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What is Karma in Buddhism and in Sikhi?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Archived_member14, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Archived_member14

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    Tejwant ji,

    You wrote:

    Karma is again different than it is in the Hindu concept. Karma in Sikhi means,"we reap what we sow" in this life as reincarnation does not come in the equation. Hence, Karma in Sikhi is a proven fact.<end quote>

    Could you please elaborate and give some examples of this, namely that Karma is a proven fact?

    Thanks.
     

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  3. findingmyway

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    Re: Are the Important Scriptures of World Religions, Simply Opinions?

    Here are a couple of very simple worldly examples:
    - If you are pleasant to people, they are more likely to be polite to you too. If you are rude to people, they are more likely to be rude back to you.

    - If you are a helpful person and help others without thinking about how it wastes you time, in the future if you are in a situation where you need help then you are more likely to receive it as others remember the favours you have done for them.
    </end>
     
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  4. Archived_member14

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    Re: Are the Important Scriptures of World Religions, Simply Opinions?

    Findingmyway ji,



    The examples you give are as far as I can see, the outcome of a kind of observation about the conventional world which we do all the time but not with any real understanding. Connections are made between what we perceive to be cause and what is effect which does not correspond with the reality of karma.

    In the first example that you give, ‘being pleasant to someone’ is karma since it is a volitional action. But so is someone else’s being polite to you, this too is a volitional activity. So what in effect you are suggesting is that karma which is cause, leads not to an effect, but to another cause.

    Besides, you talk about a particular result as “more likely” to happen; this seems to be saying that any karma will not necessarily produce a corresponding kind of result. Is this in line with the fact of karma being a ‘universal law’?

    More importantly, ‘being pleasant’ is not necessarily done with kindness, but as it more likely is the case, with attachment and some conceit. Yet in both cases, what is observed in terms of reaction in the other person, it is the same. And as you know, someone may with good intention point something out to another person but that person takes it bitterly. So really, in making the kind of conventional observation, are you really pointing to the law of cause and effect which is karma such that good leads to good results and bad to bad results?

    But this is what I’d like to suggest:

    Taking for example my being rude to someone, the reason that the other person is more likely to be rude back is due to his own accumulated tendencies and underlying attachments. Were kindness to arise instead, then he’d not be rude ‘back’ or if he understood that I’d reap the fruit of my actions, he may have compassion or be equanimous about it. Or he may quickly catch any aversion arising before it became strong enough to express as rudeness.

    Given this, the other example that you give would appear even more problematic.
    When you say that the other person will return a favor if he ‘remembers’ the help which I gave him in the past, you are now factoring also memory. And so now you are saying that certain karma will bear fruit provided that I come in contact with the same individual I acted well towards, and that too that he must remember me and the particular past event and deed? Is this not odd?

    The reason I asked Tejwant ji to clarify is because I don’t believe that we can actually observe and prove as “fact” the workings of karma, although what goes on in the conventional world could be said to be its ‘shadows’. For example, if one became sick and stricken with pain, we could say that this is the result of bad karma in the past. What karma exactly this was however, we can only ever speculate about, but then this would not only be a vain activity, but in fact very misleading.

    We can talk in general about good resulting in good and bad resulting in bad. And we can know in theory what kind of experiences these refer to exactly and begin to engage in a totally different kind of study about our own experiences. Beginning with the actions through body, speech and mind, we can come to gradually understand karma for what it is. We also learn to understand those experiences which are the results of karma and see that these two are in fact quite different in nature. And then we will not go by just some vague idea about karma, let alone project some false notion about cause and effect onto our experiences.

    With this comes the interest in understanding what is it that is the experience “now”, as against thinking in terms of causal connections between any two events in the conventional world. This is the only way that any belief in karma becomes established. Indeed to be seeking some corresponding manifestation of this law in terms of events in one’s life thinking to “prove” karma this way, is likely a reflection of a lack of understanding and therefore any proof found does nothing to arouse any real confidence, but only increases doubt.

    Furthermore, inevitably we come to be faced with apparent contradictions such as a ruthless businessman becoming successful and happy, a kind and honest man having many personal problems, a drug dealer being pronounced innocent and an innocent man being wrongly accused of murder. These can all be explained in terms of karma that go back to past lives and results ripening in future ones. But one is stuck so to speak, if one insists on just this one lifetime alone. And again it only encourages more doubt.

    On the other hand, when karma and its results are being studied in terms of the different kinds of experiences, there is no mind to “prove” anything in terms of events. Yet this is what leads one away from questioning such things as rebirth and the existence of different realms. After all, one has only just begun the study, and clearly an infinite supply of ignorance remains and continually arises. And one can begin to see doubt at work and the myopia related to the insistence that this is the only life we have. This latter I believe is in many cases, the driving force behind the need to seek evidence about karma in terms of observable events in one’s life. But alas, this is being caught up in a vicious cycle where ignorance and doubt increases, but one thinks otherwise.
     
  5. findingmyway

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  6. findingmyway

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    Re: What is karma

    Confused ji,
    I would like to ask one question here please. Are you judgung success/good things etc on worldly standards or spiritual ones? If judging on worldly standards then your argument holds. However, that implies that Guru Arjan Dev Ji and others that went through torture had bad previous karma. The fact they were able to deal with it and still say 'Tera bhana meetha lage' to me seems the best kind of karma. That is what I am aiming for-to be able to deal with anything and retain my spirituality and my good qualities (still got a way to go yet!). Success in business will bring material comforts but these provide temporary pleasure and are more likely to cause the recipient to get seduced by maya and therefore stray from the path of being a gurmukh. Therefore is it really the outcome aimed for by karma?
    Interested in hearing your thoughts,
    Jasleen
     
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  7. Archived_member14

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    Re: What is karma

    Jasleen ji,

    <<<I would like to ask one question here please. Are you judgung success/good things etc on worldly standards or spiritual ones? If judging on worldly standards then your argument holds. However, that implies that Guru Arjan Dev Ji and others that went through torture had bad previous karma. The fact they were able to deal with it and still say 'Tera bhana meetha lage' to me seems the best kind of karma. >>>

    If by worldly you refer to man-made rules, this is not what I am talking about. If by spiritual you mean the law of cause and effect which include karma and its results, yes I am expressing my understandings about this. But you say that my arguments hold if what I refer to is in the sphere of the former, so I’m not really sure now what you have in mind in making this particular distinction.

    Yes, anyone who is subjected to torture and feels the bodily pain, this must be the result of some bad deed done in the past. And yes, if that person bears the pain patiently, this is good karma.

    <<< That is what I am aiming for-to be able to deal with anything and retain my spirituality and my good qualities (still got a way to go yet!). >>>

    We should be careful about any tendency to overreach. Knowing ourselves is to know our limitations and accepting it. Ambition with respect to good qualities is still ambition and is never useful. Our problem is ignorance and craving, wanting to acquire more good qualities and being disturbed by the bad ones, we end up encouraging evil in other forms usually disguised as good. Patience is called for when we become aware of some bad quality in ourselves. Overall, walking along the path of good should be done with courage and ease of heart. Any agitation is sure sign of some wrong attitude taking over.

    <<<Success in business will bring material comforts but these provide temporary pleasure and are more likely to cause the recipient to get seduced by maya and therefore stray from the path of being a gurmukh. Therefore is it really the outcome aimed for by karma?>>>

    I don’t understand your last question.
    In giving the example of the ruthlessness of the businessman and his being happy and successful, I was trying to show that these two did not have any direct connection. The businessman’s ruthless activities will sure bring bad results, but any happiness, honor, praise and respect which he receives, would in fact be the result of some good karma done in the past. It makes no difference for example; that someone praises him for his ability to make money. People think what they like to think and there will be some people on the other hand, who will highlight the ‘inherent greed’ in association with the same concept and instead of praise they would express blame. This again is an example of the tendency to think about cause and effect not in line with the way things really are.

    I hesitate to make the connection between being rich and falling prey to maya. Attachment is the enemy which is subtle and when everything is going fine, we are usually not motivated to seek answers, unlike when there is dissatisfaction. But really, you can’t say that the rich experiences more attachment and less dissatisfaction than those who aren’t. Attachment has its way and even for the poor some object will always be found.

    I hope some of what I wrote has been of help.
     
  8. findingmyway

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    Confused ji,
    I have been meaning to reply to this post for sometime but have lacked the time and energy to write my thoughts down though they have been in my head for sometime. Perhaps I was wrong to bring in worldly examples at the beginning but I do not reject them completely as on a superficial level I think thoughts such as those in day to day working are productive in improving manners. We can never really know a persons motivations but that is no reason not to encourage courteous and considerate manners. However, my understanding of karma goes much deeper and it is something I think about an awful lot, especially recently.

    I truly struggle with relating karma to past lives as there are just too many pitfalls in this approach. On many levels it also encourages a sense of defeat and gives people an excuse out of their situation. The belief seems to act as a scapegoat rather than a push for improvement. In the example of the bad businessman, you say, "happiness, honor, praise and respect which he receives, would in fact be the result of some good karma done in the past." I do not understand this as you are relating his worldly happiness and praise to good karma. My understanding about karma is more spiritual because you have already said that we do not really know the intentions of the people giving this praise etc and we do not know how lasting or deepfelt that happiness is. I will explain further a little later.

    I have spent much time with people with learning difficulties on both a professional and personal level. People will often say they must have bad karma from a previous life to be born like that. However, I can't buy this as many of the people I know are inspiring and more contented than I will ever be. Most people equate being born into comfortable home, healthy, few hardships in life with previous good karma. Again I cannot agree as this is judging from worldly levels and not spirituality. Different communities have different ideas of what is good and what is bad and these are sometimes opposites so how do we judge good and bad karma in those situations? Premature babies have no time to earn any karma for their next birth so what happens to them? So many holes and question marks, the list of possibilities is endless.

    The thing that puzzles me most is when I think about Guru Arjan Dev ji. According to conventional wisdom, on one hand Guruji must have had the most incredible good karma to be a Guru. On the other hand there must have been bad karma there for Guruji to be martyred after enduring the most painful horrendous torture. I cannot reconcile those 2 things.

    For this reason I understand karma to arise from our actions in this life and we have control over that karma. The result of karma is also the ability to rise above bitterness, lust, attachment, greed, revenge, anger, ego while dealing with the world. Good karma allows us to always do the right thing and deal with the consequences as doing the right thing is usually tougher. Above all good karma allows us to feel the connection with Waheguru. Whether I believe in reincarnation or not, I'm not sure but I don't believe it is relevant to karma in this lifetime as we have full control over how we behave and think should we choose to exercise that control.

    I cannot agree with this. As human beings we should always strive to be better people. If we just accepted the way things are and didn't try to correct out faults the world would be an even worse place than it is. I do not understand how on any level striving to be a better person with better qualities can be bad? More important is how you go about it and that is where counterproductive actions can be taken. That should not stop us from trying to develop good qualities but make us wary of how we are doing it. Attachment will only arise if you are making the changes for worldly praise and to massage your own ego, not if you are truly trying to do seva in the broadest sense of the word. This world drags us down so it is a constant effort to rise above it. Merely accepting my limitations rather than trying to deal with them would only result in me drowning as the fight would be too tough. Accepting my natural greed, anger, lust, attachment and ego rather than tackling it would take me further away from Waheguru.
     
  9. Tejwant Singh

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    Confused ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Sorry for the delayed response. Allow me to ask you a couple of questions so we can take this discussion a bit further and learn from it.

    1. What don't you understand in or what is your contention about"we reap what we sow"?

    2. How the above is not a fact? If one sows the seeds of any sweet fruit, the result of reaping the same is not only probable but factual. The same goes for the seeds of a bitter thorny fruit.

    3.In one of your responses to Jasleen, you write:

    </end>"Yes, anyone who is subjected to torture and feels the bodily pain, this must be the result of some bad deed done in the past. And yes, if that person bears the pain patiently, this is good karma. "

    The above in bold sounds quite factual for you the way you have put it, what makes you so sure of your claim above?

    Has anyone come back from the past life or anyone living in this life mentioned what they did in their past lives?

    Yes, Sikhi is not into reincarnation, hence that is not the benchmark for anything in Sikhi.

    More hearing from you.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh


    <end quote="">

    </end>
     
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  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Was it Karma of past deeds, past janams also casue of the horrible tortures SIKH SHAHEEDS went through ? Guru Arjun Ji felt the pain of the hot plate, and bore the pain gracefully..didnt blame anyone for this..BUT as His HUKM..His Bhanna...what Karma if nay was involved ??..........because the Martyrdom of Guru Arjun ji was just the beginning..then a long line of such martyrs begins...Guru Hargobind Jis Battle fileds...Death of Baba Atall rai Ji ( of baba atall pakeena pkaiyan ghall fame )....Guru Teg bahadur Ji....Battles of Guru Gobind Singh ji..His four sons...Muktsar..Baba Banda Singh...Maharaja Ranjit Singh..Anglo-sikh battles..Gurdwra Sudhaar lehr 1900-1945 Kookas andolan..Morchas of Akali dal..World wars Sikh Soldiers....1947 partition..1984..bluestar..ops in Delhi Kanpur etc etc....was all this due to KARMA of Past janams/deeds.......and then all these martyrs gt REINCARNATED ?? Doesnt JIBE with GURBANI...in fact look like hurdles or pitfalls...prickly questions difficult to justify with GURBANI...
     
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  11. spnadmin

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    On this thread too it will help to understand the contradictions between "karma" in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Hindu notions of karma. Please see the article by Dr. Baldev Singh, who examines the connections between Karma, transmigration and reincarnation, and tries to show that the traditional notions, which are tied to the caste system and were not originally part of the sanatan dharma, are incompatible with Nanakian Philosophy. :)
     

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  12. Archived_member14

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    Jasleen ji,

    Thanks for reopening this discussion. I had forgotten that I wrote so much about Karma here already.

    I’d like to go step by step in providing an outline about this subject.

    Q: What is Karma? Is it a reality or just an idea?
    A: A reality.

    Q: What kind of reality, mental or physical?
    A: Mental.

    Q: Which mental reality?
    A: The mental factor of intention or volition.

    Q: What does intention do?
    A: It performs the function of coordinating and ‘willing’. It is that which motivates wholesome and unwholesome actions through body, speech and mind. In performing the function of willing, it takes the nature of being “cause” which must bring result in the future. When weak in strength, although it will not produce results ever, however the tendency to the particular wholesome or unwholesome state accumulates.

    Q: What kind of results does karma or intention give rise to?
    A: Karma can give rise to both mental and physical phenomena. The latter include the five sense organs or to be more precise, the “base” upon which the sense consciousness arises, namely seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and body consciousness.

    Q: Does karma give rise to result in other forms?
    A: Besides sense experience which arises during life, the last consciousness with its volition is cause for rebirth which follows immediately upon death. This very same karma is cause for what is termed life-continuum and the death consciousness of the new life. Life-continuum are those states which arise and fall away continuously between moments of sense experience and the volitional consciousness following upon these. It is exactly what is there when we are in deep sleep.

    Q: So karma is one kind of experience with the nature and function of being ‘cause’, and this is different from those kinds of experiences which are its ‘result’?
    A: Yes, we need to understand the difference and not join the two together; otherwise we end up either talking about karma in terms of ‘situations’ which then likely leads to more proliferation of thought. Or worse, we may confuse the two, taking what is in fact of the nature of cause to be a result. For example in feeling aversion to some pain, not being able to distinguish these two, we may think that the pain is continuous, when the truth is that the pain itself does not last long, but the thinking with aversion which is accompanied by unpleasant feeling, keeps arising to give the impression that ‘pain’ persists.

    Q: This sounds like a practical application of the knowledge. In terms of the development of understanding, what is the importance of making this distinction?
    A: Without knowing this, karma will never be understood and doubt about it will continue to arise. This leads to being attracted to ideas about cause and effect that are conventional which really have nothing to do with the reality of consciousness, the mental concomitants and of physical phenomena. And being that these are in fact all there ever is at any single moment of our lives, not knowing them means ignorance increases. But more importantly, if we reject karma and instead believe in some other idea about cause and effect, we end up accumulating wrong understanding and the attachment which necessarily accompanies this.

    Jasleen ji, the above is rough, but I can’t think of another approach at this time. I do hope however, that it is enough background knowledge such that it makes it a little easier for you to understand my comments in the message which follow.
     
  13. Archived_member14

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    Jasleen ji,


    This must be my longest post anywhere, so be warned. ;-)

    =======

    C: Anything can be a condition for the arising of wisdom as long as the accumulation for this is strong. On the other hand, when it is weak or absent, no matter how much one is pointed to about the truth which is right here and right now, one would prefer instead, to proliferate in terms of past, present and future driven by attachment and wrong understanding.
    And yes we should encourage people towards the good and not assume anything.

    =========

    C: It is good to realize that one does not understand Karma. But it can be very bad if one *misunderstands* it. A correct understanding of karma will never give the impression of being fated. Anyone who feels helpless when thinking about karma must surely be having some misconception about it. Likewise in the case of those who use it as an excuse for certain behavior.

    =========

    C: Please change the ‘happy’ to ‘pleasure’.
    I was not referring to anything situational, but rather to precise mental and physical phenomena consisting of series of momentary sense experiences together with any interpretation of these. A voice of praise for example would consist of hearing particular sounds and thinking about them in a particular way, which reflects the intention of the other person who is giving the praise. This is one thing we all seek and the rich man simply happens to receive it.

    I then distinguished this from the otherwise arising of greed and other unwholesome states in the case of such a person. I said that the former must be result from the past, and indeed if you think that this person has only done evil all his life, the event must then go back to previous lives, otherwise what else could possibly be the cause? But even if we were to interpret praise, honor etc. differently, one would still have to acknowledge that the pleasant experiences through the five senses, do indeed occur for the rich man as it does for everyone else. What then would you consider as being cause for these, and when could they have been initiated?

    ==========

    C: It is true that we don’t know the intentions of the other person. But praise is praise and blame is blame. If we mistake one for the other, this is due to perversion of perception and consciousness on our part, we’d be wrong in our conclusions, but this does not change the reality. If for example, we do not detect the sarcasm and are led wrongly to believe that we are being praised, this would simply be due to having been wrong about it.

    But praise, blame, pleasure, pain etc. like all realities, are transient. If you are thinking something as happening in time and lasting long, then you are in fact thinking about situations and not in terms of the reality.

    ==========
    C: You’d both need to differentiate result from causes. Being born handicapped, such as blindness, is result of bad karma done in the past. But this is only one thing and should not be tied up with other aspect of the person’s life. He or she may have great accumulations for kindness which could lead him in fact, to do much good in that life thereby increasing the chance of better birth in the future. Besides in that life itself, he could well be having good experiences through the other senses, but even if this did not happen, understanding should never cause one to feel hapless and dejected. Indeed, at those moments one would do well with some *understanding* about karma and realize that such attitudes are the stuff of the very cause for bad results. In other words, stop complaining and instead understand what is really going on!

    In the case of the mentally handicapped, he may have difficulty understanding anything. But this is no reason not to try, after all what is more valuable than an encouragement to good? Besides, our concerns in this kind of situation usually revolve around worldly considerations, for example that the person should function well enough not to then be subjected to blame by other people. But we forget that it is moral integrity which is most important, indeed in that very situation patience and understanding is what all involved need to have. The way we end up trying to fix anything, when analyzed, does it not always come down to a matter of catering to desire aimed at just the four desirable ones of the eight worldly conditions?

    ==========

    C: Not necessarily. Yes, people do get caught up in ideas about situations, but we can understand these things as being metaphors instead. In which case, being born healthy with few hardships etc. would mean there is much greater frequency of pleasant experiences through the five senses as compared to the unpleasant experiences.

    =========
    C: And this is exactly why we need to develop our own understanding, otherwise we’d be influenced by such set values. The reference point must be a mental reality; greed is greed and unwholesome because it has a particular characteristic, function, manifestation and proximate cause. Why would you trust the majority view to dictate what is right and what is wrong, except when it comes to social rules?

    ==========

    C: Even for those who die at an old age, the karma which decides the next rebirth does not necessarily come from this life, but objects and tendencies from past lives can come in at any time. And it is the law of psychical order that just before the dying consciousness which is result, a moment of mental volition must arise.

    =========
    C: Hmm, to teach is karma, but you are making it sound as if it is ‘result’ of karma. Or do you mean that he received praise, status and gain?

    =========
    gs.


    C: You’d need to think about all this in terms of momentary experiences. In a day, we all experience both the result of good as well as bad karma; this is what makes this ‘human plane’ ideal for the development of wisdom. I have no problem in this regard in accepting that the Buddha, even after his enlightenment, experienced results of bad karma done in past lives. Indeed this happened just before his death when he ate bad pork curry and had to experience pain and discomfort.

    ==========

    C: Then will yourself to enlightenment, right here and right now!
    Which karma conditioned which result is said to be one of the “unthinkables” and can lead to madness if indulged in. And I believe that your insistence that it must all take place within this lifetime is a species of such thinking.

    =========

    C: You are confusing cause with result and attributed to karma what in reality is accumulated tendency.

    =========
    C: First, I do not subscribe to the idea of ‘reincarnation’ but to ‘rebirth’.
    Yes, it is useless to think about the past and like I said, to wonder about which result come from which cause is not only futile but harmful. On the other hand however, failing to acknowledge that the cause of a particular result can come from past lives and deeds now gives result not necessarily in this life, is to approach the matter in a way which will never lead to the understanding of it. More importantly, the accumulated tendencies if they indeed come from our endless going round the cycle of existence, but we look to tie events together to explain our behavior and moral cause and effect, this would be akin to being delirious about the whole thing.

    That you think that there is control over our actions, may in fact be fed by such myopic vision.

    There is no control ever, either at the level of sense experience which is “result” or at the level of volitional actions which is “cause”. Seeing arises not because we will it, but by conditions including visible object / light coming within range and contacting the eye-base and the same goes for the reaction which immediately follows. They arise by a complex set of conditions and all gone before we can think about it. It is delusory to think that there is control over any of this. But understanding this is itself a case wisdom being developed. And this leads not to think in terms of past causes and future effects, but the need to come back to the present moment.

    On the other hand, no matter how much we think to only concentrate in this life, if this is motivated by wrong understanding about karma, it can only lead to proliferations *about* the present, but never understanding it.

    ==========
    Quote Me: We should be careful about any tendency to overreach. Knowing ourselves is to know our limitations and accepting it. Ambition with respect to good qualities is still ambition and is never useful.

    C: Wisdom does not strive, it simply understands and detaches. What you describe is the exact opposite of this.

    ==========
    C: This is just a trick played by attachment and wrong understanding. There is no need to fear such thing happening. I was talking about acceptance which comes from understanding, not otherwise. Wisdom can only have the effect of encouraging good of all kinds by way of understanding its value and the harm in evil states. And one big evil in need of recognizing is ‘self-attachment’ which drives us to seek ‘gain’ even with regard to ideas about good.

    =========
    C: The aim determines the path followed, if the one is conditioned by attachment and wrong understanding, so will the other. And the end result would be what I call, ‘illusion of result’, one which is then held on to tightly and feeds into the ambition. Having perceived something as counterproductive, taking steps to correct this, what if this is aimed at that particular illusion?

    ==========

    C: Seeing through ‘wrong effort’ is an instance of ‘right effort’ and this accumulates.

    ==========

    C: So you need to understand the mind don’t you? Otherwise how would you know if it is indeed right effort? Not knowing this, how can you ever be sure that seva will not serve ego in ways not readily apparent?

    ===========

    C: Why do you perceive the enemy as being ‘out there’? Our real enemies are the ignorance, attachment, aversion, conceit and wrong understanding with which we keep perceiving things. One way to counter these is to develop good qualities such as kindness, compassion, moral restraint, generosity and so on. However the only way that they can gradually lose their power, is through the development of understanding, and this does not require being proactive about it. In fact a proactive approach is reflection of agitation which comes with attachment and aversion. And surely you’d not want to encourage these do you?

    ==========

    C: Again, we are talking about acceptance that comes with understanding. Indeed this acceptance is a manifestation of ‘detachment’ which is a requirement from the very outset for anyone who sees the harm of its opposite, namely ‘attachment’.
     
  14. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Confused ji and findingmyway ji! Thanks for engaging each point in this dialog in a serious and systematic way.

    • Out of pure selfishness on my part, for now I am personally gaining a better sense of karma in Buddhism.
    • Out of a perceived need to make interfaith comparisons and contrasts more complete, imho, a gap in our offerings on Buddhism is filled.

    The thread can now be moved to Interfaith Dialogs since the conversation has clearly taken that direction.
     
  15. Archived_member14

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    Tejwant ji,


    I wrote a response and thought that I had already sent it. But since I have not been able locate it; I am now sending a new one.

    Thanks for responding.
    =======
    Me:
    Could you please elaborate and give some examples of this, namely that Karma is a proven fact?


    C: I was not questioning the idea “we reap what we sow” but what you said about Karma being a ‘proven’ fact, which I took to be as referring to observable events from which a conclusion is drawn. In other words, I wanted to know how you came to be convinced about the reality of karma.

    ========
    C: Are you giving this as an example of karma at work?

    ========

    C: I am as sure about it as much as my understanding allows, not more and not less, which admittedly, is only at the kindergarten level and is light years away from the perfect understanding got as a result of direct insight. I believe however, that I am on the right track and this is based on the little understanding about the difference between states that are ‘cause’ and those that are ‘result’. This of course does not make what I state about the subject any more that mere repeating what is said in the texts. But alternative explanations have at the same time, been seen through to some extent, including those observations made in the conventional world, which we readily place our confidence and trust on.

    =========

    C: I believe this is a wrong approach to the problem, being that the problem is our ignorance of the Truth and not the lack of evidence, scientific or otherwise. Would we trust anyone’s testimony if the tendency to doubt is strong? Indeed, even if we were somehow transported into the distant past and provided ‘evidence’ of our having had another life. This kind of knowledge does absolutely nothing to reduce doubt.

    On the other hand, even if this is just to acknowledge it, if one sees the importance of understanding the present moment, one will admit to being completely ignorant about the mental and physical realities that make up this. At the same time however, there is confidence that the only way to understand anything ‘real’ is to study it directly and not just when we think about it. The fact that any evidence given as support for karma does nothing to reduce doubt, is based on this particular understanding that doubt can only be removed by direct understanding of both mental and physical phenomena. Evidences given are simply concepts placed against other concepts and weighed against. It works to appease the mind by sheer power of attachment to a particular idea.

    ==========

    C: Are you saying that Sikhi denies reincarnation or that it does not give it much weight? If the latter, I’d like you to consider what I suggested in my message to Ambarsaria ji in the “Do You Think That Sikhism Is Right/From God?” thread which I sent yesterday.
     
    #14 Archived_member14, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011
  16. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Confused ji I believe I am starting to follow your Karma exposition. In a way to understand I have paraphrased below with mostly your words from your Q&A in the following,

    Ambarsaria summary of Confused ji:
    Karma is a mental reality performing the function of coordinating and willing continuously, giving rise to both mental and physical phenomena through sense consciousness and the last consciousness with its volition, is cause for birth which follows immediately upon death.

    I can also understand the birth and death as mental physical phenomena in respect of Karma.

    However I want to pose for comment a variation on the one-to-one continuum. I illustrate it as,

    Abbreviations:
    · B(1) -> Birth 1
    · D(1) -> Death 1
    · L(1) -> Life 1
    · K(1) -> Karma L(1)
    · Note: I will arbitrarily classify state (1) as related to present life. So negative numbers will be past and positive numbers >1 will be future.

    Example 1: Linear continuity of single Karma flow
    ----------> B(-1), D(-2), L(-1), K(-1) -> B(0), D(-1), L(0), K(0) -> B(1), D(0), L(1), K(1) -> B(2), D(1), L(2), K(2) ------------->

    Example 2: Progressive continuity of many Karma interactions and cross development

    ----------> B(-1), D(-2), L(-1), K(w) -> B(0), D(-1), L(0), K(x)-> B(1), D(0), L(1), K(y) -> B(2), D(1), L(2), K(z) ------------->

    In Example 2, I can understand and see that K(w), K(x), K(y), K(z) as composite Karmas built from linear in Example 1 as well impacted by your life linkages blood/genetic (physical but possible mental phenomena as well) and virtual (social/cultural/etc., mostly mental but some physical phenomena as well) beyond your own oneness.

    I believe Sikhism not being anti-Science could reconcile with Example 2 versus Example 1.

    Either I am totally screwed up in my understanding of your great post or I am starting to crawl in my understanding of the same.

    Any comments appreciated.

    Sat Sri Akal.

    PS: Some relationship to Reasons 3, 4 and 5 in the following (5 Reasons why you won't die ...),

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/34243-five-reasons-you-wont-die.html#post140863
     
  17. Archived_member14

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    Ambarsaria ji,


    You must think that I’ve got a good IQ or something. But I actually get nervous when encountering numbers and equations! As a result I don’t really know what you are asking. You’d need to explain it to me some other way, and since I don’t in fact have a good IQ, a detailed explanation would be helpful.

    I understand that this is how you are trying to grasp the matter and it is in accordance with your particular accumulations. However I do feel that it is not right to try understanding these things by use of diagrams or equations. What is required is study of the present moment which includes recognizing any tendency to go off into intellectualizing about things. It appears to me that you are trying to get a big picture about karma or a bird’s eye view of it, which is fine if this is needed to get you interested. However it does seem like a formidable task for me to try and explain it to you in such a context.

    Also there is one thing you’d need to take into consideration. You will have noted that I talk a lot about ‘conditionality’. This is basically, specific types of relationships between mental and physical realities taking place at any given moment, without which the arising of those realities could not happen. There are altogether 28 of these conditions of which ‘karma condition’ is just one. Gets quite complex doesn’t it? :)

    ========
    C: OK for now, although I do anticipate some problem down the road, but I’d wait for that to happen before explaining more.

    ========
    Ambarsaria:
    C: Birth must be mental, although as all mental realities need a physical base upon which to arise, birth too needs one and this is the ‘heart base’.

    ========

    C: I await a more easy-to-understand version of the above. Meanwhile I’d like to point out that the physical reality such as the sense base and heart base which I’ve mentioned, are in fact so ephemeral that science won’t ever be making a statement about them. The attention of science at any given time is towards concepts which I consider to be ‘shadows of reality’, but never to reality itself.

    Likewise what you state about ‘virtual’, this too is concept. And of the 28 types of conditions that I mentioned above, concepts can only be ‘object condition’, which means it is the object of consciousness and nothing more. What you may have in mind are a host of experiences joined together by thought to create what is then taken to be ‘social influence’ etc., but the fact is that each one of those are actually separate instances of consciousness related to the next one by yet other types of conditions. And the conditionings involved in each one, are very specific. More importantly however, they are extremely fleeting and so if you are having some global idea as to what in fact influences what, that thought could in fact be misleading.

    ==========

    C: Again I’d need a ‘for dummies’ version about the subject. Although physics was indeed my favorite subject in school, we never even heard about quantum physics in those days. Before becoming interested in Buddhism I had read a little bit, but I don’t remember anything now.

    On the surface, what you cited appears to have some interesting ideas. However, the starting point and the concluding one are a problem, but to be expected since it comes in from what according to Buddhism is called ‘self-view’. This latter is at the root of what is termed ‘wrong view’ which has been compared to someone moving in the dark without any sense of direction. And what is also obvious and to be expected is that science does not and cannot work with reality, but only concepts. And therefore no matter how otherwise sincere a scientist is in his so-called ‘quest for truth’, he’d forever miss the point.

    Sorry for the delay in responding, things just kept coming up. But I hope I can give a more prompt response next time.
     
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  18. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Just wrote a very long post and lost it so am going to try again tomorrow as too exhausted now. I hate computers! :crash: yellingsardarni:down::8-:):crash:
     
  19. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    :motherlylove: :motherlylove:

    You have had a hard time of it with that computer of yours. Rest sounds good to me.
     
  20. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Just Karma :noticemunda:, it is written in the Kundli!winkingmunda

    Computers are so dumb till they find an intelligent partnerlol

    Me brain starting to melt so I have been parked to cool off for last 24-48 hours.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  21. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Confused ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    The problem I find in this interaction of ours is and please correct me if I am wrong that you see everything even what is shared with you about Sikhi through your Buddhist lens hence disregard what the true values and Sikhi concepts are shown to you. The interaction becomes a circular argument rather than a learning interaction.

    I can rebut your response one by one but that will lead us no where as it seems you are not open minded enough to accept Sikhi concepts of things like Karma, reincarnation and many more. No one is asking you to embrace them but just try to find another lens through which you can appreciate within of this prism which encompasses everything.

    As, you, yourself have admitted many times that you do not like long responses/posts which shows that your mind has already been made up and hence the refusal to see the contents of the long post which I am sure would be a learning expereince and at times eye openers.

    What I would suggest and this suggestion is only if you are interested in learning about Sikhism in a comparative fashion, to read many threads and posts already posted in this forum which have all the answers you have thus far asked and then share your experience by comparing them with your concepts and values.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     

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