A Manual Of Buddhism Part 6

A Manual Of Buddhism -

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The evil effects of killing are:- short life, diseased-ness, constant grief caused by separation from the loved, and constant fear.

Five conditions are necessary to complete the evil of stealing - namely, i another's property, ii consciousness that it is so, iii intention of stealing, iv effort, and v consequent removal.

The evil effects of stealing are:- poverty, wretchedness, unfulfilled desires, and dependent livelihood.

Four conditions are necessary to complete the evil of un-chast.i.ty - namely, i the mind to enjoy the forbidden object, ii the attempt to enjoy, iii devices to obtain, and iv possession.

The evil effects of un-chast.i.ty are - having many enemies, getting undesirables wives, birth as a woman or as an eunuch, Four conditions are necessary to complete the evil of lying namely, i an untrue thing, ii intention to deceive, iii the corresponding effort, iv the communication of the matter to others.

The evil effects of lying are:- being tormented by abusive speech, being subject to vilification, incredibility, and a stinking mouth.

Four conditions are necessary to complete the evil of slandering - namely, i persons that are to be divided, ii the intention to separate them or the desire to endear oneself to one of them, iii corresponding effort, and iv the communication.

The evil effect of slandering is the dissolution of friends.h.i.+p without sufficient cause.

Three conditions are necessary to complete the evil of harsh speech - namely, i a person to be abused, ii angry thought, and iii the abuse.

The evil effects of harsh speech are:- being detested by others though absolutely blameless, and a harsh voice.

Two conditions are necessary to complete the evil of frivolous talks - namely i the inclination towards frivolous talk, and ii its narration.

The evil effects of frivolous talk are:- defective bodily organs and incredible speech.

Covetousness has the characteristic mark of thinking "Ah, would this property were mine!" The two conditions necessary to complete this evil are:- i another's property and ii adverting to it, saying:- "Would this be mine!"

The evil effect of covetousness is non-fulfillment of one's wishes.

Two conditions are necessary to complete the evil of ill-will namely, i another being, and ii the thought of doing harm.

The evil effects of ill-will are:- ugliness, manifold diseases, and a detestable nature. False, view is seeing things wrongly. False beliefs, like the denial of the efficacy of deeds etc., are also included in this evil.

Two conditions are necessary to complete this evil - namely, i perverted manner in which the object is viewed and ii the understanding of it according to that misconception, The evil effects of false view are:- base attachment, lack of wisdom dull wit diseases and blameworthy ideas.

The Cause of Kamma Not knowing things as they truly are does one acc.u.mulate Kamma. No Kamma is acc.u.mulated by one who has completely eradicated craving and has understood things as they truly are. Ignorance - Avijja and craving -Tanha are the chief causes of Kamma

The Doer of Kamma Who is the does of Kamma? Who reaps the fruits of Kamma? Says the Venerable Buddhaghosa in the Visuddhi Magga: - "No doer is there who does the deed, Nor is there one who feels the fruit."

In the ultimate sense a Buddhist cannot conceive of any unchanging ent.i.ty, any being in the form of a Deva, a man, or an animal. These forms are merely the temporary manifestations of the Kammic force. The term "being" is only used for conventional purposes. Strictly speaking what we call "a being" is only composed of mind and matter.

Buddhist believes that there is no actor apart from action, no perceiver apart from perception, no conscious subject behind consciousness.

Volition or will-cetena, is itself the doer of Kamma. Apart from these mental states, there is none to sow and none to reap.

Where is Kamma?

"Where. Venerable Sir, is Kamma?" questions King Milinda of the Venerable Nagasena.

"O Maharaja", replies the Venerable Nagasena, "Kamma is not stored somewhere in this fleeting consciousness or in any other part of the body. But dependent on mind and matter, it rests, manifesting itself at the opportune moment, just as mangoes are not said to be stored somewhere in the mango trees, but dependent on the mango tree they lie springing up in due season."

Just as wind or fire is not stored in any particular place, even so Kamma is not stored anywhere within or without the body.

Kamma is an individual force, which is transmitted from one existence to another.

Cla.s.sification of Kamma There are moral and immoral actions which may produce their due effects in this very life. They are called "Immediately Effective - Dittha Dhamma Vedaniya Kamma." If they do not operate in this life, they become "ineffective - Ahosi".

There are some actions which may produce their effects in a subsequent life. They are termed "Subsequently Effective - Apapajja Vedaniya Kamma". They too become ineffective if they do not operate in the second birth.

Those actions may produce their effects in any life in the course of one's wandering in the Samsara, are known as "Indefinitely Effective - Aparapariya Vedaniya Kamma/"

This cla.s.sification of Kamma is with reference to the time in which effect are worked out.

There are four of Kamma according to function-Kicca.

Every birth is conditioned by past good and bad kamma that predominates at the moment of death. The Kamma that conditions the future birth is called "Reproductive - Janaka Kamma."

Now another Kamma may step forward to a.s.sist or maintain the action of this Reproductive Kamma. Just as this Kamma has the tendency to strengthen the Reproductive Kamma, some other action which tends to weaken, interrupt, the fruition of the Reproductive Kammamay step in. Such actions are respectively termed "Supportive - Upatthambhaka Kamma"and "Counteractive - Upapidaka Kamma".

According to the law of Kamma, the potential energy of the Reproductive Kamma could be nullified by a more powerful opposing Kamma of the past which, seeking an opportunity, may quite unexpectedly operate, just as a powerful opposing force can check the path of the flying arrow and bring it does to the ground. Such an action is called "Destructive - Upaghataka Kamma", which is more effective than Supportive and Counteractive Kamma in that it not only obstructs but also destroys the whole force.

There are four of Kamma according to the priority of effect.

The first is Garuka, which means weighty or serious. This Kamma, which is good or bad, produces results in this life, or in the next for certain. If good, it is purely mental as in the case of Jhanas - Ecstasies. Otherwise it is verbal or bodily.

The five kinds of Weighty Kamma are:- i) Matricide ii) Parricide iii) the murder of an Arahant iv) the mounding of the Buddha v) the creation of a Schism in the Sangha Permanent Skepticism - Niyata Micchaditthi is also termed on of the Weighty Kammas.

In the absence of a Weighty Kamma to condition the next birth, a death-proximity Kamma - asanna might operate. This is the Kamma one does immediately before the dying moment.

Habitual - Acinna Kamma is the next in the priority of effect. It is the Kamma that one habitually performs and recollects and for which one has a great liking.

The forth is the "c.u.mulative - Katatta Kamma", which embraces all that cannot be included in the above three. This is as it were the reverse fund of a particular being.

The last cla.s.sification is according to the place in which the Kamma effects transpire, namely: - i) Evil Kamma - Akusala, which may ripen in the Sentient - Kamaloka ii) Good Kammaa - Kuasla, which may ripen in the Sentient Plane.

iii) Good Kamma, which may ripen in the Realm of Form - Rupaloka.

iv) Good Kamma, which may ripen in the Formless Realms - Arupaloka

Is Everything Due To Kamma?

Although Buddhism attributes the inequality of mankind to Kamma as one of the chief causes amongst a variety, yet it does not a.s.sert that everything is due to Kamma.

If everything is due to Kamma, a person would always be bad if it was his Kamma to be bad. One would not need to consult physician to be cured of a disease; for if one's Kamma was such, one would be cured.

According to Buddhism there are five orders or processes Niyamas, which operate in the physical and mental realms.

1. Utu Niyama - physical inorganic order; e.g., the seasonal phenomena of winds and rains, the unerring order of seasons, characteristic seasonal changes and events, the causes of wind and rains, the nature of heat etc.

2. Bija Niyama - physical organic order; order of germs and seeds; e.g., rice produced from rice seed, sugar taste resulting from sugar-cane or honey, the peculiar characteristics of certain fruits, etc. The scientist theory of cells and genes and the physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.

3. Kamma Niyama - order of act and result; e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seek its own level, so does Kamma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result - not in the form of reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.

4. Dhamma Niyama - order of the norm; e.g., the natural phenomena occurring at the advert of a Bodhisatta in his last birth. Gravitation and other similar laws of nature, the reason for being good, and so forth, may be included in the group.

5. Citta Niyama - order of the mind or psychic law; e.g., processes of consciousness, const.i.tuents of consciousness, power of mind, etc. Telepathy, telethesia, retro cognition, premonition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought reading - all psychic phenomena which are inexplicable to modern science are included in this cla.s.s.

Every mental or physical phenomena could be explained by these all-embracing five orders or processes which are laws in themselves.

It is this doctrine of Kamma that gives consolation, hope, self-reliance and moral courage to a Buddhist.

This belief in Kamma "validate his effort and kindles his enthusiasm" because it teaches individual responsibility.

This law of Kamma explains the problem of suffering, the mystery of so-called fate and predestination of other religions, and above all the inequality of mankind.

Chapter 12.

Rebirth Kamma necessarily leads to rebirth. Past Kamma conditions the present birth, and present Kamma, in combination with past Kamma, the future. The present is the offspring of the past, and becomes, in its turn, the parent of the future.

The present needs no proof. The past is based on memory and reports, and the future on forethought and inferences.

Reasons To Believe In A Past Birth The greatest authority on rebirth is the Buddha.

He said: "With clairvoyant vision, purified and supernormal, I perceived beings disappearing from one state of existence and re-appearing in another. I beheld the base and the n.o.ble, the beautiful and the ugly, the happy and the miserable, pa.s.sing according to their deeds."

There were no reasons for the Buddha to tell an untruth to deceive His followers. Following His instructions His disciples also developed this retro cognitive knowledge and were able to read their past lives to a great extent.

The development of this supernormal vision is not restricted only to the Buddha and His disciples. Any person, whether Buddhist or not, could possess this faculty. Some Indian Ris.h.i.+s, even before the advent of the Buddha, developed such powers as clairaudience, clairvoyance, thought reading, and so forth.

There are also some persons who, according to the laws of a.s.sociation, spontaneously develop the memory of their past birth and remember fragments of their previous lives. A few well-attested cases are reported from Burma, India, Germany, England, etc.

Extraordinary experiences of some modern reliable psychiatrists and strange cases of alternating and multiple personalities tend to throw light upon this belief in rebirth.

This phenomenon of secondary personalities has to be explained either as remnants of past individual experiences or as "being possessed". The former explanation sounds more reasonable, but the latter cannot totally be discarded.

In hypnotic states some can relate experiences of their past lives; while a few others, like Edgar Casey of America, were able not only to read the past lives of others but also to heal diseases.

Sometimes we go through strange experiences, which cannot be explained but by rebirth. How often do we meet persons whom we have never before met and yet inwardly feel that they are quite familiar to us? How often do we visit new places and yet feel impressed that we are perfectly acquainted with their surroundings?

In this world there arise Perfect Ones like the Buddhas, highly developed personalities. Could they evolve suddenly? Could they be the products of a single existence?

How are we to account for colossal characters like Confucius, Pamini, Homer and Plato, men of genius like Kalidasa, Shakespeare, infant prodigies like Ramanujan, Pascal, Mozart, Beethoven, Raphael, and others, and little children conversant with different languages and certain subjects which they had never learnt in their present life?'

Heredity alone cannot account for them, "else their ancestry would disclose it, their posterity, even greater than themselves, demonstrate it." Could they arise to such lofty heights if they had not lived such n.o.ble lives and gained similar experiences in the past? Is it by mere chance that they are born of those particular parents and placed under those favorable circ.u.mstances?

The theory of heredity should be supplemented by the doctrine of Kamma and rebirth for an adequate explanation of these puzzling problems. Is it reasonable to believe that the present brief span of life is the only existence between two eternities of heaven and h.e.l.l?

The few years we are privileged to spend here, for the most five score years, must certainly be an inadequate preparation for eternity. If one believes in the present and in future, it is quite logical to believe in the past.

If there be reasons to believe that we have existed in the past, then surely there are no reasons to disbelieve that we shall continue to exist after our present life has apparently ceased. It is indeed a strong argument in favor of past and future lives that "in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate and vicious persons prosperous."

Some discoveries of modern spirituals also tend to prove the existence of a future birth.

The Cause Of This Rebirth Process-The Wheel Of Life In short, Kamma, which is rooted in Ignorance, is the cause of birth and death. As long as this Kammic force survives there is rebirth. This process of becoming is fully explained in the Paticca Samuppada - Dependent Arising or Dependent Origination.

It should be understood that Paticca Samuppada is only a discourse on Samsara or the process of birth and death and not a theory of the evolution of the world from primordial matter. It deals with the cause of rebirth and suffering, but it does not attempt to show the absolute origin of life.

Ignorance - Avijja, of the Four n.o.ble Truths is the first link or cause of the wheel of life. It clouds all right understanding.

Dependent on ignorance arises volitional activities (Sankhara).

Moral and immoral activities, whether good or bad, which are rooted in ignorance, tend to prolong wandering in Samsara.

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