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2 LESSON 13810 KAMMA for Free Online e-Nālandā University-Awakened One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss-Life of the Buddha in pictures-LESSON -2-The Buddha’s Words on Kamma -Four Discourses of the Buddha from the Majjhima Nikaya- The Dog-duty Ascetic (Kukkuravatika Sutta)
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2 LESSON 13810 KAMMA for Free Online e-Nālandā University

Awakened One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss

Life of the Buddha in pictures

Plate1aa.jpg (3208 bytes) 1. The Birth of the Bodhisatta.
On a full-moon day in the month of May (Visakha) 2600 years ….
Plate2aa.jpg (3117 bytes) 2. Life as a Prince.
Manifold was the variety of all the sensuous delights within the palace, ….
Plate3aa.jpg (2840 bytes) 3. The realities of life.
All King Suddhodana’s efforts to protect his son from the four  …
Plate4aa.jpg (2447 bytes) 4. The Great going forth.
On the day of the Esala full-moon (July) the Crown Prince receives…
Plate5aa.jpg (2746 bytes) 5. Experiment with Asceticism.
For six long years the ascetic Gotama, as Prince Siddhattha was now known, …
Plate6aa.jpg (2902 bytes) 6. Enlightenment.
Discarding both extremes of luxurious living and self mortification ….
Plate7aa.jpg (2840 bytes) 7. The First Discourse.
Having realized the Four Noble Truths - the Noble Truth of Suffering; the Cause of Suffering …
Plate8aa.jpg (2815 bytes) 8. Go now and wander for the welfare of the many.
The Buddha stays on at Isipatana for the rainy season…
9. The law of Causation or Dependent Arising.
After His Enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree at Buddhagaya, the Buddha reflects…
Plate10aa.jpg (2897 bytes) 10. The Philosophy of change.
The Buddha teaches that all conditioned things are in a state of flux or change, and thus …
Plate11aa.jpg (2983 bytes) 11. Unsatisfactoriness of Life.
According to the Buddha, whatever is impermanent is subject to suffering,…
Plate12aa.jpg (2739 bytes) 12. Buddha teaches that all Phenomena is soulless.
When a thing is impermanent, as all…
Plate13aa.jpg (2917 bytes) 13. Freedom of thought.
At times referred to as the Buddha’s Charter of Free inquiry this discourse …
Plate14aa.jpg (2666 bytes) 14. Towards human dignity.
Sunita was a scavenger born into a so called outcaste community.  ….
Plate15aa.jpg (2635 bytes) 15. Equality of women.
It was the Buddha who first gave women her rightful place in a society which had earlier …
Plate16aa.jpg (2895 bytes) 16. Human freedom.
In the time of the Buddha it was common for both men and women to enter into services …
Plate17aa.jpg (2537 bytes) 17. Ministering to the sick.
In spite of the fact that the study and practice of medicine and surgical science has …
Plate18aa.jpg (2599 bytes) 18. Psychic Therapy.
The Buddha speaking on the mind, has also spoken on mental disorders …
Plate19aa.jpg (2761 bytes) 19. Compassion to Animals.
In the Buddha’s time there were various animal sacrifices taking …
Plate20aa.jpg (2982 bytes) 20. Buddhist Economic System.
Many who are not familiar with the Buddha’s Teaching classify it as a religion for the next ..
Plate21aa.jpg (2879 bytes) 21. Buddhist Education.
It is a method of teaching that is based on the mental development of the …
Plate22aa.jpg (3090 bytes) 22. Administration of Justice.
Certain statutes regarding the administration of justice, were ….
Plate23aa.jpg (2831 bytes) 23. World Peace.
In the Buddha’s Teaching the highest emphasis is laid on the …
Plate24aa.jpg (3018 bytes) 24. The Maha Parinibbana.
The Buddha was born as a prince under a tree, gaine-13-08-2010d Supreme ..
 
13-08-2010
LESSON -2
 

The Buddha’s Words on Kamma

Four Discourses of the Buddha from the Majjhima Nikaya

The Dog-duty Ascetic (Kukkuravatika Sutta) 

 

Buddha says all intentional actions, whether thoughts, speech or bodily actions, however expressed, are kamma and lead the doer of them to experience a result sooner or later. In this Kukkuravatika(Dog-duty Ascetic)sutta the Buddha classifies kamma into four groups:

(i) dark with a dark result,
(ii) bright with a bright result,
(iii) dark and bright with a dark and bright result,
(iv) neither dark nor bright with a neither dark nor bright result.

Dark (evil) kamma does not give a bright (happy) result, nor does bright (beneficial) kamma lead to dark (miserable) result. Kamma can be mixed, where an action is done with a variety of motives, some good, some evil. And that kind of kamma also exists which gives up attachment to and interest in the other three and so leads beyond the range of kamma.

The Blessed One said this:

8. “Punna, there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma.

9. “What is dark kamma with dark ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process (bound up) with affliction,[2] he produces a (kammic) verbal process (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process (bound up) with affliction. By so doing, he reappears in a world with affliction. When that happens, afflicting contacts[3] touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting feelings entirely painful as in the case of beings in hell. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark kamma with dark ripening.

10. “And what is bright kamma with bright ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) verbal process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process not (bound up) with affliction. By doing so, he reappears in a world without affliction. When that happens, unafflicting contacts touch him. Being touched by these, he feels unafflicting feelings entirely pleasant as in the case of the Subhakinha, the gods of Refulgent Glory. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called bright kamma with bright ripening.

11. “What is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process both (bound up) with affliction and not (bound up) with affliction… verbal process… mental process both (bound up) with affliction and not (bound up) with affliction. By doing so, he reappears in a world both with and without affliction. When that happens, both afflicting and unafflicting contacts touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting and unafflicting feelings with mingled pleasure and pain as in the case of human beings and some gods and some inhabitants of the states of deprivation. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening.

12. “What is neither-dark-nor-bright kamma with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that leads to the exhaustion of kamma? As to these (three kinds of kamma), any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is dark with dark ripening, any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is bright with bright ripening, and any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is dark-and bright with dark-and-bright ripening: this is called neither-dark-nor-bright kamma with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening.

“These are the four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge.”

Kamma concerns everyone. We make it, a great deal of it, every day while we are awake. We decide whether or not to get up — kamma. (Good kamma if one gets up vigorously, bad kamma if slothfully or grudgingly.) Let’s have a cup of tea, breakfast — maybe some greed is involved, so bad kamma. We sympathize with someone’s sickness and give help — good kamma. We get flustered because the bus is late to take us to work — bad kamma. Once we’re there perhaps we get impatient with someone, or angry with them, or threaten them — worse and worse kamma. But perhaps we are generous and kindly to someone there — excellent kamma. Work brings on dull mental states, then we shake ourselves out of that listlessness and resentment (bad kamma) and vigorously try to get back to mindfulness (good kamma).< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

In the crowded bus returning home someone stamps on one’s foot, one curses — bad kamma — but after quick reflection one realizes “Ah, no mindfulness” and this is good kamma. At home at last, one comforts the sick, then plays with the children and tells them some Jataka stories — all good kamma. But then, tired and dull, one switches the radio (and/or television) on and, not listening to it, leaves it going as a sound to drown silence, then one eats too much and feels lethargic — bad kamma. But perhaps instead one pays respect to the Buddha-image, does some chanting and then meditates — all kinds of good kamma. When the body is tired one goes to sleep holding some meditation subject in mind — good kamma.

All these decisions, choices and desires are kammas made in the mind. More kamma is made when one talks after having decided. Still more kamma is added if after this one acts as well.

“Good” and “bad” kamma are distinguished by the roots of the actions. What is one’s motivating force when one helps the sick? This is a case where there are various possibilities. Is it just because one wants rich Aunty’s money when she dies, or out of genuine compassion? Obviously, in the latter case much better kamma is made. But there are examples where there is no doubt. One’s toes are stamped on and one curses: this can never be good kamma simply because it is rooted in hatred. Or one gobbles down too much food — just greed-rooted kamma in this case. Again those dull or day-dream periods at work, not looking at things as they are at all, this is rooted in delusion. When any of the mentally defiled states of mind has arisen, when these three “roots of evil” are in control, then bad kamma is sure to be made.

Once it is made there is no way of erasing it or changing it and some day or other it will begin to fruit. The fruit of bad kamma is never happiness, as we can read in these discourses. It always comes up as pain, anguish, frustration, or the limitation of opportunities. Who wants them? Then make no more bad kamma! Everyone has laid in a stock already quite capable of giving rise to sufferings for lifetimes to come. There is no need to increase it.

Everyone wants happiness! But it too arises conditionally. Now a great producer of happiness is the making of good kamma. What is good about it? It is rooted in non-greed (generosity, renunciation), or in non-hate (loving-kindness, compassion) or finally in non-delusion (wisdom, understanding). The sure way to gain happiness, then, is to make good kamma, as much as possible every day.

It is only people who make a real effort to grow in Dhamma (that is, to make good kamma), who have any chance to succeed in meditation on the path to final liberation. Whatever one’s goal in this life — happiness here and now, a good rebirth in the future, or to end the whole birth and death process by attainment of Nibbana, one cannot go wrong by making good kamma.

And what about those who do not believe in kamma and its fruits? They still make it whether they believe or not! And they get the fruits of the kamma they make, too. But the doing, not the believing, is the important thing.

“Do good, get good,
do evil, get evil.”

Majjhima Nikaya 57: The Dog-duty Ascetic (Kukkuravatika Sutta)  

Introduction

There were some strange people around in the Buddha’s days believing some strange things — but that is no different from our own days when people still believe the most odd off-balance ideas. In this sutta we meet some people who believed that by imitating animals they would be saved. Maybe they’re still with us too!

Belief is often one thing, action another. While beliefs sometimes influence actions, for other people their beliefs are quite separate from what they do. But the

Buddha says all intentional actions, whether thoughts, speech or bodily actions, however expressed, are kamma and lead the doer of them to experience a result sooner or later. In this Kukkuravatika(Dog-duty Ascetic)sutta the Buddha classifies kamma into four groups:

(i) dark with a dark result,
(ii) bright with a bright result,
(iii) dark and bright with a dark and bright result,
(iv) neither dark nor bright with a neither dark nor bright result.

Dark (evil) kamma does not give a bright (happy) result, nor does bright (beneficial) kamma lead to dark (miserable) result. Kamma can be mixed, where an action is done with a variety of motives, some good, some evil. And that kind of kamma also exists which gives up attachment to and interest in the other three and so leads beyond the range of kamma.

The Sutta

1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Koliyan country: there is a town of the Koliyans called Haliddavasana.

2. Then Punna, a son of the Koliyans and an ox-duty ascetic, and also Seniya a naked dog duty ascetic, went to the Blessed One, and Punna the ox duty ascetic paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side, while Seniya the naked dog-duty ascetic exchanged greetings with the Blessed One, and when the courteous and amiable talk was finished, he too sat down at one side curled up like a dog. When Punna the ox-duty ascetic sat down, he asked the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, this naked dog-duty ascetic Seniya does what is hard to do: he eats his food when it is thrown on the ground. That dog duty has long been taken up and practiced by him. What will be his destination? What will be his future course?”[1]

“Enough, Punna, let that be. Do not ask me that.”

A second time… A third time Punna the ox-duty ascetic asked the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, this naked dog-duty ascetic Seniya does what is hard to do: he eats his food when it is thrown on the ground. That dog duty has long been taken up and practiced by him. What will be his destination? What will be his future course?”

“Well, Punna, since I certainly cannot persuade you when I say ‘Enough, Punna, let that be. Do not ask me that,’ I shall therefore answer you.

3. “Here, Punna, someone develops the dog duty fully and unstintingly, he develops the dog-habit fully and unstintingly, he develops the dog mind fully and unstintingly, he develops dog behavior fully and unstintingly. Having done that, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of dogs. But if his view is such as this: ‘By this virtue or duty or asceticism or religious life I shall become a (great) god or some (lesser) god,’ that is wrong view in his case. Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal womb. So, Punna, if his dog duty is perfected, it will lead him to the company of dogs; if it is not, it will lead him to hell.”

4. When this was said, Seniya the naked dog-duty ascetic wept and shed tears. Then the Blessed One told Punna, son of the Koliyans and an ox-duty ascetic: “Punna, I could not persuade you when I said, ‘Enough Punna, let that be. Do not ask me that.’”

“Venerable sir, I am not weeping that the Blessed One has spoken thus. Still, this dog duty has long been taken up and practiced by me. Venerable sir, there is this Punna, a son of the Koliyans and an ox duty ascetic: that ox duty has long been taken up and practiced by him. What will be his destination? What will be his future course?”

“Enough, Seniya, let that be. Do not ask me that.” A second time… A third time Seniya the naked dog-duty ascetic asked the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, there is this Punna, a son of the Koliyans and an ox-duty ascetic; that ox duty has long been taken up and practiced by him. What will be his destination? What will be his future course?”

“Well, Seniya, since I certainly cannot persuade you when I say ‘Enough, Seniya, let that be. Do not ask me that,’ I shall therefore answer you.”

5. “Here, Seniya, someone develops the ox duty fully and unstintingly, he develops the ox habit fully and unstintingly, he develops the ox mind fully and unstintingly, he develops the ox behavior fully and unstintingly. Having done that, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of oxen. But if his view is such as this: ‘By this virtue or duty or asceticism or religious like I shall become a (great) god or some (lesser) god,’ that is wrong view in his case. Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal womb. So, Seniya, if his ox duty is perfected, it will lead him to the company of oxen; if it is not, it will lead him to hell.”

6. When this was said, Punna, a son of the Koliyans and an ox-duty ascetic, wept and shed tears. Then the Blessed One told Seniya, the naked dog duty ascetic: “Seniya, I could not persuade you when I said, ‘Enough, Seniya, let that be. Do not ask me that.’”

“Venerable sir, I am not weeping that the Blessed One has spoken thus. Still, this ox duty has long been taken up and practiced by me. Venerable sir, I have confidence in the Blessed One thus: ‘The Blessed One is capable of teaching me the Dhamma in such a way that I may abandon this ox duty and that this naked dog-duty ascetic Seniya may abandon that dog duty.’”

7. “Then, Punna, listen and heed well what I shall say.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” he replied. The Blessed One said this:

8. “Punna, there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma.

9. “What is dark kamma with dark ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process (bound up) with affliction,[2] he produces a (kammic) verbal process (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process (bound up) with affliction. By so doing, he reappears in a world with affliction. When that happens, afflicting contacts[3] touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting feelings entirely painful as in the case of beings in hell. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark kamma with dark ripening.

10. “And what is bright kamma with bright ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) verbal process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process not (bound up) with affliction. By doing so, he reappears in a world without affliction. When that happens, unafflicting contacts touch him. Being touched by these, he feels unafflicting feelings entirely pleasant as in the case of the Subhakinha, the gods of Refulgent Glory. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called bright kamma with bright ripening.

11. “What is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process both (bound up) with affliction and not (bound up) with affliction… verbal process… mental process both (bound up) with affliction and not (bound up) with affliction. By doing so, he reappears in a world both with and without affliction. When that happens, both afflicting and unafflicting contacts touch him. Being touched by these, he feels afflicting and unafflicting feelings with mingled pleasure and pain as in the case of human beings and some gods and some inhabitants of the states of deprivation. Thus a being’s reappearance is due to a being: he reappears owing to the kammas he has performed. When he has reappeared, contacts touch him. Thus I say are beings heirs of their kammas. This is called dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening.

12. “What is neither-dark-nor-bright kamma with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that leads to the exhaustion of kamma? As to these (three kinds of kamma), any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is dark with dark ripening, any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is bright with bright ripening, and any volition in abandoning the kind of kamma that is dark-and bright with dark-and-bright ripening: this is called neither-dark-nor-bright kamma with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening.

“These are the four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge.”

13. When this was said, Punna, a son of the Koliyans and an ox-duty ascetic, said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing the hidden, showing the way to one who is lost, holding up a lamp in the darkness for those with eyesight to see forms.

14. “I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.”

15. But Seniya the naked dog-duty ascetic said: “Magnificent, Master Gotama!… The Dhamma has been made clear… for those with eyesight to see forms.

16. “I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. I would receive the going forth under Master Gotama and the full admission.”[4]

17. “Seniya, one who belonged formerly to another sect and wants the going forth and the full admission in this Dhamma and Discipline lives on probation for four months. At the end of the four months bhikkhus who are satisfied in their minds give him the going forth into homelessness and also the full admission to the bhikkhus’ state. A difference in persons has become known to me in this (probation period).”

“Venerable sir, if those who belonged formerly to another sect and want the going forth and the full admission in this Dhamma and Discipline live on probation for four months and at the end of four months bhikkhus who are satisfied in their minds give them the going forth into homelessness and the full admission to the bhikkhus’ state, I will live on probation for four years and at the end of the four years let bhikkhus who are satisfied in their minds give me the going forth into homelessness and the full admission to the bhikkhus’ state.”

18. Seniya the naked dog duty ascetic received the going forth under the Blessed One, and he received the full admission. And not long after his full admission, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and self-controlled, the venerable Seniya by realization himself with direct knowledge here and now entered upon and abode in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. He had direct knowledge thus: “Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more of this to come.”

And the venerable Seniya became one of the arahants.

Notes

1.

Of births in samsara, the wandering-on in birth and death.

2.

A defiled kamma expressed through the body (speech, mind).

3.

Painful “touches” through eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.

4.

That is, the novice ordination and the full ordination as a bhikkhu or monk

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