Annapurna wrote:But you know the story of Angulimala, don't you, Mike?
And there the Buddha says to Angulimala, who is complaining that the villagers treat him badly, and throw things at him,l that this is good for Angulimala, as this way, in terms of his karma, even mentions hell...
Blanket exemptions. In addition to bhikkhus who do not know they are being assaulted or do not give their consent when they do know, the Vibhaṅga states that there are four special categories of bhikkhus exempted from a penalty under this rule: any bhikkhu who is insane, possessed by spirits, delirious with pain, or the first offender(s) (in this case, Ven. Sudinna and the bhikkhu with the monkey) whose actions prompted the Buddha to formulate the rule. The Commentary defines as insane anyone who "goes about in an unseemly way, with deranged perceptions, having cast away all sense of shame and compunction, not knowing whether he has transgressed major or minor training rules." It recognizes this as a medical condition, which it blames on the bile. As for spirit possession, it says that this can happen either when spirits frighten one or when, by distracting one with sensory images, they insert their hands into one's heart by way of one's mouth (!). Whatever the cause, it notes that insane and possessed bhikkhus are exempt from penalties they incur only when their perceptions are deranged ("when their mindfulness is entirely forgotten and they don't know what fire, gold, excrement, and sandalwood are") and not from any they incur during their lucid moments. As for a bhikkhu delirious with pain, he is exempt from penalties he incurs only during periods when the pain is so great that he does not know what he is doing.
These four categories are exempted from penalties under nearly all of the rules, although the first offender for each rule is exempted only for the one time he acted in such a way as to provoke the Buddha into formulating the rule. I will only rarely mention these categories again, and — except where expressly stated otherwise — the reader should bear them in mind as exempt in every case.
Radman622 wrote:I am wondering if from a certain perspective, one might see this as trying to "dodge Karma" by diminishing or not experiencing the pain. If perhaps, you are trading the Karmic consequence of the headache or what have you for a different consequence, and in so doing, "delaying" bad Karma.
Unlike the theory of linear causality — which led the Vedists and Jains to see the relationship between an act and its result as predictable and tit-for-tat — the principle of this/that conditionality makes that relationship inherently complex. The results of kamma experienced at any one point in time come not only from past kamma, but also from present kamma. This means that, although there are general patterns relating habitual acts to corresponding results [§9], there is no set one-for-one, tit-for-tat, relationship between a particular action and its results. Instead, the results are determined by the context of the act, both in terms of actions that preceded or followed it [§11] and in terms one's state of mind at the time of acting or experiencing the result [§13]. As we noted in the Introduction, the feedback loops inherent in this/that conditionality mean that the working out of any particular cause-effect relationship can be very complex indeed.
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