Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

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dylanj
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by dylanj » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:06 pm

This is just one possibility, not all devas who fall from heavenly realms are reborn in the lower realms. For example, the Buddha was in the Tusita heaven before his last birth. It is not the case that devas only burn up kamma without accumulating kamma. They commit intentional acts, all of which are new kamma. It is not the case that when a deva falls from their realm their kamma is at '0' or any sort of neutrality, nor that kammic neutrality would lead one to the lower realms. One has an innumerable amount of kamma from innumerable past lives, when one falls to a lower realm it is because of past negative kamma, not just because of a lack of good kamma.

So a human could attain jhana & cling to it without penetrating to a further release, then be reborn as a deva as a result, then fall from that realm & be reborn virtually anywhere depending on what kamma is ripening for them at that moment. Yes, if such kamma is negative then they may be reborn in the lower realms & wander through them for extremely long periods of time. The same is true for every being in every realm...people who are virtuous & developed in concentration in one out of their innumerable human lives are not exempt from the law of kamma just by means of that. That is why it is said there is a higher release. They performed limited & conditioned virtue & therefore it has limited & conditioned results...but they have not removed defilement from their hearts, so how could you expect them to not inevitably fall back sooner or later? It is not cruel, they are not subject to kamma, they are falling because they, despite all the good deeds they've done, still have the tendency towards evil & delusion in them. They, despite their virtue, still create the causes of suffering through their actions.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by whynotme » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:49 am

questions543 wrote:I'm referring to this passage: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

For those who can't go to the link, one of the relevant paragraphs is this:
"There is the case where an individual, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that. Staying there — fixed on that, dwelling there often, not falling away from that — then when he dies he reappears in conjunction with the devas of Brahma's retinue. The devas of Brahma's retinue, monks, have a life-span of an eon. A run-of-the-mill person having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, goes to hell, to the animal womb, to the state of the hungry shades. But a disciple of the Blessed One, having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, is unbound right in that state of being. This, monks, is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor, between an educated disciple of the noble ones and an uneducated run-of-the-mill person, when there is a destination, a reappearing.
It describes essentially a virtuous person who is skillful in the first jhana. When he does he goes to a higher realm. But eventually, when his good kamma becomes exhausted, he goes to one of the lower realms where, according to other suttas, his chances of making his way even back to humanity are very low.

Forgive me if this sounds flippant because I actually think this is really terrifying, but this is what it seems like: When one's karmic balance is at zero, because one can't accumulate negative kamma in the upper realms (one can only burn up good kamma), one is essentially condemned by the law of the Dhamma to innumerable rebirths as an animal, where one is torn to pieces by other animals, or in hell or as a hungry ghost. So if a good person dies but isn't a disciple of the Buddha, he dies and gets a taste of heaven but then goes to hell for an indefinite amount of time that probably is many aeons.

This means to me that the decks are stacked badly against us. The law of the Dhamma is harsh, no disrespect intended.

Are some of the suttas intended to be exaggerations for the purpose of teaching and wariness, or is this a real and literal insight that the Buddha gained about existence?
Do you know how hard to be human?

Just look at the possibility of life as human, compare to other life form. How many human? 6 or7 billions. How many ant, how many worm, insect in a forest? A small colony can contain millions of ant. There are trillion trillion of them any time. So what is the possibility to be a human? May be 1 in a trillion lives become human.

Even as human, how many are happy? The riches are worried, the poor are worried, everyone worries about something. Billions of people live in poverty. And while in animal kingdom, everyone killing and eating each other. That is the reality in front of you.

So, a misstep and you fall to that cycle. Good luck in getting out.

I think the dhamma is all about suffering. The happiness is just empty. We are all from higher realm in the past with extreme long life span and happiness. But look at us now, where was the happiness? All happiness in the past is just an illusion.

Yes, there will be a time when many of us return to heaven with joy and pleasure, but what is the point? To wait for another time to cry about being suck as human? That why many people want to get out. No more happiness, no more sorrow, just stop it all.

I think it is 50/50 but as people often say, the good time passes by fast, while the bad time goes slowly. No matter how good you was, once you get bad thing, one minute is like an hour, one hour is like a year, that is the psychological effect.

So the point the Buddha made is that, no matter how high you achieve, if you are not follow his teaching, then you will return to that cycle between happiness and suffering. And suffering is suck
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:29 am

No_Mind wrote:
I have no meditation teacher and even getting to First Jhana seems quite impossible. I have to wait for at very least another human birth. Maybe after a million years that will happen.

:namaste:

After practicing meditation for 2 years, nowhere near as consistently as I'd like, with NOWHERE NEAR the Sila I'd like, I have got close enough to 1st Jhana to know that it is doable. And doable on a timeframe of 3-5 years. I have good concentration faculties to begin with, but probably not the sharpest in the world.

People will tell you that it takes a bazillion years, and million lifetimes, etc, etc, etc. Forget it. Really, don't let naysayers discourage you. When I first felt the beginning of Piti, I got too excited, and lost it. But if someone as imperfect as me can get this close in such a short timeframe, you can too.

Direct experience is highly convincing, and you have the map of the Dhamma, and some great exemplars. As well as an advantage that people in past times never had - recordings of many, many people who have achieved these things, and their instructions and help.

To naysayers who may read this and feel the impulse to refute it: don't bother. Go practice. Direct experience that meditation and Dhamma really work has given me unshakeable confidence.

Sorry if this offends anyone.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by whynotme » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:19 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
No_Mind wrote:
I have no meditation teacher and even getting to First Jhana seems quite impossible. I have to wait for at very least another human birth. Maybe after a million years that will happen.

:namaste:

After practicing meditation for 2 years, nowhere near as consistently as I'd like, with NOWHERE NEAR the Sila I'd like, I have got close enough to 1st Jhana to know that it is doable. And doable on a timeframe of 3-5 years. I have good concentration faculties to begin with, but probably not the sharpest in the world.

People will tell you that it takes a bazillion years, and million lifetimes, etc, etc, etc. Forget it. Really, don't let naysayers discourage you. When I first felt the beginning of Piti, I got too excited, and lost it. But if someone as imperfect as me can get this close in such a short timeframe, you can too.

Direct experience is highly convincing, and you have the map of the Dhamma, and some great exemplars. As well as an advantage that people in past times never had - recordings of many, many people who have achieved these things, and their instructions and help.

To naysayers who may read this and feel the impulse to refute it: don't bother. Go practice. Direct experience that meditation and Dhamma really work has given me unshakeable confidence.

Sorry if this offends anyone.
The first jhana is easy, get rid of the desire and there you are. But get rid of the desire is also the hardest part.

It is too hard because people don't know what the desire is, even when they have desire, they still think they have no desire. Remember that if you don't feel good, then desire is already there.

Just get rid of desire, you will feel good and happy even without meditation. And sit there, a bit balance with active and playful, give the intention to the nose, then suddenly the mind snaps to the breath, then the whole body is filled with extreme joy.

Actually the first jhana is not meditation, the second jhana is the first real meditation. In the first jhana, you still have thought.

People do it wrong because they try to hard to concentrate, that process is not fun at all. It is like you try to calm a boiler while still keeps the fire under it. That will not work. Even if it work, it will be very tired.

The human mind has two parts, consciousness and subconsciousness. Desire belongs to subconsciousness, it is the fire, while people try to suppress consciousness (the boiler) to achieve jhana. That is wrong. Suppressing consciousness is painful and tiring, it is not hard to understand that most of them will fail.

If people know that desire belongs to subconsciousness, and know how to suppress subconsciousness, then it will be easy. Just turn off the fire, and the boiler will calm.
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Disciple » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:10 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:To refer to kamma as "cruel" would imply some malicious intent, but it has none. If one jumps off of a high building and one's parachute fails to open, gravity bears no malice, and the hard concrete is not being vindictive when it crushes ones bones into a hundred fragments, and scatters one's inner organs in all directions.

Someone born in the higher realms due to good kamma is like someone enjoying a penthouse suite in a high-rise. When the building collapses, as it must, one with a parachute is saved, while someone without one or with one that does not work, is in grave danger.

We are all doing various types of kamma throughout life. Some is wholesome, while other is unwholesome. Every previous life that we have ever lived was similar. In this current life, if we enjoy good health, prosperity, longevity, and other fortunate results these are the natural outcome of kamma done in previous lives, or earlier in this very life. Working hard, studying, frugality, etc., in this life, lead to wealth and prosperity.

Nevertheless, we can be robbed, murdered, defrauded, killed in a road traffic collision, etc., and lose everything that we have in an instant. Such evil results are the consequence of cruel and selfish kamma bearing fruit.

One should refer to both the The Shorter Exposition of Kamma and the The Greater Exposition of Kamma. The topic is complex, and easy to misinterpret.
In other words, karma is a bitch.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by cappuccino » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:24 am

I always thought it was very appropriate.
An angel would treasure their fate… Like cherry blossoms…

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:47 am

Disciple wrote:In other words, karma is a bitch.
No. Life is suffering, but kamma is an absolutely just and impartial law of nature.
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Disciple » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:37 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Disciple wrote:In other words, karma is a bitch.
No. Life is suffering, but kamma is an absolutely just and impartial law of nature.
This is a religious claim. Not a scientific one.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:11 am

Disciple wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:No. Life is suffering, but kamma is an absolutely just and impartial law of nature.
This is a religious claim. Not a scientific one.

This is a religious forum, not a scientific one.
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Skandhas5 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:50 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Disciple wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:No. Life is suffering, but kamma is an absolutely just and impartial law of nature.
This is a religious claim. Not a scientific one.

This is a religious forum, not a scientific one.
:thumbsup:

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Nothing » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:07 pm

I think I would like to practice Buddhism to the point it genuinely affects my walk in life, but I cannot hold to beliefs of heavens and hells or reincarnation at all.

I assume it would be fine to follow Buddhist morals but not the beliefs?

If not, I guess I could always just meditate for the good it does to a person.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by cappuccino » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:31 pm

The teaching gradually becomes more meaningful.

It's a matter of strengthening that meaning by study.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:05 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:This is a religious forum, not a scientific one.
Oof, this may be the first time I am going to disagree with a Bhikku, and on an opinion no less but.. here goes.

I'd say Buddhism, and Dhamma, deserves the title of method, rather than religion. I fully expect science to validate everything about the Dhamma that can be scientifically validated, and the rest is phenomenology.

I mean that this method is effective. It works. Religions require belief, but the Dhamma can be tested. The requirements that the Christian faith, for example, puts on a rational mind are too great, but the Dhamma makes sense, it is systematic, and requires no huge commentarial literature to make sense (not that the commentaries have no value, but the suttas themselves are clearly written/spoken by a sharp, reasoning mind that has little need for metaphor except as an explicit explanatory device).
God wrote:Do not test the Lord thy God
Buddha wrote:Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an inquirer, not knowing how to gauge another’s mind, should make an investigation of the Tathāgata in order to find out whether or not he is fully enlightened.
(Source)

That's the difference. Buddha-Dhamma deserves a better title than that of religion, especially in these days when that word doesn't connote the things it used to.

As a consequence, I believe that your initial statement Bhikku, is closer to science than to religion.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by cappuccino » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:14 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:The requirements that the Christian faith, for example, puts on a rational mind are too great
The requirement is faith, atheists lack faith…

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:22 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Pseudobabble wrote:The requirements that the Christian faith, for example, puts on a rational mind are too great
The requirement is faith, and every atheist lacks faith…
In many Christian traditions, the requirement is not simply faith, it is blind faith. There are mystical Christian sects whose approach comes quite close to the Dhamma (Meister Eckhart comes to mind).

And of course faith is a necessary component of the Dhamma too, but the difference is that the Dhamma is very clearly the work of a rational mind, millenia before rational thinking became fashionable.

The Buddha also gives tests for true Dhamma, which is the skeptical, scientific mindset.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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