Reply To: Pāpa Kamma Versus Akusala Kamma


“1) Those 4 actions also apply to good deeds?”

“2) The order that those 4 acts are listed, is it in order of highest kammic weight to lowest kammic weight(assuming the actions are done to the same sentient being)?”

Mental effects are hard to quantify, as I explained in a previous comment too. It depends also on the mental state (progress on the Path) of the particular person.

Please read the posts mentioned in #14 of that post.

For example, killing a human is million-fold worse than killing an animal. Even saying something hurtful to a human is much worse than killing an animal. These cannot be explained in a single response like this or even in a post. I highly recommend reading those posts in #14. If there are more questions, we can discuss those.

Lying is also really not “musā vāda”. The precept “musā vāda veramani sikkhā padam samādiyāmi” has been one of the precepts that is being mis-translated as, “I will refrain from lying”.

“musā” is wrong and “vāda” is trying to make a point. So, musa vada really means “making adhamma to be dhamma and vice versa.
– For example, if one says it is OK to kill animals for pleasure, that is a musā vāda. If someone says, “There is no rebirth” or “there is no benefit in giving” those are musā vāda.

Let me give an example of a case of lying that is not musā vāda; When Nazis came looking for Jews, some Germans hid them in their homes. If Nazis came to their house and asked whether there are any Jews in the house, they would say “no”. That was a lie, but is not a musā vāda. They were trying to save the lives of those people.

Here is an example from the Tipitaka that most people are aware of. Prince Nanda (who was a cousin of prince Siddhartha), was going to get married to a beautiful princess and also become the King on the same day. The Buddha saw that Nanda had the ability to become an Arahant. So, he persuaded Nanda to become a bhikkhu. Even though Nanda became a bhikkhu, he kept thinking about his princess. So, the Buddha one day took him to the deva realm and showed him some beautiful female devas, and asked him he would rather those or the princess that he was going to get married to. Bhikkhu Nanda said, his princess was like a “burnt monkey” compared to those female devas. So, the Buddha promised that Nanda would be able to have those female devas, if he followed the instructions given by the Buddha. By following those instructions, Ven. Nanda soon attained the Arahanthood.
– A Buddha would never be able utter a musā vāda. What he actually did was to save Nanda from unimaginable future suffering. If he became the King, he would accumulate many bad kamma enough to be born in the apayas many time over.
– However, this does mean it is OK to lie. In most cases, a lie is a musā vāda.