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Kamma In Color: A FreshTranslation

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  • abhidhammika
    Dear Pali Friends The following is a fresh translation of Vitthaara Suttam before I write a new modern commentary on it in response to requests from Dhamma
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2002
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      Dear Pali Friends

      The following is a fresh translation of Vitthaara Suttam before I
      write a new modern commentary on it in response to requests from
      Dhamma friends on another list.

      I hope you find it useful.

      With regards,

      Suan Lu Zaw

      ---------------------------------------


      Dear Joyce, Venerable Dhammarati, Howard, and Robert

      How are you?

      Joyce wrote:

      "Perhaps you might be willing to pick any Sutta you feel appropriate
      for the list, or part of one and then model this bringing out what is
      most essential, the important insights in the Sutta based on your
      current understanding."

      Also Venerable Dhammarati wrote:

      "Do any of the Abhidhammaka friends know of where in the Abhidhamma
      these four kinds of kamma are mentioned..? …. Please take some time
      to find and quote from the Abhidhamma on Kamma."

      Howard also asked:

      "I find this to be an interesting question you (Dhammarati) raise,
      and I am interested in hearing the answers."
      -----------------------------------------------------


      Suan Lu Zaw responded as follows.

      In line with the above requests, I looked into Vitthaara Suttam on
      four groups of actions. I found this Suttam quite far-reaching. For
      starter, it contains etiology, the Buddha's answer to the existence
      of rebirth, the Buddha's concept of action, and the like.

      To appreciate the beauty of this Suttam on one hand, and to
      accommodate the requests of the above dhamma friends on the other
      hand, I decided to write a new modern commentary in English language
      to complement the existing Pali commentary on this Suttam.

      Before I wrote a commentary on this Suttam, I also decided to
      translate the original Suttam afresh into English despite the
      existence of previous translations done by other scholars. It is my
      view that there is always room for improvement in translation from
      one language into another. Fresh translations also give the readers
      the opportunity to compare different versions and gain new insights.

      Accordingly, whenever I translate an original Pali work, I do so in
      such a way as to help future or other scholars to produce even better
      translations. I do that by making sure that my own translations are
      syntactically literal and in as natural English as possible. In
      short, students of Pali and Pali scholars alike can perform "Syntax
      Walk-through" in my translation and thereby improve or enhance their
      further understanding of Pali language.

      Vitthaara Suttam, from which the following translation was made, can
      be found in Section 233, Kammavaggo, Catukkanipaata, Anguttaranikaayo
      on Chatthasangayana CD-ROM version 3 produced by Vipassana Research
      Institute. Those who use Roman edition should see page 230 in Volume
      2 of that edition.


      VITTHAARA SUTTAM ON FOUR GROUPS OF KAMMA

      Vitthaara Suttam On Four Groups Of Kamma

      Translated By Suan Lu Zaw

      Monks, four actions have been declared by me by having personally
      realized them with extraordinary wisdom. What are the four? Monks,
      there is dark action having dark result. Monks, there is white action
      having white result. Monks, there is dark and white action having
      dark and white result. Minks, there is un-dark and un-white action
      having un-dark and un-white result, which takes place for depletion
      of actions.

      Monks, what is dark action having dark result? Here, monks, some
      carry out physical action with anger, verbal action with anger, and
      mental action with anger. Having carried out physical action with
      anger, having carried out verbal action with anger, and having
      carried out mental action with anger, he is reborn in the harsh
      world. Being reborn in the harsh world, harsh contacts touch him.
      Being touched by harsh contacts, he experiences the really miserable
      harsh feelings like those beings in hell do. Monks, this is called
      dark action having dark result.

      Monks, what is white action having white result? Here, monks, some
      carry out physical action with dis-anger, verbal action with dis-
      anger, and mental action with dis-anger. Having carried out physical
      action with dis-anger, having carried out verbal action with dis-
      anger, and having carried out mental action with dis-anger, he is
      reborn in the gentle world. Being reborn in the gentle world, gentle
      contacts touch him. Being touched by gentle contacts, he experiences
      the really pleasant gentle feelings like Subhakinha Brahma gods do.
      Monks, this is called white action having white result.

      Monks, what is dark and white action having dark and white result?
      Here, monks, some carry out physical action with anger as well as
      with dis-anger, verbal action with anger as well as with dis-anger,
      and mental action with anger as well as with dis-anger. Having
      carried out physical action with anger as well as with dis-anger,
      having carried out verbal action with anger as well as with dis-
      anger, and having carried out mental action with anger as well as
      with dis-anger, he is reborn in the harsh and gentle world. Being
      reborn in the harsh and gentle world, harsh as well as gentle
      contacts touch him. Being touched by harsh as well as gentle
      contacts, he experiences the mixed feelings of pleasure and misery
      like human beings, some sensuous gods and some mansion-owning halfway
      beings do. Monks, this is called dark and white action having dark
      and white result.

      Monks, what is un-dark and un-white action having un-dark and un-
      white result, which takes place for depletion of actions? Here,
      monks, such activation as to eradicate dark action having dark
      result, such activation as to eradicate white action having white
      result, and such activation as to eradicate dark and white action
      having dark and white result, this activation is called un-dark and
      un-white action having un-dark and un-white result, which takes place
      for depletion of actions. Monks, these four actions have been
      declared by me by having personally realized them with extraordinary
      wisdom.


      NOTES ON KEY TERMS

      The phrase "with anger" is a translation of the Pali
      compound "sabyaapajjam" which was defined as "sadosam" in the Pali
      commentary. Sadosam = sa + dosam.
      Doso is defined as anger in Pali Text Society's Pali – English
      Dictionary, see page 332.

      The phrase "with dis-anger" is a translation of the Pali
      word "abyaapajjam". The opposite of the Pali term "doso" is "adoso".
      Dis-anger is the literal translation of "adoso". Abyaapajjo is
      described as a synonym of adoso in Section 33, Dhammasanganii. Hence,
      I translated abyaapajjam as with dis-anger in order to contrast it
      with anger in Paragraph Two of the Vitthaara Suttam.

      In Section 397, Siilakkhandha Pali, Diighanikaayo, we find "bhikkhu
      averam abyaapajjam mettacittam bhaaveti. Without enmity, and with dis-
      anger, the monk develops the loving mind".

      Thus, dis-anger is a technical term to convey love or loving kindness
      as one of its meanings. It does not refer to the mere absence of
      anger as when our minds are with greed.

      Un-dark is a translation of the word "akanha, not dark". Here, un-
      darkness does not refer to other colors such as whiteness. It means
      counteracting the very color of darkness. Un-dark means anti-dark.

      Thus, un-dark action would counteract the dark actions and their dark
      results.

      Un-white is a translation of the word "asukka, not white". Here, too,
      un-whiteness does not refer to darkness or other colors. It means
      counteracting the very color of whiteness. Un-white means anti-white.

      Thus, un-white action would counteract the white actions and their
      white results.
      .

      To read the original Suttam in Pali, please follow the following link.

      http://www.tipitaka.org/tipitaka/s0402m3/s0402m3-frm.html

      And, please also visit the following link to download and install the
      Pali font on your computer so that the Pali letters appear on your
      screen correctly.

      http://www.tipitaka.org/general/pali.html


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      NEW MODERN COMMENTARY ON VITTHAARA SUTTAM BY SUAN LU ZAW COMING SOON.
      -------------------------------------------------------------------


      With regards,

      Suan Lu Zaw

      http://www.bodhiology.org
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