How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few years?

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SilaSamadhi
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How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few years?

Post by SilaSamadhi » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:34 pm

Aṅgulimāla is told to have murdered hundreds of people in his lifetime, yet after encountering Sakyamuni Buddha, he becomes a follower and a monk, and the Buddha states that he attained Nibbana upon his death shortly after.

However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana. The amount of dark karma incurred by murdering hundreds of people should be vast, and manifest in eons of rebirths in hell.

How could all this dark karma get cleared in just a few years, without even much suffering (the worst in the sources is some minor abuse by families of his former victims)?
Last edited by SilaSamadhi on Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

budo
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by budo » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:39 pm

1. Maybe he never killed an Ariya or his parents.

2. Maybe his past life karma was great enough to damper current life karma, after all he had good enough karma to meet a Buddha.
Fearing for her son's life, she sets out to find her son, warn him of the king's intent and take care of him.[43][25] The Buddha perceives through meditative vision (Pali: abhiñña) that Aṅgulimāla has slain 999 victims, and is desperately seeking a thousandth.[44][note 8] If the Buddha is to encounter Aṅgulimāla that day, the latter will become a monk and subsequently attain abhiñña.[44] However, if Aṅgulimāla is to kill his mother instead, she will be his thousandth victim and he will be unsavable,[1][41] since matricide in Buddhism is considered one of the five worst actions a person can commit.[46][47]

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SDC
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by SDC » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:59 pm

SilaSamadhi wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:34 pm
However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana.
He had the wherewithal to accept the Buddha's superiority when he was unable to chase him down on the road despite how fast he ran. He took notice of something greater than his petty hate and rage and worked very hard to achieve it. That was his good action. I guess the rest was expelled when he was beat to death.

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robertk
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by robertk » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:18 pm

However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana
And that is a wrong idea. No one could ever attain anything if they had to get rid of or expend all past kamma.
Actually it sounds like something from scientology.

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cappuccino
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by cappuccino » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:22 pm

the heart is weighed

purification lightens the weight

until… a feather weighs more

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by JohnK » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:28 pm

My understanding is that the results of kamma in a specific situation are complex to the point of being beyond our understanding. That being said (and at the risk of going down a rabbit hole), do recall that intention is the key. Based on the Angulimala chapter in Great Disciples of the Buddha, he was "set-up" by jealous students who convinced their teacher that his favorite student was plotting against him. To defend himself, the teacher thought he must kill Angulimala or get him killed. So the teacher told Angulimala it was his duty to provide an offeringto his teacher -- he demanded an offering of a thousand fingers -- figuring that Angulimala would himself get killed in the process or be caught and executed for his crimes.
So there is at least some complexity around his intention to kill -- the "intention behind the intention" -- I don't know how such "intentions behind intentions" fit the workings of kamma.
https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/great-disciples-buddha
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by sentinel » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:14 pm

SilaSamadhi wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:34 pm


However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana. The amount of dark karma incurred by murdering hundreds of people should be vast, and manifest in eons of rebirths in hell.

How could all this dark karma get cleared in just a few years, without even much suffering (the worst in the sources is some minor abuse by families of his former victims)?
One only get stuck rationalizing it , the elimination of karma is not the teachings of the Buddha but belongs to Jain teachings .

Instead , the ending of ignorance and abandoning of defilements does not mean that one has cleared all the karma .

According to this direction of thinking the Buddha already attained Nibbana thus He should not have experienced bad karma yet He still experience so called bad karma such as being accused of fornication , experiencing headaches due to previous life karma and Devadatta tried to kill the Buddha and hence Buddha was struck with a stone splinter on his toes and blood flowed forth , so this is not making sense if He already attained Nibbana .
:coffee:

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:28 pm

Kamma isn't "cleared" by tit for tat, eye or an eye retribution. As mention already, nobody would ever be able to reach enlightenment if we had to "pay" equivalent prices for every wrong we have ever committed.

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by santa100 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:00 pm

SilaSamadhi wrote:However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana.
Sure, there's no avoiding of one's own "debt settlement", but key point is that its intensity/severity varies. Even in our mundane court of law, the sentencing for some crime is not constant, the judge and jury have to take into consideration a whole host of various different factors before announcing the appropriate sentence to the defendant. Another example is a loan one gives to some friend. A multitude of conditions will determine the amount of interest and principal payments his friend has to pay back. For more info about the story of Angulimala, see MN 86. For info on Kamma dynamics, see AN 3.100

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seeker242
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by seeker242 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:03 pm

And thus Ven. Aṅgulimāla became another one of the arahants.
Then Ven. Aṅgulimāla, early in the morning, having adjusted his lower robe and taking his bowl & outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Aṅgulimāla 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. Aṅgulimāla—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!”
He didn’t clear it, it just ripened differently because of who he became. :)

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by Srilankaputra » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:41 pm

SilaSamadhi wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:34 pm
How could all this dark karma get cleared
"And what is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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khaaan
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by khaaan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:45 pm

SilaSamadhi wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:34 pm
However, my understanding is that all your karma must be cleared prior to attaining Nibbana.
Not all your kamma, just some of it, and I'm not clear on whether the relevant kamma is "cleared" before attaining Nibbana or as a result of it.

At any rate, one who has attained Nibbana for the first time has no kamma that would lead to rebirth in the lower realms. And one who has attained final Nibbana has no kamma that would lead to rebirth in any realm.

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by SarathW » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:35 pm

Perhaps it is like pulling the power supply of the production line.
All the work-in-progress will have no chance to become a final product.
Kamma does not operate in its own. There are other five Niyamas facilitate the ripening of kamma.
Perhaps the Citta Niyama for the ripening of Kamma is not there for Angulimala.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by 2600htz » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:03 am

Hello:

Angulimala had a lot of potential: he came from a good family, was physically very strong, was the top student at a top university, and prior to his murders he was very pleasant and with many good qualities in his personality.

So he was a strong seed, but grew badly. Most of the kamma made by murdering all those people didn´t reach fruition by the time he meet the buddha.

Regards.

Just another Bhikkhu
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Re: How did Aṅgulimāla clear the vast amounts of dark karma he incurred by murdering hundreds of innocents, in a few yea

Post by Just another Bhikkhu » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:33 am

Because it is just a legend and need not to be taken too literally?

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