When someone does a good or bad deed, that deed is given a number of intensity or severity to the decimal which makes a specific shape and that shape is made of the trail that the road to enlightenment is made of. That deed slides across the road and passes opportunities on the road that it can fill up a spot that a reward or punishment can be acquired. But when the shape reaches the exact slot where it fits, the kamma slides in and takes action. So I came up with the idea that kamma doesn't hit us at random times, it has it's place to fit in; a specific time for everything.

So now I have a seperate question. And by asking this, I'm not trying to offend anyone. If someone went to a mall, for instance (completely hypothetical), and shot up a bunch of people, since kamma is supposed to cause consequences for people's actions, would those people he shot deserve it?
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:11 am

Greetings Dr. Dukkha,

No offense intended, but I would pull down what you've learned and start again.

Kamma: A Study Guide
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html

In short, the qualitative nature of our conditioned-mindstates flavours the quality of present and future experience.

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If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:11 am

This topic has been discussed to death in other threads.

Would those who post speculative views about kamma on Buddhist forums without having done their research deserve it if others shoot them down in flames? :stirthepot:
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby reflection » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:22 am

Everybody who is born will die. That's the important kamma. That's the consequences that we should look at. Specific ways of dying really are not all that important kamma-wise.
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby DrRPDB » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:25 am

Wow! I myself find the question a bit under developed but it seems to me, given his other posts, that Dr. D is genuine in his efforts. I find these replies not very inviting to those new to either the forum or Buddhism.... But I'm sure I'm missing something....

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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Aloka » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:10 am

To help clear up any misunderstandings about kamma, I highly recommend listening to this talk given by Ajahn Amaro at Amaravati monastery :

"Who is pulling the Strings?"

http://www.amaravati.org/teachings/audio_compilation/2083

- the link to the talk is under a question and answer session with the same title.


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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:22 am

reflection wrote:Everybody who is born will die. That's the important kamma. That's the consequences that we should look at. Specific ways of dying really are not all that important kamma-wise.


True.

However exalted the birth be , and however blissful and long the period be , the kamma of death catches up .

It is nice to understand that we are makings of our own doings , and this gets nicely reflected when we feel the sensations with in us, and remain equanimous .

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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Doshin » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:34 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:This topic has been discussed to death in other threads.

Would those who post speculative views about kamma on Buddhist forums without having done their research deserve it if others shoot them down in flames? :stirthepot:


If everyone did their research, would there be any need for forum(s) ?

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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:30 am

reflection wrote:Everybody who is born will die. That's the important kamma. That's the consequences that we should look at. Specific ways of dying really are not all that important kamma-wise.


Yes! And to try to nail down specifics is something the Buddha advised against.

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:34 pm

Doshin wrote:If everyone did their research, would there be any need for forum(s) ?

Yes, there would, because the Dhamma is profound. However, if members do a bit of searching and reading before posting, the question is more likely to lead to a meaningful discussion, and less likely to get dragged off-topic.

If one uses a word like “deserve,” then some may think of cases of taking vengeance like this sad case.

If we do not know the previous kamma of the victim, which bore fruit in this life as the result of getting murdered, then people may misunderstand if we say that they inherited the result of their kamma, especially if we use such terms as "deserve."

An Ill-directed Mind Can Do Great Harm
In this case, the monks who accompanied the Buddha, attributed the wrong cause to the result.

Nobody Can Escape the Effects of Kamma

Then again, if someone engages in drug-dealing, or other risky activity, they are more likely to get murdered. Prostitutes are also twelve times more likely to get murdered than average women, and one presumes that nuns are even less likely to get murdered.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby DrRPDB » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Then again, if someone engages in drug-dealing, or other risky activity, they are more likely to get murdered. Prostitutes are also much more likely to get murdered than average women, and one presumes that nuns are even less likely to get murdered.


Given the complexities and indeterminate nature of kamma - the lifetimes and avalable situations which my need to be present from which fruits to ripen and so forth, I find the above quote a bit bothering... I would think that a society in which neither of the above were true would not only be possible in a Buddhist world but desirable. For we really do not know why each has taken the path they have taken - even mass murderers may become an adherent... But hey, I haven't done all my research in the area, so...well, I guess I'll duck and cover.

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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby manas » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:04 pm

Just an observation: maybe 'deserve' isn't really the right word. If everything that happens in Samsara, murders or otherwise, is due to cause and effect, then it's not a matter of 'deserve', it's just action and reaction unfolding, and in a way that's beyond our current scope to fully comprehend. The term 'deserve' is a value judgement imposed by human beings, whereas kammic law is rather impersonal, is it not?

Noun 1. value judgement - an assessment that reveals more about the values of the person making the assessment than about the reality of what is assessed
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/value+judgement


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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:44 pm

As has been probably mentioned in the many other threads on this topic; even Moggallana one of the chief monks of the Buddha, was murdered and he was an arahant. Thus, obviously it is futile, useless, unwholesome and unnecessary to speculate on someone's kamma.
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby rohana » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:28 pm

I'd say 'deserved' is a meaningless term from a Buddhist POV on karma. It puts a kind of theistic spin on it. We've all done unskillful actions in the past. It's meaningless to say one person is more deserving than the other for their vipāka.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby chownah » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:53 am

Dr. Dukkha,
Can you tell us what you mean by deserve?
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby Anagarika » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:06 am

"Do people who get murdered deserve it?"

Murder by definition is a criminal act, an intentional killing committed with malice aforethought. No one murdered deserved to be the victim of a crime.

By definition, no act by the victim caused or contributed to their death.
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:10 am

Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:By definition, no act by the victim caused or contributed to their death.

People can though, as Bhikkhu Pesala pointed out, put themselves in dangerous situations by virtue of their intentional choices ( = cetena = action = kamma)

If such choices (kamma) can increase the likelihood of death, its hard to say that they in no way contributed to the death, even if it's not their "fault" per se that they were murdered and they certainly didn't "deserve it". One who is interested in their welfare should endeavour to mitigate their potential for being harmed, and the Buddha gave lay people sermons on such topics, making recommendations to avoid gambling, drunkenness, friends lacking in virtue, hanging about in dodgy places at night etc.

Metta,
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If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby robertk » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:11 am

this is from the Dhammapada commentary (taken from an old post by Ven. Dhammanando).

In the time of the Sammāsambuddha a village near the gate of Sāvatthī was burnt down, a blazing wisp of hay rose up from the flames and alighted on the neck of a crow flying in the sky. The crow, screeching, fell to the ground and died.

In the ocean, too, a certain ship got aground. The sailors, not seeing any obstruction from below, cast lots; the unlucky number fell into the hand of the captain’s wife. They then said: ‘Let not all of us perish on account of one woman; we must throw her into the sea.’ The captain, saying, ‘I cannot bear to see her floating in the water,’ tied a bag of sand to her neck and had her thrown in. At that moment the ship moved off like an arrow shot from a bow.

A certain bhikkhu lived in a cave. A huge mountain peak fell and closed up the entrance. On the seventh day it moved away of itself.

They told these three stories to the Sammāsambuddha, as he sat in Jeta’s Grove teaching the Dhamma. The Teacher said: ‘This kamma was not the work of others; it was done by the crow itself,’ etc., and he showed the related past:

The crow in a previous existence was a man, who, being unable to tame a vicious ox, tied a bundle of straw to its neck and set it on fire, causing the ox’s death. Now that action did not allow the crow to escape even though he flew into the sky.

The woman who was thrown into the sea was also a woman in a previous existence. A certain dog was devoted to her, and whenever she went to the forest he would go and come back with her. Men would mock her, saying: ‘Here comes the dog with his bítch!’ She felt embarrassed and being unable to prevent the dog, tied a bag of sand around his neck and threw him into the water. That kamma did not allow the woman to escape even in mid-ocean.

The bhikkhu in a previous existence was a cowherd. A certain iguana entered a hole and the cowherd closed the entrance with a handful of broken twigs. Seven days later he came and opened it and the iguana came out trembling. Out of pity he spared its life. That kamma did not allow the bhikkhu to escape even while seated in a mountain cave.

Connecting these three stories the Sammāsambuddha then spoke this verse:

na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe,
na pabbatānaṃ vivaraṃ pavissa.
na vijjate so jagatippadeso,
yatthaṭṭhito mucceyya pāpakammā ti.

“Not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, nor yet in the clefts of mountains — nowhere in the world is there any place where, having entered, one will escape from the result of an evil deed.”
(Dhammapada 127)
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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby manas » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:43 pm

robertk wrote:this is from the Dhammapada commentary (taken from an old post by Ven. Dhammanando).

In the time of the Sammāsambuddha a village near the gate of Sāvatthī was burnt down, a blazing wisp of hay rose up from the flames and alighted on the neck of a crow flying in the sky. The crow, screeching, fell to the ground and died.

In the ocean, too, a certain ship got aground. The sailors, not seeing any obstruction from below, cast lots; the unlucky number fell into the hand of the captain’s wife. They then said: ‘Let not all of us perish on account of one woman; we must throw her into the sea.’ The captain, saying, ‘I cannot bear to see her floating in the water,’ tied a bag of sand to her neck and had her thrown in. At that moment the ship moved off like an arrow shot from a bow.

A certain bhikkhu lived in a cave. A huge mountain peak fell and closed up the entrance. On the seventh day it moved away of itself.

They told these three stories to the Sammāsambuddha, as he sat in Jeta’s Grove teaching the Dhamma. The Teacher said: ‘This kamma was not the work of others; it was done by the crow itself,’ etc., and he showed the related past:

The crow in a previous existence was a man, who, being unable to tame a vicious ox, tied a bundle of straw to its neck and set it on fire, causing the ox’s death. Now that action did not allow the crow to escape even though he flew into the sky.

The woman who was thrown into the sea was also a woman in a previous existence. A certain dog was devoted to her, and whenever she went to the forest he would go and come back with her. Men would mock her, saying: ‘Here comes the dog with his bítch!’ She felt embarrassed and being unable to prevent the dog, tied a bag of sand around his neck and threw him into the water. That kamma did not allow the woman to escape even in mid-ocean.

The bhikkhu in a previous existence was a cowherd. A certain iguana entered a hole and the cowherd closed the entrance with a handful of broken twigs. Seven days later he came and opened it and the iguana came out trembling. Out of pity he spared its life. That kamma did not allow the bhikkhu to escape even while seated in a mountain cave.

Connecting these three stories the Sammāsambuddha then spoke this verse:

na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe,
na pabbatānaṃ vivaraṃ pavissa.
na vijjate so jagatippadeso,
yatthaṭṭhito mucceyya pāpakammā ti.

“Not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, nor yet in the clefts of mountains — nowhere in the world is there any place where, having entered, one will escape from the result of an evil deed.”
(Dhammapada 127)


How sad that beings treat each other with cruelty, on occasion. I know from my side, that I have mostly done away with cruelty, I don't wish harm even on those who have wronged me. But it still gets heaped on me, fairly regularly. There must be a reason for that, and kamma-vipaka is the only one I can think of. I must have created the causes for it in a previous existence, otherwise I don't get why someone who mostly wishes everyone well, could cop so much meanness from others in one lifetime. But as I said, I don't wish those (who put me down) any harm, it just makes me feel a little sad...that's all. (On a positive note, I am finding that the more metta I radiate - and, the better I feel about myself - the less people tend to put me down...so even in the short term, the Dhamma is helping me to overcome it).

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Re: Do people who get murdered deserve it?

Postby rohana » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:03 pm

retrofuturist wrote:If such choices (kamma) can increase the likelihood of death, its hard to say that they in no way contributed to the death, even if it's not their "fault" per se that they were murdered and they certainly didn't "deserve it". One who is interested in their welfare should endeavour to mitigate their potential for being harmed, and the Buddha gave lay people sermons on such topics, making recommendations to avoid gambling, drunkenness, friends lacking in virtue, hanging about in dodgy places at night etc.

Particularly, by cultivating skillful states of mind such as the brahmavihāras, they can decrease the likelihood of bad results occurring.

    A third lesson from the principle of karma is that developing the brahma-viharas can also help mitigate the results of your past bad actions. The Buddha explains this point with an analogy: If you put a lump of salt into a glass of water, you can't drink the water in the glass. But if you put that lump of salt into a river, you could then drink the water in the river, because the river contains so much more water than salt. When you develop the four brahma-viharas, your mind is like the river. The skillful karma of developing these attitudes in the present is so expansive that whatever results of past bad actions may arise, you hardly notice them.

    A proper understanding of karma also helps to correct the false idea that if people are suffering they deserve to suffer, so you might as well just leave them alone. When you catch yourself thinking in those terms, you have to keep four principles in mind.

    First, remember that when you look at people, you can't see all the karmic seeds from their past actions. They may be experiencing the results of past bad actions, but you don't know when those seeds will stop sprouting. Also, you have no idea what other seeds, whatever wonderful latent potentials, will sprout in their place.
    Bringing Wisdom to the Brahma-viharas - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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