Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fate? Luck? Chance? Miracles? (video)

Ashley Wells, Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; Ñanamoli Thera (Osbert Moore, trans.) Cula-Kamma Vibhanga Sutta, "The Shorter Exposition of Karma"; Jan2003 (video)
When devas intervene? See especially Minute 1:08, a classic Keystone Cop comedy of errors!

Introduction
Ven. Bhikkhu Khantipalo
We want long life, health, beauty, power, riches, high birth, and wisdom...
 
They do not appear by chance. It is not luck that one is healthy, or a lack of it that one is foolish. Though it may not be clear to us now, all such variations and disparities among sentient beings come about because of the karma (their store of intentional actions ripening as fruit and resultants).
 
Each reaps one's own fruits according to one's past and present actions and attitudes (mental action). If one is touched by short life, sickliness, ugliness, insignificance, poverty, low birth, or stupidity and does not like these things, there is no need to simply accept that that is the way it is. 
 
The future (even in the very next moment) need not be like that, provided one makes the right kind of karma now, including a mental attitude adjustment. Knowing what karma to make and what to avoid, that is the mark of a wise person. It is also the mark of one no longer drifting aimlessly. Has one a sense of direction in life in order to begin to exert  some conscious control over the sort of events that will occur?
 
The Buddha, Phnom-Ek-Battambang (Captain Kimo/flickr.com)
 
Shorter Exposition of Karma
Ven. Ñanamoli Thera
1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was residing in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, in Anathapindika's Park.
 
Subha the student (Brahmin), Todeyya's son, went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings, and when the courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat respectfully down to one side, and said:
 
2. "Master Gotama (Sanskrit, Gautama), what is the reason (cause), what is the condition, why are inferiority and superiority met with among human beings?
 
For one meets with short-lived and long-lived people, sick and healthy people, ugly and beautiful people, insignificant and influential people, poor and rich people, low-born and high-born people, foolish and wise people. Why?"
 
3. "Student, beings are owners of karmas (kinds of karma, karma being plural), heirs of karmas, they have karmas as their progenitor, karmas as their kin, karmas as their homing-place. It is karmas that differiate beings according to inferiority and superiority."
 
4. "I do not understand the detailed meaning of Master Gotama's utterance spoken in brief without expounding the detailed meaning. It would be good if Master Gotama taught me the Dharma so that I might understand it in detail."
 
"Then listen, student, and heed well what I shall say."
 
"Even so, Master Gotama!" Subha the student replied. The Buddha said:
 
5. "Here, student, some man or woman is a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows (beating others) and violence, merciless. Due to having performed and completed such actions (karmas), on the dissolution of the body, after death, one [if any of those karmic seeds ripen in consciousness at the time of passing] reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in a hell. 
 
If on the dissolution of the body, after death, instead of one reappearing in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, or hell, one comes again to the human state, one is short-lived wherever one is reborn.
  
This is the way that leads to short life -- that is to say, to be a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to beating and violence, merciless.
 
6. "But here [in this teaching] some man or woman, having abandoned the killing of living beings, abstains from killing living beings, lays aside the rod and lays aside the knife, is considerate and merciful and dwells compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination, even in one of the many heavenly [sagga, deva loka] worlds.

If, on the dissolution of the body, after death, instead of one reappearing in a happy destination or a heavenly world, one comes again to the human state, one is long-lived wherever one is reborn.

This is the way that leads to long life -- that is to say, to have abandoned the killing of living beings, to abstain from killing living beings, to lay aside the rod and lay aside the knife, to be considerate and merciful, and to dwell compassionate for the welfare of ALL living beings.
 
7. "Here, student, some man or woman is one who harms beings with hands or with stones or with sticks or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such karmas (willed actions), on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead one comes again to the human state, one is sickly wherever one is reborn.
 
This is the way that leads to sickliness -- that is to say, to be one who harms beings with one's hands or with stones or with sticks or with knives.
 
8. "But here some man or woman is not one who harms beings with hands, or with stones, or with sticks, or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one comes again to the human state, one is healthy wherever one is reborn.
 
This is the way that leads to health -- that is to say, not to be one who harms beings with hands or with stones or with sticks or with knives.
 
9. "Here, student, some man or woman is angry, much given to rage. Even when little is said, one is furious, angry, ill-disposed, resentful, one shows ill-temper, hate (aversion, disgust, contempt), and surliness. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead one comes to the human state, one is ugly wherever one is reborn. 
  
This is the way that leads to ugliness -- that is to say, to be furious, angry, ill-disposed, resentful, and to show ill-temper, hate, and surliness.
 
10. "But here some man or woman is not angry or much given to rage. Even when much is said, one is not furious, angry, ill-disposed, resentful, nor does one show ill-temper, hate, or surliness. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is beautiful wherever one is reborn. 
 
This is the way that leads to beauty -- that is to say, not to be angry or given to much rage; even when much is said, not to be furious, angry, ill-disposed or resentful, or to show ill-temper, hate, or surliness.
 
11. "Here, student, some man or woman is envious. One envies, begrudges, and harbors envy about others' gains, honor, veneration, respect, salutations and offerings. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead he comes to the human state, he is insignificant wherever he is reborn. 
 
This is the way that leads to insignificance, that is to say, to be envious, to envy, begrudge, and harbor envy about others' gain, honor, veneration, respect, salutations and offerings.
  • NOTE: Jealousy is said to be also wanting what another has, whereas envy (covetousness) is said to be to be wanting it so that the other person is deprived of it.
12. "But here some man or woman or is not envious, does not envy, begrudge, or harbor envy toward others' gain, honor, veneration, respect, salutations, and offerings. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is influential wherever one is reborn. 
 
This is the way that leads to influence -- that is to say, not to be envious, not to envy, begrudge, or harbor envy about others' gain, honor, veneration, respect, salutations and offerings.
 
13. "Here, student, some man or woman is not a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, perfumes, unguents, bed, roof, and lighting to monastics or Brahmins. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death one reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is poor wherever one is reborn. 
 
This is the way that leads to poverty -- that is to say, not to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, perfumes, unguents, bed, roof, and lighting to monastics and Brahmins.
 
14. "But here (in this teaching) some man or woman is a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, perfumes, unguents, bed, roof, and lighting to monastics and Brahmins. Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is rich wherever one is reborn.

This is the way that leads to riches -- that is to say, to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, perfumes, unguents, bed, roof, and lighting to monastics and Brahmins.
 
15. "Here, student, some man or woman is obdurate and haughty; one does not pay respect to whom one should pay respect, or rise up for whom one should rise up, or offer a seat to whom one should offer a seat, or make way for whom one should make way, or honor who should be honored, or revere who should be revered... Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is low-born wherever one is reborn.
 
This is the way that leads to low birth -- that is to say, to be obdurate and haughty, not to pay respect to whom one should pay homage, nor rise up..., nor give a seat to..., nor make way for..., nor honor..., nor revere... who should be revered.
 
16. "But here some man or woman is not obdurate or haughty. One pays respect...reveres who should be revered.... Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is high-born wherever one is reborn.

This is the way that leads to high birth -- that is to say, not to be obdurate or haughty, to pay respect... revere who should be revered.
  
Wisdom, Intelligence
17. "Here, student, some man or woman when visiting a monastic or Brahmin, does not ask: 'What is wholesome, venerable sir? What is unwholesome? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, by my doing it, will be long for my harm and suffering? And what, by my doing it, will be long for my welfare and happiness?' Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead one again comes to the human state, one will be foolish wherever one is reborn. 

This is the way that leads to foolishness -- that is to say, when visiting a monastic or Brahmin, not to ask: 'What is wholesome?... Or what, by my doing it, will be long for my welfare and happiness?'
 
18. "But here some man or woman when visiting a monastic or Brahmin, asks: 'What is wholesome, venerable sir?... Or what, by my doing it, will be long for my welfare and happiness?' Due to having performed and completed such karmas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, one reappears in a happy destination... If instead one again comes to the human state, one is wise wherever one is reborn. 
 
This is the way that leads to wisdom -- that is to say, when visiting a monastic or Brahmin, to ask: 'What is wholesome, venerable sir?... Or what, by my doing it, will be long for my welfare and happiness?'
  
SUMMARY
The Buddha heals the hopeless Kisa Gotami
19. "So, student, the way [course of action, path of practice] that leads to short life makes people short-lived, the way that leads to long life makes people long-lived; the way that leads to sickliness makes people sickly, the way that leads to health makes people healthy; the way that leads to ugliness makes people ugly, the way that leads to beauty makes people beautiful; the way that leads to insignificance makes people insignificant, the way that leads to influence makes people influential; the way that leads to poverty makes people poor, the way that leads to riches makes people rich; the way that leads to low birth makes people low-born, the way that leads to high birth makes people high-born; the way that leads to foolishness makes people foolishness, the way that leads to wisdom makes people wise.
 
20. "Beings are owners of karma (actions willed and carried out), student, heirs of karma. They have karma as their progenitor, karma as their kin, karma as their homing-place. It is karma that differentiates beings according to inferiority and superiority."
 
21. When this was said, Subha the student, Todeyya's son, said to the Buddha: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dharma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing the hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, holding up a lamp in the darkness for those with eyes to see what was there.
 
22. "I herewith go to Master Gotama for guidance, and to the Dharma, and to the monastic Sangha. From today onward let Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has gone to him for guidance for life."

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