AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal.

Where we gather to focus on a single discourse or thematic collection from the Sutta Piṭaka (new selection every two weeks)
Locked
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 19272
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal.

Post by mikenz66 »

AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal. [AN 3..99 on ATI]
Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


A Buddhist response to the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
  • Translator's note: For a discussion of this discourse in the general context of the Buddha's teaching on kamma (karma), see "Kamma & the Ending of Kamma" in The Wings to Awakening.
"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress.

"There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable.[1] A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into a small amount of water in a cup. What do you think? Would the water in the cup become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"Yes, lord. Why is that? There being only a small amount of water in the cup, it would become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink."

"Now suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into the River Ganges. What do you think? Would the water in the River Ganges become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"No, lord. Why is that? There being a great mass of water in the River Ganges, it would not become salty because of the salt crystal or unfit to drink."

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual [the first] takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in the body, [2] undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind [i.e., painful feelings can invade the mind and stay there], undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in the body,[3] developed in virtue, developed in mind [i.e., painful feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there], developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"There is the case where a certain person is thrown into jail for half a dollar (kahapana), is thrown into jail for a dollar, is thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. And there is the case where another person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar, is not thrown into jail for a dollar, is not thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. Now what sort of person is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars. And what sort of person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions. This is the sort of person who is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars.

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"It's just as when a goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes a certain person who steals a goat, but is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes another person who steals a goat. Now, when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. And when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher not empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions; a king or a king's minister. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. All he can do is go with his hands clasped before his heart and beg: 'Please, dear sir, give me a goat or the price of a goat.'

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress."

Notes

1. Immeasurable concentration. See also AN 3.65.

2. I.e., pleasant feelings can invade the mind and stay there — see MN 36.

3. I.e., pleasant feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there.

See also: MN 86; MN 101; AN 3.33; AN 10.208.
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 19272
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal.

Post by mikenz66 »

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi

“Bhikkhus, if one were to say thus: ‘A person experiences kamma
in precisely the same way that he created it,’ in such a case there
could be no living of the spiritual life and no opportunity would
be seen for completely making an end of suffering."
  • The first position, rejected by the Buddha, reads in Pāli: Yo,
    bhikkhave, evaṃ vadeyya, ‘yathā yathā ‘yaṃ puriso kammaṃ
    karoti tathā tathā taṃ paṭisaṃvediyatī’ ti, evaṃ santaṃ, bhikkhave,
    brahmacariyavāso na hoti, okāso na paññāyati sammā dukkhassa
    antakiriyāya. And the second, affirmed by him, reads: Yo ca
    kho, bhikkhave, evaṃ vadeyya, ‘yathā yathā vedanīyaṃ ayaṃ puriso
    kammaṃ karoti tathā tathā ‘ssa vipākaṃ paṭisaṃvediyatī’ ti, evaṃ
    santaṃ, bhikkhave, brahmacariyavāso hoti, okāso paññāyati sammā
    dukkhassa antakiriyāya.

    The exact difference between the two positions is not self-
    ­evident. Mp states by way of explanation: “In precisely the same
    way: If one says, ‘One experiences the result of kamma in pre-
    cisely the same way that one created it,’ then, since it isn’t pos-
    sible to prevent the result of kamma once done, one would surely
    experience the result of whatever kamma one has created. In
    such a case, there could be no living of the spiritual life: kamma to be
    experienced upon rebirth, done prior to the development of the
    path, would necessarily have to be experienced, whether or not
    one has lived the spiritual life. No opportunity would be seen for
    completely making an end of suffering: since, in such a case, there is
    the accumulating of kamma by oneself and the experiencing of
    its result, therefore an opportunity would not be seen for making
    an end of the suffering of the round.”

    The point Mp is trying to make, it seems, is that if one has to
    experience the result of every kamma one has created of the type
    to be experienced upon rebirth, and of every kamma one has cre-
    ated of the type to be experienced in some life subsequent to the
    next, one would have to continue into the next rebirth, and into
    indefinite future rebirths, in order to experience those results.
    In such a case, because those kammas are bound to ripen, one
    would have to remain in saṃsāra forever in order to experience
    their fruits. It is not at all evident from the sutta itself, however,
    that this is the intended meaning. It seems, rather, that what
    the sutta is saying is that one need not experience the result of
    kamma in exactly the same way that one created it (so that, for
    example, if one killed a person one would not have to be killed
    in turn). The point, then, is that when one’s wholesome and
    unwholesome kammas ripen, they will have to be experienced,
    respectively, as pleasant and as painful, even though the quantum
    of pleasure and pain need not correspond to the moral force of
    the original action.
But if one
were to say thus: ‘When a person creates kamma that is to be
experienced in a particular way, he experiences its result pre-
cisely in that way,’ in such a case the living of the spiritual life
is possible and an opportunity is seen for completely making
an end of suffering.
  • Mp explains this in terms of the Abhidhamma theory that kamma
    is created by the seven javanacittas, the karmically active mental
    events in a cognitive process. The first javana is of the type to
    be experienced in this present life (diṭṭhadhammavedanīya); if it
    misses the chance to ripen in this life, it becomes defunct (ahosi).
    The seventh javana is to be experienced after rebirth in the next
    life (upapajjavedanīya), and if it misses the chance to ripen in that
    life, it becomes defunct. The middle five javanas are to be expe-
    rienced on some subsequent occasion (aparapariyāyavedanīya),
    which means that they can ripen any time after the next life for
    as long as one continues in saṃsāra. Since this theory arose long
    after the compilation of the Nikāyas, it is improbable that it con-
    veys the purport of the present passage. As I explained in note
    546, the text seems to be saying simply that when one creates
    unwholesome kamma, one will experience its result as painful,
    whether to a strong degree or to a slight degree, but the degree
    of the result cannot be rigidly correlated with the severity of the
    original action. The converse holds with wholesome kamma,
    which is to be experienced as pleasant. It is this variability that
    allows a person, through the development of the path, to over-
    come the consequences of grave unwholesome kamma and
    thereby attain the end of suffering in saṃsāra. This interpreta-
    tion seems to be borne out by the examples given in the sutta.

    The Chinese parallel, MĀ 11 (at T I 433a 12 –434a 11 ), does not
    make a clear distinction between two contrary positions. I read
    it thus: “The Buddha told the bhikkhus: ‘[If one says:] “One
    receives the result of kamma according to the way it has been
    done by a person”—in this case, one does not practice the spiri-
    tual life and is unable to end suffering. If one says: “One receives
    the result of kamma according to the way it has been done by a
    person”—in this case, one practices the spiritual life and is able
    to end suffering’” ( 世尊告諸比丘。隨人所作業則受其報。如是。不行
    梵行不得盡苦。若作是說。隨人所作業則受其報。如是。修行梵行便得盡
    苦 ). Either there has been a mistake here in the textual transmis-
    sion of the text, or the point in this version is that, of two people
    who hold the same view about karma, one does not practice and
    thus does not make an end to suffering, while the other practices
    and makes an end to suffering.
“What kind of person creates trifling bad kamma that leads
him to hell? Here, some person is undeveloped in body, virtu-
ous behavior, mind, and wisdom; he is limited and has a mean
character, [1] and he dwells in suffering. [2] When such a person
creates trifling bad kamma, it leads him to hell.
  • [1] Paritto appātumo. Mp explains: “He is limited because of the
    limitation of his virtues (parittaguṇo). His self (ātumā) is his body
    (attabhāvo); even though his body may be large, he has a ‘mean
    character’ because of the limitation of his virtues.” Ātuma(n) is
    an alternative form of atta(n) (Skt ātman). Mp identifies it with
    attabhāva. The Chinese parallel reads the corresponding phrase
    (occurring at T I 433a 28 ) as “his life span is very short” ( 壽命甚短 ).

    [2] Text reads appadukkhavihārī, which does not fit the context well.
    Mp offers an unconvincing resolution of the compound: “He
    dwells in suffering because of his small evil deed” (appakenapi
    pāpena dukkhavihārī). The Chinese parallel has nothing corre-
    sponding to this against which to check it. I amend the text to
    read simply dukkhavihārī. It is possible that appa entered via a
    recitation error based on appamāṇavihārī just below.
“What kind of person creates exactly the same trifling bad
kamma and yet it is to be experienced in this very life, without
even a slight [residue] being seen, much less abundant [residue]?
Here, some person is developed in body, virtuous behavior,
mind, and wisdom. He is unlimited and has a lofty character,
and he dwells without measure.
  • Aparitto mahattā (Be: mahatto). Mp (Ce): “He is unlimited because
    his virtues are not limited; even when his body is small, he
    has ‘a great character’ because of the greatness of his virtues”
    (guṇamahantatāya mahattā). Mp takes all these terms to imply
    that the person being described is an arahant, which is puzzling
    since, according to the Abhidhamma philosophy that underlies
    the commentaries, an arahant does not create any kamma at all.
    Again, the Chinese parallel (at T I 433b 11 ) interprets this by way
    of the life span: “he has an extremely long life span” ( 壽命極長 ).
When such a person creates
exactly the same trifling bad kamma, it is to be experienced in
this very life, without even a slight [residue] being seen, much
less abundant [residue]
  • That is, a residue to be experienced in future lives.
“Here, bhikkhus, someone is imprisoned for [stealing]
half a kahāpaṇa, a kahāpaṇa, or a hundred kahāpaṇas, while
someone else is not imprisoned for [stealing] the same amount
of money.
  • Kahāpaṇa: The major unit of currency used in northern India dur-
    ing the Buddha’s time.
User avatar
cjmacie
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:49 am

Re: AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal.

Post by cjmacie »

postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:50 am

Pardon me if I run another little amateur exercise in Pali parsing / translation here, but the oh-so subtle difference between the two case descriptions the Buddha puts forth here proves fascinating – as witnessed by all the explanation Bhikkhu Bodhi devotes to it. What the hell did He (G.Buddha) mean?

Here's the Pali, showing the differences in red and adding some labeling for reference in the discussion that follows:
(1a) ‘yathā yathā ‘yaṃ [ayam elided] puriso kammaṃ karoti
(1b) tathā tathā taṃ paṭisaṃvediyatī’

(2a) ‘yathā yathā vedanīyaṃ ayaṃ puriso kammaṃ karoti
(2b) tathā tathā ‘ssa [assa elided] vipākaṃ paṭisaṃvediyatī’

1a: "However (yatha yatha) this person (ayam puriso) makes (karoti) kamma…"
2a: "However this person makes however-felt kamma …" (I think "vedanīyaṃ" goes with "kammaṃ", both being in the accusative case.)
(For some, probably good, reason that I don't catch, Thanissaro attaches the yatha-yatha in 2a to the vedanīyaṃ instead of to the whole sense.)

The difference seems to be that, in 2a, the action, the kamma is augmented by some sense of also being explicitly felt (vedanīyaṃ); that is, perhaps, an added reflexive dimension to the experience, as in "… he does x, and knows that he does x…"

And in 1b, "so he experiences the kamma" ("taṃ" refers back to "kammaṃ") ; whereas in 2b "so he experiences the result of the kamma" ("assa ", I think, as genitive case, referring back to "kammaṃ") – again an augmentation, added dimension to the experience.

That – the added layering of the experience in 2a-b – suggests what differentiates a run-of-the-mill person's experience from that of one on the path to awakening; i.e., in some sense adding a mindful dimension to the bare experience of what's going on?
User avatar
L.N.
Posts: 504
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: AN 3.100 Loṇakapalla Sutta. The Salt Crystal.

Post by L.N. »

Could it be that in the first case, the vedana link is not recognized by the person, whereas in the second case, it is?
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。
Locked