Karmic fruit

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:44 am

Drolma wrote:I was just thinking that being born into a position to basically be forced to create negative karma and cause harm really sucks. It's a human birth, which is good, but it seems like some negative karmic fruit coming to pass too. I was thinking about the cyclic nature of all of this.
Being born into such a position is definitely a negative karmic fruit. It is derived from having forced others to do akusala kamma. It is a natural retribution for this in two ways.

The first way is that you are being forced to do something which will surely generate negative fruit as a result of you putting someone in that situation. The second is that you "wasted another's time", so to speak. By putting them into that situation, you have deprived them of time they could have spent on the path. As a result, even though you are a human (which is one of the most conducive states for practice), you will be deprived of the opportunity to take full advantage of that conduciveness and "waste" some of that away as well.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:50 am

Greetings SeerObserver,
SeerObserver wrote:Being born into such a position is definitely a negative karmic fruit. It is derived from having forced others to do akusala kamma. It is a natural retribution for this in two ways.

The first way is that you are being forced to do something which will surely generate negative fruit as a result of you putting someone in that situation. The second is that you "wasted another's time", so to speak. By putting them into that situation, you have deprived them of time they could have spent on the path. As a result, even though you are a human (which is one of the most conducive states for practice), you will be deprived of the opportunity to take full advantage of that conduciveness and "waste" some of that away as well.
Is there any evidence in the suttas that supports your exposition of kamma?

Particularly this bit "Being born into such a position is definitely a negative karmic fruit."

How can this be explained without recourse to an invisible omniscient hand (i.e. directing people to certain locations by ) foreseeing (i.e. knowing in advance what Germany was going to become in 10-20 years time) and directing the affairs of the universe (i.e. so that fruit poetically bears for those who have been naughty in previous lives)?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings SeerObserver,

Is there any evidence in the suttas that supports your exposition of kamma?

Particularly this bit "Being born into such a position is definitely a negative karmic fruit."

How can this be explained without recourse to an invisible omniscient hand (i.e. directing people to certain locations by ) foreseeing (i.e. knowing in advance what Germany was going to become in 10-20 years time) and directing the affairs of the universe (i.e. so that fruit poetically bears for those who have been naughty in previous lives)?

Metta,
Retro. :)
My understanding of the matter comes in part from articles (scholarly and otherwise) written on the subject. There is sutta citation within them as well.

No invisible hand is needed to put beings into appropriate conditions dictated by their karma. There is always oppression, misguidance, etc. If not Germany, these people would have been born somewhere else...maybe as disciples of another oppressive leader or members of some other group.

The same follows for any good or bad condition a being is to be born into. There is no hand or timing scheme necessary. These conditions are always present somewhere, and when they are not then the dependent origination does not yet come to fruition. For example, Buddha Maitreya is still in Tusita Heaven and will not originate in the human realm until the proper conditions are present.

Here are some writings I have looked at on the subject.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:They show us that our present living conditions, our dispositions and aptitudes, our virtues and faults, result from our actions in previous lives. When we realize that our present conditions reflect our kammic past, we will also realize that our present actions are the legacy that we will transmit to our kammic descendants, that is, to ourselves in future lives.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The teaching of rebirth, taken in conjunction with the doctrine of kamma, implies that we live in a morally ordered universe, one in which our morally determinate actions bring forth fruits that in some way correspond to their own ethical quality.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The sentient universe is regulated by different orders of causation layered in such a way that higher orders of causation can exercise dominion over lower ones. Thus the order of kamma, which governs the process of rebirth, dominates the lower orders of physical and biological causation, bending their energies toward the fulfillment of its own potential. The Buddha does not posit a divine judge who rules over the workings of kamma, rewarding and punishing us for our deeds. The kammic process functions autonomously, without a supervisor or director, entirely through the intrinsic power of volitional action.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:It is mental activity, in the form of volition, that constitutes kamma, and it is our stock of kamma that steers the stream of consciousness from the past life into a new body. Thus the Buddha says: "This body, O monks, is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by volition, as something to be felt" (SN XI.37). It is not only the body, as a composite whole, that is the product of past kamma, but the sense faculties too (see SN XXV.146). The eye, ear, nose, tongue, body-sense, and mind-base are also fashioned by our past kamma, and thus kamma to some degree shapes and influences all our sensory experience. Since kamma is ultimately explained as volition (cetana), this means that the particular body with which we are endowed, with all its distinguishing features and faculties of sense, is rooted in our volitional activities in earlier lives.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The ultimate implication of the Buddha's teaching on kamma and rebirth is that human beings are the final masters of their own destiny. Through our unwholesome deeds, rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion, we create unwholesome kamma, the generative cause of bad rebirths, of future misery and bondage. Through our wholesome deeds, rooted in generosity, kindness, and wisdom, we beautify our minds and thereby create kamma productive of a happy rebirth.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:20 am

Greetings SeerObserver,

Interestingly, I agree with everything you've quoted of Bhikkhu Bodhi... but I don't see how any of it supports your argument that an evil gandhabba (for want of a better term) could be directed to a particular geographical place on Earth where tyranny and oppression will happen in the future, whereas a good gandhabba would be directed to a particular geographical place on Earth where the sun shines and the birds will sing in a decade or two's time. What exactly "knows the future" in order to facilitate this kammic housing scheme?

Exhibit A - Verses 1 & 2 of the Dhammapada
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
Exhibit B - Definition of vipāka from Nyanaponika's Buddhist Dictionary
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/vipaaka.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
'karma-result', is any karmically (morally) neutral mental phenomenon (e.g. bodily agreeable or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc. ), which is the result of wholesome or unwholesome volitional action (karma, q.v.) through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life.
That is how kamma works. It doesn't predict future patterns of warfare and oppression and somehow plonk people in countries and towns that befit their kammic inheritance. Once again, I challenge you to find a sutta reference that does.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by clw_uk » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:12 pm

Greetings


I think some of these posts tie into the other thread about child prostiutes, in short one does not know what is and isnt result of kamma so anything that comes up is a speculative guess


You dont know that they were in said position because of past kamma


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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:14 pm

appicchato wrote:
Peter wrote:I still think you are conflating 'cause' and 'condition'.
The 'condition' is the 'cause'...from this angle anyway...
If that were so, then everyone born into a particular circumstance would perform the exact same actions. However we know this is not the case. Being born into a difficult situation may be a strong condition for acting in an unwholesome way. Nevertheless, some people will act that way and some people will act in other, surprising ways. To say being born into a particular situation is a cause of certain behavior is determinism and denies the Buddha's teachings on karma and intention.
- Peter

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:56 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Interestingly, I agree with everything you've quoted of Bhikkhu Bodhi... but I don't see how any of it supports your argument that an evil gandhabba (for want of a better term) could be directed to a particular geographical place on Earth where tyranny and oppression will happen in the future, whereas a good gandhabba would be directed to a particular geographical place on Earth where the sun shines and the birds will sing in a decade or two's time. What exactly "knows the future" in order to facilitate this kammic housing scheme?
retrofuturist wrote:That is how kamma works. It doesn't predict future patterns of warfare and oppression and somehow plonk people in countries and towns that befit their kammic inheritance. Once again, I challenge you to find a sutta reference that does.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The Buddha does not posit a divine judge who rules over the workings of kamma, rewarding and punishing us for our deeds. The kammic process functions autonomously, without a supervisor or director, entirely through the intrinsic power of volitional action.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:They show us that our present living conditions, our dispositions and aptitudes, our virtues and faults, result from our actions in previous lives.
No invisible hand is there to put beings into these conditions or create/predict future patterns. Volitional actions are what place beings. And there doesn't need to be any prediction of the future. Righteous, oppressive, conducive, etc., whatever the case may be...these conditions occur all the time from small-scale to large.

Present living conditions and dispositions/aptitudes are the result of previous acts. That being the case, not everyone was recruited into Hitler's movement. The same goes for whatever else is going on. Someone born into war torn regions of the world dodging bullets is of a differnt karmic inheritance than the five blessed ones who were born into the position to be the first five disciples of the Buddha and attain arahantship in that lifetime.
Building on that, not everyone in these war torn countries participates in what's going on either. Going further, many of them are able to leave the country to pursue education, new occupation, etc. Now they may stay behind and participate if that's what their temperament/disposition/aptitude calls for. But to have the inclination toward such things AND be born with proximity to it is a karmic fruit different from just having one of those conditions. And then of course there are the people born far removed from such things whose temperaments/inclinations cause them to travel and seek out these conditions and participate. All these are different karmic fruits.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:45 pm

Greetings SeerObserver,

I think you are classifying certain things as vipaka which should rightly be classified as kamma. Virtually every example you give in your last posts points to volitional action.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:I think you are classifying certain things as vipaka which should rightly be classified as kamma.
I suppose it is from Thai influence since Thais generally only use the word, "kamm". They know what kamma and vipaka (vipak) both are, but use the word "kamm" and let the listener figure it out from the context. I also use kamma/karma in reference to both volitional action and vipaka.

For example I'll say, "that criminal is creating bad karma", and I'll also say, "that slaughtered animal must have had bad karma". So put karma where it fits in, and vipaka where I'm referring to fruits of volition and call it a day. I'll somewhat borrow a line of yours here.
retrofuturist wrote:
Peter wrote:I still think you are conflating 'cause' and 'condition'.
Yes I am... but I'm comfortable with that.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:56 am

Greetings SeerObserver,

Which of course you're welcome to do, but it may be worth reviewing the continuation of Nyanaponika's explanation of vipaka, as found in his Buddhist Dictionary which I linked to on the previous page...
Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any karmically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself karma.

On this subject s. titthāyatana, karma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 (Guide, p. 80).

Karma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samutthāna) corporeal things are never called kamma-vipāka, as this term may be applied only to mental phenomena.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:37 pm

Retro, you appear to be contradicting yourself.
retrofuturist wrote:Cause is effect is cause is effect - one moment conditions the next.
retrofuturist wrote:Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any karmically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself karma.
- Peter

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:35 pm

Greetings Peter,

In the first quote, I'm not specifically using a framework of "kammic causality"... just one of causality generally.

Image

A domino knocks over a domino knocks over a domino knocks over a domino....

And as venerable Nyanaponika said, "Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous [kammic] action."

Tying this back to the topic at hand, room must be made for other non-kammic causes, otherwise we fall into the trap of kammic fatalism.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:31 am

The question:

Do you think the karmic fruit can appear in the form of being in a position to accrue further bad karma?

Your answer:

Cause is effect is cause is effect - one moment conditions the next.

Your (new?) answer:

room must be made for other non-kammic causes, otherwise we fall into the trap of kammic fatalism.

The question was specifically about kamma and vipaka. It sounds like you're answer to the question is now 'no'? 'maybe'? 'sometimes'? It's not clear to me what your position is anymore.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:51 am

Greetings Peter,

As I understand it, kammic fruit manifests within the scope of the five aggregates... for example, it can influence your sense-bases, and in the form of vipaka it can influence your experience of suffering and happiness. So to the following question...
Do you think the karmic fruit can appear in the form of being in a position to accrue further bad karma?
I say that conditions (kammic or otherwise) determine how reality pans out. In the scheme of the five niyamas, kamma-niyama is one, and has played a role, in and amongst the other niyamas in determining how reality has panned out over time. Note here, that everything being spoken of is temporally causal....t (time) conditions t+1 which conditions t+2 which conditions t+3 and so on.

At no point in time is there any knowledge by anything or anyone that at t+3 for example, to know that "opportunities for kamma to ripen" or "opportunities for good or bad kamma to be created" will arise at t+524 and t+3320. Conditions will pan out simply how the conditions will pan out in accordance with the five niyamas. Attributing those "opportunities" to kamma isn't really justifiable because it is but one of the five niyamas and in terms of what happens in the external world, your individual kamma-niyama arguably plays a very small role. Given the temporal relationships, it is certainly wrong to say that these conditions arise simply for the purpose of making kamma come to fruit... some people seem think this way about kamma, but the universe does not revolve around them, even if to them it seems that it does.

In thinking about kamma we should try to avoid thinking of it as a relationship between an "internal" self and an "external" world and thinking that kammic causality is the connection between the two. The world impacted by kamma is that of the internal world... it is the loka that the Buddha describes as either the five aggregates or the six sense bases. He defined the world in this way, because that is the dominion of his teachings... and only with the world defined like this can talk of kammic fruit be meaningful and occur as a natural law without recourse to "invisible hands" and "foreknowledge". Also, only in this sense can the net of kamma be transcended... if it operated outside loka, how could it be transcended?

I hope that makes my position clearer.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:02 am

Retro,

Follow that same line and reconcile how someone of clear mind can be born in a war-ridden underdeveloped region dodging bullets to get to the grocery store while someone can be born into palace life and be a deluded individual and vice versa.

I'm interested to reconcile the OP by Drolma. How do certain people get into certain situations?

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