Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:
The idea of kamma does by necessity lead to a view like this even though there is evidence in the suttas that is against this. . . . The point is that it must be deterministic to work.


By necessity? How come I do not hold to such an inaccurate view of kamma? How come many others here do not hold to such a view? How come many, many others elsewhere do not hold to such a view? How come the Buddha did not teach such a view? If "by necessity", how come?


I guess I did not really explain myself very well. What I was trying to say is that the karma/rebirth conceptual model does have a tendency towards determinism. I did point out that the early Buddhists did recognize it and created various suttas to conteract the implications of the model.

The ideas I presented is in Obeyesekere's book, Imagining Karma. The particular section of the book that explains a lot better what I am trying to convey is found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=GeJumJwBOxEC&dq=Imagining+karma&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=jcjOSf2JF6bstQOC0-CiAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA131,M1

The particular sentance that sums up my statement is:
There is no way that one can affirm karma yet deny determinism in its operation.

Please read the couple of prior pages to the link I gave and a few afterwards.

--DarkDream
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:25 am

DD:
What I was trying to say is that the karma/rebirth conceptual model does have a tendency towards determinism. I did point out that the early Buddhists did recognize it and created various suttas to conteract the implications of the model.


Early Buddhists created various suttas? Your proof?

There is no way that one can affirm karma yet deny determinism in its operation.


Says that guy? Not teribly convincing. Kamma is not a matter of "as you sow, so shall you reap." It is a matter, however, of "what you reap accords with what you sow."

"If any one says that a man must reap according to his deeds, in that case there is no religious life nor opportunity afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow. But if any one says that what a man reaps accords with his deeds, in that case there is a religious life and an opportunity is afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow." AN I 249.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:48 am

Hi DD,
DarkDream wrote:I guess I did not really explain myself very well. What I was trying to say is that the karma/rebirth conceptual model does have a tendency towards determinism.

Why do you consider deterministic processes to be a problem? For some logical reason, or because you don't like the idea?

It seems to me that much of Buddhist practise has to do with recognising that there IS a high degree of determinism. After all, the second noble truth basically says that wanting things to be different to what they are is the cause of dukkha.

Metta
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:56 am

If by determinism, there is no choice, the Buddha did not teach that. If by free will, one's choice is free of any conditioning, the Buddha did not teach that.

"This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond."
SN I, 38.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:42 am

Other Aspects of Dependent Origination
The fourth aspect of Dependent Origination is the one-to-one correspondence between cause and effect (evaṃ dhammatā). Every cause leads only to the relevant effect; it has nothing to do with any irrelevant effects. In other words, every cause is the sufficient and necessary condition for the corresponding effect. This leaves no room for chance or moral impotency (akiriya-diṭṭhi). However, as the Visuddhimagga says, for those who misunderstand it, it provides the basis for rigid determinism (niyatavāda). Meditators clearly see the relationship of each effect to its cause, so they have no doubt about their one-to-one correspondence and the truth of moral responsibility.

One of many interesting stories from the texts that illustrates the effects of kamma is that in the Vinaya regarding the Third Pārājika of killing human beings.

After the Buddha had preached about the loathsomeness of the body, many monks committed suicide, and a recluse called Migalandika murdered many bhikkhus at their request. This story also raises several interesting points for discussion about the Buddha's Omniscience and Boundless Compassion. If the Buddha knew what would happen to these sixty monks after preaching about asubha kammaṭṭhāna, why did he not preach metta or ānāpānasati, and why did he go into retreat for two weeks while this was happening, leaving strict instructions with Venerable Ānanda that he was not to be disturbed.

It seems that these sixty monks had some past kamma waiting to give its fruit — and they were destined to die violent deaths without any possibility of avoiding that fate, so the Buddha gave them the most suitable meditation object to prepare them for a violent death — asubha kammaṭṭhāna.
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:30 am

Hello Venerable Pesala,

Could it be that he wasn't aware of it? I have been taught that Omniscience doesn't mean knowing everything, always, and at all times.

Omniscience is 1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight 2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge. Omniscience doesn't mean having psychic powers ~ many beings attain those. The Buddha explains below just what omniscience means in the context of a Sammasambuddha.

The omniscience of the Buddha is covered in the suttas ~
Majjhima Nikaya 71 Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta 'To Vacchagotta on the
Threefold True Knowledge'

"Venerable sir, I have heard this: "The recluse Gotama claims to be
omniscient and all-seeing, to have complete knowledge and vision
thus: "Whether I am walking or standing or sleeping or awake,
knowledge and vision are continuously and uninterruptedly present to
me." Venerable sir, do those who speak thus say what has been said
by the Blessed One, and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to
fact? Do they explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way
that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately
deduced from their assertion?"

"Vaccha, those who say thus do not say what has been said by me, but
misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to fact."

note 714 says: MA explains that even though part of the statement is
valid, the Buddha rejects the entire statement because of the portion
that is invalid. The part of the statement that is valid is the
assertion that the Buddha is omniscient and all-seeing; the part that
is excessive is the assertion that knowledge and vision are
continuously present to him.
According to the Theravada tradition
the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are
potentially accessible to him. He cannot, however, know everything
simultaneously and must advert to whatever he wishes to know.


At MN 90.8 the Buddha says that it is possible to know and see all, though
not simultaneously, and at AN 4.24/ii.24 he claims to know all that
can be seen, heard, sensed, and cognised, which is understood by the
Theravada tradition as an assertion of omniscience in the qualified
sense. See too in this connection Miln 102-7.
--------------------------
Majjhima Nikaya 90 Kannakatthala Sutta 'At Kannakatthala'

5. "Then King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One: 'Venerable
sir, I have heard this: 'The recluse Gotama says "There is no recluse
or brahmin who is omniscient and all-seeing, who can claim to have
complete knowledge and vision; that is not possible." 'Venerable
sir, do those who speak thus say what has been said by the Blessed
One, and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact? Do they
explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing that
provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from their
assertions?"

"Great King, those who speak thus do not say what has been said by
me, but misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to
fact." <<<<<snip>>>>>>

"I recall having actually made the utterance in this way, great
king. 'There is no recluse or brahmin who knows all, who sees all,
simultaneously; that is not possible'.

note 846 says: MA: There is no one who can know and see all - past,
present and future - with one act of mental adverting, with one act of
consciousness; thus this problem is discussed in terms of a single
act of consciousness (ekacitta). On the question of the kind of
omniscience the Theravada tradition attributes to the Buddha, see n.
714 above.

A few old threads (at E-sangha) discussing the subject -
In the thread "Does an Arhat know everything?"
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php...ndpost&p=563511
The Arahant
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=21424

metta and respect
Chris
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Nibbida » Sun May 03, 2009 5:09 pm

I like to cite a passage from Payutto Bhikkhu on misunderstandings of karma. #1 seems to apply here:

"Beliefs that are contrary to the law of kamma

There are three philosophies which are considered by Buddhism to be wrong view and which must be carefully distinguished from the teaching of kamma:
1. Pubbekatahetuvada: The belief that all happiness and suffering arise from previous kamma (Past-action determinism).
2. Issaranimmanahetuvada: The belief that all happiness and suffering are caused by the directives of a Supreme Being (Theistic determinism).
3. Ahetu-apaccayavada: The belief that all happiness and suffering are random, having no cause (Indeterminism or Accidentalism).
....
These words discourage us from going too far with kamma by considering it as entirely a thing of the past. Such a view encourages inactivity; passively waiting for the results of old kamma to ripen and taking things as they come without thinking to correct or improve them. This is a harmful form of wrong view, as can be seen from the Buddha's words above.

Significantly, in the above passage, the Buddha asserts effort and motivation as the crucial factors in deciding the ethical value of these various teachings on kamma.

The Buddha did not dismiss the importance of previous kamma, because it does play a part in the cause and effect process, and thus has an effect on the present in its capacity as one of the conditioning factors. But it is simply one of those conditions, it is not a supernatural force to be clung to or submitted to passively. An understanding of the Principle of Dependent Origination and the cause and effect process will clarify this. "

from: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9280/kamma6.htm

Also this by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
"For the early Buddhists, karma was non-linear and complex. Other Indian schools believed that karma operated in a simple straight line, with actions from the past influencing the present, and present actions influencing the future. As a result, they saw little room for free will. Buddhists, however, saw that karma acts in multiple feedback loops, with the present moment being shaped both by past and by present actions; present actions shape not only the future but also the present. Furthermore, present actions need not be determined by past actions. In other words, there is free will, although its range is somewhat dictated by the past. The nature of this freedom is symbolized in an image used by the early Buddhists: flowing water. Sometimes the flow from the past is so strong that little can be done except to stand fast, but there are also times when the flow is gentle enough to be diverted in almost any direction.

So, instead of promoting resigned powerlessness, the early Buddhist notion of karma focused on the liberating potential of what the mind is doing with every moment. Who you are — what you come from — is not anywhere near as important as the mind's motives for what it is doing right now. Even though the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, our measure as human beings is not the hand we've been dealt, for that hand can change at any moment. We take our own measure by how well we play the hand we've got. If you're suffering, you try not to continue the unskillful mental habits that would keep that particular karmic feedback going. If you see that other people are suffering, and you're in a position to help, you focus not on their karmic past but your karmic opportunity in the present: Someday you may find yourself in the same predicament that they're in now, so here's your opportunity to act in the way you'd like them to act toward you when that day comes."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... karma.html
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Mexicali » Sun May 03, 2009 6:08 pm

Nibbida, thanks :goodpost:
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby christopher::: » Mon May 04, 2009 4:06 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Some critics have blamed kamma teachings for fostering backwards and superstitious attitudes:

I vividly recall a conversation I had with a senior Thai monk when I attended the 2001 conference of the International Association of Buddhist Studies in Bangkok. I asked the Venerable, “Why doesn’t the Thai Sangha speak out against the rampant sexual slavery imposed on children in Bangkok and other Thai cities?” He immediately replied, "Oh, you must understand that these girls must have done something evil in their past lives, perhaps committing adultery. That is why they became prostitutes in this life. Of course, there is hope for them in their future lives.”

...This raises the critically important question of how Buddhism can hope to play a constructive, let alone compassionate, role in contemporary society if it cannot confront and overcome this understanding of karma? (Ven. Daizen Brian Victoria, "The Reactionary Use of Karma in Twentieth Century Japan")


My questions:

Is the senior monk's interpretation of kamma mistaken, or is this what Buddhism actually teaches (based on MN 135, etc)? In your personal opinion, is it a valid explanation for child prostitution in Thailand?

Does his statement reflect the prevailing attitude among Buddhists in Thailand or other traditionally Buddhist countries?


Chris wrote:
This excerpt from the teaching by Bhikkhu Bodhi explains:

We Are Not Hopeless Prisoners Of Our Past
The twin teachings on kamma and rebirth have several important implications for understanding our own lives.
First they enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for what we are. We can't blame our troubles on our environment, on our heredity, on fate or on our upbringing. All these factors have made us what we are, but the reason we have met these circumstances is because of our past kamma. This might seem to be at first a pessimistic doctrine. It seems to imply that we are the prisoners of our past kammas, that we have to submit to their effects. This is a distortion.
It is true that very often we have to reap the results of our past kamma. But the important point to understand is that kamma is volitional action, and volitional action always takes place in the present, only in the present. This means at present it is possible for us to change the entire direction of our life.
If we closely examine our lives we'll see that our experience is of two types: first, experience that comes to us passively, which we receive independently of our choice; and second, experience which we create for ourselves through our choices and attitudes. The passive side of experience is largely the effect of past kamma.We generally have to face this and learn to accept it. But within those limitations there is a space, the tremendous space of the present moment, in which we can reconstruct our world with our own minds.
If we let ourselves be dominated by selfishness, hatred, ambition and dullness, then, even if we are wealthy and powerful, we'll still be living in misery and suffering and keep planting seeds for rebirth in the world of suffering. On the other hand, even if we are poor and in sad circumstances, with much pain and misfortune, if we observe pure conduct, develop a mind of generosity, kindness and understanding, then we can transform our world, we can build a world of love and peace."
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha057.htm

metta
Chris


There is a logical inconsistancy in this view which i've yet to make sense of... The idea that an individual's present circumstances are due to their actions in a past life doesn't compute (in my head) when paired with the Buddha's teachings of no-self, anatta. It does make sense if one takes a Hindu view, and believes that there is a core Awareness, spirit or Soul that moves thru time.

But if there is no core Awareness moving thru time, life to life, then the karma created by Zin Yang in 1862 when he killed 3 young children should not "belong" to anyone today, in the sense that it's one person's "responsibility" to deal with Zin Yang's karma. How can karma created by someone in the past "belong" to someone in the present, if there is no continuous spiritual self? It may have been passed to you, but it doesn't "belong" to you...

Seems to me (and this is just my view) that if Zin Yang made mistakes in 1862 its not very different from George Bush making mistakes in 2003, when he and others decided to invade Iraq. The suffering of thousands of people who died or lost family members in Iraq suffered because of Bush's ignorance. If you have difficulties now because of the karma of someone in 1862, its not "your karma" anymore then George Bush's ignorance is "your" karma.

It makes sense with Hindu metaphysics, and it would make sense (to me) if there is really only ONE of us here, cause then anything anyone does is something "we" are doing. It makes sense if everything terrible that happens is something we are all responsible for, that we all must help as best as we can, cause karma doesn't "belong" to anybody, its just happening cause of situations set into motion by "our" collective ignorance, and we do our best to assist...

Again, I may be alone with this, but there is a logical inconsistancy in mainstream ideas of karma and rebirth that has yet to make sense, for me.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Lazy_eye,

Lazy_eye wrote:Is the senior monk's interpretation of kamma mistaken, or is this what Buddhism actually teaches (based on MN 135, etc)? In your personal opinion, is it a valid explanation for child prostitution in Thailand?


As far as I can tell, the kind of explanation the monk provides is not supported by the suttas or the Abhidhamma, but is completely in accord with the stories provided in the Jatakas and the Dhammapada Stories.

The question then becomes, do you believe the Jatakas and the Dhammapada Stories are historical truths representative of the Dhamma (incl. kamma), or do you believe that they are traditional moralistic stories designed not to provide an accurate representation of kamma but to encourage people to act morally, and to help them remember and apply Dhammapada and Sutta teachings in their daily lives.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Ahhhh, okay now, THAT makes sense.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 04, 2009 5:01 am

christopher::: wrote:There is a logical inconsistancy in this view which i've yet to make sense of... The idea that an individual's present circumstances are due to their actions in a past life doesn't compute (in my head) when paired with the Buddha's teachings of no-self, anatta.

Though it is not-self, there is still a continuous causality. According to the Abhidhamma Cittas (''mind moments") arise in sequence, conditioned by past cittas (the "mind stream").

Anatta doesn't mean that what the body your mind steam is associated with gets mixed up with mine when we get together for coffee.

Similarly, the citta that arises at the time of death conditions the birth citta in another life (according to the Theravada Abhidhamma, but not some of the rivals...).

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 04, 2009 5:07 am

If I can make an observation about this whole thing, that has probably been made before:

There is a feeling I sometimes get in these conversations that "it would be unfair if X was due to past kamma". It seems to me that is a confused view. As I read it, it is not possible for us to tell what is or isn't caused by past kamma, so to speculate that person "Y is in this situation because of Z" is silly. However, if one accepts the concept of kamma then clearly some bad stuff is due to past kamma. It's not "unfair", it's how the universe works.

Also, it seems to me that the point of the teaching is to point out that the bad things happening to us (or others) may be due to past kamma, so it might be prudent to avoid bad kamma in the future.

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon May 04, 2009 5:12 am

christopher::: wrote:Again, I may be alone with this, but there is a logical inconsistancy in mainstream ideas of karma and rebirth that has yet to make sense, for me.


To me the examples you give and the conundra you raise regarding them merely highlight the limitations of expounding kamma and its ripening in conventional terms (i.e. in terms of conceptual realities such as "persons"). The conundra evaporate when the subject is expounded in terms of dhammas.

    In Anurādhapura we had discussions about kamma and vipāka. Someone remarked that he found it unjust that a deed commited in a former life can cause suffering in this life. The person who suffers today is not the same person anymore as the being in the past who committed the bad deed which produces an unpleasant result. Why then do we have to suffer today because of deeds we have not done?

    Kamma produces vipāka. Each cause produces its appropriate result. This is the law of cause and effect which operates, no matter we like it or not. When we suffer from pain it is the result of kamma. We may be inclined to think: “Why does this have to happen to me?” But why do we think of “me”? There was no being in a former life who committed deeds, neither is there a being in this life who experiences results. There are only realities, nāmas and rūpas, arising and falling away.

    In the absolute sense there is not “my present lifespan”, because life exists only in one moment. There are different types of cittas which experience objects and each moment of citta falls away completely. Some cittas are cause: they can motivate good deeds and bad deeds which can produce their appropriate results. Some cittas are the results of good deeds and bad deeds, vipākacittas. Cittas which experience pleasant or unpleasant objects through the senses, such as seeing or hearing, are vipākacittas which arise throughout our life. Vipākacitta arises because of conditions and falls away immediately; there is no self who experiences a pleasant or unpleasant object. When there is pain, it is only a short moment of experiencing an unpleasant object through the body-sense. It is unavoidable, because it arises because of conditions. It falls away immediately. When we think of the pain with aversion, there is not only one citta with aversion, but seven cittas with aversion arising in succession. That is the order of the cittas arising in a process. Thus, when we have aversion about pain we make it seven times worse. Pain is unavoidable. Life is birth, old age, sickness and death.
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby robertk » Mon May 04, 2009 5:36 am

Chris wrote:Hello Venerable Pesala,

Could it be that he wasn't aware of it? Chris

The commentary to the sutta venerable Pesala cited states that the Buddha was fully aware of the past lives of those Bhikkhu and thus knowing that they were soon to die and be reborn in hell he taught them the meditation on loathsomeness of the body so that they could attain superior rebirth.
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 04, 2009 5:47 am

The commentary to the sutta venerable Pesala cited states that the Buddha was fully aware of the past lives of those Bhikkhu and thus knowing that they were soon to die and be reborn in hell he taught them the meditation on loathsomeness of the body so that they could attain superior rebirth.


It is an interesting discourse, which really is not adequately explained by the commentary.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby christopher::: » Mon May 04, 2009 5:49 am

Dhammanando wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Again, I may be alone with this, but there is a logical inconsistancy in mainstream ideas of karma and rebirth that has yet to make sense, for me.


To me the examples you give and the conundra you raise regarding them merely highlight the limitations of expounding kamma and its ripening in conventional terms (i.e. in terms of conceptual realities such as "persons"). The conundra evaporate when the subject is expounded in terms of dhammas.


Thanks Venerable Dhammanando. What you shared does make more "sense." The idea of "persons" distorts the teaching, misrepresents how things work...

Nibbida wrote:Also this by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
"For the early Buddhists, karma was non-linear and complex. Other Indian schools believed that karma operated in a simple straight line, with actions from the past influencing the present, and present actions influencing the future. As a result, they saw little room for free will. Buddhists, however, saw that karma acts in multiple feedback loops, with the present moment being shaped both by past and by present actions; present actions shape not only the future but also the present. Furthermore, present actions need not be determined by past actions. In other words, there is free will, although its range is somewhat dictated by the past. The nature of this freedom is symbolized in an image used by the early Buddhists: flowing water. Sometimes the flow from the past is so strong that little can be done except to stand fast, but there are also times when the flow is gentle enough to be diverted in almost any direction.

So, instead of promoting resigned powerlessness, the early Buddhist notion of karma focused on the liberating potential of what the mind is doing with every moment. Who you are — what you come from — is not anywhere near as important as the mind's motives for what it is doing right now. Even though the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, our measure as human beings is not the hand we've been dealt, for that hand can change at any moment. We take our own measure by how well we play the hand we've got. If you're suffering, you try not to continue the unskillful mental habits that would keep that particular karmic feedback going. If you see that other people are suffering, and you're in a position to help, you focus not on their karmic past but your karmic opportunity in the present: Someday you may find yourself in the same predicament that they're in now, so here's your opportunity to act in the way you'd like them to act toward you when that day comes."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... karma.html


Thanks. This too was helpful.

:namaste:
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~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Nibbida » Wed May 06, 2009 3:12 am

I just realized that this would also fall under one of the four unconjecturables:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

There's no way for us to know the precise workings of karma. Trying to figure it out produces only vexation and does not further one along the path.
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Mexicali » Fri May 08, 2009 6:16 pm

I don't get the impression that the Buddha was "omniscient" in the godlike, western sense. For several weeks after attaining Buddhahood, he was not sure what to do with the insights he'd gained and had not gone out to teach the dhamma. Omniscience would mean he could have begun, instantly. Similarly, logically, there would be no pacekabuddhas if realization bestowed an inability to not know things; they would all have the ability to teach dhamma if they were omniscient.
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri May 08, 2009 7:26 pm

There again, since he was Omniscient, he would have known that to start teaching prematurely or to teach the wrong person would be ineffective. Even an ordinary person knows the right time to eat a mango, which is not necessarily as soon as one plucks it from the tree, or brings it back from the market.

In fact, the Buddha met a few individuals after his Enlightenment and before teaching the Dhammacakka Sutta (the first discourse). Two merchants from Suvanna Bhumī (Burma?) offered honey cakes, and the Buddha gave them some hairs.

He also met a wanderer named Upaka, and declared his Buddhahood to him, but he did not teach him the Dhamma at that time.
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