Reply To: Post on “Kukkuravatika Sutta (Majjhima Nikāya 57) – Kammakkhaya”


There are several essential things to remember.

1. Sobhana and asobhana cetasika (i.e., punnabhisankhara and apunnabhisankhara) cannot arise in the same citta that arises in a billionth of a second.

2. However, during some kamma, billions of citta vithi with different cetasika can arise. For example, someone may donate money to a homeless person with a pleasant mind. But just after that, he may regret making that donation, thinking, “Would he use that money to buy drugs?” 

  • In another example, one may chase a cat and save a mouse’s life. But then he may wonder, “Did I do a bad kamma by depriving the cat of a meal?” Indeed he did both within that time span of several minutes.

3. Furthermore, kaṇha (bad) vipaka and sukka (good) vipaka do not need to be due to a previous single kamma. When conditions are right, the vipaka of many bad kamma may come to fruition. It works the other way, too, for good vipaka.

  • In general, Devas and Brahmas in realms mostly experience good vipaka. Those in the lowest realm (niraya) experience mostly bad vipaka.
  • They all may have about the same numbers of good and bad kamma vipaka waiting to bring fruit. But Deva and Brahma kaya are unable to experience strong bad vipaka. In the same way, some in a niraya may have strong “good vipaka” waiting to materialize, but such vipaka cannot materialize as long as they are in a niraya.
  • The human realm is in the middle. Our bodies are unable to bear harsh vipaka (as in the apayas) or good strong vipaka (as in Deva/Brahma realms).  
  • See “Anantara and Samanantara Paccayā.”

4. Only a Buddha can sort complex situations involving kamma vipaka. But the above can be a guide.

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