Fruition of Kamma in a social level

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SarathW
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Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby SarathW » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:59 am

I am reading this book which gives us a very good understanding of Kamma.
In this book it describe one ofthe fruition of kamma as:
===============
4. The social level: the results of individual and collective kamma on society, leading to social prosperity or decline, harmony or discord.
This would include the effects of human interaction with the environment.

======================
Is above a teaching of Buddha?
http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/kamma3.htm

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:51 am

I hope that I'm not mistaken but, as I remember it, the Buddha never taught collective kamma.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:45 pm

SarathW,

What is the title and who is the author of the book?

FWIW, in these short suttas from the Pali Cannon the Buddha states that oridnary people can't know the exact chain of events in kamma that led to their present cirumstances. The Buddha also stated that not everything that happens is the result of kamma.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:55 pm

Jhana4 wrote:What is the title and who is the author of the book?


Good, Evil, and Beyond (Phra Payutto)
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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:48 pm

From that link, this is used to say there is kamma at societal level?

"Then the leaders among those beings came together. Having met, they conferred among themselves thus: 'Sirs! Bad deeds have arisen among us, theft has come to be, slander has come to be, lies have come to be, the taking up of the staff has come to be. Enough! Let us choose one among us to admonish rightly those who should be admonished, to rebuke rightly those who should be rebuked, to banish rightly those who should be banished, and we will apportion some of our wheat to him.' With that, those beings proceeded to approach one being of fine attributes, more admirable, more inspiring and more awesome than any of the others, and said to him, 'Come, Sir, may you rightly admonish those who should be admonished, rightly rebuke those who should be rebuked, and rightly banish those who should be banished. We, in turn, will apportion some of our wheat to you.' Acknowledging the words of those other beings, he became their leader ... and there came to be the word 'king' ..."

"In this way, bhikkhus, when the ruler of a country fails to apportion wealth to those in need, poverty becomes prevalent. Poverty being prevalent, theft becomes prevalent. Theft being prevalent, weapons become prevalent. When weapons become prevalent, killing and maiming become prevalent, lying becomes prevalent ... slander ... sexual infidelity ... abuse and frivolity ... covetousness and jealousy ... wrong view becomes prevalent."


Couldn't that just be those with bad kamma being reborn in those bad conditions? (not necessarily group kamma)

Venerable,

Is there a 'Theravada' position on group kamma? I thought it was more of a Mahayana and Hindu and New Age thing with the group kamma theories.

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:54 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I thought it was more of a Mahayana and Hindu and New Age thing with the group kamma theories.


Here is something from Good, Evil, and Beyond on that issue:

Take, for example, the case of an autocrat who conceives a desire to create an empire. This is a condition arising within one person, but it spreads out to affect a whole society. In this case, what kamma does the society incur? Here, when the king or despot's advisers agree to and support his wishes, and when the people allow themselves to be caught up in the lust for greatness, this becomes kamma for those people also, and becomes kamma on a social scale. It may seem that this chain of events has arisen solely on account of one person, but it is not so. All are involved, and all are kammically responsible, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the extent of their personal involvement and acquiescence. The views and desires conceived by the despot become adopted by the people around him. There is an endorsement, more or less conscious, of that desire by the people, allowing the craving for power and greatness to spread and escalate throughout the population.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:55 pm

daverupa wrote:Here is something from Good, Evil, and Beyond on that issue:


But is there anything in the Suttas to suggest group kamma?

There is also the sutta where the Buddha reports about what conditions will make it good for the Vajjians and what things will make it worse. But as I mentioned above, it could be those with bad kamma being reborn in those conditions (where the Vajjians don't heed the advice) and those with good kamma being reborn in those good conditions (where the Vajjians followed the principles).

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:25 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:But is there anything in the Suttas to suggest group kamma?


Not to my knowledge. In fact, MN 130:

But this evil action of yours was not done by your mother…or by gods: this evil action was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.’
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:58 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Venerable,

Is there a 'Theravada' position on group kamma? I thought it was more of a Mahayana and Hindu and New Age thing with the group kamma theories.

I trust the Venerable Payutto's knowledge. One should read the book carefully from cover to cover to understand fully what he's saying — it's a complex subject.

In the stock phrase on kamma
“Sabbe sattā kammassakā, kammadāyādā, kammayonī, kammabandhū kammappaṭisaraṇā yaṃ kammaṃ karissanti kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādā bhavissanti.”

several different relationship are listed —
  1. We are the owners of our kamma: what we do in this life will bear fruit in the future, whether that is in this life, the next one, or some future existence.
  2. We are the heirs to our kamma: what happens to us in this life is a result of kamma done in previous lives, or earlier in this one.
  3. We are born from our kamma and kamma is the seed from which are produced: our accumulated kamma throughout many previous lives determines to a great extent our potential for this existence. We cannot all play the piano like Mozart, or do maths like Fourier. We could learn new skills, but there are limitations on what we can achieve in this life.
  4. We are related to our kamma: with the right parents someone with the potential to be a psychopath may turn out OK, while with the wrong parents, someone with the potential to be a great person, may turn out to be a great crook. (Evidence for the social aspect of kamma)
  5. We have kamma as our refuge: whatever our past kamma and potential is, we can maximise it or fail to depending on what we do in this life. What we did in the previous existences, or earlier in this one cannot be undone. We must inherit its results, but how those kammas bear fruit can be mollified or enhanced.
  6. Whatever we do, whether for good or evil, of that will be the heirs: all future effects are related to appropriate causes, but the relationship is complex and fluid, and easily misunderstood. Kamma is not determinism. (See Four Points to Bear in Mind)
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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby SarathW » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:33 am

I found some info regarding above OP:
==========

The Dependent Origination cycle describes the arising of social ills along the same lines as the arising of personal suffering, but from craving onwards it diverges in to a description of external events:


"In this way, Ananda, conditioned by feeling is craving, conditioned by craving is seeking, conditioned by seeking is gain, conditioned by gain is valuation, conditioned by valuation is fondness, conditioned by fondness is possessiveness, conditioned by possessiveness is ownership, conditioned by ownership is avarice, conditioned by avarice is guarding,[*] conditioned by guarding and resulting from guarding are the taking up of the stick, the knife, contention, dispute, arguments, abuse, slander, and lying. Evil and unskillful actions of many kinds thus appear in profusion."[19]

Below is a comparison of the way the principle of Dependent Origination works on the personal and the community levels.


==========
Please read:
http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise7.htm

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:24 am

Ven. Dhammika's blog post yesterday:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2014/01/c ... ality.html

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:54 am

Greetings,

Ven Dhammika wrote:Let us examine the 2004 tsunami, another event often sited as an example of collective kamma. The tsunami killed some 200,000 people, injured another million and left hundreds of thousands of others homeless. Even the most ill-informed person knows that the directly observable cause of the tsunami was an earthquake that shifted the tectonic plates on the floor of the ocean off the coast of Sumatra. This released a vast amount of energy which in turn caused huge waves to form. For this to be collective kamma it would require several things. As with the Holocaust, kamma would have had to pre-plan things so that vast numbers of people were in the effected area, either because they were reborn there and lived there, or that they were visiting the area at the chosen time, i.e. in the late morning of the 26th December. Extraordinarily, amidst the chaos of the deluge, the panic, the collapsing buildings and the debris being swept along, kamma would have had to arrange things so that the thousands of victims involved got their exact kammic retribution, no more and no less – so that those whose kamma required them to be killed were killed, that those whose kamma required them to be seriously injured were so injured, that those who only had to sustain minor injuries did so, and those whose kamma required only that their houses be destroyed suffered only that loss, and so on. But even more extraordinary, for kamma to be responsible for the tsunami would require accepting that it is able to influence the Earth’s tectonic plates so that they moved to just the right extent and at just the right time so that the resulting waves play out thousands of people’s kamma. Apart from stretching credibility beyond breaking point, I reject the idea of collective kamma because if such a thing existed the Buddha would have mentioned it. And he does not.

:anjali:

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby Jason » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:14 pm

While it's true that Theravada generally focuses on the individual aspects of kamma since the vast majority of the teachings in the Pali Canon deal with actions on an individual level (e.g., AN 5.57, MN 61, MN 136, etc.), there is one section at the beginning of DN 16, dealing with the "the growth of the Vajjis," that seems to allude to a type of collective kamma at a 'national' level, i.e., the Buddha asks Ananda if the Vajjis as whole do certain things (which are arguably skillful actions), and after Ananda answers yes, the Buddha states that, "So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline." The Buddha doesn't call it collective kamma, of course, but I think the general principle is there.

That said, the subject of collective kamma bothers me for a number of reasons. It's not that I think it's impossible for there to be a concentration of individual kammic results in one place, due to the combined actions of a cohesive whole, such as from the citizens of a country. I think it's a valid frame of reference and can help motive people to be more socially engaged in their community/society. But even so, I still tend to view them as individual actions with individual results that are, or least appear to be, similar (i.e., nations don't have intentions, the citizens of those nation do). Furthermore, the idea of collective kamma bothers me when people use it unskillfully, e.g., when people harbour intense guilt for actions that they themselves didn't commit, and then end up creating more suffering for themselves by cultivating unwholesome mental states in the belief that they're somehow responsible, perhaps out of a desire to be punished or something.

I think that if people use the idea of collective kamma in a skillful way, such as being more active in their country's politics to help steer public policy, giving humanitarian aide, etc., it can be a good thing that helps to lessen suffering all around. But given the tendency of people to harbour guilt in numerous and often unwholesome ways, I feel that the idea of collective kamma can do more harm than good, such as leading to taking on the 'weight of the world' when what we really want to do is cast our burdens aside. I think if we view the teachings on kamma as teachings about personal responsibility, that our actions not only affect ourselves but those around us, then we're on the right track. When it comes to carrying the guilt of other's misdeeds, however, I think that's a self-imposed burden that we needn't bear. We can't change the past, we can only control how we act right here, right now; and I believe using the past as a lesson in how not to make the same mistakes is sufficient.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:42 pm

It's almost as though working out the precise results of kamma brings with it a certain maddening vexation...

:tongue:

(But since we're here: elsewhere on the site today a sutta was posted which may pertain here:

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state."


I'm not sure about the Pali behind 'sheer coincidence', but it seems as though the point is that we have a duty to practice on account of the rarefied concatenation of variables that even allow for practice; the blind sea-turtle didn't poke his head into the hole on account of kammavipaka, I think...)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby SarathW » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:36 am

I look at social fruition of Kamma, the same way I look at individual Kamma.

There is no person so they all are a process. Individual Kamma operate in conjunction with five Niyamas.
So social fruition also a process subject to five Niyamas.

So when there is a earth quake it is due to all the Niyamas (Kamma, Dhamma, Utu, Citta, Biju etc.)
:shrug:

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby vishuroshan » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:10 am

kindly note that we cannot Identify what kamma is and how it effects us exactly. there's niyama dhamma as well as kamma. these things can come together also. if thers's powerful good karmic results, he can get rid of any disaster which comes from DHAMMA niyama or UTHU niyama. thats why buddha has advices DHAMMO HAVE RAKKATHI DHAMMACHARI. buddha has said that KARMA subject is like UNIVERSE. its a vast subject.

please read the following link. (MAHASI SAYADAW)

http://www.buddhanet.net/qold.htm

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Re: Fruition of Kamma in a social level

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:26 am

Here Ven Payutto explain how dependent origination also work on social level:

The longest Sutta dealing with Dependent Origination in the Pali Canon is the Mahanidana Sutta [D.II.55-71]. There the Buddha explains the principle of conditionality both on an individual basis, as it occurs within the mind, and also in a social context, as it occurs in human relationships. So far we have dealt exclusively with the principle of Dependent Origination as it occurs in individual human consciousness. Before passing on from this subject it would therefore seem appropriate to mention briefly how Dependent Origination works on the social scale.

The Dependent Origination cycle describes the arising of social ills along the same lines as the arising of personal suffering, but from craving onwards it diverges in to a description of external events:


"In this way, Ananda, conditioned by feeling is craving, conditioned by craving is seeking, conditioned by seeking is gain, conditioned by gain is valuation, conditioned by valuation is fondness, conditioned by fondness is possessiveness, conditioned by possessiveness is ownership, conditioned by ownership is avarice, conditioned by avarice is guarding,[*] conditioned by guarding and resulting from guarding are the taking up of the stick, the knife, contention, dispute, arguments, abuse, slander, and lying. Evil and unskillful actions of many kinds thus appear in profusion."[19]

=====================

One section of the Aggañña Sutta illustrates the sequence of social evolution according to cause and effect thus:

People become lazy and begin to hoard rice (previously rice was plentiful and there was no need to hoard it) and this becomes the preferred practice => people begin to hoard private supplies => unscrupulous people steal other's shares to enlarge their own => censure, lying, punishment, and contention result => responsible people, seeing the need for authority, appoint a king => some of the people, being disillusioned with society, decide to do away with evil actions and cultivate meditation practice. Some of these live close to the city and study and write scriptures; they become the Brahmins. Those who remain with their families continue to earn their living by various professions; they becoming the artisans. The remaining people, being vulgar and inept, become the plebeians. From among these four groups a smaller group breaks off, renouncing tradition and household life and taking to the 'homeless life.' These become the samanas.

The aim of this Sutta is to explain the arising of the various classes as a matter of natural development based on related causes, not as commandments from an almighty God. All people are equally capable of good and evil behavior, and all receive results according to the natural law; it follows that all beings are equally capable of attaining enlightenment if they practice the Dhamma correctly.

The Cakkavatti Sutta shows the arising of crime and social ills according to the following cause and effect sequence:

(The ruler) does not share wealth among the poor => poverty abounds => theft abounds => the use of weapons abounds => killing and maiming abound => lying abounds => slander ... sexual infidelity ... abusive and frivolous speech ... greed and hatred ... wrong view => lust for what is wrong, greed, wrong teachings, disrespect for parents, elders and religious persons, disrespect for position abound => longevity and appearance degenerate.

It is interesting to note that in modern times, attempts to resolve social problems are rarely attuned to their real causes. They seek to provide stopgap solutions, such as establishing counseling for drug addicts and delinquents, but they do not delve deeply into the social conditions which affect the emergence of such problems in the first place, such as consumerism and mass media. In this respect, the Buddhist teaching of Dependent Origination on the social scale offers an invaluable precedent for intelligent and truly effective social analysis and reform.



http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Payut ... nation.htm


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