Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon May 04, 2009 5:12 am

christopher::: wrote:Again, I may be alone with this, but there is a logical inconsistancy in mainstream ideas of karma and rebirth that has yet to make sense, for me.
To me the examples you give and the conundra you raise regarding them merely highlight the limitations of expounding kamma and its ripening in conventional terms (i.e. in terms of conceptual realities such as "persons"). The conundra evaporate when the subject is expounded in terms of dhammas.
  • In Anurādhapura we had discussions about kamma and vipāka. Someone remarked that he found it unjust that a deed commited in a former life can cause suffering in this life. The person who suffers today is not the same person anymore as the being in the past who committed the bad deed which produces an unpleasant result. Why then do we have to suffer today because of deeds we have not done?

    Kamma produces vipāka. Each cause produces its appropriate result. This is the law of cause and effect which operates, no matter we like it or not. When we suffer from pain it is the result of kamma. We may be inclined to think: “Why does this have to happen to me?” But why do we think of “me”? There was no being in a former life who committed deeds, neither is there a being in this life who experiences results. There are only realities, nāmas and rūpas, arising and falling away.

    In the absolute sense there is not “my present lifespan”, because life exists only in one moment. There are different types of cittas which experience objects and each moment of citta falls away completely. Some cittas are cause: they can motivate good deeds and bad deeds which can produce their appropriate results. Some cittas are the results of good deeds and bad deeds, vipākacittas. Cittas which experience pleasant or unpleasant objects through the senses, such as seeing or hearing, are vipākacittas which arise throughout our life. Vipākacitta arises because of conditions and falls away immediately; there is no self who experiences a pleasant or unpleasant object. When there is pain, it is only a short moment of experiencing an unpleasant object through the body-sense. It is unavoidable, because it arises because of conditions. It falls away immediately. When we think of the pain with aversion, there is not only one citta with aversion, but seven cittas with aversion arising in succession. That is the order of the cittas arising in a process. Thus, when we have aversion about pain we make it seven times worse. Pain is unavoidable. Life is birth, old age, sickness and death.
    Nina van Gorkom, Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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robertk
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by robertk » Mon May 04, 2009 5:36 am

Chris wrote:Hello Venerable Pesala,

Could it be that he wasn't aware of it? Chris
The commentary to the sutta venerable Pesala cited states that the Buddha was fully aware of the past lives of those Bhikkhu and thus knowing that they were soon to die and be reborn in hell he taught them the meditation on loathsomeness of the body so that they could attain superior rebirth.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon May 04, 2009 5:47 am

The commentary to the sutta venerable Pesala cited states that the Buddha was fully aware of the past lives of those Bhikkhu and thus knowing that they were soon to die and be reborn in hell he taught them the meditation on loathsomeness of the body so that they could attain superior rebirth.
It is an interesting discourse, which really is not adequately explained by the commentary.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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christopher:::
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by christopher::: » Mon May 04, 2009 5:49 am

Dhammanando wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Again, I may be alone with this, but there is a logical inconsistancy in mainstream ideas of karma and rebirth that has yet to make sense, for me.
To me the examples you give and the conundra you raise regarding them merely highlight the limitations of expounding kamma and its ripening in conventional terms (i.e. in terms of conceptual realities such as "persons"). The conundra evaporate when the subject is expounded in terms of dhammas.
Thanks Venerable Dhammanando. What you shared does make more "sense." The idea of "persons" distorts the teaching, misrepresents how things work...
Nibbida wrote: Also this by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
"For the early Buddhists, karma was non-linear and complex. Other Indian schools believed that karma operated in a simple straight line, with actions from the past influencing the present, and present actions influencing the future. As a result, they saw little room for free will. Buddhists, however, saw that karma acts in multiple feedback loops, with the present moment being shaped both by past and by present actions; present actions shape not only the future but also the present. Furthermore, present actions need not be determined by past actions. In other words, there is free will, although its range is somewhat dictated by the past. The nature of this freedom is symbolized in an image used by the early Buddhists: flowing water. Sometimes the flow from the past is so strong that little can be done except to stand fast, but there are also times when the flow is gentle enough to be diverted in almost any direction.

So, instead of promoting resigned powerlessness, the early Buddhist notion of karma focused on the liberating potential of what the mind is doing with every moment. Who you are — what you come from — is not anywhere near as important as the mind's motives for what it is doing right now. Even though the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, our measure as human beings is not the hand we've been dealt, for that hand can change at any moment. We take our own measure by how well we play the hand we've got. If you're suffering, you try not to continue the unskillful mental habits that would keep that particular karmic feedback going. If you see that other people are suffering, and you're in a position to help, you focus not on their karmic past but your karmic opportunity in the present: Someday you may find yourself in the same predicament that they're in now, so here's your opportunity to act in the way you'd like them to act toward you when that day comes."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... karma.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks. This too was helpful.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Mexicali
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by Mexicali » Fri May 08, 2009 6:16 pm

I don't get the impression that the Buddha was "omniscient" in the godlike, western sense. For several weeks after attaining Buddhahood, he was not sure what to do with the insights he'd gained and had not gone out to teach the dhamma. Omniscience would mean he could have begun, instantly. Similarly, logically, there would be no pacekabuddhas if realization bestowed an inability to not know things; they would all have the ability to teach dhamma if they were omniscient.
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
-- Herbert Muschamp

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri May 08, 2009 7:26 pm

There again, since he was Omniscient, he would have known that to start teaching prematurely or to teach the wrong person would be ineffective. Even an ordinary person knows the right time to eat a mango, which is not necessarily as soon as one plucks it from the tree, or brings it back from the market.

In fact, the Buddha met a few individuals after his Enlightenment and before teaching the Dhammacakka Sutta (the first discourse). Two merchants from Suvanna Bhumī (Burma?) offered honey cakes, and the Buddha gave them some hairs.

He also met a wanderer named Upaka, and declared his Buddhahood to him, but he did not teach him the Dhamma at that time.
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