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Questions about kamma

To: talk.religion.buddhism
From: Tang Huyen 
Subject: Re: Questions about kamma
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 22:30:35 -0500

pamokkha wrote: <>

The Buddha says that a person composes harmful body compositions, harmful
speech compositions, harmful mind compositions, and having composed them
he arises in a harmful world. Ditto with harmless compositions, and both
harmful and harmless compositions.  AN, I, 122-123 (3, 23), Samtani,
Arthaviniscaya-Sutra, 115, also Zitate, 232.

The Buddha says that there are four kinds of deeds, the black deed with
black result (vipaka), the white deed with white result, the black and
white deed with black and white result, and the neither black nor white
deed with neither black nor white result, it has no result (Skt.
a-vipaka). The first three are the same as those of the preceding text;
the fourth and last (which is, though this is left implicit, neither
harmful nor harmless, and therefore not deed at all, and which will not
lead to any re-arisal in any world, harmful or harmless) is the volition
(cetana) to cut all three other kinds of deed, leading to the ending of
deed (kamma-kkhaya, Skt. karma-ksaya). AN, II, 230-231 (4, 232), MA, 111,
600a26-28, Zitate, 312, Stache-Rosen, Sangiti-sutra, 113, Harivarman,
Tattva-siddhi, T, 32, 1646, 281a23-24, Maha-vibhasa, T, 27, 1545, 589c.

The Buddha says: "By the cutting of craving, deed is cut; by the cutting
of deed, suffering is cut". SN, V, 86 (46, 26).

The Buddha says: "What is former deed? The eye is to be seen as former
deeds, composed, willed out-mentated, and to be felt, ditto for the other
senses including the mind. What is new deed (nava-kamma)? The deed which
one does now (etarahi kammam karoti) with body, speech and mind. What is
the cessation of deed (kamma-nirodho)? It is the cessation of bodily deed,
vocal deed and mental deed, by which one touches liberation (yo kho
bhikkhave kaya-kamma vaci-kamma mano-kammassa nirodha vimuttim phusati)."
SN, IV, 132-133 (35, 145).

So there is a difference between good deed (white deed) that brings
favourable results and bad deed (black deed) that brings unfavourable
results, and there is a difference between them on one side and the ending
of deed which brings no result on the other. By the cessation of deed, one
touches liberation.

Arhats do not compose, i. e., do not compose compositions (the fourth
aggregate), and therefore do not create new deed, though they may still
take the return of previous deed until they die. They have an unsupported
consciousness (a-pratisthita-vij˝ana), during life and at death, and do
not relink to another life.

Tang Huyen

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