Does kamma determined our birth ?

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James Tan
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Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:23 pm

Greetings ,

Does our birth such as born deformed or with single leg/arm , as male/female , with higher /lower IQ , take birth as a King , being born as African , born rich /poor etc etc all has to do with previous life kamma ? What about being born as animals and insects ?

Thanks .
:reading:

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DooDoot
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:42 pm

Could you kindly quote some suttas that say the above. Thanks

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:07 pm

A detailed discussion of Kamma and it results is discussed in the following thread.
There are five Niyama Dhamma and Kamma is only one of them.


B. Results
§ 22. "These four imponderables are not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about them would go mad & experience vexation. Which four? The Buddha-range of the Buddhas [i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha]... The jhana-range of one absorbed in jhana [i.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana]... The results of kamma... Speculation about [the first moment, purpose, etc., of] the cosmos is an imponderable that is not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about these things would go mad & experience vexation.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by DNS » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:03 am

So it is the way people live that makes them how they are, whether short-lived or long lived, sickly or healthy, ugly or lovely, insignificant or illustrious, poor or rich, in a low class or eminent family, or witless or wise. Sentient beings are the owners of their deeds and heir to their deeds. Deeds are their womb, their relative, and their refuge. It is deeds that divide beings into inferior and superior.”
https://suttacentral.net/mn135/en/sujato
Apparently so, however, I wouldn't use that as an opportunity to discriminate because as Sarath noted one shouldn't speculate and there are other causes and also no region, continent, or country has all members being poor, rich, low class, eminent, ugly or lovely, etc and there are in fact various levels of inferior and superior in every country, region, continent, etc.

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:08 am

deformed or with single leg/arm , as male/female
It also important to note seen this and discriminate also due to our bad kamma.
We have to see the dependently originated nature rather than the good kamma or bad kamma.
Last edited by SarathW on Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

TRobinson465
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:17 am

Yes. this is explained in the cula-kammavibhanga sutta as the reason for the differences between humans, birth and circumstances.

https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn ... .nymo.html
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:58 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:17 am
Yes. this is explained in the cula-kammavibhanga sutta as the reason for the differences between humans, birth and circumstances.
Only some differences appear to be spoken of in MN 135. MN 135 does not appear to mention deformed or with single leg/arm , as male/female , with higher /lower IQ , African, animals and insects. In fact, a similar sutta is found in AN 4.187, addressed to women:
Queen Mallikā went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

Atha kho mallikā devī yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinnā kho mallikā devī bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

“What is the cause, sir, what is the reason why in this life some females are ugly, unattractive, and bad-looking;

“Ko nu kho, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo dubbaṇṇā ca hoti durūpā supāpikā dassanāya;

and poor, with few assets and possessions; and insignificant?
daliddā ca hoti appassakā appabhogā appesakkhā ca?

And why are some females ugly, unattractive, and bad-looking;
Ko pana, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo dubbaṇṇā ca hoti durūpā supāpikā dassanāya;

but rich, affluent, wealthy, and illustrious?
aḍḍhā ca hoti mahaddhanā mahābhogā mahesakkhā ca?

And why are some females attractive, good-looking, lovely, of surpassing beauty;
Ko nu kho, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo abhirūpā ca hoti dassanīyā pāsādikā paramāya vaṇṇapokkharatāya samannāgatā;

but poor, with few assets and possessions; and insignificant?
daliddā ca hoti appassakā appabhogā appesakkhā ca?

And why are some females attractive, good-looking, lovely, of surpassing beauty; and rich, affluent, wealthy, and illustrious?”
Ko pana, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo abhirūpā ca hoti dassanīyā pāsādikā paramāya vaṇṇapokkharatāya samannāgatā, aḍḍhā ca hoti mahaddhanā mahābhogā mahesakkhā cā”ti?

https://suttacentral.net/an4.197/en/sujato
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TRobinson465
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:58 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:17 am
Yes. this is explained in the cula-kammavibhanga sutta as the reason for the differences between humans, birth and circumstances.
Only some differences appear to be spoken of in MN 135. MN 135 does not appear to mention deformed or with single leg/arm , as male/female , with higher /lower IQ , African, animals and insects. In fact, a similar sutta is found in AN 4.187, addressed to women:
Queen Mallikā went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

Atha kho mallikā devī yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinnā kho mallikā devī bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

“What is the cause, sir, what is the reason why in this life some females are ugly, unattractive, and bad-looking;

“Ko nu kho, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo dubbaṇṇā ca hoti durūpā supāpikā dassanāya;

and poor, with few assets and possessions; and insignificant?
daliddā ca hoti appassakā appabhogā appesakkhā ca?

And why are some females ugly, unattractive, and bad-looking;
Ko pana, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo dubbaṇṇā ca hoti durūpā supāpikā dassanāya;

but rich, affluent, wealthy, and illustrious?
aḍḍhā ca hoti mahaddhanā mahābhogā mahesakkhā ca?

And why are some females attractive, good-looking, lovely, of surpassing beauty;
Ko nu kho, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo abhirūpā ca hoti dassanīyā pāsādikā paramāya vaṇṇapokkharatāya samannāgatā;

but poor, with few assets and possessions; and insignificant?
daliddā ca hoti appassakā appabhogā appesakkhā ca?

And why are some females attractive, good-looking, lovely, of surpassing beauty; and rich, affluent, wealthy, and illustrious?”
Ko pana, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena midhekacco mātugāmo abhirūpā ca hoti dassanīyā pāsādikā paramāya vaṇṇapokkharatāya samannāgatā, aḍḍhā ca hoti mahaddhanā mahābhogā mahesakkhā cā”ti?

https://suttacentral.net/an4.197/en/sujato
Just because its not mentioned explicitly, doesnt mean those particular circumstances arent related. As its not reasonable to say the buddha took into account every single possible scenario. and i would count the buddha saying wise/stupid as the same as low/high iq. IQ didnt exist back then so no reason to see why he would say IQ.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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DooDoot
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:19 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
Just because its not mentioned explicitly, doesnt mean those particular circumstances arent related.
Sorry. But the above is unsupported by evidence.
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
As its not reasonable to say the buddha took into account every single possible scenario.
I think the scenarios in the sutta might possibly pertain to the present life; such as getting angry makes a person ugly & lacking influence.
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
i would count the buddha saying wise/stupid as the same as low/high iq. IQ didnt exist back then so no reason to see why he would say IQ.
I doubt this. It took the very high IQ of Einstein, Oppenheimer & their tribe but very low wisdom to built the atomic bombs. Today in the world, there are multitudes of high IQ scientists & university educated people engaged in forms of Wrong Livelihood; such as building weapons of death. :|

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:15 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:19 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
Just because its not mentioned explicitly, doesnt mean those particular circumstances arent related.
Sorry. But the above is unsupported by evidence.
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
As its not reasonable to say the buddha took into account every single possible scenario.
I think the scenarios in the sutta might possibly pertain to the present life; such as getting angry makes a person ugly & lacking influence.
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:11 am
i would count the buddha saying wise/stupid as the same as low/high iq. IQ didnt exist back then so no reason to see why he would say IQ.
I doubt this. It took the very high IQ of Einstein, Oppenheimer & their tribe but very low wisdom to built the atomic bombs. Today in the world, there are multitudes of high IQ scientists & university educated people engaged in forms of Wrong Livelihood; such as building weapons of death. :|

You are correct that it is not supported by evidence. but just because there is no evidence doesnt mean its not true. As what the Buddha knew was just equal to the amount of leaves in the forest compared to what he taught, which was just a few leaves. My conclusion is reasonably as sound as your extrapolations that the Buddhas statements on the afterlife are complex allegories. as that also doesnt have evidence but you draw a conclusion anyways.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

No, those scenarios dont might possibly pertain to the present life because it literally says
Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn ... .nymo.html


It was not wise to build the atomic bombs from a Buddhist POV, but given the crisis in the world and the fact that they did not know the good word and the law of kamma, it was a wise decision to have the Americans build it before Germany. It was not wise from a Buddhist POV for Roosevelt to provoke the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor and joining the war either, but from a strategic POV and the sake of freedom in the world, it was very wise. Saved a lot of us from living under tyranny and saved a whole race of ppl from being exterminated. the name of the person they defeated, adolf hitler, is now so synonomous with evil ppl use it as an ad hominem attack to say some is "like Hitler" when they are too pathetic and who have too low IQs to come up with a real tangible argument agaisnt some1 they dont like and because they know if they repeat it on the internet enuff stupid ppl will believe it. (this last point isnt directed at anybody on this particular thread, just pointing out how bad it would be if the Nazis won, so it was historically a very wise decision imo)

You may disagree with how i define wisdom, and thats okay. i dont intend to go around in circles with us just deflecting each others definitions of wisdom. Just giving you my definition and the reasons for it.
Last edited by TRobinson465 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

TRobinson465
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:26 am

This sutta here does mention animal.
“Bhikkhus, the destruction of life, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being the destruction of life at minimum conduces to a short life span.
https://suttacentral.net/an8.40/en/bodhi


This sutta mentions we are born of our actions (kamma) also. which would imply that being born of various circumstances is the result of kamma.
“‘I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir’
https://suttacentral.net/an10.48/en/thanissaro

Although as Doot Doot mentioned earlier, i dont think theres a sutta for every scenario you mentioned. Especially not that African scenario.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

James Tan
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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by James Tan » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:39 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:42 pm
Could you kindly quote some suttas that say the above. Thanks
This is a question , an enquiry , with the understanding that performing the kamma , deeds, intentions of unwholesomeness will lead a person to such situations .
But , the question of example to be born as an African (or Asian or Westerners) does not point to inferiority or superiority . Just asking , what determined one take birth in different forms / appearances ?
:reading:

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:03 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:39 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:42 pm
Could you kindly quote some suttas that say the above. Thanks
This is a question , an enquiry , with the understanding that performing the kamma , deeds, intentions of unwholesomeness will lead a person to such situations .
But , the question of example to be born as an African (or Asian or Westerners) does not point to inferiority or superiority . Just asking , what determined one take birth in different forms / appearances ?
Since as the OP you get final say and clearly dont want to limit answers solely to direct quotes from the suttas. i would say yes, it would make sense that most circumstances beyond your control such as your birth is the result of kamma when taking into account the general statements of the suttas, commentaries and general statements on kamma from those sources. I would guess that race isnt necessarily the direct result of kamma, but only kinda a side result. ie. being born in N. korea or syria is different than being born in the US or France. and being born of african descent in the US would usually have a different effect on your life then being born white in the US. Likewise being born jewish in Nazi Germany is the result of far different kamma than being born jewish in Britain or the US in the same time period or in Germany after the defeat of the Nazis.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by James Tan » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:02 am

Tevijja Sutta Iti 99

The Three Knowledges

"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.'
:reading:

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Re: Does kamma determined our birth ?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:12 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:15 am
You are correct that it [my post] is not supported by evidence.
AN 8.29 appears to provide evidence that what certain translators translate as "rebirth" or "reborn" into one of the five realms (animal, hell, ghost, human, god) is not the same as when "born" in a geographical region because the Pali for these contexts is different. Even though the translators (eg. Sujato & Bodhi) often translate different Pali words the same, this is evidence the translators may be wrong and evidence that "rebirth" into one of five realms is not the same as "rebirth" in Africa or Australia.
Firstly, a Realized One has arisen in the world—perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. He teaches the Dhamma leading to peace, extinguishment, awakening, as proclaimed by the Holy One.

Idha, bhikkhave, tathāgato ca loke uppanno hoti arahaṃ sammāsambuddho vijjācaraṇasampanno sugato lokavidū anuttaro purisadammasārathi satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā, dhammo ca desiyati opasamiko parinibbāniko sambodhagāmī sugatappavedito;

But a person has been reborn in hell.

ayañca puggalo nirayaṃ upapanno hoti.

This is the first lost opportunity for spiritual practice.

Ayaṃ, bhikkhave, paṭhamo akkhaṇo asamayo brahmacariyavāsāya.

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world.

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, tathāgato ca loke uppanno hoti … pe … satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā, dhammo ca desiyati opasamiko parinibbāniko sambodhagāmī sugatappavedito;

But a person has been reborn in the animal realm. This is the second lost opportunity.

ayañca puggalo tiracchānayoniṃ upapanno hoti … pe …. (2)

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world.

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave … pe …

But a person has been reborn in the ghost realm. This is the third lost opportunity.

ayañca puggalo pettivisayaṃ upapanno hoti … pe …. (3)

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world.

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave … pe …

But a person has been reborn in one of the long-lived orders of gods. This is the fourth lost opportunity.

ayañca puggalo aññataraṃ dīghāyukaṃ devanikāyaṃ upapanno hoti … pe …. (4)

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world.

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave … pe …

But a person has been reborn in the borderlands, among barbarian tribes, where monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen do not go. This is the fifth lost opportunity …

ayañca puggalo paccantimesu janapadesu paccājāto hoti, so ca hoti aviññātāresu milakkhesu, yattha natthi gati bhikkhūnaṃ bhikkhunīnaṃ upāsakānaṃ upāsikānaṃ … pe …. (5)

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world. And a person is reborn in a central country. But they have wrong view and distorted perspective:

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave … pe … ayañca puggalo majjhimesu janapadesu paccājāto hoti, so ca hoti micchādiṭṭhiko viparītadassano:

https://suttacentral.net/an8.29/en/sujato
Both Bhikkhus Sujato & Bodhi translated the words "upapanno" and "paccājāto" the same; even though the Pali words are different. This is evidence that the mechanism for "appearance" in a realm vs a geographical location is different.

Similarly, AN 6.57 provides evidence of the above. If these words meant the same thing, why would the Buddha use different Pali words? :shrug:
And how does someone born into a dark class give rise to a dark result?

Kathañcānanda, kaṇhābhijātiyo samāno kaṇhaṃ dhammaṃ abhijāyati?

It’s when someone is reborn in a low family—a family of outcastes, bamboo-workers, hunters, chariot-makers, or waste-collectors—poor, with little to eat or drink, where life is tough, and food and shelter are hard to find.

Idhānanda, ekacco nīce kule paccājāto hoti—caṇḍālakule vā nesādakule vā venakule vā rathakārakule vā pukkusakule vā, dalidde appannapānabhojane kasiravuttike, yattha kasirena ghāsacchādo labbhati.

And they’re ugly, unsightly, deformed, chronically ill—one-eyed, crippled, lame, or half-paralyzed. They don’t get to have food, drink, clothes, and vehicles; garlands, fragrance, and makeup; or bed, house, and lighting.

So ca hoti dubbaṇṇo duddasiko okoṭimako bavhābādho kāṇo vā kuṇī vā khañjo vā pakkhahato vā, na lābhī annassa pānassa vatthassa yānassa mālāgandhavilepanassa seyyāvasathapadīpeyyassa.

And they do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind.

So kāyena duccaritaṃ carati, vācāya duccaritaṃ carati, manasā duccaritaṃ carati.

When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

So kāyena duccaritaṃ caritvā, vācāya duccaritaṃ caritvā, manasā duccaritaṃ caritvā kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ duggatiṃ vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati.

https://suttacentral.net/an6.57/en/sujato

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