Kamma

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walkart
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Kamma

Post by walkart » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:
walkart wrote:it refers not to all kinds of causes and conditions but only to those of living beings.
Kamma has to do with causes and conditions that result from volition, intention.
  • A. VI 63: Volition [cetanaa; intention, volition, choice], Monks, is what I call kamma [kamma: action].
It's true, i forgot. :anjali:

starter
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Re: Kamma

Post by starter » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:Not all causes and conditions are a result of kamma.
  • Samyutta Nikaya, IV 230. vedanasamyutta, sutta 21. page 1279 (Wisdom Publ.):

    "some feelings, Sivaka, arise here originating from bile disorders... originating from phlegm disorders,.... originating from wind disorders....originating from an imbalance <of the three>.... produced by change of climate... produced by careless behavior... caused by assault... produced as the result of kamma: how some feelings arise here produced as the result of kamma one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world." Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, 'Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-pleasant-nor-painful, that is caused by what was done in the past,' they over shoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.”
Hi "tiltbillings",

Thanks for the very helpful sutta reference. The suttas cited by Bhante "IanAnd" are also very helpful.

I'd like to add the following teaching in S.III.132 (S.18/227-230/166) to the discussion:

“Bhikkhus, I will expound new kamma, old kamma, the cessation of kamma and the way leading to the cessation of kamma … What is old kamma? Eye … ear … nose … tongue … body … mind should be understood as old kamma, these being formed from conditions, born of volition, and the base of feeling. This is called ‘old kamma.’

“Bhikkhus, what is ‘new kamma’? [Volitional] Actions created through body, speech and mind in the present moment, these are called ‘new kamma.’

“Bhikkhus, what is the cessation of kamma? The experience of liberation arising from the cessation of bodily kamma, verbal kamma and mental kamma, is called the cessation of kamma.
“Bhikkhus, what is the way leading to the cessation of kamma? This is the Noble Eightfold Path, namely, Right View … Right Concentration. This is called the way leading to the cessation of kamma.”

Since the body and mind are ‘old kamma’ born of volition, I wonder why the Buddha classified bodily or mental feelings "originating from bile disorders... originating from phlegm disorders,.... originating from wind disorders....originating from an imbalance <of the three>.... produced by change of climate... produced by careless behavior... caused by assault..." other than results of kamma. It seems to me they are also results of old kamma. Since all our experience in the world are the results of the six senses born of volition, it seems to me that all we experience in the world are the results of old kamma. Probably "kamma" the Buddha taught in the vedanasamyutta sutta refers to new kamma?

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Metta to all!

Starter

perkele
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: Kamma

Post by perkele » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:16 pm

starter wrote:Since the body and mind are ‘old kamma’ born of volition, I wonder why the Buddha classified bodily or mental feelings "originating from bile disorders... originating from phlegm disorders,.... originating from wind disorders....originating from an imbalance <of the three>.... produced by change of climate... produced by careless behavior... caused by assault..." other than results of kamma. It seems to me they are also results of old kamma. Since all our experience in the world are the results of the six senses born of volition, it seems to me that all we experience in the world are the results of old kamma. Probably "kamma" the Buddha taught in the vedanasamyutta sutta refers to new kamma?

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Metta to all!
Hello starter,

I don't know whether you are wrong. But for sure you do not seem to be taking a very practical point of view here.
The Buddha, as I see it, gave a practical way of looking at the reality that presents itself, not trying to lay out precise mechanisms as you seem to be trying to construe, as in "all our experience are the results of the six senses born of volition -> all we experience in the world are the results of old kamma" in order to work out a complete "theory" like physicists would like to have (and always fail) for the material world.

So if a statement by the Buddha in that area seems imprecise I would not assume that there is something lacking. The whole path to liberation is about deconstructing the kamma process, not to work it out complete as a descriptive model, which the Buddha taught to be impossible. Always take workable chunks into consideration in the situation at hand when there is something subject to doubt. Always stay at the level presented and not make it more complicated, that, I'd say, is the hallmark of the whole practice to deconstruct the process of kamma. If it says "killing your mother or father is leading to hell" for example, that is a very rough level. There's no point in working it out more precisely. It would produce all the sankharas mentally for such cruel actions, just to understand why. It requires volition of the wrong sort. Not the way to go.

(Not to put your inquiry into the same category, but just to give a crude example.)

The Buddha warned not to speculate about the precise workings of kamma, as it will lead to madness and vexation. I take it that it is best to always stay with the descriptions given by the Buddha in this and that given situation and never make more of it. When people try to make more out of it on a more theoretical level there will always be the danger that this more will become more and more and more and more, not for the sake of liberating insight (deconstruction of the kamma process on a very practical level - on the level of present volition, working with the kamma that is present and consciously understood in this process of understanding), but for the sake of constructing more complicated levels for the workings of kamma - which one will all have to work out for oneself. It is only adding layers of confusion.

So all statements by the Buddha about kamma are to be taken as they are given, for the purpose of deconstruction of kamma at the level at hand, not to be built upon to make it more complete. That is how I understand it to be workable, leading onward, towards liberating insight and the end of kamma.

So,
Probably "kamma" the Buddha taught in the vedanasamyutta sutta refers to new kamma?
, I would say that the statements given in the vedanasamyutta, as well as what you quoted from S3.132 are practical provisional descriptions not to be pieced together constructively in a theoretical framework with descriptions given in other suttas to gain a more complete picture.

Further, beyond that dismissal, or cautionary considerations, one thing to refute in the theory on the level you presented: "all our experience in the world are the results of the six senses" is wrong. For example there is the sphere of nothingness, where the six senses disappear. There's no black, nor white, no form or color, no sight at all, no sound, no touch, no smell, no taste, no thought. But consciousness, experience.

Metta
:anjali:

perkele

starter
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Re: Kamma

Post by starter » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:14 am

perkele wrote:Always take workable chunks into consideration in the situation at hand when there is something subject to doubt.

-- Thanks a lot for your very helpful input, "perkele". As a disciple, we should always remember "The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple; the Blessed One knows, I do not know." When we don't understand some of his teaching, we should not doubt the Buddha and the teaching, but tell ourselves it's only because I'm not yet up to the level to understand the teaching; of course there's also the possibility that it's not really what the Buddha originally taught.

The Buddha warned not to speculate about the precise workings of kamma, as it will lead to madness and vexation. I take it that it is best to always stay with the descriptions given by the Buddha in this and that given situation and never make more of it. When people try to make more out of it on a more theoretical level there will always be the danger that this more will become more and more and more and more, not for the sake of liberating insight (deconstruction of the kamma process on a very practical level - on the level of present volition, working with the kamma that is present and consciously understood in this process of understanding), but for the sake of constructing more complicated levels for the workings of kamma - which one will all have to work out for oneself. It is only adding layers of confusion.

So all statements by the Buddha about kamma are to be taken as they are given, for the purpose of deconstruction of kamma at the level at hand, not to be built upon to make it more complete. That is how I understand it to be workable, leading onward, towards liberating insight and the end of kamma.

-- Well said. We should always regard/apply the teaching as medicine to cure our diseases (defilements) in our daily practice, instead of trying to treat/understand it as a theory.

Thanks for reminding me the Buddha's warning not to speculate about the precise workings of kamma, as it will lead to madness and vexation. I agree it's not beneficial to do so. We should focus on "the handful of leaves", which the Buddha repeatedly taught and are really useful to us.


Further, beyond that dismissal, or cautionary considerations, one thing to refute in the theory on the level you presented: "all our experience in the world are the results of the six senses" is wrong. For example there is the sphere of nothingness, where the six senses disappear. There's no black, nor white, no form or color, no sight at all, no sound, no touch, no smell, no taste, no thought. But consciousness, experience.

-- To my understanding, consciousness is the 6th sense, which only ceases to function at the sphere of cessation of perception & feeling. I didn't mean that all spheres are the results of all the six senses. Just to clarify.

Metta
:anjali:
perkele

perkele
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: Kamma

Post by perkele » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:27 pm

-- To my understanding, consciousness is the 6th sense, which only ceases to function at the sphere of cessation of perception & feeling. I didn't mean that all spheres are the results of all the six senses. Just to clarify.
Thank you for correcting me, starter. This made me question, and looking up this sutta I think I may have gained a somewhat better understanding now.

Of course it is difficult to understand what actually is the sixth sense if one does not know its cessation.

:anjali:

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