Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

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jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

Hi Santa100
So per the Vism, kamma and vipaka don't get stored into some kind of immutable and centralized "repository", instead they're continuously and dynamically re-inforced or weakened from life to life with the patisandhiVinnana acting as the "link".
Well OK, but this is not how Buddhaghosa describes it in Vism XVII, at least not in the section you're pointing to - 162-164 is a commentary of the last part of the little verse at 161 which does not amount to kamma being "continuously and dynamically re-inforced or weakened". So where does this image come from?
jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

mikenz66 wrote:Here are a few more links I've dug up regarding bhavang citta
Thanks. One or two leads in this lot. Particularly pakati-upanissaya-kamma which at least one of the posters relates to just the function I am trying to understand. It will require a bit more research, but it seems that a citta which is strong may function as a pakati-upanissaya-kamma which forms a condition for the next citta (alongside the primary object). I feel a trip to the library coming on.
jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

I had a fruitful trip to the library today.
Questions about the persistence of latent dispositions and accumulation of karmic potential thus remain: once the cognitive processes are activated, are they transmitted through the six modes of cognitive awareness? If so, why do they not influence these forms of mind? If not, how do they persist from one moment of bhavaṅga-citta to the next without some contiguous conditioning medium? The bhavaṅga-citta does not directly address these persisting questions, adumbrated in the Kathavātthu so many centuries before. Nor, to my knowledge, do subsequent Theravādin Abhidhamma traditions discuss these questions in dhammic terms.
- Waldron, William S. Buddhist unconscious: the ālaya-vijñāna in the context of Indian Buddhist thought. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. p.83.
I think this helps to explain why I can't find a specific answer to my question. There probably isn't one. However Waldron notes that some modern commentators have attributed the functions I'm interested in to the bhavaṅga, despite this conflicting with the Abhidhamma and the Visuddhimagga. The lack of satisfactory answer led to the development of the ālayavijñāna doctrine which proved very durable and is more popular that Nāgārjuna's alternate which was to deny the reality of karma and vipāka.

Best Wishes
Jayarava
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mikenz66
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by mikenz66 »

Members,

Please note that this thread is the Classical Theravada section, which is here to allow technical discussion. Discussion about whether such technical discussion is important is off topic in this section. Please stick to the topic at hand.

I have deleted a number of posts that are off topic. For example, suggestions that Jayavara should stop worrying about the topic are completely off topic and are unacceptable in the Classical Theravada Forum. This forum is specifically for detailed doctrinal questions, such as Jayavara's.

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http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=373



:anjali:
Mike
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mikenz66
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by mikenz66 »

Thanks jayarava, for the reference.

It's interesting that the Theravada Commentators appear to have resisted the temptation to create mechanism for the "transmission" of kamma, in contrast to other sects.

Have you consulted the Kathavatthu ("Points of Controversy")? The quotation that I gave from Leo Rivers above: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 76#p297361 seems to suggest that there might be something useful there, but I don't have access to that text at home.

:anjali:
Mike
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robertk
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by robertk »

jayarava wrote:I had a fruitful trip to the library today.
Questions about the persistence of latent dispositions and accumulation of karmic potential thus remain: once the cognitive processes are activated, are they transmitted through the six modes of cognitive awareness? If so, why do they not influence these forms of mind? If not, how do they persist from one moment of bhavaṅga-citta to the next without some contiguous conditioning medium? The bhavaṅga-citta does not directly address these persisting questions, adumbrated in the Kathavātthu so many centuries before. Nor, to my knowledge, do subsequent Theravādin Abhidhamma traditions discuss these questions in dhammic terms.
- Waldron, William S. Buddhist unconscious: the ālaya-vijñāna in the context of Indian Buddhist thought. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. p.83.
I think this helps to explain why I can't find a specific answer to my question. There probably isn't one. However Waldron notes that some modern commentators have attributed the functions I'm interested in to the bhavaṅga, despite this conflicting with the Abhidhamma and the Visuddhimagga. The lack of satisfactory answer led to the development of the ālayavijñāna doctrine which proved very durable and is more popular that Nāgārjuna's alternate which was to deny the reality of karma and vipāka.

Best Wishes
Jayarava
In fact the Abhidhamma perfectly explains latent dispositions and the accumulation of kamma. Did you read the link I gave ?
jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

My other find in the library yesterday was Gethin, Rupert. 'Bhavaṅga and Rebirth According to the Abhidhamma.' in The Buddhist Forum. Vol III. T. Skorupski and U. Pagel (eds.), London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, pp. 11–35.

Gethin works through the details of bhavaṅga process in a way that is now becoming quite familiar - his sources are the same ones we've been discussing. He rules out the bhavaṅga as the carrier of karma:
"it does not seem possible on the basis of what is said explicitly in the texts to justify the claim that the bhavaṅga carries with it all character traits, memories, habitual tendencies, etc." (30).


However Gethin is alive to the need to something to do this job or perhaps we should say for this function to be carried out somehow. Again, the fact that the Sarvāstivādins, the Sautrāntikas and the Yogacārins all recognised and proposed solutions to this problem seem to beg the question of how the Theravādins would solve it. This is exactly my own entry point. After years of study Pāli language and texts I started learning Sanskrit and delving into Sanskrit Buddhist texts. This led to an interest in Sarvāstivāda and puzzlement over how any Buddhist could believe that everything exists (sarva-asti). Gethin finds it inconceivable that the great Theravādin commentators, Buddhaghosa, Buddhadatta, and Dhammapala, had not considered the problem, and he ventures to speculate a little on how they might have solved it. Like Gethin, I'm interested that the great three seem not to have proposed an obvious solution. No one who has even dipped into the Visuddhimagga can conceive of Buddhaghosa as anything but thorough.

For Gethin there are many similarities between bhavaṅga and ālayavijñāna and thus he is willing to entertain the thought that the two at least "belong to the same complex of ideas within the history of Buddhist thought." (35). I agree on this last point.

There is still the lead pointing to pakati-upanissaya-paccaya which I will be trying to follow up today.
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robertk
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by robertk »

The bhavanga is a bit of a red herring for explaing how accumulations are carried on.
What about all the vitthi cittas that arise in between bhanga cittas?
In fact accumulations are carried forward citta by citta, whether it be bhavanga or cakkhu vinnana, or javana etc.
Nama is not not like rupa, ( matter) , it has the nature of accumulating. It is not like a receptacle that has limits.
SarathW
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by SarathW »

Kamma is performed in seven Javna thought moments.
There is no separate thought called Bhawanga. (it is just a label)
Different name is given for each thought moment according its function in a given moment.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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robertk
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by robertk »

SarathW wrote:Kamma is performed in seven Javna thought moments.
There is no separate thought called Bhawanga. (it is just a label)
Different name is given for each thought moment according its function in a given moment.
:)
In fact bhavanga moments are completely different from javana moments. Both are absolutely real.
What do you mean by "thoughts"?
yikeren
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by yikeren »

Hi Robert

I'm afraid that I do not follow your comment:
The bhavanga is a bit of a red herring for explaing how accumulations are carried on.
What about all the vitthi cittas that arise in between bhanga cittas?
In fact accumulations are carried forward citta by citta, whether it be bhavanga or cakkhu vinnana, or javana etc.
Nama is not not like rupa, ( matter) , it has the nature of accumulating. It is not like a receptacle that has limits.
Just wondering if your comment is in reference to the cognitive process model of Abhidhamma or some other models.

If we are using the cognitive process model, I'm a bit puzzled as to the lack of comment on the role of the two Registration cittas (Sarah quite rightly pointed out that kamma is performed by the Javana cittas)
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robertk
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by robertk »

The point i am making is that cittas arise in an unbroken series with each citta being a condition for the next one. It doesnt matter for this aspect whether it is in a vitthi process or not

So because of samanantara paccaya , and other conditions , there is the continuity and accumulating.


Visuddhimagga" (XVII, 68)

... When a state is indispensable to another state’s presence or arising,

the former is a condition for the latter. But as to characteristic, a

condition has the characteristic of assisting; for any given state that

assists the presence or arising of a given state is called the latter’s

condition. The words, condition, cause, reason, source, originator,

producer, etc., are one in meaning though different in letter....

Thus, there are conditioning phenomena, paccaya-dhammas, and

conditioned phenomena, paccayupanna-dhammas. ..
jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

robertk wrote:The bhavanga is a bit of a red herring for explaing how accumulations are carried on.
What about all the vitthi cittas that arise in between bhanga cittas?
In fact accumulations are carried forward citta by citta, whether it be bhavanga or cakkhu vinnana, or javana etc.
Nama is not not like rupa, ( matter) , it has the nature of accumulating. It is not like a receptacle that has limits.
Hi Robert,

I agree, though this does not prevent some from speculating. It's interesting that Gethin knows it's a red-herring but cannot stop himself from speculating how bhavaṅga might provide karmic continuity.

I've been looking at some of your other discussions on the web this morning (your avatar is distinctive) and while I still don't feel I've understood I think the pointers towards āyūhana are helpful. So what I need to do is locate this idea that cittas accumulate kamma and pass it forward in the traditional texts. Almost certainly not in the suttas. Possibly in the Abhidhamma, but most likely in the commentarial layer and the Visuddhimagga. If you have any pointers I'd be most grateful. From what I've seen this morning āyūhana seems to be associated with saṅkhārā, but I've yet to understand how saṅkhārā fits into the cittavīthi model.
jayarava
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Re: Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth

Post by jayarava »

robertk wrote:So because of samanantara paccaya , and other conditions , there is the continuity and accumulating.

Visuddhimagga" (XVII, 68)
Vism XVII.68 is just a general description of what a condition is. And contiguity between two cittas is just a statement that one follows another (Vism XVII.73-76) So eye-citta gives rise to mano-dhātu-citta. It says nothing at all about accumulation or the influence of kamma.

I'm not doubting your statements about continuity and accumulating - and intuitively something like this must happen. I just want to locate the textual sources for the idea. There's a quote from Ps that looks more promising at XVII.292:
Tenāha ‘‘purimakammabhavasmiṃ moho avijjā, āyūhanā saṅkhārā, nikanti taṇhā, upagamanaṃ upādānaṃ, cetanā bhavoti ime pañca dhammā purimakammabhavasmiṃ idha paṭisandhiyā paccayā’’ti (Ps 1.47).
Hence it is said: 'In the previous kamma-process becoming, there is delusion, which is ignorance; there is accumulation (āyūhanā) which is formations (saṅkhārā); there is attachment, which is craving; there is embracing, which is clinging (upādāna); there is volition (cetanā) which is becoming (bhava); thus these five things in the previous kamma-process becoming are conditions for the rebirth-linking here [in the present becoming]. Paṭisambhidāmagga (PTS Ps i.52).
Elsewhere the commentary on the Aṅguttara Nikāya (Mp 2.192) glosses the phrase: kāyasaṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti (which occurs in the Saṅkhārasuttaṃ, AN 3.23 = i.122) with
Kāyasaṅkhāranti kāyadvāre cetanārāsiṃ - the body-formation [is] "a heap of intentions in the body-door”
Abhisaṅkharotīti āyūhati rāsiṃ karoti piṇḍaṃ karoti - The verb abhisaṅkharoti [means] he accumulates, he makes a heap, he makes a lump.”
This points towards saṅkhārakkhandha as the process by which cetanā accumulates. But I still don't see where this fits into the cittavīthi. It takes us back into the territory of Vism XVII.146ff esp 174. And this is not help on the notion of how a past kamma can condition the present.

So I'm still looking for a straightforward traditional reference to how past-kamma can have an effect after the original cetanā has ceased. We believe that each citta is conditioned by the immediately previous one and that kamma can thus accumulate, but even a single reference to this process is proving hard to pin down.
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