Reply To: Jhana anantariya punna kamma


An anantariya kamma breaks the current bhava.

  • That means even if there is more kammic energy for the human bhava left, one will be born in an apaya when one’s physical body dies if one did an anantariya papa (apunna) kamma in this life.
  • In the same way, if one cultivated a jhana (an anatariya punna kamma), one will be born in the corresponding brahma realm.

“Breaking the human bhava” involves a clear change in one’s gathi (or gati).

  • When one does an anantariya papa kamma, ons’s gati changes irreversibly (not forever, but for this life).
  • No matter how many punna or kusala kamma one engages in AFTER doing that anantariya kamma, one will not be able to overcome it until one pays for that kamma by spending time in the appropriate apaya.

In the case of cultivating a jhana, one has transcended the human realm and is elevated to a brahma realm (by changing one’s gati).
– But unless it is an Ariya jhana, one can lose that “better gati” by engaging in activities that corrupts one’s mind. In that case one’s gati will reveres back to human, and if does an anatariya papa kamma, one’s gati will change to that of a being in an apaya.
– When one gets to an Ariya jhana, one’s anusaya or root causes have been permanently removed. That gati can never change.

Devadatta had cultivated anariya jhana. He went “downward” twice, first losing the jhanas, and then doing an anatariya papa kamma by injuring the Buddha.

This is why we need to be careful. It is easy to break something, but never easy to fix something that is broken.
– It is easy to corrupt a mind (that still has anusaya left), but it is very hard to overcome cravings and cultivate a defilement-free mind.
The exception is that it is not possible to break a magga phala or an Ariya jhana.

The key is to understand gati and how they are intricately associated with one’s mindset.

Buddha Dhamma is NOT based on kamma and kamma vipaka, even though they play a significant role.
– It is based on causes (hetu) and effects (phala).
– If we HAVE TO pay back all the bad (or good) kamma we have done, we will never be able to attain Nibbana. What is critical to do is to remove root causes (anusaya). That is always associated with magga phala. One cannot get to Ariya jhana unless one has magga phala.