Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

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Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by philosopher » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:36 am

Is a child that is abused suffering from negative kamma seeds coming to fruition? Are all negative events related in some part to bad kamma or does simply being born in the world expose one to any number of dangers, some of which are not the result of past bad kamma? It's hard for me to wrap my mind around illness, for instance - this seems to be a normal part of being a human - but what about rare conditions that strike one early on in life? Are they the result of bad kamma?

I know the Buddha cautioned against trying to work out the intricacies of kamma, but I am curious to know if there are any definitive answers to the above in the suttas.

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:54 am

"Produced by (disorders of the) bile, there arise, Sivaka, certain kinds of feelings. That this happens, can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. Produced by (disorders of the) phlegm... of wind... of (the three) combined... by change of climate... by adverse behavior... by injuries... by the results of Kamma — (through all that), Sivaka, there arise certain kinds of feelings. That this happens can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true.

"Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans."

- Sivaka sutta

How would you interpret that?
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:59 am

Ah, the previous person beat me to it.
Oh well here's my answer anyway, which is the same quote:

There are many causes for events. The Sīvaka Sutta SN 36.21 lists eight different causes for things that happen.
Pittaṃ semhañca vāto ca, sannipātā utūni ca;
Visamaṃ opakkamikaṃ, kammavipākena aṭṭhamī ti.

Bile, phlegm, wind, combinations of them, and regular processes;
Something disagreeable, sudden pains, and kamma as eighth.
It's a bit of a bad translation, maybe someone else can find a better one.

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:26 am

Greetings,
philosopher wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:36 am
Is a child that is abused suffering from negative kamma seeds coming to fruition?
There is nothing I know of in the suttas or commentaries that says that one person's vipaka, manifests as another person's kamma... and if you think about it, that's what would need to be the case in order for what you're describing there to be true.

The closest I can think of to this are depictions of hell-realms that have some kinds of wardens overseeing the various tortures and punishment, but I cannot recall if the kamma or vipaka of those wardens is ever discussed. I don't recall it being mentioned in the suttas, at least.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:31 am

If you fear pain, if you dislike pain, don't anywhere do an evil deed in open or in secret. If you're doing or will do an evil deed, you won't escape pain catching up as you run away.
- Kumāra sutta

When this was said, the venerable Udayin said to the Blessed One: "'But, venerable sir, supposing when the venerable Samiddhi spoke, he was referring to this, namely, 'Whatever is felt is suffering.'"[2]

5. Then the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda: "See, Ananda, how this misguided man Udayin interferes. I knew, Ananda, that this misguided man Udayin would unreasonably interfere now. To begin with it was the three kinds of feeling that were asked about by the wanderer Potaliputta. If, when this misguided man Samiddhi was asked, he had answered the wanderer Potaliputta thus: 'After doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as pleasure, he feels pleasure; after doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as pain, he feels pain; after doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as neither-pain-nor-pleasure, he feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure' — by answering him thus, Ananda, the misguided man Samiddhi would have given the wanderer Potaliputta the right answer.

(excerpt from MN 136, http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/ati ... mo.ati.htm)

Kamma conditions rebirth, where one is exposed to agreeable and disagreeable contacts.

"And how, O monks, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered? Suppose, O monks, there is a skinned cow that stands close to a wall, then the creatures living in the wall will nibble at the cow; and if the skinned cow stands near a tree, then the creatures living in the tree will nibble at it; if it stands in the water, the creatures living in the water will nibble at it; if it stands in the open air, the creatures living in the air will nibble at it. Wherever that skinned cow stands, the creatures living there will nibble at it.

"In that manner, I say, O monks, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered. If the nutriment sense-impression is comprehended, the three kinds of feeling[9] are thereby comprehended. And if the three kinds of feeling are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple.[10]

"And how, O monks, should the nutriment volitional thought be considered? Suppose, O monks, there is a pit of glowing embers, filled to cover a man's height, with embers glowing without flames and smoke. Now a man comes that way, who loves life and does not wish to die, who wishes for happiness and detests suffering. Then two strong men would seize both his arms and drag him to the pit of glowing embers. Then, O monks, far away from it would recoil that man's will, far away from it his longing, far away his inclination. And why? Because the man knows: 'If I fall into that pit of glowing embers, I shall meet death or deadly pain.'

- SN 12.63

I won't pretend to have an answer to your question; the precise workings of kamma are unconjecturable. We don't live in an a-causal world, a world without cause or conditions. From the sutta I shared in my previous comment, the pain comes from harsh treatment.
Suffering isn't conditioned from pain. It is conditioned from ignorance.
Well, to retrofuturist, there is the perhaps the fatalist view that (if past kamma determines present experiences) if no one volunteers their own cruelty then some other manifestation of kamma will come about, perhaps a natural disaster or painful disease.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:33 am

Greetings salayatananirodha,
salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:31 am
Well, to retrofuturist, there is the perhaps the fatalist view that (if past kamma determines present experiences) if no one volunteers their own cruelty then some other manifestation of kamma will come about, perhaps a natural disaster or painful disease.
Perhaps there is, but do you know of any sutta or commentary that would substantiate such fatalism?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:35 am

Yes, isn't it in the great exposition of kamma?? The fruits of kamma must be experienced.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:38 am

Greetings,
salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:35 am
Yes, isn't it in the great exposition of kamma?? The fruits of kamma must be experienced.
If you could relate that sutta to the exact questions posed by the OP, then that may be useful.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:41 am

Here's another quote from the Debates of King Milinda, as translated by Bhikkhu Pesala...
For "feeling" you can substitute the word "experience".
“No, great king, not all feeling has its root in kamma. There are eight causes of the arising of feelings. Excess of wind, of bile and of phlegm, the mixture of the three bodily fluids, variations in temperature, stress of circumstances, external agency and kamma. Whoever says, "It is only kamma that oppresses beings‟, thereby excludes the other seven reasons and that statement of theirs is wrong.

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by robertk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:56 am

Samyutta Nikaya XXXVI.21
Moliyasivaka Sutta
To Sivaka
Once the Blessed One dwelled at Rajagaha in the Bamboo-Grove Monastery, at the Squirrel's Feeding Place. There a wandering ascetic, Moliya Sivaka by name, called on the Blessed One, and after an exchange of courteous and friendly words, sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said: "There are, revered Gotama, some ascetics and brahmans who have this doctrine and view: 'Whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action.' Now, what does the revered Gotama say about this
?"

The view that Moliyasivaka presented to the Buddha is called pubbakatahetuvada or pubbebbetaka -hetu-ditthi, the view that all feelings in the present life is due to deeds done in former existences. It is an extreme view that is ignorant of the many other conditions operating from the past and present. Another two commonly held views are issaranimmana-hetu-ditthi, the view that a creator God is responsible for the experiences in this life; ahetu-apaccaya-ditthi, the view that there is no such thing as kamma and that all feelings arise by chance. This last view is fairly common in our age with many people imagining that it is by chance that they are born as man or woman or dog or horse, and that their experiences in life happen largely by chance and present effort only. Some people hold to views which are a mix of two or even all three. In this sutta the Buddha was concerned to refute the first extreme view only.


The Blessed one replied to Sivaka:
"Produced by (disorders of the) bile, there arise, Sivaka, certain kinds of feelings. That this happens, can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. Produced by (disorders of the) phlegm... of wind... of (the three) combined... by change of climate... by adverse behavior... by injuries... by the results of Kamma -- (through all that), Sivaka, there arise certain kinds of feelings. That this happens can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. "Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans
."

Yet according to the Abhidhamma people it is said that all vipaka (resultant cittas) are caused by kamma.
Example in 'Abhidhamma in daily life' ( nina van Gorkom)that "when we hear unpleasant words, the moment of experiencing the sound (hearing-consciousness) is akusala vipaka, the result of an unwholesome deed we perform ourselves."

One might say hey, the Buddha explicitly denied that, characterizing it as wrong view, a view of kammic determinism, as per the sutta above.

However, this is perhaps a hasty conclusion: In the Abhidhamma - as has been explained in Abhidhamma in Daily Life- there are 4 types of cittas classified as jati. Vipaka(result), kiriya , akusala and kusala. In a process of cittas that experiences an object such as sound only one moment is vipaka, result. The rest are of the other jatis(not the result of kamma). The vipaka is like a flash and then many, many more moments that are not vipaka.

Now that very insignificant vipaka citta is certainly conditioned by kamma, that is by kamma done at an earlier time in the same life or in previous lives. However, even that vipaka is not conditioned solely by kamma.

The Sammohavinodani, chapter on Paticcasamuppada (PTS)p181 notes that there is no single fruit from a single cause:
"for here there is no single nor multiple fruit of any kind from a single cause, nor is there a single fruit from multiple causes, but only multiple fruit from multiple causes. BUT with one representative fruit and cause given thus 'avijja paccaya vinnana' etc. For the blessed one uses one representative cause and fruit when it is suitable for elegance in teaching and to suit the inclinations of those being taught. And he does so in some instances because it is a basic factor and in some instances because it is obvious and in some instances because of being not shared"...."he mentioned a single cause in the passage 'diseases due to phlegm'(in the sutta above) because of obviousness,for here it is phlegm that is obvious, not kamma and so on
."

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:38 am
If you could relate that sutta to the exact questions posed by the OP, then that may be useful.

Metta,
Paul. :)
I tried. It's a difficult question. On the one hand, it is not the case that the experience of the child is not without a cause or condition, but it is not necessarily the case that kamma determined that experience, directly. Are you asking me to prove whether birth is conditioned? When birth arises, pain, sorrow, lamentation and such arise. Certainly, child abuse is unpleasant, but we mustn't ignore all the other unpleasantnesses that arise with birth.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:04 am

Greetings,
salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:01 am
Are you asking me to prove whether birth is conditioned?
No, I'm asking you if you can substantiate the idea that...

Person A's kamma, gives rise to Person B's kamma, to inflict vipaka back on Person A.

... because that's the scenario described by the OP.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:09 am

That's not what I observed myself, you extrapolated that position from logic. It is the case that
'What a person considers and reflects upon for a long time, to that his mind will bend and incline'.
(dhammapada)

It's certainly true that the fruit of one's own kamma will not be experienced by another.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:18 pm

There's many reasons for things happening, but the Buddha does describe them as generally being about 5 things.

Weather (utu-niyāma), the laws of physics and chemistry.

Seed (bija-niyāma), or the law of biology.

Mind (citta-niyāma) – the law of psychology.

Dhamma (dhamma-niyāma) – the law of reality.

With these in mind the suttas point out these rules often.

"Produced by (disorders of the) bile, there arise, Sivaka, certain kinds of feelings. That this happens, can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. Produced by (disorders of the) phlegm..."
bija-niyāma

"of wind... of (the three) combined... by change of climate..."
utu-niyāma

by adverse behavior...
citta-niyāma

by injuries... by the results of Kamma — (through all that), Sivaka, there arise certain kinds of feelings. That this happens can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true.
dhamma-niyāma

in short, no.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Re: Are negative events always the result of bad kamma - i.e. abuse done to children, rape, etc?

Post by justindesilva » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:37 pm

I have been questioning the same after the tsunami in 2004 south of sri lanka. nearly a hundred thousand or more of the population died from the tsunami. A buddhist priest who could escape but was reluctant to get off the car got washed in to the sea. 14 from the same family who visited Galle from a safe area got washed in to the sea. In a train about 1500 who travelled died trapped in the water, while some others had miraculous escapes. How can we relate such a mass catastrophe on humans on kamma.

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