Stephen K wrote:The question is, would there be a difference in their kamma simply because of the fact that they do not understand the consequences of their actions? Would their kammic results be less serious, more, or the same, compared to the same of a Buddhist?
The Blessed One then addressed the Brahmins as follows: “Then you should undertake and practise this incontrovertible teaching, it will be for your long term benefit and happiness.
“There are some recluses and Brahmins whose teaching and view is this: ‘There is no giving, offering, or sacrifice, no fruit of good and evil deeds, there is neither this world, nor another world, there is no mother nor father, no spontaneously arisen beings, and no recluses or Brahmins who, having practised correctly, realise the truth about this world and the other world by direct knowledge, and reveal this truth to others.’
“Then there are some recluses and Brahmins whose teaching and view is the direct opposite. Their doctrine and view is this: ‘There is giving, offering, and sacrifice, there is fruit of good and evil deeds, there is this world, and another world, there is mother and father, there are spontaneously arisen beings, and there are recluses and Brahmins who, having practised correctly, realise the truth about this world and the other world by direct knowledge, and reveal this truth to others.’
“What do you think, householders, are the doctrines of these recluses and Brahmins directly opposed?
“Indeed they are, Venerable sir.”
“Householders, it is to be expected that those recluses and Brahmins who hold the former view — that there is no fruit of good and evil deeds, and so forth — will avoid wholesome deeds and indulge in evil deeds because they do not see the danger and impurity of evil deeds, nor do they see the benefit and purity of good deeds.
“Since there is another world, one who holds the view that there is not holds a wrong view. Since there is another world, one who thinks that there is not has wrong thoughts. Since there is another world, one who says there is not uses wrong speech and is opposed to those Arahants who know there is another world. One who convinces another to accept this untrue Dhamma praises himself and disparages others, thus any former morality he had is abandoned and replaced with bad conduct. All of these various unwholesome things — wrong thought, wrong speech and so forth — have wrong view as their origin.”
“A wise man reflects thus: ‘If what these recluses and Brahmins say is true, and there is no other world, then on the dissolution of the body after death they are safe enough, but if they are wrong and there is another world, they will be reborn in the lower realms, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, or in hell. He has wrongly undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in a one-sided way that excludes the wholesome alternative.
“Householders, it is to be expected that those recluses and Brahmins who hold the latter view — that there is a fruit of good and evil deeds, and so forth — will avoid evil deeds and cultivate wholesome deeds because they see the danger and impurity of evil deeds, and see the benefit and purity of wholesome deeds.
“Since there is another world, one who holds the view that there is holds a right view. Since there is another world, one who thinks that there is has right thoughts. Since there is another world, one who says there is uses right speech and is not opposed to those Arahants who know there is another world. One who convinces another to accept this true Dhamma does not praise himself and disparage others, thus any former corrupt morality he had is abandoned and replaced with virtuous conduct. All of these various wholesome things — right thought, right speech and so forth — have right view as their origin.”
“A wise man reflects thus: ‘If what these recluses and Brahmins say is true, and there is another world, then on the dissolution of the body after death they will be reborn in a happy destination, or in heaven. Even if there is no other world, this good person is praised by the wise as virtuous and for holding the right view of moral responsibility. He has rightly undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in a two-sided way that excludes the unwholesome alternative.
Stephen K wrote:My meditation was disrupted today. I couldn't stop thinking about my mother.
Sam Vara wrote:Many thanks, Bhante. That is very clear.
Can you recall a Sutta that makes this point?
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Whether they label themselves as Buddhist or not, its the difference in view that matters. Wrong doing with wrong view has more serious consequences than wrong doing with right view.
At first sight, this seems counter-intuitive. People generally think that if you don't know what you're doing is wrong its not as bad if you do know, but do it anyway.
The rationale is that if you know that a frying-pan is hot, but pick it up anyway, you are less likely to be severely burned than if you do not know that it is hot.
Someone who, for example, thinks that killing chickens has no serious consequences will do it repeatedly. If told by others that what they are doing is unskilful or cruel, they may become defensive and make further unwholesome kamma by using abusive speech or at least entertaining thoughts of ill-will.
One who has the right view, on the other-hand, who does wrong, e.g. by swatting flies, will hesitate to do it. Afterwards, they are likely to feel remorse. If criticised for it, they are more likely to have good-will towards their well-meaning advisor, and may stop doing it in future. Even in the severe case of killing human beings, one who holds right view will be well aware of the consequences of such an action, and will try very hard to avoid any situation where he or she might be impelled to do that, e.g. joining the army or police firearm units.
barcsimalsi wrote:Can we assume that an immature child who kills insects and torture animals out of mischief will receive more bad kamma than an adult who slaughters livestock for living and at the same time realizing it was wrong livelihood?
Mr Man wrote:Hi Bhikkhu Pesala
Are we not getting into "inmponderable" areas here. Causes are not always as they seem and how about the strength of volition, does that not have an impact on result?
Dan74 wrote:The intention of one who does not realize that the action is bad is not the same as the intention of one who does. Doing evil knowingly and doing it unknowingly or less aware is surely more reprehensible. To come back to barci and the Venerable's example of small children. I have seen small children tearing wings off flies unaware that flies are living beings who most likely experience pain. This would surely not be as reprehensible as older children who have been taught about respecting all living beings doing the same?
Stephen K wrote:My meditation was disrupted today. I couldn't stop thinking about my mother. She killed a chicken a few days ago. And another one today. We are raising chickens in our yard and she kills a few of them every now and again. I told her not to do it. I told her it was bad for both her and the chickens. But she is not a Buddhist. She doesn't believe in kamma and rebirth. She is not aware of the Buddhist precepts and the consequences of their breach.
Which is the point of this thread. Is the vipaka of a non-Buddhist, who is not aware of kamma, rebirth, and the precepts, different from that of a Buddhist? In other words, if a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist perform the same type of kamma, for example killing a chicken, would there be any difference in their vipaka that would be the result of that kamma?
My uncle, who is one of the wisest men I know, drinks alcohol from time to time. Another wise man I know (my former gym instructor) swats flies. In fact, I saw Barack Obama once swat a fly. Actually, if I weren't a Buddhist I'd probably still swat flies like I used to before I was a Buddhist.
But you can understand why. They are not Buddhists. If someone knows nothing of Dhamma, they are very likely to do things contrary to Dhamma.
The question is, would there be a difference in their kamma simply because of the fact that they do not understand the consequences of their actions? Would their kammic results be less serious, more, or the same, compared to the same of a Buddhist?
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