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Re: [Pali] Pali - ignorance

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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 1 of 14 , Nov 3, 2003
      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 2 of 14 , Nov 3, 2003
        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 3 of 14 , Nov 4, 2003
          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 4 of 14 , Nov 4, 2003
            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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