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Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]

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  • Todd Martin
    Michael, I sort of disagree. Someone who has heard the Dhamma will generally be living a good life. If they then commit a wrong deed they will indeed suffer,
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 1, 2003
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      Michael,

      I sort of disagree. Someone who has heard the Dhamma will generally be
      living a good life. If they then commit a wrong deed they will indeed
      suffer, however they will have the tools available to end that
      suffering. Someone who has not and is, lets say for sake of argument, a
      career criminal, they live in constant suffering with no peace ever.
      Clearly they suffer more in terms of consistency and lack the tools
      needed to end that suffering, leading to further feelings of
      hopelessness. Which will usually lead to them committing more wrong
      deeds adding to their cycle of hellish existence.

      I do however see the point of "Who suffers more?" as irrelevant,
      suffering is suffering no matter how you shake it. All should be
      avoided. I don't think we should discriminate against those who suffer
      less.

      -todd

      On Nov 1, 2003, at 8:45 AM, Michael Beisert wrote:

      > Nina,
      >
      > On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is
      > very
      > complex. Maybe this is the reason there has been no replies so far? I
      > had in
      > the back of my mind that somewhere I read something about your
      > question but
      > my research ended empty and therefore I will give you my opinion on
      > it. I
      > think the answer to your question is no, someone who has not heard the
      > Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than
      > someone who
      > knows the Dhamma, even worse if someone is a commited disciple of the
      > Buddha. My reasoning is that someone that knows that a certain deed
      > should
      > be avoided and nevertheless does it would have a stronger mental
      > imprint
      > because of that than someone who is ignorant of the Dhamma. And that
      > stronger imprint means a stronger kamma. Having said that we should
      > remember
      > that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder
      > look
      > at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).
      >
      > Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the ‘skilful
      > means’ so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
      > means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an
      > akusala
      > deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for
      > any
      > actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
      > consequences you want.
      >
      > Metta
      > Michael
      >
      >
      >
      >> From: nina van gorkom <nilo@...>
      >> Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      >> To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
      >> Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
      >> Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 19:15:12 +0100
      >>
      >> Dear John and friends,
      >> This is interesting. We just discussed in Dhamma Study Group this
      >> subject.
      >> Suppose you do evil without having heard the Dhamma, is this evil
      >> greater
      >> than when you know it is akusala? I frwd this post to the group.
      >> Nina.
      >> op 29-10-2003 16:27 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
      >>
      >>> Pali - Every few days - [B094]
      >>> Gair/Karunatillake - Chapter 5 ? Further Readings
      >>> Ex. 3. (Part 1 of 2)
      >>>
      >>> Raajaa aaha: ?Bhante Naagasena, yo jaananto
      >>> paapakamma.m karoti, yo ajaananto paapakamma.m karoti,
      >>> kassa bahutara.m apu~n~nan?ti?
      >>> The king said: "Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the
      >>> greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or one
      >>> who does evil unknowingly??
      >>
      >
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      ------------
      "I know what you're thinking about but it isn't so, nohow.
      Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would
      be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Eric Van Horn
      Hello Michael, Nina, et al, I remember being taught about this issue by Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society. It is a
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 1, 2003
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        Hello Michael, Nina, et al,

        I remember being taught about this issue by Sharon Salzberg and Joseph
        Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society. It is a teaching from the
        Burmese tradition. I apologize in advance if I am not able to properly
        articulate it.

        We are all subject to the unrelenting laws of cause and affect. Unwholesome
        actions have unwholesome results, and wholesome actions have wholesome
        results. The more unwholesome the act is, the more unwholesome the affect
        is, and vice versa

        Someone who is more mindful, even if they commit an unwholesome act, is
        likely to put somewhat less energy into that act. There may be the slightest
        hesitation before committing that act. Therefore, the act will be slightly
        less powerful, and slightly less unwholesome.

        Anything that strengthens mindfulness will help to protect us. Hopefully
        exposure to the Dhamma is one of them! Ignorance is not a protection against
        the results of unwholesome acts. Indeed, ignorance leaves us defenseless,
        like an ancient city with no walls. This is why ignorance is one of the
        three the poisons. Ignorance is one of the reasons that we continue to be
        subject to the relentless cycle of samsara.

        The good news for those of us who have been exposed - even briefly - to the
        Dhamma, is that this exposure helps protect us against future misfortune. It
        is especially good news for our future lives, but it is also pretty good
        news for this one. :)

        Metta,

        Eric Van Horn
        Colchester, Vermont


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Michael Beisert [mailto:mbeisert@...]
        Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 11:46 AM
        To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]

        Nina,

        On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is very
        complex. Maybe this is the reason there has been no replies so far? I had in
        the back of my mind that somewhere I read something about your question but
        my research ended empty and therefore I will give you my opinion on it. I
        think the answer to your question is no, someone who has not heard the
        Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than someone who
        knows the Dhamma, even worse if someone is a commited disciple of the
        Buddha. My reasoning is that someone that knows that a certain deed should
        be avoided and nevertheless does it would have a stronger mental imprint
        because of that than someone who is ignorant of the Dhamma. And that
        stronger imprint means a stronger kamma. Having said that we should remember
        that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder look
        at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).

        Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the 'skilful
        means' so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
        means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an akusala
        deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for any
        actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
        consequences you want.

        Metta
        Michael



        >From: nina van gorkom <nilo@...>
        >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
        >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
        >Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 19:15:12 +0100
        >
        >Dear John and friends,
        >This is interesting. We just discussed in Dhamma Study Group this subject.
        >Suppose you do evil without having heard the Dhamma, is this evil greater
        >than when you know it is akusala? I frwd this post to the group.
        >Nina.
        >op 29-10-2003 16:27 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
        >
        > > Pali - Every few days - [B094]
        > > Gair/Karunatillake - Chapter 5 ? Further Readings
        > > Ex. 3. (Part 1 of 2)
        > >
        > > Raajaa aaha: ?Bhante Naagasena, yo jaananto
        > > paapakamma.m karoti, yo ajaananto paapakamma.m karoti,
        > > kassa bahutara.m apu~n~nan?ti?
        > > The king said: "Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the
        > > greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or one
        > > who does evil unknowingly??
        >

        _________________________________________________________________
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      • Michael Beisert
        Hello Eric, You wrote: Someone who is more mindful, even if they commit an unwholesome act, is likely to put somewhat less energy into that act. There may be
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 1, 2003
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          Hello Eric,

          You wrote:
          "Someone who is more mindful, even if they commit an unwholesome act, is
          likely to put somewhat less energy into that act. There may be the slightest
          hesitation before committing that act. Therefore, the act will be slightly
          less powerful, and slightly less unwholesome."

          I would argue that it depends a lot on the level o guilt and remorse felt
          about what has been done. Someone who does not know the Dhamma will find a
          way or rationalizing any action and is unilkely to feel as much
          guilt/remorse. While a Dhamma practitioner who knows that the deed was wrong
          the feeling of guilt/remorse can leave a strong imprint in the mind. But if
          there is no feeling of guilt/remorse, lets say there is confession and a
          commitment not to perform that kind of deed anymore, then the imprint on the
          mind of the dhamma practiotioner could be weakened.

          Metta
          Michael




          >From: "Eric Van Horn" <ekvh@...>
          >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          >To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
          >Subject: RE: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
          >Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 17:01:15 -0500
          >
          >Hello Michael, Nina, et al,
          >
          >I remember being taught about this issue by Sharon Salzberg and Joseph
          >Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society. It is a teaching from the
          >Burmese tradition. I apologize in advance if I am not able to properly
          >articulate it.
          >
          >We are all subject to the unrelenting laws of cause and affect. Unwholesome
          >actions have unwholesome results, and wholesome actions have wholesome
          >results. The more unwholesome the act is, the more unwholesome the affect
          >is, and vice versa
          >
          >Someone who is more mindful, even if they commit an unwholesome act, is
          >likely to put somewhat less energy into that act. There may be the
          >slightest
          >hesitation before committing that act. Therefore, the act will be slightly
          >less powerful, and slightly less unwholesome.
          >
          >Anything that strengthens mindfulness will help to protect us. Hopefully
          >exposure to the Dhamma is one of them! Ignorance is not a protection
          >against
          >the results of unwholesome acts. Indeed, ignorance leaves us defenseless,
          >like an ancient city with no walls. This is why ignorance is one of the
          >three the poisons. Ignorance is one of the reasons that we continue to be
          >subject to the relentless cycle of samsara.
          >
          >The good news for those of us who have been exposed - even briefly - to the
          >Dhamma, is that this exposure helps protect us against future misfortune.
          >It
          >is especially good news for our future lives, but it is also pretty good
          >news for this one. :)
          >
          >Metta,
          >
          >Eric Van Horn
          >Colchester, Vermont
          >
          >
          >-----Original Message-----
          >From: Michael Beisert [mailto:mbeisert@...]
          >Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 11:46 AM
          >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
          >
          >Nina,
          >
          >On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is very
          >complex. Maybe this is the reason there has been no replies so far? I had
          >in
          >the back of my mind that somewhere I read something about your question but
          >my research ended empty and therefore I will give you my opinion on it. I
          >think the answer to your question is no, someone who has not heard the
          >Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than someone who
          >knows the Dhamma, even worse if someone is a commited disciple of the
          >Buddha. My reasoning is that someone that knows that a certain deed should
          >be avoided and nevertheless does it would have a stronger mental imprint
          >because of that than someone who is ignorant of the Dhamma. And that
          >stronger imprint means a stronger kamma. Having said that we should
          >remember
          >that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder look
          >at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).
          >
          >Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the 'skilful
          >means' so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
          >means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an akusala
          >deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for any
          >actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
          >consequences you want.
          >
          >Metta
          >Michael
          >
          >
          >
          > >From: nina van gorkom <nilo@...>
          > >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          > >To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
          > >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
          > >Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 19:15:12 +0100
          > >
          > >Dear John and friends,
          > >This is interesting. We just discussed in Dhamma Study Group this
          >subject.
          > >Suppose you do evil without having heard the Dhamma, is this evil greater
          > >than when you know it is akusala? I frwd this post to the group.
          > >Nina.
          > >op 29-10-2003 16:27 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
          > >
          > > > Pali - Every few days - [B094]
          > > > Gair/Karunatillake - Chapter 5 ? Further Readings
          > > > Ex. 3. (Part 1 of 2)
          > > >
          > > > Raajaa aaha: ?Bhante Naagasena, yo jaananto
          > > > paapakamma.m karoti, yo ajaananto paapakamma.m karoti,
          > > > kassa bahutara.m apu~n~nan?ti?
          > > > The king said: "Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the
          > > > greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or one
          > > > who does evil unknowingly??
          > >
          >
          >_________________________________________________________________
          >Surf and talk on the phone at the same time with broadband Internet access.
          >Get high-speed for as low as $29.95/month (depending on the local service
          >providers in your area). https://broadband.msn.com
          >
          >
          >
          >- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          >[Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
          >[Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
          >Paaliga.na - a community for Pali students
          >Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest or web
          >only.
          >
          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >

          _________________________________________________________________
          Surf and talk on the phone at the same time with broadband Internet access.
          Get high-speed for as low as $29.95/month (depending on the local service
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        • rjkjp1
          ... briefly - to the ... misfortune. It ... pretty good ... Dear Eric, Yes. In the commentaries they give the example of the baby who reaches out for a hot pot
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 1, 2003
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            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Van Horn" <ekvh@u...> wrote:
            > Hello Michael, Nina, et al,
            >
            > .
            >
            > The good news for those of us who have been exposed - even
            briefly - to the
            > Dhamma, is that this exposure helps protect us against future
            misfortune. It
            > is especially good news for our future lives, but it is also
            pretty good
            > news for this one. :)
            >
            > Metta,
            >
            > Eric Van Horn
            > Colchester, Vermont
            >==========
            Dear Eric,
            Yes. In the commentaries they give the example of the baby who
            reaches out for a hot pot on a stove. They are completely ignorant
            of the danger and so burn themselves badly. The adult takes hold of
            the same pot, but very gingerly moving it quickly. They feel the
            heat but don't get burned much, if at all.
            Say someone is poor and makes a living as a hunter supporting his
            family in this way. But he knows it is akusala, so as soon as
            another opportunity arises he gives up that action and never kills
            again. On the other hand, the person ignorant of Dhamma might even
            do hunting as a sport, enjoying the killing, and looking for any
            chance to go hunting. Hunting is always akusala but we see how the
            ignorant one is in the more dangerous position.
            RobertK
          • nina van gorkom
            Dear Michael, to recapitulate: from Milinda s questions: The king said: Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil,
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 2, 2003
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              Dear Michael,
              to recapitulate: from Milinda's questions: >>> The king said: "Venerable
              Nagasena, for whom is the greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or
              one who does evil unknowingly?>
              Nagasena's answer was one who does evil unknowingly.

              op 01-11-2003 17:45 schreef Michael Beisert op mbeisert@...:
              >
              > On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is very
              > complex. ..... the answer to your question is no, someone who has not heard
              the
              > Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than someone who
              > knows the Dhamma....
              N: It is complex. Let us go to the roots of all akusala. There are three
              akusala hetus or roots which are the foundation of akusala citta. I do not
              know the Portuguese word for root, in French it is racine. In Pali the tersm
              hetu and muula are used. The three are: lobha (greed) dosa (aversion or
              hate) and moha (ignorance or delusion). Another word for moha is avijjaa.
              There are akusala cittas rooted in moha and lobha, rooted in moha and dosa
              and rooted in moha alone. But all akusala cittas have moha as their root.
              Dhammapada vs 251: <...there is no net like delusion>, and in the Ch on
              taints, vs. 243:... <and a worse taint than these is ignorance, the greatest
              taint.>
              We become entangled in ignorance, it is like a net.
              Ignorance is not knowing realities as they are, not knowing what is kusala,
              what is akusala, not knowing the four noble Truths. It is like blindness,
              like darkness.
              There are different intensities, degrees of the akusala hetus. When the
              degree of moha is stronger, there is a higher degree of akusala. The
              akusala hetu that arises together with the citta conditions the accompanying
              mental factors (cetasikas) and the citta. It motivates different degrees of
              unwholesome deeds.
              I could recommend the Wheel, no 251-253, by Ven. Nyanaponika: "the Roots of
              Good and Evil ".

              M: we should remember
              > that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder look
              > at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).
              N: Yes, only a Buddha thoroughly penetrates the workings of kamma and
              result.
              This sutta is very complex, but does not contradict the fact that more
              ignorance conditions the akusala to be more intense. Decisive here is
              leading the holy life. The Buddha teaches here about being in the cycle and
              going out of the cycle, the commentary states.
              M: Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the skilful
              > means’ so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
              > means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an akusala
              > deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for any
              > actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
              > consequences you want.
              N: Then there is more and more ignorance, as I see it. Metta is always
              kusala, violence is always akusala. Nobody in the world can change akusala
              into kusala. The three beautiful roots are: alobha, adosa and amoha or
              pa~n~naa.
              Nina.
            • Michael Beisert
              Todd, I understand your argument and to some extent agree with what you say. Your argument works better in a single life time but would maybe not hold so well
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 2, 2003
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                Todd,

                I understand your argument and to some extent agree with what you say. Your
                argument works better in a single life time but would maybe not hold so well
                across life times. But my understanding is that the original question was
                not in terms of the level of suffering but on the degree of intensity of
                kamma. Or maybe better said the potential degree of vipaka based on the same
                unwholesome kamma (action/deed) by a dhamma practitioner and someone
                without any knowledge of the dhamma. My reasoning was that for a dhamma
                practitioner the vipaka is likely, but not necessarilly, going to be
                stronger.
                Metta
                Michael


                >From: Todd Martin <todd@...>
                >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
                >Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 10:11:34 -0800
                >
                >Michael,
                >
                >I sort of disagree. Someone who has heard the Dhamma will generally be
                >living a good life. If they then commit a wrong deed they will indeed
                >suffer, however they will have the tools available to end that
                >suffering. Someone who has not and is, lets say for sake of argument, a
                >career criminal, they live in constant suffering with no peace ever.
                >Clearly they suffer more in terms of consistency and lack the tools
                >needed to end that suffering, leading to further feelings of
                >hopelessness. Which will usually lead to them committing more wrong
                >deeds adding to their cycle of hellish existence.
                >
                >I do however see the point of "Who suffers more?" as irrelevant,
                >suffering is suffering no matter how you shake it. All should be
                >avoided. I don't think we should discriminate against those who suffer
                >less.
                >
                >-todd
                >
                >On Nov 1, 2003, at 8:45 AM, Michael Beisert wrote:
                >
                > > Nina,
                > >
                > > On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is
                > > very
                > > complex. Maybe this is the reason there has been no replies so far? I
                > > had in
                > > the back of my mind that somewhere I read something about your
                > > question but
                > > my research ended empty and therefore I will give you my opinion on
                > > it. I
                > > think the answer to your question is no, someone who has not heard the
                > > Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than
                > > someone who
                > > knows the Dhamma, even worse if someone is a commited disciple of the
                > > Buddha. My reasoning is that someone that knows that a certain deed
                > > should
                > > be avoided and nevertheless does it would have a stronger mental
                > > imprint
                > > because of that than someone who is ignorant of the Dhamma. And that
                > > stronger imprint means a stronger kamma. Having said that we should
                > > remember
                > > that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder
                > > look
                > > at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).
                > >
                > > Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the �skilful
                > > means� so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
                > > means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an
                > > akusala
                > > deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for
                > > any
                > > actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
                > > consequences you want.
                > >
                > > Metta
                > > Michael
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >> From: nina van gorkom <nilo@...>
                > >> Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                > >> To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
                > >> Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - Every few days - [B094]
                > >> Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 19:15:12 +0100
                > >>
                > >> Dear John and friends,
                > >> This is interesting. We just discussed in Dhamma Study Group this
                > >> subject.
                > >> Suppose you do evil without having heard the Dhamma, is this evil
                > >> greater
                > >> than when you know it is akusala? I frwd this post to the group.
                > >> Nina.
                > >> op 29-10-2003 16:27 schreef John Kelly op palistudent@...:
                > >>
                > >>> Pali - Every few days - [B094]
                > >>> Gair/Karunatillake - Chapter 5 ? Further Readings
                > >>> Ex. 3. (Part 1 of 2)
                > >>>
                > >>> Raajaa aaha: ?Bhante Naagasena, yo jaananto
                > >>> paapakamma.m karoti, yo ajaananto paapakamma.m karoti,
                > >>> kassa bahutara.m apu~n~nan?ti?
                > >>> The king said: "Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the
                > >>> greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or one
                > >>> who does evil unknowingly??
                > >>
                > >
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                >"I know what you're thinking about but it isn't so, nohow.
                >Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would
                >be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
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              • Michael Beisert
                Nina, (and RobertK), As a principle I can fully understand that ignorance leads to suffering and further rebirth, and that the forerunner of the way to
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 2, 2003
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                  Nina, (and RobertK),

                  As a principle I can fully understand that ignorance leads to suffering and
                  further rebirth, and that the forerunner of the way to liberation is right
                  understanding. So within that framework the answer by Nagasena makes perfect
                  sense. The same applies to the passages quoted by RobertK from the
                  commentaries.

                  But I still have some difficulty in accepting that one specific unwholesome
                  deed may have a stronger vipaka for an ignorant person. I like your quotes
                  from the Abhidhamma and using that logic the same mental factors
                  (cetasikas), influenced by the same roots, would be present in the same
                  unwholesome deed performed by the dhamma practitioner (assuming he /she is
                  still a putujana) and an ignorant person. So, if the mental constituents are
                  exactly the same what would make the vipaka stronger for one and not the
                  other? My logic is that the feelings of guilt/remorse will explain the
                  different intensity of vipaka. And the dhamma practitioner will likely have
                  stronger feelings of guilt/remorse that the ignorant person. Over time the
                  story could be different because the ignorant person due to his/her
                  ignorance might develop that deed into a habit and this will bring far
                  greater harm.

                  Metta
                  Michael
                  orkom <nilo@...>
                  >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
                  >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - ignorance
                  >Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 16:17:02 +0100
                  >
                  >Dear Michael,
                  >to recapitulate: from Milinda's questions: >>> The king said: "Venerable
                  >Nagasena, for whom is the greater demerit, one who knowingly does evil, or
                  >one who does evil unknowingly?>
                  >Nagasena's answer was one who does evil unknowingly.
                  >
                  >op 01-11-2003 17:45 schreef Michael Beisert op mbeisert@...:
                  > >
                  > > On the surface this seems like a very easy question but in fact it is
                  >very
                  > > complex. ..... the answer to your question is no, someone who has not
                  >heard
                  >the
                  > > Dhamma and commits an akusala deed is in a better position than someone
                  >who
                  > > knows the Dhamma....
                  >N: It is complex. Let us go to the roots of all akusala. There are three
                  >akusala hetus or roots which are the foundation of akusala citta. I do not
                  >know the Portuguese word for root, in French it is racine. In Pali the
                  >tersm
                  >hetu and muula are used. The three are: lobha (greed) dosa (aversion or
                  >hate) and moha (ignorance or delusion). Another word for moha is avijjaa.
                  >There are akusala cittas rooted in moha and lobha, rooted in moha and dosa
                  >and rooted in moha alone. But all akusala cittas have moha as their root.
                  >Dhammapada vs 251: <...there is no net like delusion>, and in the Ch on
                  >taints, vs. 243:... <and a worse taint than these is ignorance, the
                  >greatest
                  >taint.>
                  >We become entangled in ignorance, it is like a net.
                  >Ignorance is not knowing realities as they are, not knowing what is kusala,
                  >what is akusala, not knowing the four noble Truths. It is like blindness,
                  >like darkness.
                  >There are different intensities, degrees of the akusala hetus. When the
                  >degree of moha is stronger, there is a higher degree of akusala. The
                  >akusala hetu that arises together with the citta conditions the
                  >accompanying
                  >mental factors (cetasikas) and the citta. It motivates different degrees of
                  >unwholesome deeds.
                  >I could recommend the Wheel, no 251-253, by Ven. Nyanaponika: "the Roots of
                  >Good and Evil ".
                  >
                  >M: we should remember
                  > > that the workings of kamma can be very complex and just as a reminder
                  >look
                  > > at the Lonaphala Sutta (AN III.99).
                  >N: Yes, only a Buddha thoroughly penetrates the workings of kamma and
                  >result.
                  >This sutta is very complex, but does not contradict the fact that more
                  >ignorance conditions the akusala to be more intense. Decisive here is
                  >leading the holy life. The Buddha teaches here about being in the cycle and
                  >going out of the cycle, the commentary states.
                  >M: Now the question becomes really complex when you throw in the skilful
                  > > means� so highly praised in the Mahayana tradition. And using a skilful
                  > > means interpretation of a certain deed, what apparently would be an
                  >akusala
                  > > deed could be regarded as kusala. And this really opens the door for any
                  > > actions to be interpreted anyway you want and to atribute any kamma
                  > > consequences you want.
                  >N: Then there is more and more ignorance, as I see it. Metta is always
                  >kusala, violence is always akusala. Nobody in the world can change akusala
                  >into kusala. The three beautiful roots are: alobha, adosa and amoha or
                  >pa~n~naa.
                  >Nina.
                  >
                  >

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                • nina van gorkom
                  Dear Michael, As you also said, the point discussed in Milinda s questions was whether akusala is stronger when there is more ignorance. The point was not
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 3, 2003
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                    Dear Michael,
                    As you also said, the point discussed in Milinda's questions was whether
                    akusala is stronger when there is more ignorance. The point was not whether
                    there is stronger vipaka for an ignorant person. Kamma produces vipaka, but
                    there are other conditions necessary for kamma to produce vipaka. In the Co.
                    to the Vibhanga, the Dispeller of Delusion, ch 16, Classification of
                    Knowledge, 2198 there is mentioned: destiny, gati, substratum, upadhi, one's
                    means or conduct, payoga, kaala, time. These can be favorable, sampatti or
                    unfavorable, vipatti. For example when you are born in time of war or in a
                    country where there is hunger, there is more opportunity for akusala kamma
                    to produce akusala vipaaka and less opportunity for kusala vipaaka. This
                    subject is complex, many condiitons play their part.
                    There were countless past lives and we do not know which kamma will produce
                    result at which time. But so long as there is ignorance we are in the cycle
                    and we have to receive vipakaa.
                    Nina.
                    op 02-11-2003 18:04 schreef Michael Beisert op mbeisert@...:

                    > I still have some difficulty in accepting that one specific unwholesome
                    > deed may have a stronger vipaka for an ignorant person. I like your quotes
                    > from the Abhidhamma and using that logic the same mental factors
                    > (cetasikas), influenced by the same roots, would be present in the same
                    > unwholesome deed performed by the dhamma practitioner (assuming he /she is
                    > still a putujana) and an ignorant person.
                  • Michael Beisert
                    Nina, “The point was not whether there is stronger vipaka for an ignorant person.” Sorry then, it seems I misunderstood your question … What was the
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 3, 2003
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                      Nina,

                      �The point was not whether there is stronger vipaka for an ignorant person.�

                      Sorry then, it seems I misunderstood your question � What was the question
                      again? I am lost now.

                      I am not sure about �akusala is stronger when there is more ignorance�
                      either ignorance is present as a mental factor or it is not present. I don�t
                      see this �relative strength of ignorance� in the texts. Where do you find
                      this?

                      I understand your considerations about how vipaka can be produced. But I
                      thought we should take a sort of scientific approach and simplify the
                      variables otherwise it is impossible to get any answer.

                      Metta
                      Michael



                      >From: nina van gorkom <nilo@...>
                      >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
                      >Subject: Re: [Pali] Pali - ignorance
                      >Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2003 19:06:08 +0100
                      >
                      >Dear Michael,
                      >As you also said, the point discussed in Milinda's questions was whether
                      >akusala is stronger when there is more ignorance. The point was not whether
                      >there is stronger vipaka for an ignorant person. Kamma produces vipaka, but
                      >there are other conditions necessary for kamma to produce vipaka. In the
                      >Co.
                      >to the Vibhanga, the Dispeller of Delusion, ch 16, Classification of
                      >Knowledge, 2198 there is mentioned: destiny, gati, substratum, upadhi,
                      >one's
                      >means or conduct, payoga, kaala, time. These can be favorable, sampatti or
                      >unfavorable, vipatti. For example when you are born in time of war or in a
                      >country where there is hunger, there is more opportunity for akusala kamma
                      >to produce akusala vipaaka and less opportunity for kusala vipaaka. This
                      >subject is complex, many condiitons play their part.
                      >There were countless past lives and we do not know which kamma will produce
                      >result at which time. But so long as there is ignorance we are in the cycle
                      >and we have to receive vipakaa.
                      >Nina.
                      >op 02-11-2003 18:04 schreef Michael Beisert op mbeisert@...:
                      >
                      > > I still have some difficulty in accepting that one specific unwholesome
                      > > deed may have a stronger vipaka for an ignorant person. I like your
                      >quotes
                      > > from the Abhidhamma and using that logic the same mental factors
                      > > (cetasikas), influenced by the same roots, would be present in the same
                      > > unwholesome deed performed by the dhamma practitioner (assuming he /she
                      >is
                      > > still a putujana) and an ignorant person.
                      >

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                    • nina van gorkom
                      Dear Michael, ... akusala citta. When ignorance is strong you burn yourself more:
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 4, 2003
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                        Dear Michael,
                        op 03-11-2003 20:08 schreef Michael Beisert op mbeisert@...:

                        > “The point was not whether there is stronger vipaka for an ignorant person.
                        >
                        > Sorry then, it seems I misunderstood your question … What was the question
                        > again? I am lost now.
                        >N: The quote from the Milinda questions did not deal with vipaka. It dealt with
                        akusala citta. When ignorance is strong you burn yourself more:< ,"Indeed,
                        great king, in the same way the greater demerit is for him who does evil not
                        knowing.> Ignorance arises with each akusala citta, but it can be of
                        different degrees. When you have no notion of what is akusala the evil you
                        commit is of a higher degree.
                        M: I am not sure about akusala is stronger when there is more ignorance’
                        > either ignorance is present as a mental factor or it is not present. I don’t
                        > see this relative strength of ignorance’ in the texts. Where do you find
                        > this?
                        N: There are different degrees of akusala which is always accompanied by
                        ignorance: ignorance of what is kusala, what is akusala, ignorance of the
                        danger of akusala and of the benefit of kusala. Ignorance is gradually worn
                        away by those who develop understanding and attain stages of enlightenment,
                        a long process, taking aeons. Only the arahat has completely eradicated
                        ignorance.
                        In your own life you can notice that dosa sometimes is a slight uneasiness,
                        and sometimes a stronger aversion such as anger. Ignorance is very coarse
                        when one does not see that akusala is harmful, for instance if one at all
                        costs is after one's own pleasure and sees this as one's goal. A person
                        might even kill other beings, lie and steal all for his own sake. Ignorance
                        conditions wrong view which may be very dangerous, such as the views of
                        Makkhali Gosaala, Puura.na Kassapa and Ajita Kesakambali. If one propagates
                        that akusala kamma does not bring any result it is most harmful for society.
                        See the Brahmajaalasutta for different kinds of wrong view conditioned by
                        coarse ignorance.
                        We do not advocate such theories, but there are other forms of ignorance,
                        less coarse, but I would not call them subtle. In the Kindred Sayings IV,
                        Second Fifty, Ch I, §53 we read that a monk said:
                        <'By how knowing, lord, by how seeing does ignorance vanish and knowledge
                        arise?'
                        'In him that knows and sees the eye as impermanent... that knows and sees
                        objects... as impermanent, ignorance vanishes and knowledge arises.'
                        The same is said with regard to the other doorways.
                        Ignorance is not seeing the presently arisen dhamma as impermanent, dukkha
                        and anattaa.
                        The sotaapanna has realized the four noble Truths, but there are many
                        degrees of realizing this. He still has akusala, but no longer to the degree
                        of conditioning akusala kamma that can produce an unhappy rebirth. Gradually
                        the three roots are worn away until one reaches arahatship.

                        M: I understand your considerations about how vipaka can be produced. But I
                        > thought we should take a sort of scientific approach and simplify the
                        > variables otherwise it is impossible to get any answer.
                        N: Science has another approach and another goal, it is quite different from
                        the Buddha's teachings which have as the aim to develop understanding so
                        that defilements are gradually eradicated. Kamma and vipaka belong to the
                        "unthinkables", people would become mad when they try to find out which
                        kamma produces which vipaka. We cannot simplify what is the domain of the
                        Buddhas.
                        For us it is more fruitful to begin to understand whether the citta at this
                        moment is kusala or akusala. There is enough ignorance that has to be worn
                        away.
                        Nina.
                      • John Kelly
                        Michael, ... Yes! Guilt & remorse WILL be stronger for the dhamma practitioner - but hiri/otappa (guilt/remorse) is a GOOD thing, thus unwholesome kamma would
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 4, 2003
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                          Michael,
                          You said:
                          >My logic is that the feelings of guilt/remorse will
                          >explain the
                          >different intensity of vipaka. And the dhamma
                          >practitioner
                          >will likely have
                          >stronger feelings of guilt/remorse that the ignorant
                          >person. Over time the
                          >story could be different because the ignorant person
                          >due to
                          >his/her
                          >ignorance might develop that deed into a habit and
                          >this
                          >will bring far
                          >greater harm.

                          Yes! Guilt & remorse WILL be stronger for the dhamma
                          practitioner - but hiri/otappa (guilt/remorse) is a
                          GOOD thing, thus unwholesome kamma would be mitigated
                          somewhat for this person.
                          John




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