I have a confusion and I will try my best to express it -
I know nothing of my past Kamma baggage (how much bad Kamma and how much good Kamma I have carried into this birth). If I spend my entire life in only self less service of others, it is clearly not enough for Nibbana. Assuming I won 300 million dollars from a lottery, and I use most of it to help people rather than use it for myself then I am earning good Kamma. It will make my next birth in a higher realm or assure that at least I will be reborn as a human. But it will not let me be free of the cycle of birth and death - that is no Nibbana through self less service alone.
Just to lend some perspective -
Jains believe that suffering tremendously in this life alone is enough to nullify any previous bad Kamma. (Jain sadhus have clean shaven face, head and body. But no razor is used. Hair is ripped out by a fellow sadhu and the pain is tolerated quietly. That is just one of the ways they use to suffer. There are numerous more. There is nothing more unnerving than to see 14 day old beard being torn out of a Jain sadhu's face)
Hindus believe that Karma Yoga alone is enough for enlightenment (Karma being self less work for others in this sense)
In Hinduism there are 4 paths to Nirvana -
1 ) Bhakti Yoga - salvation through devotion to God
2 ) Jnana Yoga - salvation through reading the scriptures and arriving at enlightenment through reason and knowledge (Jnana)
3 ) Raja Yoga - salvation through performance of yogic exercises to purify body and soul and meditating on kundalini
4 ) Karma Yoga - salvation through path of self less service
But clearly that is not the case in Buddhism where meditation and self realization plays a large role.
So how does one arrive at perfect balance where Kamma is null (zero and neither positive or negative) and meditation is enough to allow one to proceed to Nibbana.
Understanding this is required, since although I maybe 200 life times away from Nibbana, I have to understand what is Nibbana vis a vis Kamma (I know what is Nibbana but what is it's interrelationship with Kamma)
I have tried to understand it from Angulimala Sutta but there is no description of what actually Angulimala did to overcome the lesser skill of murdering innocents. How did he repay his bad Kamma (I understand he was once beaten up badly but that is hardly enough to atone for 1000 murders).
Does Buddhism mean that pure heart and meditation alone is not only fuel on path to salvation but also gives redemption from previous KammaNote: part in italics is extra and not pertinent to my actual questionSince Raja Yoga leads to Samadhi, and so does Jhana, then is closest cousin of Buddhism Raja Yoga ?
Such as first step of Raja Yoga is - Yama
Yama (restraints) consists of five parts: ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (sexual abstinence), and aparigraha (non-covetousness). Ahimsa is perfect harmlessness, as well as positive love. The five directives of yama lay down behavioral norms as prerequisites for elimination of fear, and contribute to a tranquil mind. (Wikipedia)
Second step of Raja yoga is - Niyama
Niyama is observance of five canons: shaucha (internal and external purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (austerity), svadhyaya (study of religious books and repetitions of mantras), and ishvarapranidhana (self-surrender to God and his worship). Niyama, unlike uama, prescribes mental exercises to train the mind to control emotions. (Wikipedia)
Like this there are 8 steps (so the name Ashtanga Yoga)
Yama – code of conduct, self-restraint
Niyama – religious observances, commitments to practice, such as study and devotion
Āsana – integration of mind and body through physical activity
Prāṇāyāma – regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body
Pratyāhāra – abstraction of the senses, withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
Dhāraṇā – concentration, one-pointedness of mind
Dhyāna – meditation (quiet activity that leads to samadhi)
Samādhi – the quiet state of blissful awareness, superconscious state.
This is very similar to Buddhism. I am not arguing who copied from whom. But does it mean meditation alone is redemptive in nature from Buddhist perspective ?