What to Know About Karma

PART I

Six Aspects of Kamma (Karma) to be Understood:

“Monks, when it was said; ‘karma must be understood; the source and origin of karma should be understood; the diversity of karma should be understood; the result of karma should be understood; the cessation of karma should be understood; the way leading the cessation of karma should be understood,’ for what reason was this said?”

It is volition (free will, own doing), monks, that I call karma. For having willed, one acts by body, speech or mind.”

“And what is the source and origin of karma?” Contact is its source and origin.”

“And what is the diversity of karma? There is karma to be experienced in hell; there is karma to be experienced in the animal realm; there is karma to be experienced in the realm of afflicted spirits; there is karma to be experienced in the human world; and there is karma to be experienced in the deva (heavenly beings) world. This is called the diversity of karma.”

“And what is the result of karma? The result of karma, I say is threefold: [to be experienced] in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. This is called the result of karma.”

“And what, monks, is the cessation of karma? With the cessation of contact, there is cessation of karma.”

“This Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the cessation of karma, namely, Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

“When, monks, a noble disciple thus understands karma, the source and origin of karma, the diversity of karma, the result of karma, the cessation of karma, the way leading to the cessation of karma, he understands this penetrative spiritual life to be the cessation of karma.”

“Monks, when it is said: ‘karma must be understood; the source and origin of karma should be understood; the diversity of karma should be understood; the result of karma should be understood; the cessation of karma should be understood; the way leading the cessation of karma should be understood,’ it is because of this that this was said.”

The Book Of The Gradual Sayings (Anguttara-Nikaya) Vol. III (TheBooks Of The Fives And Sixes), translated by Hare, E.M., the Pali Text Society, Oxford, 2008, P.294.

PART II

Three Originating Causes of Karma:

“Monks, there are these three originating causes of karma.” What three?”

Greed, Anger and Delusion.

“An act performed in Greed, born of lust, originating in craving, has its fruit wherever one’s personal self is reborn. Wherever the act comes to fruition, there one experiences the fruit thereof, whether it come into bearing in this very life or in some other phase (of existence).”

“An act performed in Anger, born of malice, originating in hatred, has its fruit wherever one’s personal self is reborn. Wherever the act comes to fruition, there one experiences the fruit thereof, whether it come into bearing in this very life or in some other phase (of existence).”

“An act performed under delusion, born of ignorance, originating under unknowing of true reality, has its fruit wherever one’s personal self is reborn. Wherever the act comes to fruition, there one experiences the fruit thereof, whether it come into bearing in this very life or in some other phase (of existence).”

“Just as seeds that are unbroken, not rotten, unspoiled by wind and heat, capable of sprouting, and well embedded in a good field, planted in properly prepared soil,- if the sky rains down steadily, those seeds come to growth, increase, abundance; even so, monks, whatsoever act is performed in greed … in anger … under delusion… one experiences the fruit thereof, whether it come into bearing in this very life or in some other phase (of existence).”

“These, monks, are the three originating causes of karma.”

The Book of the Gradual Sayings (Anguttara-Nikaya) Vol. I (Ones, Twos, Threes), translated by Woodward, F.L., M.A., The Pali Text Society, Lancaster, 2006, p.117-118.

PART III

Three Causes of the Origin of Karma (Another Aspect):

“Monks, there are these three causes of the origin of karma. What three? Desire is generated for things which in the past were based on desire, for the like things in the future, as well as at the present time.”

“And how, monks, is this desire generated for things in the past ?” One remembers and turn over in his mind thoughts about things based on desire in the past. As he does so desire is generated. Become desirous, he is fettered by those things. I call this a fetter, monks, – that heart full of lust. That is how desire is generated for things which in the past were based on desire.”

“And how, monks, is this desire generated for like things in the future? One thinks about and turns over in his mind thoughts of things based on desire in the future. As he does so, desire is generated. Become desirous, he is fettered by those things. I call this a fetter, monks, – that heart full of lust. That is how desire is generated for things which in the future are based on desire.”

“And how, monks, is this desire generated in the present? One thinks about and turns over in his mind thoughts of things based on desire in the present. As he does so, desire is generated. Become desirous, he is fettered by those things. I call this a fetter, monks, – that heart full of lust. That is how desire is generated for things which in the present are based on desire.”

“These, monks are the three causes of the origin of karma.”

“Monks, there are these three causes (which prevent the arising) of actions. What three? Desire for things which in the past were based on desire, for the like things in the future, as well as at the present time, is not generated.”

“And how, monks, is such desire (for things in the past, which are based on desire) not generated? One fully understands the future result of things which in the past were based on desire. Foreseeing this result one turns away from it, and so doing, conceiving no desire for it in the heart, one penetrates it by insight and sees it plain. That is how desire for things in the past which were based on desire is not generated.”

“And how, monks, is desire for things in the future, which are based on desire, not generated? One fully understands the future result of things yet to come which are based on desire. Foreseeing this result one turns away from it, and so doing, conceiving no desire for it in the heart, one penetrates it by insight and sees it plain. That is how desire for things in the future which are based on desire is not generated.”

“And how, monks, is desire for things present, which are based on desire, not generated? One fully understands the future result of present things based on desire. Foreseeing this result one turns away from it, and so doing, conceiving no desire for it in the heart, one penetrates it by insight and see it plain. That is how desire for things present which are based on desire is not generated.”

“These are the three causes (which prevent the arising) of karma.”

The Book of the Gradual Sayings (Anguttara-Nikaya) Vol. I (Ones, Twos, Threes), translated by Woodward, F.L., M.A., The Pali Text Society, Lancaster, 2006, p.242-243.

— — —

For more knowledge, it is suggested that you complete the Group Learning Program offered by Daily Wisdom – Walking The Path with The Buddha (https://bit.ly/GroupLearningProgram).

This program is an independent study with guidance from a Teacher.

Published by Nicholas Gerace 5D - Upstate New York

Nicholas Gerace is retired Army Officer, Pilot and Commander. Currently, Nicholas is a Professional Life Coach with niche's in Health, Nutrition and Spirituality.

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