Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4028
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Cremation Ground, Phrao District, Chiangmai

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:54 pm

.

Part III

A. I would like to know if we only receive vipāka in this life, or is there vipāka in a future life as well?

B. According to the Buddhist teachings one receives the results of one’s deeds in future lives as well. We read in the Kindred Sayings (Saṃyutta Nikāya I, Ch. III, Kosala, 2, §10, Childless 2) that when the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthi, King Pasenadi came to see him. A rich man who had lived as a miser had just died. He had performed both good deeds and bad deeds and he therefore had to receive both kusala vipāka and akusala vipāka, which he experienced during different lifespans. He had given alms to a "Silent Buddha" of a former period, but afterwards he regretted his gift. As a result of his good deed of almsgiving to a Silent Buddha he was reborn seven times in heaven, where he could enjoy pleasant vipāka. After his existences in heaven he was reborn as a human being, which is kusala vipāka as well. He was born from rich parents, but his accumulation of stinginess prevented him from enjoying the pleasant things of life. Because he regretted his gift to the Silent Buddha, as a result he did not utilize his riches for himself or for others.

After his existence as a human being he was again bound for a different rebirth. He had committed akusala kamma of a heavy kind and this akusala kamma would bring akusala vipāka of a heavy kind. He had killed the only son of his brother because he wanted to get his brother’s fortune. This very heavy kamma caused him to be reborn in hell where he would stay for many hundred thousands of years. The sutta points out how one can receive different results in different existences.

A. Is the existence of heavens and hells not mere mythology?

B. People have different accumulated inclinations which make them perform different kamma. No person acts in the same way as another. Each act brings its own result, either in this life or in the following existences. To be reborn in a heavenly plane or in the human plane is the result of a wholesome deed, to be reborn in a sorrowful plane is the result of an unwholesome deed. Heaven and hell are conventional terms which are used to explain realities. They explain the nature of the vipāka which is caused by kamma. Since both akusala kamma and kusala kamma have different degrees, akusala vipāka and kusala vipāka must have different degrees as well.

Names are given to different heavenly planes and different sorrowful planes in order to point out the different degrees of akusala vipāka and kusala vipāka. Deva, which means "radiant being," is a name given to those who are born in heavenly planes. In the Anuruddha Sutta (Middle Length Sayings III, No. 127) Anuruddha spoke about different degrees of skill in meditation which bring their results accordingly. A monk who was not advanced was reborn as a deva "with tarnished light." Those who were more advanced in meditation were reborn as devas with a greater radiance. There are different devas with different degrees of brightness.

A. I find it difficult to believe in devas and in different planes of existence.

B. You do not experience devas and different planes of existence right at this moment. But is it right to reject what you cannot experience yet? If one has right understanding of the cittas of the present moment one will be able to understand more about the past and about the future.

Rebirth-consciousness can arise in any plane of existence. When the right conditions are present a good or a bad deed which has been accumulated can produce a result, it can produce rebirth-consciousness in the appropriate plane.

A. What is the first vipāka in this life?

B. There has to be a citta at the very first moment of life. Without a citta we cannot have life. A dead body has no citta, it is not alive. What type of citta would be the first citta? Would it be an akusala citta or a kusala citta, thus a type of citta which could bring a result? Or would it be another type of citta, for example, a citta which is not a cause but a result, a vipākacitta?

A. I think it must be a vipākacitta. To be born is a result; nobody asks to be born. Why are people born with such different characters and in such different situations? Are the parents the only cause of birth and the only cause of the character of a child?

B. Parents are only one of the conditions for the body of a child, but they are not the only condition.

A. What about the character of a child? Are there not certain tendencies in a child’s character he inherits from his parents? Is this not proved by science?

B. The character of a child cannot be explained by the character of the parents. Brothers and sisters and even twins can be very different. One child likes to study, another child is lazy; one child is by nature cheerful, another depressed. Parents may have influence on a child’s character after its birth in that education, a cultural pattern or a family tradition in which a child is brought up will be conditions for cittas to arise. But a child does not inherit its character from its parents. The differentiations in character are caused by accumulations of experiences from previous existences as well.

A. Are parents not the real cause of birth?

B. Parents are only one of the conditions for birth; kamma is the real cause of birth. A deed, done in the past, brings its result when it is the right time: it can produce the vipākacitta which is rebirth-consciousness. We read in the "Discourse on the Lesser Analysis of Deeds" (Middle Length Sayings III, No. 135) that, when the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthi in the Jeta Grove, Subha came to see him and said:
  • "Now, good Gotama, what is the cause, what the reason that lowness and excellence are to be seen among human beings while they are in human form? For, good Gotama, human beings of short life-span are to be seen and those of long life-span; those of many and those of few illnesses; those who are ugly, those who are beautiful; those who are of little account, those who are of great account; those who are poor, those who are wealthy; those who are of lowly families, those of high families; those who are weak in wisdom, those who are full of wisdom. Now what, good Gotama, is the cause, what the reason that lowness and excellence are to be seen among human beings while they are in human form?"

    "Deeds are one’s own, brahman youth, beings are heirs to deeds, deeds are matrix, deeds are kin, deeds are arbiters. Deed divides beings, that is to say by lowness and excellence."
A. Is rebirth in a human plane the same as reincarnation?

B. If there were reincarnation, a soul or "self" would continue to exist and it would take on another body in the next life. However, there is no soul or "self." There are cittas which succeed one another from birth to death, from this life to the next life. One citta has completely fallen away when the next citta arises. There can be only one citta at a time, and there is no citta which lasts.

Cittas arise and fall away completely, succeeding one another. Death is the conventional word for the end of one’s lifespan on a plane of existence, but actually there is birth and death at each moment of one’s life, when a citta arises and falls away. There isn’t any citta one can take for a soul or "self." Since there is no soul or "self" in this life, how could there be a soul or "self" which is reborn in the next life? The last citta of this life is the dying-consciousness. The dying-consciousness arises and falls away, and it is succeeded by the rebirth-consciousness of the next life. The rebirth-consciousness is conditioned by the previous citta, the dying-consciousness, but it is not the same citta.

A. I can see tendencies in people’s character which seem to be the same all through their lives. Moreover, there is rebirth in the next life. Therefore there must be continuity in life. However, I do not understand how there can be continuity if each citta completely falls away before the next citta arises.

B. There is continuity because each citta conditions the next citta and thus accumulated tendencies can be carried on from one moment to the next moment. All accumulations of past existences and of the present life condition future existences.

When people asked the Buddha whether it is the same person who is reborn or another person, the Buddha answered that it is neither the same person nor another person. There is nobody who stays the same, not even in this life, because there is no "self." On the other hand, it is not another person who is reborn, because there is continuity. Former existences condition this life, and this life also conditions the following lives.

A. What is the last vipāka in this life?

B. The dying-consciousness (cuti-citta) is the last vipāka in this life.

Since there are many deeds which have not yet produced a result, one of the deeds will produce rebirth-consciousness after death. As long as there is kamma there will be vipāka, continuing on and on. There will be future lives, so that the results of one’s deeds can be received.

When the dying-consciousness falls away, a deed of the past, or kamma, immediately produces a vipākacitta: the rebirth-consciousness of the next life. When the dying-consciousness has fallen away, the rebirth-consciousness follows upon it immediately, and thus all that has been accumulated is carried on from the past into the next life.

A. What causes the rebirth-consciousness of the next life?

B. Everyone has performed akusala kamma and kusala kamma. Each deed brings its own result. The vipākacitta which is the rebirth-consciousness can therefore only be the result of one deed, of akusala kamma or of kusala kamma.

A. Is birth in the human plane the result of kusala kamma?

B. Birth in the human plane is always the result of kusala kamma. Akusala vipāka which arises afterwards in life is the result of kamma that is different from the good deed that produced the rebirth-consciousness. After birth in the human plane there can be many moments of akusala vipāka, every time one experiences an unpleasant object through one of the five senses. Those moments are the result of other unwholesome deeds performed in the past.

If the rebirth-consciousness is akusala vipāka one cannot be born as a human being. The rebirth has to take place in another plane of existence, such as the animal world or one of the woeful planes like the hells or the ghost realm.

A. Can a human being be reborn as an animal?

B. Some people behave like animals, how could they be reborn as human beings? Everyone will receive the result of his deeds accordingly.

A. Is it due to one’s kamma that one is born in favourable circumstances, for instance, in a royal family or in a rich family?

B. Yes, this is due to a wholesome deed performed in the past.

A. I notice that even people who are born in the same circumstances, as for example in rich families, are very different. Some rich people are generous, others are stingy. How could this be explained?

B. People are different because they have different accumulated inclinations and tendencies which cause them to behave in different ways. We read in the sutta that I quoted above about the person who was born from rich parents, but who could not enjoy the pleasant things of life because of his accumulated stinginess. Although he had the opportunity to let other people share in his fortune he did not want to do this. Other people again who have received pleasant things in life grasp every opportunity to give things away to others. The different inclinations people have accumulated condition them to do unwholesome deeds which will bring them unpleasant results, or to do wholesome deeds which will bring them pleasant results. People take different attitudes towards vipāka. The attitude one takes towards vipāka is more important than vipāka itself, because one’s attitude conditions one’s life in the future.

A. Can kusala vipāka be a condition for happiness?

B. The things which are pleasant for the five senses cannot guarantee true and lasting happiness. Rich people who have everything that is pleasant for the five senses can still be very unhappy. For instance, when one is sitting in a beautiful garden with sweet-smelling flowers and singing birds, one can still be very depressed. At the moment one is depressed the cittas are akusala cittas. One cannot always be happy with pleasant things around. Unhappiness and happiness depend on one’s accumulations of unwholesomeness and wholesomeness.

If one feels unhappy it is due to one’s own defilements. Unpleasant feeling is conditioned by attachment. If one does not get what one wants one feels unhappy. If one has no attachment at all there would be no unhappiness. One can be perfectly happy if one is purified from defilements.

We read in the Gradual Sayings (Aṅguttara Nikāya, Book of the Threes, Ch. IV, §34, Of Alavi) that when the Buddha was staying near Alavi, Hatthaka was wandering there and saw the Buddha seated on the ground strewn with leaves. He asked the Buddha:
  • "Pray, sir, does the Exalted One live happily?"

    "Yes, my lad, I live happily. I am one of those who live happily in the world."

    "But, sir, the winter nights are cold, the dark half of the month is the time of snowfall. Hard is the ground trampled by the hoofs of cattle, thin the carpet of fallen leaves, sparse are the leaves of the tree, cold are the saffron robes and cold the gale of wind that blows."

    Then said the Exalted One: "Still, my lad, I live happily. Of those who live happily in the world I am one."
The Buddha then pointed out that a man who had a house with a gabled roof, well-fitting doors, "a long-fleeced woollen rug, a beautiful bed, four beautiful wives," could have lust, malice and delusion. Defilements will cause "torments of body or of mind," defilements are the cause of unhappiness. The Buddha had eradicated all defilements completely, and thus it was not important to him whether there was akusala vipāka or kusala vipāka. He could live perfectly happy no matter what the circumstance were.

A. How can we purify ourselves so that we take the right attitude towards vipāka?

B. We can purify ourselves only if we know the cause of defilements. The cause of all defilements is ignorance. Out of ignorance we believe in a "self," we cling to a "self." Ignorance conditions attachment and aversion or anger, it causes all unhappiness in the world. Ignorance can only be cured by wisdom. In vipassanā or "insight meditation" the wisdom is developed which can gradually eradicate the belief in a "self." Only when this wrong belief has been completely eradicated can all defilements be eradicated stage by stage.

The Arahat, the perfected one who has attained the final stage of enlightenment, has eradicated all defilements. He has no more attachment, ill-will or ignorance. As he has no defilements he is perfectly happy. After he has passed away there will be no more vipāka for him in a future life, there will be no more rebirth for him.

In the "Discourse on the Analysis of the Elements" (Middle Length Sayings III, No. 140) we read that the Buddha taught Dhamma to Pukkusāti when they were staying in the potter’s dwelling. The Buddha taught him about physical phenomena and mental phenomena and he taught the mental development which leads to Arahatship. The Arahat does not cling to life. In order to describe the state of the Arahat the Buddha used the simile of the oil-lamp which burns on account of oil and wick but which goes out if the oil and wick come to an end. It is the same with the conditions for rebirth. So long as there are defilements there will be fuel for rebirth. When defilements have been eradicated completely there is no more fuel left for rebirth. The sutta goes on to say that the highest wisdom of those who have attained enlightenment is the "knowledge of the complete destruction of anguish."

The knowledge or wisdom developed in vipassanā leads to Nibbāna, which is the end of all sorrow.

.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16275
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:15 am

Dear Ven Dhammanando,

I hope I don't take this discussion too far off topic, but it seems to be a good place to ask my question. Of course, the answer may already be implicit, but I'm a little slow sometimes...

As far as I can understand the Abhidhamma (and the Dependent Origination Suttas) the mechanism of kamma and its ripening "travels along" with the particular mind-stream. Intentional actions by the mindstream (currently known as "Mike") condition what happens in this and future lives of the mindstream due to the "echos" (sorry for the use of non-technical terms) of those kammas in the mindstream.

Now, the thing I stuggle with is how to tie this into what is taught in some of the Suttas.
I can see that, for example, acting like a dog could condition the mindstream for rebirth in a dog's body as in http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But what about the statement in the Angulimala Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "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!"
Why is this interpreted in terms of the kamma? If the kamma ripens only in his mindstream then how does it condition the throwing of clods, stones, etc, by the bodies of other mindsteams?

In an earlier post:
Dhammanando wrote:In the Theravāda most things arise due to factors other than kamma. In this regard you'll find the Theravādin account of kamma rather different from what you're likely to have learned from Tibetan sources. The Theravāda was among the Indian Buddhist schools which went for "kammic minimalism", i.e. attributing only a rather narrow range of phenomena to kamma, whereas the Tibetans derived their conception of kamma from the "kammic maximalist" schools.
So one might argue that the Theravada view could be that the people threw rocks because they didn't like Ven Angulimala. Simple cause and effect, not ripening of kamma. But that would seem to contradict the Sutta...

:shrug:

Metta
Mike

Heavenstorm
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:37 am

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by Heavenstorm » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:49 am

Dhammanando wrote: In the Theravāda most things arise due to factors other than kamma. In this regard you'll find the Theravādin account of kamma rather different from what you're likely to have learned from Tibetan sources. The Theravāda was among the Indian Buddhist schools which went for "kammic minimalism", i.e. attributing only a rather narrow range of phenomena to kamma, whereas the Tibetans derived their conception of kamma from the "kammic maximalist" schools.
I speculate that in Theravada, the kamma is carried by the bhavanga citta from life to life, moment to moment, therefore any objects that don't have a citta cannot be described as having affected by kamma. But in Mahayana, in certain schools like Tibetan ones, I think they believe that all objects came from the mind and the external world is just a big and gigantic illusion, consequently, it can be understood why their doctrine is built upon "kamma affected everything or every objects" theory.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:30 am

mikenz66 wrote:Dear Ven Dhammanando,

I But what about the statement in the Angulimala Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "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!"
Why is this interpreted in terms of the kamma? If the kamma ripens only in his mindstream then how does it condition the throwing of clods, stones, etc, by the bodies of other mindsteams?

Mike
Where does the sutta say that kamma conditioned the people to throw clods stones etc? They were doing daily chores like throwing out things and these hit the venerable 'accidently'. It is like now when one sees a beautiful girl or an ugly beggar, one seeing vipaka is the result of kusala kamma done in the past, another of an akusala kamma. But the reasons are complex as to why , at any instant, kusala or akusala vipaka should arise, who could know that except a buddha

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16275
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:04 am

Greetings Robert,

Thank you for your post. I'm afraid I may still be confused. Can I understand you to be saying that it was a result of Angulimala's kamma ripening in his mind-stream that he walked into the path of the stones, etc?

Metta
Mike

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:15 am

mikenz66 wrote:Greetings Robert,

Thank you for your post. I'm afraid I may still be confused. Can I understand you to be saying that it was a result of Angulimala's kamma ripening in his mind-stream that he walked into the path of the stones, etc?

Metta
Mike
Thinking of kamma vipaka in a too conventional way might confuse. Yes it was primarily due to his akusala kamma of killing that those unpleasant bodily vipaka arose. But it needed many other conditions than just the kamma for the result to come about....

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16275
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:32 am

Hi Robert,

Thank you for the reply. I do understand that the complexity makes it pointless to speculate in particular cases, but what I was interested in clarifying was whether I should understand kamma to only affect the mindstream that performs it. I think you are answering in the affirmative.

Metta
Mike

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4028
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Cremation Ground, Phrao District, Chiangmai

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:51 am

Hi Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Why is this interpreted in terms of the kamma? If the kamma ripens only in his mindstream then how does it condition the throwing of clods, stones, etc, by the bodies of other mindsteams?
As Robert mentioned, in the commentary it is said that the various projectiles were not deliberately aimed at Angulimala. As for the ripening, this consisted in the unwholesome resultant bodily consciousnesses accompanied by painful feeling.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by Jechbi » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:41 pm

Hello Mike,

This answer from Ven. Dhammanando is so precise and on target that I'm reluctant to post what I have been thinking, because it doesn't add much. But here goes:

Seems to me that all the external stuff (throwing rocks, etc.) could stem from all kinds of different conditions, and we're all going to face those types of circumstances as long as we're bound to samsara. So there's probably not much point wondering why bad things happen to good people. It's just life.

But the point is that in the moment those things are happening that we perceive as "bad," we have an internal experience, followed by a reaction that usually is so quick we don't even notice the connection. But that reaction is our own, and it is possible to react from wisdom rather than from ignorance. So when the Buddha told Angulimala to bear with it, I think he was speaking to Angulimala's method of reacting to vipaka. Whereas previously, Angulimala might have reacted to that "bad" situation by killing the rock-thrower and chopping off his finger, now Angulimala could react with metta.

But the notion of kamma still works fully well. It just means that kamma and external circumstances might not be bound together in the way we sometimes think they are. That's my understanding, any way.

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by kc2dpt » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:36 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Why is this interpreted in terms of the kamma? If the kamma ripens only in his mindstream then how does it condition the throwing of clods, stones, etc, by the bodies of other mindsteams?
As for the ripening, this consisted in the unwholesome resultant bodily consciousnesses accompanied by painful feeling.
I think what's confusing about this answer is we naturally want to ask "What if Angulimala hadn't killed all those people? If the kamma didn't cause the rocks to be thrown, and the kamma didn't cause him to walk just there at just that moment, then the rocks would still be thrown and he'd still be walking there and he'd still get hit on the head... there still would be "resultant bodily consciousnesses accompanied by painful feeling".

But I suspect there is something inherently wrong with thinking in this way. Off the top of my head... if he hadn't killed all those people so many things would have been different. Perhaps he would have met the Buddha earlier in life, perhaps later, perhaps not at all. Perhaps killing brought him to that part of the country but if he took up some other occupation instead he would have been living elsewhere. My point is I suspect it's nonsensical to ask "If everything was the same except for that karma, would he still have been hit on the head with rocks?"
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16275
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:40 pm

Hi Peter,
Peter wrote: My point is I suspect it's nonsensical to ask "If everything was the same except for that karma, would he still have been hit on the head with rocks?"
Yes, that's a good point.

I still feel I'm missing something, because it feels like I'm not getting a straight answer to the question I was trying to ask. This probably means that I'm really confused, since I doubt that there is a conspiracy going on here to "deny information..." :spy:

Perhaps I should try it again:
Kamma is intentional action performed by cittas in a particular mind stream. Does what is described as "the ripening of kamma" happen only in that same mind-stream?
Clearly, actions by one mind stream can condition other mind streams (e.g. by injuring or killing). What I'm trying to understand is what extent that should be regarded just "regular cause-and-effect" (i.e. not "ripening of kamma").

I keep getting the feeling I'm painting myself into a corner...

Image

Metta
Mike

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 19961
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:14 am

Greetings Mike,

A few points that may assist or confuse (we'll see how it goes!)

1. Vipaka is the mental resultant of kamma. Vipaka is not physical.

2. Remember Angulimala was not a "self". As per Ajahn Chah's phrase "No Ajahn Chah", there was "No Angulimala". In this sense there was "No Angulimala" to be subject to the vipaka arising from previous kamma. When we think about a particular "person" (as anything more than a conventional designation) who does an action and then suffers the result of that, we come to miss what kamma and Buddhist conditionality are all about.

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)

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:17 am

mikenz66 wrote:Kamma is intentional action performed by cittas in a particular mind stream. Does what is described as "the ripening of kamma" happen only in that same mind-stream?
Yes.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

dhammatrophic
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:03 am

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by dhammatrophic » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:39 am

B. There is no question of punishment or reward because there is no one who punishes or rewards. It is the course of nature that one reaps what one has sown. Accumulated akusala kamma produces at the right time a citta which experiences an unpleasant object; this citta is the result of a bad deed one did in the past. Accumulated kusala kamma produces at the right time a citta which experiences a pleasant object; this citta is the result of a good deed one did in the past.
If you could make kusala vipāka arise at will, you could have it without interruption, whenever you wish. This is not possible. Moreover, if it were not the right time for you to have any kusala vipāka, you would not be able to receive a pleasant object: the record-player would be broken, or something else would happen so that you could not have kusala vipāka.
How is the "right time" determined?
How does this "rightness" logically mingle with the unpredictability of ripening karma?
-trophic
1. turning, changing, or reacting in a particular way
2. attracted to, having an affinity for, or moving toward a particular thing
3. acting on something specified, or in a particular way
4. relating to a specified kind of nutrition.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma

Post by robertk » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:36 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Robert,

Thank you for the reply. I do understand that the complexity makes it pointless to speculate in particular cases, but what I was interested in clarifying was whether I should understand kamma to only affect the mindstream that performs it. I think you are answering in the affirmative.

Metta
Mike
yes, that is so.
Angulima had kamma that could give rise to unplesant results at any time. If he had stayed in his room possibly he would not have experienced the result as soon as he did, or possibly the roof would have fallen on his head, who knows.
It's like us, we have done intense dark deeds over millions of aeons, thus the kamma is waiting to give result, waiting for other conditions to come together. So no surprise if we burn our hand cooking, or loose a limb in a car accident, or come down with incurable heart disease.
I was listening to Khun sujin a few years ago when someone was bewailing many unfortunate fatalities from flooding in South thailand. She said - do you have the same compassion when you read about a killer now (implying that he will one day be the one dying suddenly somewhere).
So the kamma/viapaka is arising only in the same mindstream.. but kamma needs supporting conditions to bring its result.

No hurry.. 100,000 aeons of time is not too long for kamma to wait. :mrgreen:
Robert

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests