Stefan wrote:If someone tells a deliberate lie but immediately after that corrects himself and tells the truth, is the bad karma of telling the preceding false statement lessened to some extent?
as "volition" or "intention," if the lie was immediately corrected, then the (so-called bad) kamma
within oneself is corrected
in the process of correcting the lie. If, on the other hand, you turn around and lie again about the same circumstance, then the process begins again until you are able to admit to the truth.
Now, there are exceptions to this, but those exceptions are for another discussion, and they revolve around the context of the lie being told.
Remember, the Buddha's definition of kamma
is: "It is volition, monks, that I declare to be kamma
. Having willed, one performs an action by body, speech, or mind." (AN 6.63)
Got it? If not, read it again and again, and think about it until you do
The first six steps of the Noble Eightfold Path are directly related to this issue of kamma
. The cultivation of so-called "good" kamma begins with right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, and right effort. And it is understanding and implementing the first two of these (right view and right intention) that assists the person to correct the latter four. If you understand this, then you understand how to keep yourself on the straight and narrow path to awakening as well as toward being able to perform wholesome actions that benefit yourself as well as others.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV