AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

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AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:22 am

AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi.


https://suttacentral.net/en/an10.217

“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma [2180] that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced its results, and that may be in this very life, or in the next rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced the results of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated. [2181]

“As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, [2182] arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; and a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result?

(1) “Here, someone destroys life. He is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.

(2) “He takes what is not given. He steals the wealth and property of others in the village or forest.

(3) “He engages in sexual misconduct. He has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.

“It is in this way that there is a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result?

(4) “Here, someone speaks falsehood. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.

(5) “He speaks divisively. Having heard something here, he repeats it elsewhere in order to divide those people from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he repeats it to these people in order to divide them from those. Thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, one who enjoys factions, rejoices in factions, delights in factions, a speaker of words that create factions.

(6) “He speaks harshly. He utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.

(7) “He indulges in idle chatter. He speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline; at an improper time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial.

“It is in this way that there is a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result?

(8) “Here, someone is full of longing. He longs for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’

(9) “He has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate thus: ‘May these beings be slain, slaughtered, cut off, destroyed, or annihilated!’

(10) “He holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’

“It is in this way that there is a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.

“It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; or it is because of the fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; or it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell. Just as dice, when thrown upward, will rest firmly wherever they fall, [2183] so too, it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma … or it is because of the fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma … or it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell.

“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced its results, and that may be in this very life, or in the next rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced the results of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.

“As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result; a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result; and a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?

(1)“Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life. With the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings.

(2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not steal the wealth and property of others in the village or in the forest.

(3) “Having abandoned sexual misconduct, he abstains from sexual misconduct. He does not have sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.

“It is in this way that there is a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?

(4) “Here, having abandoned false speech, someone abstains from false speech. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see.’ Thus he does not consciously speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.

(5) “Having abandoned divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech. Having heard something here, he does not repeat it elsewhere in order to divide those people from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he does not repeat it to these people in order to divide them from those. Thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of unity, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.

(6) “Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many.

(7) “Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at a proper time, speaks truth, speaks what is beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the discipline; at a proper time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial.

“It is in this way that there is a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.

“And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?

(8) “Here, someone is without longing. He does not long for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’

(9) “He is of good will and his intentions are free of hate thus: ‘May these beings live happily, free from enmity, affliction, and anxiety!’

(10) “He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’

“It is in this way that there is a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.

“It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world; or it is because of the fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world; or it is because of the threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. Just as dice, when thrown upward, will rest firmly wherever they fall, so too, it is because of the threefold success of bodily kamma … … or it is because of the fourfold success of verbal kamma … or it is because of the threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.

“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced its results, and that may be in this very life, or in the next rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced the results of volitional kammas that have been done and accumulated.”

Notes

[2180] The text has the genitive plural sañcetanikānaṃ kammānaṃ. Out
of deference to established English usage, I have used the singular
“kamma.” In view of the fact that kamma is by definition
volitional (cetanā ‘haṃ bhikkhave kammaṃ vadāmi), “volitional
kamma” sounds redundant, but I follow the Pāli. Apparently
the text is playing off two meanings of kamma, the literal meaning
of “deed, action” and the extended meaning of a deed with the
capacity to produce ethically determined fruits. The former
meaning, perhaps, is accentuated by kata, “done,” the latter by
upacita, “accumulated, stored up” as well as by the reference to
the time periods when it can ripen.

[2181] On the threefold ripening of kamma, see pp. 1639–40, note 372.
["Either to be experienced in this present life, or to be experienced follow-
ing rebirth, or to be experienced in some subsequent existence.”]
The Buddha’s statement that there is no termination of volitional
kamma so long as one has not experienced its results seems to
contradict one of the main premises of his teaching, namely, that
to attain liberation—”to make an end of suffering”—one need
not experience the results of all the kamma one has accumulated
in the past. This tenet (at least according to the Nikāyas) was
proposed by the Jains, as stated at MN 14.17, I 92, 35 –93, 10 ; MN
101.10
, II 218, 1–12 . However, since the cycle of rebirths is “with-
out discoverable beginning” (anamatagga saṃsāra), and in this
long stretch we have all accumulated an immensity of kamma,
it would virtually require infinite time to exhaust such kamma
by experiencing its results. The Buddha taught that the key to
liberation was not the eradication of past kamma (whether by
experiencing its results or by austerities) but the elimination of
the defilements. Arahants, by terminating the defilements, extin-
guish the potential for ripening of all their past kamma beyond
the residue that might ripen in their final life. Mp explains the
text’s statement as having an implicit meaning: “This is intended
to show that as long as saṃsāra continues, if there is kamma that
has acquired the capacity to ripen (paṭiladdhavipākārahakamma)
‘there is no place on earth where one might escape an evil deed’”
(the citation, na vijjati so jagatippadeso, yatthaṭṭhito mucceyya
pāpakammā, is from Dhp 127). The point, in other words, is not
that all kamma created will have to ripen, but that any kamma
created and accumulated retains the potential to ripen as long
as one wanders on in the cycle of rebirths.

A Chinese parallel of 10:219, MĀ 15 (T I 437b 24 –438b 11 ), opens
with a similar declaration as 10:217. The statement (at T I 437b 26–
28 ) reads in translation: “If one has done a past kamma, I say
that one must experience its result: one experiences it either in
the present life or in a future life. But if one has not done a past
kamma, I say that one will not experience its result” ( 若有故作
業 , 我說彼必受其報 , 或現世受或後世受 . 若不故作業 , 我說此不必受報 ).
The Chinese parallel offers only two alternatives for the time of
ripening and lacks anything corresponding to the problematic
assertion, “I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so
long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma
that has been done and accumulated.”

[2182] Kāyakammantasandosabyāpatti. Mp glosses as “a fault consisting
in bodily action” (kāyakammantasaṅkhātā vipatti). Apparently, Mp
understands sandosa and byāpatti to convey the same meaning,
glossed by vipatti, but I take the compound to be a dvanda: “cor-
ruption and failure.”

[2183] The definition of mental purity here replicates the section of the
Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta on contemplation of the five hindrances (DN
22.13, II 300, 4 –301, 24 ; MN 10.36, I 60, 7 – 36 ).

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Re: AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:40 pm

Commentary by Piya Tan
http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 6-piya.pdf

Note the alternative numbering AN 10.206.

Piya discusses Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, and note [2181] about
“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma [2180] that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced its results, and that may be in this very life, or in the next rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced the results of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated. [2181]
and also analysis by others, including Ven Analayo.

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Re: AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:40 am

Any thoughts about this passage?

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Re: AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by santa100 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:21 pm

The passage makes sense. The kammic debt will have to be paid. If you lend some money to some people, if s/he has a bad "credit history", not only one has to pay the principle in full but also a huge interest. But if one has a perfect credit history and did many good beneficial things for you, then not only the interest can be skipped, even the principle can be considered for significant discount. Obviously some money will still need to be returned. This is in accordance with the spirit of Salt Crystal Sutta and especially the Angulimala Sutta:
MN 86 wrote:[The Buddha to Ven. Angulimala:]Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

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Re: AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:53 pm

This is an extremely interesting sutta. I take the first two sentences to mean
1) Kamma is not terminated until one experiences the results of actions; and
2) Suffering will not end until one has experienced the results of earlier actions.

It is odd that these are joined with the word "but", as they do not seem to be incompatible in any way. As Bhikkhu Bodhi points out, any apparent incompatibility is with other canonical expressions about kamma. (The Chinese parallel would make more sense with "but", so that might be evidence of a transcription error somewhere...)

The phrase "corruption and failure of...kamma" is interesting. The overall process of kamma does not seem to have failed, or been corrupted - just that it had a bad outcome for whoever committed it. I haven't seen this formulation elsewhere in a sutta. Perhaps this is related to the two meanings of Kamma that BB refers to. The action fails, or is corrupted, rather than the structure which brings about the vipaka.

The apparent agreement with the Jain view that the results of all kamma will be experienced creates a genuine dilemma, or more precisely, an aporia. Two contradictory statements, both stated as true. BB and earlier commentary attempt to resolve this by showing that there is more to the assertion in this sutta than there is to that made by the Jains in the two linked suttas. First, he points out the impossibility of having to experience the results of all past actions, if such are infinite in number. The sutta can't be saying what it seems to be saying. Second, he restricts the application to those who are capable of experiencing kammic results. He expresses this in terms of those who are still wandering in samsara; I guess we could also express it in terms of those who are still subject to defilements. But this is analytically true, by virtue of what we read elsewhere, and does nothing to resolve this one. It would be fascinating to see what Ajahn Thanissaro would make of this one, as he bases a lot of his exegeses on the idea (from the Devadaha Sutta) that kamma made in the present moment is often more relevant than that which is "accumulated".

I've not checked out the Piya Tan yet, but think I need to...

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Re: AN 10.217 Sañcetanika Sutta 1. Volitional (1).

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:39 pm

Blimey, Piya Tan is not one to let an aporia rest quietly! I favour my first thought above, which is some kind of transcription error. Analayo apparently struggles to come up with something more convincing, as do most commentators.

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