Clarification of definition – " anantariya"

  • This topic has 10 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Lal.
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    • #14275

      Hi Lal,
      I would like your thoughts on the meaning of ” anantariya”.

      From what you have mentioned (and what we learned over the years), one of the causes would be the killing of one’s parents.

      My question is – When we define parents, are we referring to the “Biological” parents?
      The reasons are as follows:

      1. There are many instances where the biological “Mother” or “Father”, leaves the child (or children) and never has anything to do with them. They grow up without any caring from them (perhaps brought up by a relative – aunt, uncle, elder brother etc…). If, for whatever reason, such a child willfully causes the death of the biological Mother or Father, does it still qualify as an anantariya papa karma? Is this purely dependent on the fact that since the gandhabbaya was able to come into the human world using this particular “Parents” and therefore, the child is indebted to the biological parents?
      I happen to know a close friend who’s Mother left him when he was quite small and never returned. When he contacted the “Biological” Mother once he was an adult, she did not want to have anything to do with him.

      2. Similarly, say an orphaned child is adopted by a couple. The child grows up and as an adult, kills the “adopted” parents. Since they were not his biological parents, does this not qualify as an anantariya papa karma?

      Both the above scenarios are of course based on “willful” killing.

      3. You mentioned an example where a “hunter” who goes hunting with the intent to kill a “Deer” and ends up mistakenly shooting his Father. Although the intent was to “Kill”, he was not intending to kill the Father – only a Deer. From what I understood, he will still inherit an anantariya papa karma due to this.
      I am assuming the javana power needed to willfully kill one’s parents would (or should) be far greater than killing a Deer (I agree that intentionally killing any sentient being should be avoided). Given that, does he still inherit an anantariya papa karma as a result or would it be a lesser karma?

      Thank you for your dedication and guidance. It is greatly appreciated.

    • #14286

      Hi Alay. Welcome to the discussion forum!

      Some parts of your question have been answered in the following topic:
      adding kamma vs. receiving vipaka“.

      Please pay attention to the “two-step process” discussed in my reply. I don’t want to repeat the stuff that is already there. That basic understanding will help a lot to go further. Let me know what you think.

      By the way, do you have a science background? For example, does that post on quantum entanglement make any sense? That is not necessary, and not many people are familiar with such concepts. But it will help me tailor my reply accordingly.

    • #14330

      Thank you Lal. Yes, I do have a Science background and did study Quantum Physics. I remember having to prove the existence of “n-dimensions”!!

      The post on Quantum theory is excellent. It does start to make sense.

      However, I am still a bit uncertain on the “Killing” cetana – the fact that the cetana would be the same for intentionally killing an animal vs killing one’s parent(s).
      Anyway, there is much to learn and practice.

      Kind regards


    • #14335

      Alay said: “However, I am still a bit uncertain on the “Killing” cetana – the fact that the cetana would be the same for intentionally killing an animal vs killing one’s parent(s).
      Anyway, there is much to learn and practice.”

      Yes. It is a complex issue.

      However, when one analyzes many examples one can come to conclusion that those two “rules” make sense.
      To repeat those two rules in evaluating how to assess a kamma vipaka:
      1. Which of the dasa akusala is the intention? That is the “cetana” in “cetana ham bhikkhave kamman vadami”.
      2. Then the strength of the kamma vipaka is based on the “level of consciousness” or “qualities” of the living beings affected by that kamma.

      That is the clearest way to analyze any given situation.

      So, the intention here is NOT “I am going to kill so and so”, but just “I am going to kill”. That is all.
      Vipaka or the result is always according to the damage done: Who got killed.

      Therefore, even if the person killing his mother does not know it is his mother, it does not matter; “nature knows”. That action is a very strong action and thus the vipaka will materialize accordingly.
      – The only question is “how does the nature know” that it is his mother that was killed. The nature knows because we are all connected. The preliminary evidence came from those experiments on quantum entanglement.

      – In fact, I believe that we can show that even inert things are all inter-connected. I will be starting a new section at the site, “Quantum Mechanics and Kamma Vipaka”. It may take a while to get to the connection to kamma vipaka. I will first show the “connectedness” using reflection of light with a glass plate. That will be like the third post, because I need to setup the background with a couple of posts first.
      Anyway, I will start a discussion forum on that section when I start posting. I hope you and others who are interested in this topic will make comments and ask questions “to keep me straight”.

      Regarding your original question: There are five anantariya kamma: killing mother, killing father, killing an Arahant, injuring a Buddha (a Buddha cannot killed), causing schism among Sangha.

      You asked: “My question is – When we define parents, are we referring to the “Biological” parents?”
      Yes. That is where the “inter-connectedness” comes in. Nature knows who the parents are.
      You asked: “ Is this purely dependent on the fact that since the gandhabba was able to come into the human world using this particular “Parents” and therefore, the child is indebted to the biological parents?
      Yes. That is the reason.

      A child killing a person who adopted him/her would NOT qualify as an anantariya kamma for the above reason. However, it will be a much stronger kamma than killing a normal, unrelated person, because he/she is in debt for the care that person had given.

      Regarding the hunter shooting and killing one’s parent not knowing is again explained by the “connectedness”. As explained in the two-step process, the intention of killing is the first factor (the key is which dasa akusala is violated and NOT who was killed). The intention is simply “killing”. Who gets killed is the second factor (which he may not be even aware of) and it turned out to be his parent; the inter-connectedness!

      I know it is a bit difficult to see. But this two-step process is automatically followed by nature. There is no one monitoring all that. The proof will come, hopefully with quantum mechanics, with the illustration of light particles and electrons. Even the motion of those particles are inter-connected.

    • #14355

      Thank you Lal for the excellent explanation to all the queries I had. Greatly appreciated. It makes sense.
      Looking forward to the Quantum discussion. I never imagined I will have a chance to look at QM again.

    • #16103

      Another question on anantariya kamma came up in a recent discussion, and I realized that I did not clarify what is meant by “anantariya” above. So, here is what I posted in the recent discussion:

      Most of the questions can be easily resolved if one understands the meaning of the Pali terms involved.

      Anantariya is “na” + “an” + “antara“. That rhymes as “ānantara”.

      Anatta is the negation of “atta” or having refuge/having substance: “na” + “atta” (which rhymes as “anatta”): there is no substance/ does not hold any ultimate truth; see, “Anatta – the Opposite of Which Atta?“.

      Words like this cannot be analyzed grammatically. This is why current Pāli experts are wrong in interpreting such words (and are unable to interpret many key words).

      Going back to the word “anantariya“: “An” or “anu” means “food” or “kamma seed” depending on where it is used. “na” means “not”. “antara” means somewhere away. Therefore, anantariya means “not stored away” in the sense that it bring vipaka “right away”.

      When one does a kamma that is NOT anantariya, its kammic energy is “stored away” and can bring suitable kamma vipaka, when suitable CONDITIONS appear. Some kamma vipaka may not be realized for many lives simply because suitable conditions had not appeared.

      However, an anantariya kamma means it will bring vipaka, at the end of the current life. “Right away” does not mean at that moment, but at death, because that is when the gandhabba comes out and is not shielded from the “dense human body”.

      Such “extremely strong” kamma are five: killing one’s mother, killing one’s father, killing an Arahant, shedding the blood of a Buddha, creating schism within Sangha.

      Any of those five kammas will override any existing other kamma vipaka, to bring next birth in the apayas. That is what is meant by an anantariya kamma. If there are any more questions left, please feel free to ask.

      Any other kamma vipaka can be overcome by attaining a magga phala (at least the Sotapanna stage). For example, if one has “apayagami kamma vipaka” waiting to bear fruit (as almost all normal humans do), attaining the Sotapanna stage will OVERRIDE those kamma vipaka.

      Attaining a magga phala does NOT mean the removal of kammic energies for such previous kamma. It just means, suitable conditions to bring such kamma vipaka will NEVER materialize in the future. To put it in another way: at the dying moment, a Sotapanna WILL NOT grasp (upadana) a birth in the apayas. His/her mindset has PERMANENTLY changed. This is why Angulimala became free of the apayas, even though he killed 999 people. That was not an anantariya kamma. Only those five kamma listed above are anantariya kamma.

    • #16108

      Thank you Lal.

      I was reading an article on Ven. Moggallana’s life. I was curious about the information regarding the passing away of Ven. Moggallana after being beaten by bandits. From what I understood, he killed his parents in a previous life.

      10. The Death of Maha Moggallana

      From your explanation, once a person commits an anantariya karma, the results follow at the end of the current life.

      Given the above, does the karmic energy from an anantariya karma get expended completely before being born in another plane? i.e. does the sentence have to be completed in full before another life form begins?

      According to Ven. Moggalana’s life, the kammic energy from the anatariya karma was still present as a result of which he was beaten by bandits.

    • #16110

      @Alay: Anantariya kamma vipaka may not be exhausted by a birth in the apayas. There could be “leftover kammic energy” that can come back in later lives, as happened to Ven. Moggallana. He had been born in the apayas previously due that anantariya kamma of killing both his parents, but there was still left over kammic energy.

    • #16112

      Thank you Lal. It does make sense.

      Does the same apply to non-anantariya kamma too?

      I am assuming it is a complex relationship between cause and effect and not a one-to-one relationship.

    • #16119

      Yes. Vipaka of non-ananatariya kamma may also be applied repeatedly if the kammic energy is not used up entirely.

      Yes. As long as there are causes (hetu), there will be effects (phala). But with time some of those kammic energies wear out and could be totally exhausted after long times. Then they will not bring vipaka; they become ahosi kamma.

    • #16197

      A detailed explanation on anantariya kamma can be found in the new post that was just published: “Ānantariya Kamma – Connection to Gandhabba“, which elaborates on my comments above.

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