Controversial Life Is Easier Without Karma - A Discussion

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Kanwaljit.Singh

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Hukam means they ended up in a situation, that they were there when attacker struck. So it's almost similar to what you understood. Karam and karma are same, its the english way of writing and pronunciation of Karam as karma!
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Gyani ji,

Confused Ji..

What I understand form Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji..and delving into Gurbani is that when Guru nanak ji came on the World Scene..He found lines already drawn...lines representing Karma..reincarnation..heaven ...Hell..rebirth..33 Kror Devis and Devtas ..Vedas, koran, bible simrtees, purans, caste system etc etc etc...

Instead of wasting valuable time ( even then it took almost 10 lifetimes and 230 years form planning to fruition ) ...REFUTING..ERASING..DIMINISHING all those "lines"....Guru nanak Ji took the Way of DRAWING LONGER LINES.....and by simple comparison..a SIKH can CHOOSE. Thus we have posters here who INSIST that Devis and devtas EXIST simply because their existence was NOT EXPLICITLY DENIED by Gurbani...BUT these posters then also ADMIT that compared to Akal Purakh..the Devis Devtas are INSIGNIFICANT. THATS exactly the POINT....beside the small short line of Shivji..Brahma..Guru Ji drew such a HUGE LONG LINE of AKAL PURAKH that comparison is out of the question...its like comparing a one celled amoeba with a Whale !!! comparing a speck of silica on the beach with the Himalayas...(even these examples fall far short but will have to suffice for sheer necessity for NOW)..

SAME goes for all those Karmas , reincarnations, laws and theories....and all....His HUKM OVER_RIDES ALL by such a wide Margin that all the galaxies and Universes cant . measure it.. ITS SHEER and MERELY CHURNING WATER...no butter in water.

What is more direct than pointing to the experience through the five senses and the mind? When covetousness arises and understood for what it is, what better basis than this is there for overcoming it? Covetousness is Karma which gives rise to unpleasant result in the future. Understanding is Karma which will bring pleasant results. Covetousness accumulates as tendency and so too does understanding, this also can be known “now”. What is more direct and more practical than this!

But I think what you are saying is that better than this particular Path, there exists one which leads to much quicker results. Please tell me then, what is involved in this? One thing for sure is that it must not be about knowing a present moment reality. Yet according to you, it is based on wisdom. The question then is, what is it that this wisdom understands? And how is it even known to be wisdom to begin with?
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Ambers ji,

My understanding of Buddhist Karma (Theravada) is that there is an element of control in Dependent Origination. We are conditioned by past ignorance and the formations,

Just a reminder, there is no 'self' who is conditioned by past ignorance and formations. If we go by the perception that there is someone who has ignorance or wisdom and to whom things happen, whether we then go on to believe that there is control or no control, either way we are wrong.

however we can control the six senses and that in turn changes name&form and consciousness. This halts craving and attachment.

I think that you must have heard this explanation from someone else. Personally I don't like to think about the dependent origination. It is fine when looked at as being an explanation regarding the process of the cycle of existence. And it of course is also happening now. But given that there is no real understanding with regard to the characteristic of realities that make up my moment to moment experience, chances are that I'd only end up proliferating when thinking about the D.O. But even with this little understanding, I know one thing, that *all* conditioned phenomena are non-self (anatta), therefore not subject to the control of will.

There is of course sense-control, but this is the function of mindfulness and understanding and these two, like all realities, is conditioned and can't be made to happen simply because we wish it. That there is a Path to it happening, this too involves realities all arising by conditions alone and not by a decision to follow ideas which 'self' projects.

My understanding is that 'free will' or rather will, exists as intentions. When the intentions follow the Eightfold noble path, then they are skilful intentions and will lead to a chance of benevolent results. This I feel is pretty much your explanation above, however I mention this to point out that it doesn't agree that “nothing can be controlled”. Rather there is control but at a much earlier level of six-senses and the arising consciousness.

No. No control is an aspect of anatta which is one of the three universal characteristics of all conditioned phenomena.

There is good and bad intention, each associated with particular thoughts. But intention is conditioned by the other mental factors accompanying it, all arisen and fallen away already by the time that it is known. Besides, intention is not a factor of the Path. Some interpret samma sankhapa as right intention, but it is actually right thought. These people then go on to believe that in having the intention to do good and practice mindfulness and concentration, they are thereby following the Path. But this is ignorance, attachment and self-views doing the talking.

Ambers ji, the D.O. is not easy to comprehend at all. My impression is that you are missing the point of the Buddha's teachings, which is to develop the understanding of the present moment reality, in making reference to the D.O. The most important step is to understand the reality / concept distinction. From this we then begin to see how much ignorance there in fact is. This ignorance is defined in terms of the Four Noble Truths, and this refers to the mental and physical phenomena which make up our lives. Unless this happens, we are likely to think wrongly about everything that we read and have a false impression that understanding is being developed when in reality it is may just be getting a grasp through philosophical reasoning.

This is where Karma (kamma) takes a role in Buddhist thought, as you probably know. Karma is the field, consciousness the seed and Craving the moisture. Our past habits and actions form karma which reappear in the present moment, consciousness 'falls' on the field and through craving we empower the action based on our previous karma. This in turn strengthens karma and leads to further results and ignorance. This is a rough sketch from my memory, I would have to quote the Pali Canon for accuracy.

I don't know how you arrived at the line of thought. Perhaps you are thinking in the context of the dependent origination. But my impression is that you are proliferating like mad, and as I said, missing the point. The D.O. is not where one looks to in order to understand kamma. Kamma is intention which arises with all volitional consciousness. Although not all such intention is kammapatha, namely wholesome and unwholesome course of action which will bring results in the future. There is intention also with resultant consciousness; here however, it performs the function of coordinating the other mental factors only. But kamma as cause can be understood as and when they arise and this includes when craving is at the root.

All formations accumulate in intensity with each arising. I don't understand what you mean by “Our past habits and actions form karma which reappear in the present moment….”. Please explain.

Now, for me there are two issues beyond karma which lead me to look elsewhere for answers. Firstly Buddhism offers no explication for existence,

Before I respond to this, you must first explain to me what it is that you mean by “existence”.

except for craving, and secondly the world is suffering even after Nirvana.

I'm not familiar with this line of thought. Please explain.

Nirvana is the extinguishing of craving, aversion and ignorance, but it does not lead to a better world.

What according to you is “world”?

My point here is that it isn't Karma which is a concern so much as the fact that I do not belive the material world has an inherent quality of dukkha - suffering.

This is from the Buddhist dictionary:

dukkhatā (abstr. noun fr. dukkha): 'the state of suffering', painfulness, unpleasantness, the unsatisfactoriness of existence. "There are three kinds of suffering:
(1) suffering as pain (dukkha-dukkhatā),
(2) the suffering inherent in the formations (saṅkhāra-dukkhatā),
(3) the suffering in change (vipariṇāma-dukkhatā)" (S. XLV, 165; D. 33).

(1) is the bodily or mental feeling of pain as actual]y felt. (2) refers to the oppressive nature of all formations of existence (i.e. all conditioned phenomena), due to their continual arising and passing away; this includes also experiences associated with neutral feeling. (3) refers to bodily and mental pleasant feelings, "because they are the cause for the arising of pain when they change" (Vis.M. XIV, 34f).

Physical phenomena have the characteristic of dukkha as in the 2nd meaning above. But I suspect that your reference to the “material world” is not the same as the physical phenomena that I refer to, but some concept. If so, this may explain why you can’t comprehend suffering in relation to this.

In my view, the world is neither good nor bad.

What world are you talking about? Do you not believe in the reality of good states such as kindness, morality, generosity, compassion on one hand and bad states such as hatred, envy, greed and conceit on the other? Or is it that you are referring to the 'material world'? Well of course, physical phenomena can't be good or bad! How did you get the impression that Buddhism says that it is?

It can be considered Divine if we introduce theism.

But why use the particular concept when you do not believe in the existence of God? Do you think it makes no difference if someone believes in God and refers to those associated ideas? If there is no God, does this not mean that the perception of divinity only makes matters worse?

However what I see in my self is that the mind changes from good, negative and passionate, the view of the world changes with the mind. So all that needs to change is the mind's view, not the world. When we change the mind's view (or reside in pure consciousness) we are liberated. But we must still act, so this is where Karma is interesting for me personally.

“Pure consciousness”? This does not sound like something you'd get from studying the Buddha's teachings.
Instead of thinking that “we” must act, can you not think in terms of there being a need for much development? This development involves not only wisdom, but all kinds of wholesome deeds such as generosity, kindness, morality, patience, truthfulness, renunciation and equanimity. And these are all good karma.
 
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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Kanwaljit ji,

Karam and Hukam are easy to understand.

Karam = things that were in your hand or control to some extent e.g. you slapping your neighbour

Hukam = things that are beyond your control e.g. cyclones

The example that you give for Hukam is according to Buddhism, the result of the caloric order, which is one of the Fivefold Cosmic Orders.
As I understand it, Hukam is supposed to encompass all...?
 
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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Kanwaljit ji,

Hukam means they ended up in a situation, that they were there when attacker struck. So it's almost similar to what you understood. Karam and karma are same, its the english way of writing and pronunciation of Karam as karma!

But didn't you just distinguish karam from Hukam? And is it not that a person landing up in a situation is largely the result of his own intentions (karam)?
 

Luckysingh

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Karam and Hukam are easy to understand.

Karam = things that were in your hand or control to some extent e.g. you slapping your neighbour

Hukam = things that are beyond your control e.g. cyclones

This description should make much more sense. In the case of someone attacking some people in a place, as in Ishnaji's query.-As said, it is the Hukam that places all these people there in the first instance.
However the karam or karma of each individual dictates the survival and injury extent that is received by each of them.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a discussion.

Confused Ji,
with the utmost respect..i CANNOT get head or tail in your posts. I think posters like Ambers are much betterswordfight at this. I am a simple Sikh who beleives in following and adapting what my Guru says. I have actively CHOSEN my GURU..and for me HE speaks the TRUTH UNIVERSAL....and I ENJOY that. While I dont dispute that there may be Buddhas siddhs sadhus who also spoke the Universal TRUTH..i am NOT at all concerned with that issue.Guru nanak ji traveled all over..HE still believed in what HE believed IN and I believe in HIM as per what he wrote in SGGS.

Simple example..the MCDonalds Burger in new York may be the exact same taste etc..BUT I relish and enjoy the one my dad bought for me NOW and HERE in Kuala Lumpur...I am neither "confused" nor negating the fact that the MCdonalds burgers in NY is also the same.its just the fact that I have the One in my hands and I am enjoying it to the best of my ABILITY. The Ice Cream tub melting in my hands is a better "Universal truth" to me than the one lying in some freezer in Wisconsin State that Lizzy Tailor may swear by as the Best..creamiest..I better EAT MINE here before it melts rather than be confused..SIKH is ME...SGGS is MY GURU and Gurmatt my path. Period. Life is too SHORT for me to be gallivanting form one Buddha to another Siddh....because IF TRUTH is UNIVERSAL..then we dont need to argue so much...or be eternally CONFUSED..

Apologies for backing out...ji.
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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But didn't you just distinguish karam from Hukam? And is it not that a person landing up in a situation is largely the result of his own intentions (karam)?<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

Regarding recent examples, people going to watch a movie in halls is Karam (there is no specifice intention apart from family time) while the incident which happened is Hukam.

True Hukam is super set of Karams of all sentient beings and forces of nature.
 

Embers

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Ambers ji,



Just a reminder, there is no 'self' who is conditioned by past ignorance and formations. If we go by the perception that there is someone who has ignorance or wisdom and to whom things happen, whether we then go on to believe that there is control or no control, either way we are wrong.
Confused ji
I am happy to continue with anatta as ‘true’. My post above took the position that there is a self. This is legacy from being on a Sikh forum where a self, soul, atman, is considered ‘fact’. Let’s take anatta from now on as ‘true’.

I have done some cutting and pasting to try to answers your last questions without too much repetition, I hope it doesn’t distract from the quality of our conversation.

You have asked, or suggested, a few times where or from whom I have learnt these ideas. There is no single person or source, but rather a mixture of conversations and reading.

For clarity, I do NOT consider myself a Buddhist nor experienced in Buddhism. I am writing about this at your kind invitation to explore Karma (initially in Sikhism but it has now become Buddhism it seems). I mean no arrogance by this, I simply hope to set the expectation that I am in no way an expert in Buddhism, nor is there craving to be a Buddhist.

I think that you must have heard this explanation from someone else. Personally I don't like to think about the dependent origination. It is fine when looked at as being an explanation regarding the process of the cycle of existence. And it of course is also happening now. But given that there is no real understanding with regard to the characteristic of realities that make up my moment to moment experience, chances are that I'd only end up proliferating when thinking about the D.O. But even with this little understanding, I know one thing, that *all* conditioned phenomena are non-self (anatta), therefore not subject to the control of will.

There is of course sense-control, but this is the function of mindfulness and understanding and these two, like all realities, is conditioned and can't be made to happen simply because we wish it. That there is a Path to it happening, this too involves realities all arising by conditions alone and not by a decision to follow ideas which 'self' projects.
I feel that D.O is important and we will need to come back to it at some point to explain kamma, none the less to avoid proliferation lets talk around it.

No. No control is an aspect of anatta which is one of the three universal characteristics of all conditioned phenomena.

There is good and bad intention, each associated with particular thoughts. But intention is conditioned by the other mental factors accompanying it, all arisen and fallen away already by the time that it is known. Besides, intention is not a factor of the Path. Some interpret samma sankhapa as right intention, but it is actually right thought. These people then go on to believe that in having the intention to do good and practice mindfulness and concentration, they are thereby following the Path. But this is ignorance, attachment and self-views doing the talking.
Agreed, from a Buddhist perspective I have no quibbles. You have explained intention well to me, thank you.

By your words “ignorance and self-views” I take it to mean that there is an assumed self who has the intention, however a right view is that there is really only conditioning, is that correct?

Ambers ji, the D.O. is not easy to comprehend at all. My impression is that you are missing the point of the Buddha's teachings, which is to develop the understanding of the present moment reality, in making reference to the D.O. The most important step is to understand the reality / concept distinction. From this we then begin to see how much ignorance there in fact is. This ignorance is defined in terms of the Four Noble Truths, and this refers to the mental and physical phenomena which make up our lives. Unless this happens, we are likely to think wrongly about everything that we read and have a false impression that understanding is being developed when in reality it is may just be getting a grasp through philosophical reasoning.
Please briefly explain the reality/concept distinction you mention, so I am clear.


I don't know how you arrived at the line of thought. Perhaps you are thinking in the context of the dependent origination. But my impression is that you are proliferating like mad, and as I said, missing the point. The D.O. is not where one looks to in order to understand kamma. Kamma is intention which arises with all volitional consciousness. Although not all such intention is kammapatha, namely wholesome and unwholesome course of action which will bring results in the future. There is intention also with resultant consciousness; here however, it performs the function of coordinating the other mental factors only. But kamma as cause can be understood as and when they arise and this includes when craving is at the root.
This is interesting, are you suggesting that ‘kamma as a cause of craving’ can be seen and understood by us? If so how does one distinguish kamma that is not based on craving, aversion and ignorance as there is still intention?

Does intention ever cease? If so what impels a being without intention to act?


All formations accumulate in intensity with each arising. I don't understand what you mean by “Our past habits and actions form karma which reappear in the present moment….”. Please explain.
My understanding is that the field of Kamma consists of ignorance. Loosely put ignorance consists of the 10 fetters and it is these fetters which I meant to imply by “habits and actions from [past] karma arising in the present moment”. The present moment is the only moment in which one can witness the fetters. Feel free to explain further.


Before I respond to this, you must first explain to me what it is that you mean by “existence”.
By ‘Existence’ from a Buddhist perspective I mean bhāva or Becoming. From a Sikh perspective I mean “Sat”, Atman, Consciousness. From now on I will stick to the Buddhist ‘Becoming’ so we can understand one another.


Quote: except for craving, and secondly the world is suffering even after Nirvana.
What according to you is “world”? Well of course, physical phenomena can't be good or bad! How did you get the impression that Buddhism says that it is?
I'm not familiar with this line of thought. Please explain.
By "the world is suffering after Nirvana" I mean: the suffering inherent in the formations (saṅkhāra-dukkhatā). By “world” I mean formations. All formations are anatta, anicca and dukkha. I do not foresee an end of formations after Nirvana.

But why use the particular concept when you do not believe in the existence of God? Do you think it makes no difference if someone believes in God and refers to those associated ideas? If there is no God, does this not mean that the perception of divinity only makes matters worse?

“Pure consciousness”? This does not sound like something you'd get from studying the Buddha's teachings.
Instead of thinking that “we” must act, can you not think in terms of there being a need for much development? This development involves not only wisdom, but all kinds of wholesome deeds such as generosity, kindness, morality, patience, truthfulness, renunciation and equanimity. And these are all good karma.

I do believe in God as Atman. The issue here is that we are still establishing the teaching in which we are discussing. I was mixing both as I was not sure if you wished to talk about Buddhism or Sikhism (or Vedanta for example). Now we are speaking of Buddhism we can focus on anatta. Needless to say, I do not subscribe to anatta (for various reasons), but we can chat about it as if it were true.

Thanks for taking the time to share your understanding of Buddhism, it is appreciated even if we may not agree on anatta. (I wonder now if we should discuss anatta before karma if you feel uneasy continuing with different views?).
 

Embers

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Regarding recent examples, people going to watch a movie in halls is Karam (there is no specifice intention apart from family time) while the incident which happened is Hukam.

True Hukam is super set of Karams of all sentient beings and forces of nature.
Hello All.
Good example, Kanwaljit Ji.
I would say that it is Karam that Man A throws a stone, but it is Hukam that another person (Man B) happens to walk past and be hit by it at that time as Man A didn't see Man B earlier.

The issue is that from the other person's perspective (Man B) it is his karam that he choose to walk that path at that time I was throwing a stone. The fact that a stone hits him could be considered Hukam by Man B.

So what happens is that we have two views:

1) Two people acting (karam) and no Hukam

or

2) Only Hukam.

The view that there is only Hukam is the most interesting to me personally as relates more with my original topic in this thread with Sikhism in mind. :)
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Kanwaljit Ji,

Regarding recent examples, people going to watch a movie in halls is Karam (there is no specifice intention apart from family time) while the incident which happened is Hukam.

True Hukam is super set of Karams of all sentient beings and forces of nature.

Even the most simple of activity, this must involve a host of experiences through the senses and the mind. One can't move a finger without an intention to do so and this too, not just one instance of it. Someone being shot at may or may not get hit. If he does get hit however, the extent of pain, instant death or after much suffering, this depends on a complex set of conditions of which past bad karma is only one. And this too, is about different karmas at different moments, such that there are times when the pain is intense and there are moments where the pain is less. Which one arises depends on so many conditions, including the general health of the victim, how much pain relief drugs he takes and also how anything else takes away his attention.

We should avoid thinking about karma or any other phenomena in a way that is suggestive of determinism.
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Ambers ji,

I am happy to continue with anatta as ‘true’.

No, let's not do this. If you do not agree with anatta, then there is no basis for discussing anything Dhamma. The Buddha was called the Anattavadhin or the Teacher of non-self. Therefore as you suggested in the end of your message, perhaps we should fist discuss this before proceeding to talk about kamma.
 

Harry Haller

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Karam and Hukam are easy to understand.

Karam = things that were in your hand or control to some extent e.g. you slapping your neighbour

Hukam = things that are beyond your control e.g. cyclones

Kanwaljitji

I disagree with you here,

My own interpretation of Sikhism is that Creator does not interfere in Creation. It is for this reason that I disagree with prayers asking Creator to change things. Judgement comes from Creation. Cyclones, earthquakes, storms, can be attributed to many things, not least some bearded chap sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt, or a line in a book (hmmm today its cyclone day), Our treatment of the environment, our interference in the natural order of the world could also cause these disasters.

I think Hukam is well within our control, Hukam to me is more like a natural law, like gravity, only a fool would jump of a cliff, because of gravity, only a fool would ignore the basic Hukam that we all take for granted, we eat, we live, we stay clear of situations that could cause us harm, some are better than others, those are the ones that are far sighted enough to see what consequences follow actions.

Hukam remains to me, the suggestion of God, every day, ever hour, we talk, think and act. How happy and content we are depends on how many times we observe Hukam, or ignore it. A Gursikh follows Hukam, a manmukh does not.

In a nutshell, in my own opinion, it is up to us whether we follow Hukam or not.

As Sikhs we must be careful not to confuse it with the concept of Fate. What has happened in the US is not fate, the killer was following his own heart, Sardar Kaleka was following Hukam.
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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Harry ji you disagreeing with me makes me want to disagree with myself :D

Anyway regarding this

My own interpretation of Sikhism is that Creator does not interfere in Creation. It is for this reason that I disagree with prayers asking Creator to change things. Judgement comes from Creation. Cyclones, earthquakes, storms, can be attributed to many things, not least some bearded chap sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt, or a line in a book

I think all the disturbances in Creation are within creation itself. There is no external influence.

I think you are right in interpreting Hukam as a sort of Sixth Sense. I am just looking at it like Fate.
 

Randip Singh

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Everyone knows life is easier without karma.. but I don't understand why you need to point it out considering it here.

Karma is based off your previous birth, Sikhi isn't Abrahamic. Karma means if you do good you will get good in your next incarnation.. even if it is an animal or a human. Just like how dogs get some of the most loving homes, and some aren't so lucky (dogs). You can get mukti and get out of the rebirth passage where there will be no Karma. But if you aren't interested in that, just be nice to others and you will get a nice 'next' life. This is why you see poor people being poor, or disabled people being disabled.. still we need to respect them as much as we respect others, as it is good for us and them.

Karma also implies that you will be born as an Untouchable or Sudra in your next life.

Sikh's don't believe in caste, hence why we don't believe in Karma. The only Karma you have to think about is here and now. Your action here will affect you here. For example if I drive at 100 mph everywhere, the chance are I will kill, hurt someone or be arrested.....or kill myself.
 

Embers

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Ambers ji,



No, let's not do this. If you do not agree with anatta, then there is no basis for discussing anything Dhamma. The Buddha was called the Anattavadhin or the Teacher of non-self. Therefore as you suggested in the end of your message, perhaps we should fist discuss this before proceeding to talk about kamma.

Confused Ji. Understood. It isn't that I am opposed to anatta, but rather I have not been convinced of its truth.

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi in the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma on the topic of Citta and consciousness:

"What we ordinarily think of as consciousness is a series of cittas, momentary acts of consciousness, occurring in such rapid succession that we cannot detect the discrete occasions, which are of diverse types.... The Abhidhamma... also exhibits them as ordered into a cosmos, a unified and closely interwoven whole." I.2 (Page 29)

My personal conclusion of this is that if "we cannot detect the discrete occasions" then there is little empirical evidence to conclude that it i.e. consciousness or citta, is not permanent. In which case I am left with a permanent consciousness (or citta) which I may as well consider self, consciousness or Atman.

I would still be interested in your response on intention, a question from my last post, if you would be so kind to consider it:

This is interesting, are you suggesting that ‘kamma as a cause of craving’ can be seen and understood by us? If so how does one distinguish kamma that is not based on craving, aversion and ignorance as there is still intention?

Does intention ever cease? If so what impels a being without intention to act?
 

Randip Singh

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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Kanwaljitji

I disagree with you here,

My own interpretation of Sikhism is that Creator does not interfere in Creation. It is for this reason that I disagree with prayers asking Creator to change things. Judgement comes from Creation. Cyclones, earthquakes, storms, can be attributed to many things, not least some bearded chap sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt, or a line in a book (hmmm today its cyclone day), Our treatment of the environment, our interference in the natural order of the world could also cause these disasters.

I think Hukam is well within our control, Hukam to me is more like a natural law, like gravity, only a fool would jump of a cliff, because of gravity, only a fool would ignore the basic Hukam that we all take for granted, we eat, we live, we stay clear of situations that could cause us harm, some are better than others, those are the ones that are far sighted enough to see what consequences follow actions.

Hukam remains to me, the suggestion of God, every day, ever hour, we talk, think and act. How happy and content we are depends on how many times we observe Hukam, or ignore it. A Gursikh follows Hukam, a manmukh does not.

In a nutshell, in my own opinion, it is up to us whether we follow Hukam or not.

As Sikhs we must be careful not to confuse it with the concept of Fate. What has happened in the US is not fate, the killer was following his own heart, Sardar Kaleka was following Hukam.


The way to look at Hukam is things like gravity.

You jump out of a plane, you will fall.

Earthquakes etc all serve a purpose in reating more land mass etc.

How we can help ourselves in such areas is for example building Earthquake proof buildings or maybe not living there?
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Embers ji,


Confused Ji. Understood. It isn't that I am opposed to anatta, but rather I have not been convinced of its truth.

And this means that you are convinced about the truth of Atman?
But before I proceed, let me answer your question regarding the reality/concept distinction.
Realities are two, the conditioned and the unconditioned.
Conditioned realities are two, mental and physical phenomena.
Mental phenomena are two, consciousness and mental factors.

The five sense consciousness are real so too their corresponding bases and objects. The one through the mind door is real, but the object of the mind door include concepts which is the product of memory and thinking. Concepts are not real.

So for example, when we perceive a monitor screen, we can understand that this is a concept formed at the mind door and is not what the eye consciousness experiences. Seeing experiences visible object, hearing experiences sound, tasting experiences taste, smelling experiences smell and touch experiences, the primary elements of earth, fire and wind.

Before hearing about all this, we got the impression that seeing for example, sees people and things, but now we understand that this is not so and therefore begin to appreciate how much ignorance there is.

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi in the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma on the topic of Citta and consciousness:

Quote: "What we ordinarily think of as consciousness is a series of cittas, momentary acts of consciousness, occurring in such rapid succession that we cannot detect the discrete occasions, which are of diverse types.... The Abhidhamma... also exhibits them as ordered into a cosmos, a unified and closely interwoven whole." I.2 (Page 29)

My personal conclusion of this is that if "we cannot detect the discrete occasions"

We cannot detect but we can understand. Why do you think that the development of the Path requires coming to be aware of a single unit of consciousness?

then there is little empirical evidence to conclude that it i.e. consciousness or citta, is not permanent.

The fourth of the Four Noble Truths is the Noble Eightfold Path. This is a Path of understanding and not of coming to see individual consciousness which is impossible anyway, due to the very nature of the consciousness process. Besides, what you are saying has the implication that the development of wisdom begins only after seeing individual consciousness rise and fall, and this does not make sense, does it?

And what of the relationship between suttamayapana (understanding at the level of hearing), cintamayapanna (understanding at the level of reflection) and bhavanamayapanna (direct understanding)? Indeed the dispensation is sometimes described in terms of intellectual understanding, direct understanding and realization or pariyatti, patipatti and pativedha. This means that those who are savakas and considered followers of the Buddha include pariyatti level of understanding as well. Also with all levels of understanding is the mental factor of saddha or confidence / faith, are you saying that this cannot arise for one who does not see individual consciousness rise and fall away?

Individual characteristics of different types of consciousness, mental factors and physical phenomena appear all day. The problem is that we take them for 'self' or 'something' instead of understanding them for what they are as elements, as mental phenomena or physical phenomena, as aggregate and so on. Indeed it is in the very understanding of an element as element that “self” is negated. In other words it is not self, precisely because it is an element or reality.

Both Impermanence and non-self can be understood at a basic level by knowing for example, that the perception of 'computer screen' follows upon the experience by seeing consciousness of visible object. The seeing fell away by conditions and was followed by the thinking which arose and fell away without control. And take anger for example, who wants to get angry, yet it is there before we know it. With a little understanding we can also see the thinking moves around from one object to another to feed the anger. Would this have happened if anger was self? Anger is so unpleasant, who would wish for it. And when angry, there is also seeing, thinking and other sense experiences, would it not be that in order for the one to appear, the other must have fallen away? And that they seem to all happen simultaneously does this not point to the tremendous rate at which the different consciousness rise and fall away one after another?

As I pointed out, no control and anatta are intimately connected. If there is no control over any consciousness such as seeing, hearing and thinking, the mental factors such as feeling, anger and attachment and no control over growth and decay of the physical body, this means that there is no ‘self’ who would otherwise have been able to control.

You refer to the need for empirical evidence. But is wisdom about proving things either to oneself or someone else? Does wisdom require reasoning to be convinced? What would the evidence be measured against?

In which case I am left with a permanent consciousness (or citta) which I may as well consider self, consciousness or Atman.

You might consider instead that this is evidence of the extent of ignorance. Indeed that you fall back on the perception of permanence and 'self' reflects the influence of wrong view.

Someone who hears the Buddha for the first time and has some understanding of the message would get the impression of coming to know what he never knew and very different from everything else. Doubt is one of the main fetters and appears to influence your thinking. You are saying to the effect that because you do not understand the Buddha's teaching on Anatta, you will have to believe in Atman. And because you don’t perceive / understand impermanence, you have to assume permanence. This is not right is it, given that you approach the teachings in order to understand and then suddenly appeal to empirical evidence to judge whether or not the Buddha was right?

And since you refer to the need for evidence, why don’t you show me the evidence for permanence and atman?

I would still be interested in your response on intention, a question from my last post, if you would be so kind to consider it:

Quote: This is interesting, are you suggesting that 'kamma as a cause of craving' can be seen and understood by us?

No, you misread me. What I said was:
Quote: “But kamma as cause can be understood as and when they arise and this includes when craving is at the root.”

It meant that kamma is cause, and that when this is rooted in craving, it can be understood as such.

If so how does one distinguish kamma that is not based on craving, aversion and ignorance as there is still intention?

Your referring to dependent origination as basis for understanding kamma could be seen as showing that so long as ignorance has not been eradicated, there’d be kamma conditioning rebirth. This includes not only unwholesome kamma rooted in craving, aversion and ignorance, but good kamma rooted in non-attachment, non-aversion and non-delusion as well.

Moral restraint for example, can be known, as is the intention to lie.

Does intention ever cease? If so what impels a being without intention to act?

There is intention as a mental factor with every kind of consciousness. When this accompanies a resultant consciousness, it performs the function merely of coordinating the associated states. When it accompanies volitional consciousness it also performs the function of kamma, namely cause for future results. But not all such kamma produces results, only those that are the ten wholesome and unwholesome courses of conduct. The intention accompanying the functional consciousness of the Arahat, this does not produce any results. Without intention, there is no Buddha, not to speak of his actions.
 

Luckysingh

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Dec 4, 2011
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Re: Life is easier without karma - a dicussion.

Kanwaljitji

I disagree with you here,

My own interpretation of Sikhism is that Creator does not interfere in Creation. It is for this reason that I disagree with prayers asking Creator to change things. Judgement comes from Creation. Cyclones, earthquakes, storms, can be attributed to many things, not least some bearded chap sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt, or a line in a book (hmmm today its cyclone day), Our treatment of the environment, our interference in the natural order of the world could also cause these disasters.

I think Hukam is well within our control, Hukam to me is more like a natural law, like gravity, only a fool would jump of a cliff, because of gravity, only a fool would ignore the basic Hukam that we all take for granted, we eat, we live, we stay clear of situations that could cause us harm, some are better than others, those are the ones that are far sighted enough to see what consequences follow actions.

Hukam remains to me, the suggestion of God, every day, ever hour, we talk, think and act. How happy and content we are depends on how many times we observe Hukam, or ignore it. A Gursikh follows Hukam, a manmukh does not.

In a nutshell, in my own opinion, it is up to us whether we follow Hukam or not.

As Sikhs we must be careful not to confuse it with the concept of Fate. What has happened in the US is not fate, the killer was following his own heart, Sardar Kaleka was following Hukam.

I'm not too sure here, but it does make you think. I am not disagreeing with anyone but I believe Kanwaljit's general rule of thumb is pretty good.

- Hukam is the events or happenings that we don't have any control over or that our actions can overide whereas
-Karma is events or situations that we can have more control over and can be overidden or changed.

Harryji mentioned that it's upto us whether we follow hukam or not and one who follows is a gurmukh compared to the non-following manmukh.
- I'm not too sure but I don't think it is about the following as such. I think that events or happenings under the will or hukam are there to accept, I don't think we can refuse the hukam, it is there and that's it.

I do strongly agree that an example of hukam lets say some natural disasters like tsunami and hurricanes are NOT just dictated by God, but it is the result of us humans messing with the laws of nature.
-But, it must get to such an extent that it becomes totally uncontrollable or irreversible at the stage when it is pure hukam.-

Eg. our messing with laws of nature like chopping trees, burning fuels and interupting natural balance of moisture and gases eventually leads to a tsunami!! (this is just a fictional statement to use as an example)

-Now, at early stages we can stop this action and therefore may prevent it occuring, but eventually a threshold is reached such that it is now too late to quit as a tsunami will occur because of our messing.- it is therefore irreversible and action of pure hukam.

Hukam is there and that's it, when something will happen then there is no stopping it. So, i don't think that we are that free to choose to follow or not, we get to a stage where we just have to accept.

When looking into this in this manner, then we can't assume that it is ONLY HUKAM that is running the show, there must be other influences such as our actions and karma.


I reckon that most of us do have a good idea about this but just trying to define and put into words seems to prove difficult.

Maybe, if someone disagrees or can't understand, then they could forward some examples that we could focus on when trying to explain.
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Harryji mentioned that it's upto us whether we follow hukam or not and one who follows is a gurmukh compared to the non-following manmukh.
- I'm not too sure but I don't think it is about the following as such. I think that events or happenings under the will or hukam are there to accept, I don't think we can refuse the hukam, it is there and that's it.

If it were just a case of acceptance , there would not be as much Bani as there is, suggesting we do align ourselves with Creator. The words Manmukh and Gurmukh cease to have relevance if everything is pre written
 
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