MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:29 pm

so youre saying it would be something like i got hit by lightning because of a past life? or can it be something as simple as i got hit by lightning cause i chose to walk in the rain? which would be my kamma after all... so i could see a link there. but what i cant see is that my kamma controls the weather. i can clearly understand about being ugly or blind etc, but a meteor shower or tsunami etc i have a harder time seeing as somehow controled by my kamma...
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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:44 pm

hmmm or is it not that my kamma caused the meteor to hit me, but rather my kamma lead me to be the type of dolt that plays in a meteor shower? that makes sense...

and also makes it possible to be the kind of dolt that learns from a mistake too...

but how does this work with say tsunami victims or katrina victims? do they really "deserve" what they get?

and if so is it okay to let them suffer to "pay off karmic debt" or should we take the attitude that even if they deserve it it is in our and their best interest to step in?
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:54 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:i think random things just happen to people sometimes. i dont think poking my brother in the eyes in a past life is the reason i'll get hit by lightning in this one.. i think the lightning is just a fluke, random natrual thing i had to deal with, it has causes and conditions that brought it into being and so do i, and we just happened to colide, no big morality story there...

Seems like the the main issue at play is whether we take responsibility for past causes or for present reactions. It's one thing to say, "I was struck by lightning because I poked my brother in the eye in the past." It's another thing to say, "I am suffering now in the circumstance of being struck by lightning because of habit patterns of suffering that I built up in the past."

I don't think it makes any sense to take personal responsibility for the causes of a lightning strike. The causes and conditions of a lightning strike are atmospheric. Same with a tsunami; it's causes and conditions are too complicated to assign personal blame (unless you're a Buddha, I suppose).

But I do think it makes sense to take personal responsibility for the reactions we have in the present to whatever circumstances life throws at us. At some point in samsara we're going to keep on encountering every possible thing, until we stop. And because of long-established habit patterns of the mind, we probably put ourselves into a lot of undesired situations without realizing what we're doing.
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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:13 pm

If someone makes a courageous effort to save a life, perhaps the fruit of that kamma is having one's own life saved in a future life, whereas standing by and doing nothing might result in being left to “suffer one's fate” in the future?

The Tsunami, lightning storm, or a meteor shower is just the proximate cause for death or injury. It is not the root cause. We saw that although there were many victims, there were also remarkable instances of escapes and rescues.

The Sīvaka Sutta makes it clear that not all effects are due to past kamma.

The Buddhist doctrine of Kamma is clearly not fatalism. We inherit our kamma, are born from it, and are related to it, but we also have (present) kamma as our refuge to escape from suffering. Studying and discussing the texts, meditating, practising morality, and so forth are all wholesome kammas. While engaged in performing those wholesome kammas, we have no time for doing unwholesome kammas. Conversely, those who are wasting their lives pursuing sensual pleasures only, are missing the very precious opportunity to accumulate kusala kamma and pāramī, even if they are abiding by the basic precepts.

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:18 pm

appicchato wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Then why do some people get faulty genes while others do not?

My (limited) understanding leans towards saying: because of past life volitional actions...


Venerable Appicchato, I respectfully disagree. This is obviously not a science forum but there is definitive evidence that shows that radiation, chemicals, pollution and so on (let alone random mutation and a host of other complex factors) can change a person's genetic makeup that can be passed on to new generations resulting in "faulty genes."

Even if we concede for argument's sake that karma can do this, in the Sivaka Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.021.than.html it is fairly explicit that not all physical conditions are caused by karma.

As such, it seems wise to never judge a person's condition is the result of past karma, as it clearly may not be.

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:48 pm

As such, it seems wise to never judge a person's condition is the result of past karma, as it clearly may not be.



Of course but no reason to assume that its not, being unenlightened we cant possible know either way
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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:54 pm

clw_uk wrote:Of course but no reason to assume that its not


Yes, good point. But I think it is essential to give a person the benefit of the doubt instead of assigning blame which essentially is what some one does when they say that a person is like this due to actions in a past life.

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:32 am

Hi DD,
DarkDream wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Of course but no reason to assume that its not

Yes, good point. But I think it is essential to give a person the benefit of the doubt instead of assigning blame which essentially is what some one does when they say that a person is like this due to actions in a past life.

Since the causes and effects are unknowable, unless we are Buddhas, it would be wrong to assume anything about people we know in this life. However, you seem to be arguing that if some of those bad things were due to past life kamma then that proves that "the universe is unfair", so "it shouldn't be like that". I think that's faulty logic.

Also, I think that it may be more helpful to reflect on these things in the forward direction, "If I do bad stuff I will suffer...", rather than being backward looking (which, beyond the general issue that suffering exists, is somewhat pointless because of the un-knowability...)

Metta
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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:32 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Also, I think that it may be more helpful to reflect on these things in the forward direction, "If I do bad stuff I will suffer...", rather than being backward looking (which, beyond the general issue that suffering exists, is somewhat pointless because of the un-knowability...)


Sādhu! That's exactly what this teaching is for. Reflecting backwards would be grasping the wrong end of the snake. It seems to me that Dark Dream's objections to this sutta are premised on the unwarranted assumption that grasping the wrong end of the snake is what everyone will in fact do.

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:50 am

thanks everyone for asking questions and to our venerables for providing such great answers!! i've really learned a lot!
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:11 am

Greetings venerable Pesala,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:There is no room for blind chance or moral impotency in Buddhism.


Perhaps, but there are niyamas that function without direct causality from kamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:... there are niyamas that function without direct causality from kamma.
Sure, but aren't they still ordered and not random?
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: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:17 am

Greetings Jechbi,

Jechbi wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:... there are niyamas that function without direct causality from kamma.
Sure, but aren't they still ordered and not random?


Yes, but all five aren't consequences of our actions.

For example, the "faulty genes" mentioned earlier on need not be attributed to kamma niyama.... why not to bija niyama (the physical organic order)?

So yes, it's not "blind chance" that these things happen. Of course there are causes and effects, but I think it's inaccurate to conclusively say about someone who is crippled or has some unfortunately genetic condition that it's a result of kamma niyama. But that is what many people say...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: MN Session 7 - MN 135. Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:59 pm

i'm gonna shut this one now, i guess if you have any more questions about kamma and how it works we can start a new thread..
jc :anjali:
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat


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