are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

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are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby serg_o » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:20 pm

Hello

I encountered a list of wrong views rejected by Theravada and formulated in Kathāvatthu
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=65434
No 20 is:
20. Saḷāyatana micchādiṭṭhi — that the six sense-bases are the result of kamma.


But there is a sutta in which Buddha says:
"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

(Kamma sutta from Samyutta Nikaya)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then in sutta Buddha says that six bases are old kamma, which AFAIUI means these are the results of old kamma (old actions), that is kamma vipaka.
How then to understand that Kathavatthu states that "the six sense-bases are the result of kamma" is a wrong view? Maybe six bases in Kathavatthu are external six bases - forms etc.?
Could anyone comment on this?
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby Individual » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:40 pm

serg_o wrote:Hello

I encountered a list of wrong views rejected by Theravada and formulated in Kathāvatthu
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=65434
No 20 is:
20. Saḷāyatana micchādiṭṭhi — that the six sense-bases are the result of kamma.


But there is a sutta in which Buddha says:
"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

(Kamma sutta from Samyutta Nikaya)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then in sutta Buddha says that six bases are old kamma, which AFAIUI means these are the results of old kamma (old actions), that is kamma vipaka.
How then to understand that Kathavatthu states that "the six sense-bases are the result of kamma" is a wrong view? Maybe six bases in Kathavatthu are external six bases - forms etc.?
Could anyone comment on this?

Perhaps it's related to the wrong view of past action determinism (in the Sivaka sutta). Saying the six sense-bases arise due to kamma might be one way that a person could say, "Everything is due to past kamma," since there is nothing in our experience beyond the six senses and corresponding data.
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:08 am

serg_o wrote:Could anyone comment on this?


I have to go out now, but I'll post the Kathāvatthu passage when I get back. The wrong view in question is attributed to the Mahasanghikas; essentially it consisted in taking 'kammavipāka' to refer to every sort of kammic production, rather than limiting it (correctly) to events in the mental continuum.

Best wishes,
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    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby serg_o » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:11 am

Hi Individual, bhante Dhammanando
Perhaps it's related to the wrong view of past action determinism

Don't know, it' hard to draw whether it's so or not from the short formula in the list (I think). I hope the passage that bhante promised to post will clarify the meaning of the Katthavathu statement. :smile:
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:35 am

Dhammanando wrote:... essentially it consisted in taking 'kammavipāka' to refer to every sort of kammic production, rather than limiting it (correctly) to events in the mental continuum.

Is vipaka only a mental product?

The reason I ask is because I recently said in another thread that I am overweight, and called it my 'vipaka' for the unskillful eating habbits of my past (themselves a mental factor, so as I see it, Kamma generating). Is this wrong-view? What would the correct nomeclature for this kind of cause-effect be?

As always, could you point me towards a good Sutta so I can study it directly too? :) Thank you. (One by one I intend to correct my wrong views!)
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby puthujjana » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:11 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:Is vipaka only a mental product?


Nyanatiloka wrote:vipāka

'karma-result', is any karmically (morally) neutral mental phenomenon (e.g. bodily agreeable or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc. ), which is the result of wholesome or unwholesome volitional action (karma, q.v.) through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life.

Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any karmically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself karma.

On this subject s. titthāyatana, karma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 (Guide, p. 80).

Karma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samutthāna) corporeal things are never called kamma-vipāka, as this term may be applied only to mental phenomena.

:arrow: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/vipaaka.htm

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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby robertk » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:09 am

kamma is a cause for nama and rupa-materiality(some).
Vipaka refers only to a mental result, however the sense bases, where the vipaka cittas arise, are alse produced by kamma.

Note that the kamma that produces the sense base may by entirely different from the kamma that conditioned the vipaka.
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:11 am

Hello Rob,

Thanks for this - can you point us to some readings on this please?

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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby serg_o » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:13 pm

Hello all,
Thanks for the answers. I think puthujjana and robertk write about the same thing. I found this in the internet:


[1] Here I should add that the Pali term //vipaka//, which I generally
translate by "effect," or "result," is not really identical with
these two English terms. According to the //Kathavatthu//, it
refers only to the kamma-produced "mental" results, such as
pleasurable and painful bodily feeling and all other primary
mental phenomena, while all the corporeal phenomena, such as the
five physical sense-organs, etc., are not called //vipaka//, but
"//kammaja//" or "//kamma-samutthana//," i.e. "kamma-born" or
"kamma-produced."

It's a footnote 1 to ch. 2 in the "FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM" Four Lectures by Nyanatiloka Mahathera
http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys5/fundamen.htm

If "the result" in the
20. Saḷāyatana micchādiṭṭhi — that the six sense-bases are the result of kamma.
is translation of "vipaka", then formally I have got the answer to my question.
But I think it would be good to find some more explanations of the matter. :smile:
I'll try to find something.
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:43 pm

Hi Serg,

In Points of Controversy —Shwe Zan Aung's translation of the Kathāvatthu— the translator has not translated in full the debate on whether the six āyatanas are kammavipāka, because the Theravādin argument is for the most part the same as that of the previous debate on the question of whether sound is kammavipāka. As they are pretty short I will post both here.



    Of sound as Result [of Karma] (Saddo Vipāko'ti Kathā)

    Controverted point — That sound is a result of kamma.

    From the commentary — Here again some, like the Mahāsaṅghikas, from carelessly interpreting such passages as, "He, by the doing, the accumulating, the augmenting, the abundance of that karma, is gifted with the voice of a Brahmā god," have adopted this view. The argument shows that 'result of karma' is a term applying to mental states only, which have been transmitted by karma, but does not apply to material things. The retinue, for instance, attending a Superman is not a vipāka, or specific result of karma.[1]

    From the Katthāvatthu

    Theravādin: [Now what can rightly be predicated of a 'result of karma'?] Such a result is a matter of feeling, pleasant, painful, or neutral; it is conjoined with feeling of these three kinds; it is conjoined with mental contact, feeling, perception, volition, thought; it goes with a mental object; with it go adverting, ideating, co-ordinated application, attention, volition, anticipation, aiming. Is sound anything of this kind? Is it not rather the opposite?

    Now mental contact is result of kamma, and of mental contact it is right to predicate any of the foregoing characteristics, and wrong not to. But the opposite holds with regard to sound.

    Mahāsaṅghika: But if I am wrong, was it not said by the Exalted One: "He, through having wrought, having accumulated, having piled up, having increased such karma, becomes reborn with the voice of a Brahmā god, like that of the karavīka bird." (DN. iii. 178)? Hence surely sound is a specific result of karma.

    [1. Translator's footnote: But the pleasure derived from well-being of this kind is vipāka. Vipāka is essentially a subjective phenomenon, subjective experience, emotional and intellectual. Sound, as object, is something 'other', or external. The importance of speech-sounds for thought doubtless provoked the exceptional position claimed by the heterodox for sound. 'Sadda' means both sound and word; hence, without a qualifying context, sadda means as much vocal sound as sound in general].

    _____________________________________

    Of the Sense-organs (Saḷāyatana Kathā)

    Controverted point — That the sense organs are results of kamma.

    From the commentary — Here again it is a Mahāsaṅghika belief that, because the sense-organs have arisen through the doing of past actions, therefore they are results (understood as subjective or mental). Of them the sixth, or co-ordinating, sense may at times be such a result, but not the others.

    From the Katthāvatthu

    [The argument follows that of the previous dialogue verbatim, the 'sixth sense' (manāyatana) being omitted].

    (Points of Controversy 266-7)

    _____________________________________


But there is a sutta in which Buddha says:

"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

(Kamma sutta from Samyutta Nikaya)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then in sutta Buddha says that six bases are old kamma, which AFAIUI means these are the results of old kamma (old actions), that is kamma vipaka.


The commentary says that they are not themselves old kamma, but are called "old kamma" through the Buddha's naming them after the condition that produced them. But production by kamma (kammanibatti) is not the same as ripening of kamma (kammavipāka).

How then to understand that Kathavatthu states that "the six sense-bases are the result of kamma" is a wrong view?


As I read it, the point of dispute reported in the Kathāvatthu is one of several in that text that are disagreements over the phrasing rather than the meaning. That is to say, some non-Theravādins had apparently adopted the convention of using the term 'vipāka' to cover everything that results from a morally significant action, rather than limiting it to certain mental phenomena. By contrast, the Theravādin convention was to use other terms (e.g. kammanibbatti, kammasamuṭṭhāna — kammic production, kammic origination) when speaking of kamma-generated rūpadhammas. As such, I would view this particular dispute on kamma as belonging to a different class than those which are genuinely on points of doctrine (e.g. the controversy over whether merit increases with utility).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: are six sense-bases kamma-vipaka or not?

Postby serg_o » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:33 pm

Thank you bhante for the quote and your comment on it.


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