Sirwin
Sirwin

Nikaya Review: Kamma as taught in Pali Nikaya Suttas


Nikaya Review is pleased to introduce the discourses of the Buddha on Karma (Pali: Kamma) in Nikaya Suttas. Please read and attend closely for your clear comprehension and your on benefits. 

1. Understanding the 6 aspects of Kamma

As taught in the Sutta entitled "A Penetrative Discourse" (AN 6.63), the following aspects of Kamma needs to be comprehensive: 

  • 1. What is kamma? 
    • Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, and intellect.
  • 2. What is the cause of Kamma? 
  • 3. What is the diversity in kamma? 
  • 4. What is the result of kamma
  • 5. What is the cessation of kamma? 
  • 6. What is the path of practice for the cessation of kamma? 

 

2. Understanding the old Kamma & new Kamma

  • "The eye (the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, the intellect) is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt."
  • "Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech, or with the intellect: This is called new kamma".

 

3. Understanding the dark Kamma & bright Kamma

“Puṇṇa, there are four kinds of action proclaimed by me after realising them for myself with direct knowledge. What are the four?

  • There is dark action with dark result;
  • there is bright action with bright result;
  • there is dark-and-bright action with dark-and-bright result;
  • and there is action that is neither dark nor bright with neither-dark-nor-bright result, action that leads to the destruction of action.

 

4. Understanding why beings are inferior and superior

Beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma:

  • ‘These beings—who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views—with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.
  • But these beings—who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views—with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.’

 

5. Practicing self-reflection on Kamma

  • ‘I am the owner of my deeds and heir to my deeds. Deeds are my womb, my relative, and my refuge. I shall be the heir of whatever deeds I do, whether good or bad.’ 
  • There are sentient beings who do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. Reviewing this subject often, they entirely give up bad conduct, or at least reduce it. This is the advantage for a woman or a man, a layperson or a renunciate of often reflecting like this: ‘I am the owner of my deeds and heir to my deeds. Deeds are my womb, my relative, and my refuge. I shall be the heir of whatever deeds I do, whether good or bad.’

 

References: 

[1] AN 6.63 A Penetrative Discourse, https://suttacentral.net/an6.63/en/thanissaro

[2] SN. 35.145 Kamma Sutta: Action, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.145.than.html

[3] MN 57. The Dog-Duty Ascetic,  https://suttacentral.net/mn57/en/bodhi

[4] AN3.101. The Dirt-washer,  https://suttacentral.net/an3.101/en/thanissaro

[5] AN5.57. Subjects for Regular Reviewing,https://suttacentral.net/an5.57/en/sujato

 

See more my review on Kamma in video clip https://youtu.be/gl5h--ERnbk in Vietnamese 

May you all be happy, be peaceful and be liberated!

How do you rate this article?

6



Self-reflection: Knowing myself
Self-reflection: Knowing myself

Being benefited from the comfort of the modern technologies, I would be more happy with it. However, day by day I feel there is more and more unbalance between my material life and my spiritual life, which should be recognized and adjusted. How I could bring the balance back to my daily life will be shared in this blog: my self reflection in knowing myself.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.