Bad Kamma in Dreams

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:55 pm

Do good or bad kamma done in dreams bear fruit in future? Do they have any effect? t seems that sometimes these kamma in dreams are intentional at least during the dream.
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:49 pm

Hello Sam,

Karmma means intentional action. Dreams and their content are not intentional - they just happen.

metta
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:28 pm

Chris wrote:Hello Sam,

Karmma means intentional action. Dreams and their content are not intentional - they just happen.

metta
Chris


Hi Chris, thank you for your reply.
I feel that actions in some dreams are intentional...or, maybe I do not know the meaning of intention.
What actually is intention? What is the Pali word for intention?
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:53 pm

Hmmm ... I have the impression that I've engaged in volitional actions in dreams sometimes. When I'm dreaming, it seems like sometimes I make choices about what to do in the dream. Isn't that a form of volition?
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:54 pm

SamKR wrote:What actually is intention? What is the Pali word for intention?


Cetanā

Cetanā [f. abstr. fr. cet, see cinteti] state of ceto in action, thinking as active thought, intention, purpose, will. Defined as action (kamma: A iii.415; cp. KV. viii.9, § 38 untraced quotation; cp. A v.292). Often combd w. patthanā & paṇidhi (wish & aspiration), e. g. S ii.99, 154; A i.32, 224; v 212; Nd2 112 (in def. of asucimanussā, people of ignoble action: asuciyā cetanāya, patthanāya, paṇidhinā samannāgatā). Also classed with these in a larger group in KV., e. g. 343, 380. -- Combd w. vedanā saññā c. citta phassa manasikāra in def. of nāmakāya (opp. rūpakāya) S ii.3 (without citta), Ps i.183 (do.); Nett 77, 78. -- Enumd under the four blessings of vatthu, paccaya, c., guṇātireka ( -- sampadā) & def. as "cetanāya somanassa -- sahagatañāṇa -- sampayutta -- bhāvo" at DhA iii.94. -- C. is opposed to cetasika (i. e. ceto) in its determination of the 7 items of good conduct (see sīla) which refers to actions of the body (or are wilful, called cetanākamma Nett 43, 96; otherwise distinguished as kāya -- & vacīkammantā A v.292 sq.), whereas the 3 last items (sīla 8 -- 10) refer to the behaviour of the mind (cetasikakamma Nett., mano -- kammanta A), viz. the shrinking back from covetousness, malice, & wrong views. <-> Vin iii.112; S iii.60; A ii.232 (kaṇhassa kammassa pahānāya cetanā: intention to give up wrong -- doing); VvA 72 (vadhaka -- cetanā wilful murder); maraṇacetanā intention of death DhA i.20; āhār' āsā cetanā intention consisting in deśire for food Vism 537. <-> PvA 8, 30 (pariccāga˚ intention to give); Pug 12; Miln 94; Sdhp 52, 72. -- In scholastic lgg. often expld as cetanā sañcetanā sañcetayitatta (viz. state or behaviour of volition) Dhs 5; Vbh 285. -- Cp. Dhs 58 (+citta); Vbh 401 (id.); Vbh 40, 403; Vism 463 (cetayatī ti cetanā; abhisandahatī ti attho).

-- PTS Pali English Dictionary: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1542.pali
Learn this from the waters:
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Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
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saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:38 pm

Thank you Ben. It seems to me that Pali Cetanā has a little bit different meaning from that of my native language Nepali in which Cetanā means Consciousness.
Anyways, I am still uncertain how could dreams not have intentions.
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Individual » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:03 am

Doing a quick search, I found this:
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/DeerPark/is ... m_eng.html

With regards to ethics in dreams, according to Vinaya rules, there is no offence for actions committed in dreams, for example, it is not an offence to dream of having sex, even if it results in emission of semen[4] . Does this mean that dream consciousness is ethically neutral? This was, in fact, one of the points of controversy dealt with in the Kathāvatthu, which explains that although dream consciousness is not ethically neutral, since no actual harm is done to property or life it cannot be classed as involving offence[5] . Furthermore, there is volition in dream, but that volition is negligible.[6] This is in line with the Vibhaṅga-aṭṭhakathā, which explains that dream consciousness can be ‘profitable [kusala/wholesome], unprofitable [akusala/unwholesome] or indeterminate [neither wholesome nor unwholesome]’[7] . For example, it is profitable when one dreams of listening to the Law [Dharma], preaching the Law, or paying homage at shrines. It is unprofitable when one dreams of killing living beings. When free from both extremes, the dream consciousness is indeterminate.[8] It also makes clear that dream consciousness has karmic results. Although such results are not strong enough to bring about rebirth linking, they may be experienced at some time in the future.[9] This would lend support to the importance of falling asleep mindfully so as to avoid committing unwholesome actions in dreams. In fact, the Vinaya records the Buddha’s advice on falling asleep as:
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:16 am

Hi all

there is volition in dream, but that volition is negligible.[6]...

...It also makes clear that dream consciousness has karmic results. Although such results are not strong enough to bring about rebirth linking, they may be experienced at some time in the future
.[9] This would lend support to the importance of falling asleep mindfully so as to avoid committing unwholesome actions in dreams. In fact, the Vinaya records the Buddha’s advice on falling asleep as:


This was my understanding as well.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:13 am

And the advice is:
Monks who mindfully [sampajāna] fall asleep do not emit impurities [asuci na mucati]….There are five disadvantages to falling asleep thoughtlessly, without mindfulness: sleeping uneasily, waking unhappily, seeing a bad [pāpakaṃ] dream, not being guarded by gods [devatā], emitting impurities…five advantages come from mindfully falling asleep: sleeping easily, waking happily, not seeing a bad dream, being guarded by gods, not emitting impurity.
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.
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:56 am

Its great advice, thanks for sharing Jechbi.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:05 pm

Sometimes there is intention in dreams. Sometimes not.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Bad Kamma in Dreams

Postby SamKR » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:33 pm

Individual wrote:Doing a quick search, I found this:
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/DeerPark/is ... m_eng.html

With regards to ethics in dreams, according to Vinaya rules, there is no offence for actions committed in dreams, for example, it is not an offence to dream of having sex, even if it results in emission of semen[4] . Does this mean that dream consciousness is ethically neutral? This was, in fact, one of the points of controversy dealt with in the Kathāvatthu, which explains that although dream consciousness is not ethically neutral, since no actual harm is done to property or life it cannot be classed as involving offence[5] . Furthermore, there is volition in dream, but that volition is negligible.[6] This is in line with the Vibhaṅga-aṭṭhakathā, which explains that dream consciousness can be ‘profitable [kusala/wholesome], unprofitable [akusala/unwholesome] or indeterminate [neither wholesome nor unwholesome]’[7] . For example, it is profitable when one dreams of listening to the Law [Dharma], preaching the Law, or paying homage at shrines. It is unprofitable when one dreams of killing living beings. When free from both extremes, the dream consciousness is indeterminate.[8] It also makes clear that dream consciousness has karmic results. Although such results are not strong enough to bring about rebirth linking, they may be experienced at some time in the future.[9] This would lend support to the importance of falling asleep mindfully so as to avoid committing unwholesome actions in dreams. In fact, the Vinaya records the Buddha’s advice on falling asleep as:

Thanks a lot. So the dreams may involve intentions but the karmic results are not strong and are negligible.
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