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Re: a question

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  • Bhikkhu Pesala
    Bhikkhu Pesala is the correct form of address. If you don t know a monk s name, you can address them as Bhante which means Venerable Sir. ... Already
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 30, 2004
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      Bhikkhu Pesala is the correct form of address. If you don't know a
      monk's name, you can address them as "Bhante" which means "Venerable
      Sir."

      > 1. Isn't this a blank cheque to go off and commit any
      > crime or unskillful act? I mean, if 'I' am illusory
      > and 'I' will not be around to suffer the consequences
      > (only 'mind' will, what-ever that is) then what does
      > it matter to 'me'? (Kamma becomes irrelevant)

      Already answered. If one were not reborn, one would be free from the
      effects, but if one is reborn one will suffer in the next life. For
      example, Angulimala killed hundreds of people, but he met the Buddha,
      reformed his character totally, and become an Arahant. He suffered all
      the consequences of his kamma in that very life.

      > 2. 'What' is mind?
      No matter!

      > 3.What is kamma? I mean, the implications of this
      > extract are profound because if it can produce another
      > mind and body process then is it not a fundamental
      > source of life? what then, is karmma?

      Kamma means volition, impulsion, or intention. When one acts, speaks,
      or thinks with an impure mind the result is suffering. When the
      intention is pure-hearted, the result is happiness. Kamma is the
      Almighty in Buddhism. Even the chief disciple of the Buddha,
      Moggallana, and the Buddha's own relatives had to suffer violent
      deaths as a result of previous kamma. However, kamma is not fatalism.
      Just as many diseases can be cured by medicine, the results of many
      unwholesome kammas can be reversed or mitagated by wholesome kamma.
      Likewise, the results of wholesome kammas can be destroyed by
      unwholesome ones, just as crops can be destroyed by pests and fungi.

      Yes. Kamma is the fundamental source of life, the energy that keeps
      the wheel of life turning. From craving arises attachment; from
      attachment arises becoming, from becoming arises birth; and from birth
      arises aging and death. Becoming (bhava) is kamma in the present life
      giving rise to results in the future life. For a new (human or animal)
      life to come into existence, three causes are required: the ovum of
      the mother, the semen of the father, and the past kamma of the being
      to be born (gandhabba).

      The cycle of dependent origination works from life to life, and from
      moment to moment too. You see something advertised (contact). You like
      it (pleasant feeling). You want to have it (craving). You decide that
      you must buy it (attachment). You work overtime to get the money
      (becoming). You buy it (birth). It breaks down or gets worn out, or
      you lose interest in it(aging). You chuck it out (death).

      If you just see it, and know that you see it, the whole cycle of
      suffering does not arise. You just let go right there. No becoming, no
      birth, no decay, no death. However, it is not easy to be fully mindful
      at all times. The untrained mind keeps on creating fresh kamma.

      Kamma is the fundamental source, but not the only one. There are four
      "foods" or producers: Kamma, citta, utu, ahara. Citta means
      consciousness or mind. Stress and worry cause diseases. Utu means
      climate or temperature. Too hot, too cold also causes diseases. Ahara
      means physical food, nutrition. Too much or bad food also causes
      diseases. Kamma from the previous life or earlier in this life, can
      also cause diseases.

      The point is that one should not rely on, nor blame only one's past
      kamma. Present effort, healthy food, daily exercise, mental
      discipline, and spiritual practices are also crucial in making a happy
      life. The happiest life is one dedicated to the renunciation of
      attachment and the cessation of suffering. The Arahant indulges in no
      sensual pleasures at all, but he or she is the happiest person in the
      world.
    • solitary aardvark
      Bhikku Pesala thanks for your response which I have contemplated on. I have a better understanding of kamma now. Just one final clarification though: If one
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 3, 2004
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        Bhikku Pesala

        thanks for your response which I have contemplated on.
        I have a better understanding of kamma now. Just one
        final clarification though:

        " If one were not reborn, one would be free from the
        effects, but if one is reborn one will suffer in the
        next life."

        so the key word here is "if" , yes?
        IF...then...
        IF not...then not...
        yes?

        which further leads me on to 'what' is rebirth - I
        mean, does rebirth relate to a future life as some
        future 'I' , after this 'I'; entity is physically
        deceased - or is it as simple as being reborn in this
        life - like Angulimala (when the psychological 'I' is
        deceased), or perhaps both?

        thank you for your time and help.

        best wishes
        Scotty


        --- Bhikkhu Pesala <pesala@...> wrote:
        ---------------------------------
        Bhikkhu Pesala is the correct form of address. If you
        don't know a
        monk's name, you can address them as "Bhante" which
        means "Venerable
        Sir."

        > 1. Isn't this a blank cheque to go off and commit
        any
        > crime or unskillful act? I mean, if 'I' am illusory
        > and 'I' will not be around to suffer the
        consequences
        > (only 'mind' will, what-ever that is) then what does
        > it matter to 'me'? (Kamma becomes irrelevant)

        Already answered. If one were not reborn, one would be
        free from the
        effects, but if one is reborn one will suffer in the
        next life. For
        example, Angulimala killed hundreds of people, but he
        met the Buddha,
        reformed his character totally, and become an Arahant.
        He suffered all
        the consequences of his kamma in that very life.

        > 2. 'What' is mind?
        No matter!

        > 3.What is kamma? I mean, the implications of this
        > extract are profound because if it can produce
        another
        > mind and body process then is it not a fundamental
        > source of life? what then, is karmma?

        Kamma means volition, impulsion, or intention. When
        one acts, speaks,
        or thinks with an impure mind the result is suffering.
        When the
        intention is pure-hearted, the result is happiness.
        Kamma is the
        Almighty in Buddhism. Even the chief disciple of the
        Buddha,
        Moggallana, and the Buddha's own relatives had to
        suffer violent
        deaths as a result of previous kamma. However, kamma
        is not fatalism.
        Just as many diseases can be cured by medicine, the
        results of many
        unwholesome kammas can be reversed or mitagated by
        wholesome kamma.
        Likewise, the results of wholesome kammas can be
        destroyed by
        unwholesome ones, just as crops can be destroyed by
        pests and fungi.

        Yes. Kamma is the fundamental source of life, the
        energy that keeps
        the wheel of life turning. From craving arises
        attachment; from
        attachment arises becoming, from becoming arises
        birth; and from birth
        arises aging and death. Becoming (bhava) is kamma in
        the present life
        giving rise to results in the future life. For a new
        (human or animal)
        life to come into existence, three causes are
        required: the ovum of
        the mother, the semen of the father, and the past
        kamma of the being
        to be born (gandhabba).

        The cycle of dependent origination works from life to
        life, and from
        moment to moment too. You see something advertised
        (contact). You like
        it (pleasant feeling). You want to have it (craving).
        You decide that
        you must buy it (attachment). You work overtime to get
        the money
        (becoming). You buy it (birth). It breaks down or gets
        worn out, or
        you lose interest in it(aging). You chuck it out
        (death).

        If you just see it, and know that you see it, the
        whole cycle of
        suffering does not arise. You just let go right there.
        No becoming, no
        birth, no decay, no death. However, it is not easy to
        be fully mindful
        at all times. The untrained mind keeps on creating
        fresh kamma.

        Kamma is the fundamental source, but not the only one.
        There are four
        "foods" or producers: Kamma, citta, utu, ahara. Citta
        means
        consciousness or mind. Stress and worry cause
        diseases. Utu means
        climate or temperature. Too hot, too cold also causes
        diseases. Ahara
        means physical food, nutrition. Too much or bad food
        also causes
        diseases. Kamma from the previous life or earlier in
        this life, can
        also cause diseases.

        The point is that one should not rely on, nor blame
        only one's past
        kamma. Present effort, healthy food, daily exercise,
        mental
        discipline, and spiritual practices are also crucial
        in making a happy
        life. The happiest life is one dedicated to the
        renunciation of
        attachment and the cessation of suffering. The Arahant
        indulges in no
        sensual pleasures at all, but he or she is the
        happiest person in the
        world.


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      • Bhikkhu Pesala
        This extract from the Potthapada of the Dighanikaya may clarify things for you. Potthapada, some recluses and brahmins believe that after death the self is
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 4, 2004
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          This extract from the Potthapada of the Dighanikaya may clarify things for
          you.

          "Potthapada, some recluses and brahmins believe that after death the self
          is entirely happy and free from disease, but when questioned their talk
          turns out to be empty and foolish, like that of man who is building a
          staircase at the crossroads not knowing where the palace is. There are
          three kinds of grasping at self: a gross physical self composed of the
          four elements and nourished by food, a mind-made self that has form, and a
          formless self created by perception. I teach a doctrine for getting rid of
          this grasping at self, whereby defiling mental states disappear and pure
          mental states develop. You might think that if these defiling mental
          states disappear one might still be unhappy, but you should not think
          thus. If defiling mental states disappear nothing but happiness and
          delight develops."

          Citta then asked, "Venerable sir, when the gross physical self is present,
          would it be wrong to assume the existence of the mind-made self, or the
          formless self created by perception?"

          "Whenever one of them is present, we do not then speak of the others. If
          you were asked, `Did you exist in the past, will you exist in the future,
          do you exist now?' how would you answer?"

          "I would say, `I did exist in the past, I will exist in the future, I do
          exist now, it is not otherwise."

          "Then, Citta, was the past acquired self that you had your only true self,
          and are the present and future ones false? Or is only the present acquired
          self your true self, or only the future one?"

          "Venerable sir, I would reply, `My past acquired self was then the only
          true one, my present self is now the only true one, in the future my
          future self will be the only true one, the others are false."

          "Therefore, Citta, whenever one of them is present, we do not then speak
          of the others. Just as from the cow we get milk, from the milk we get
          curds, from the curds we get butter, and from butter we get ghee. When it
          is milk we do not speak of curds, and curds is not butter, and butter is
          not ghee."
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