initial sense-experience come about due to kamma vipaka

Welcome! Forums Questions About Puredhamma Posts initial sense-experience come about due to kamma vipaka

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #13339

      In the post:

      Avyākata Paṭicca Samuppāda for Vipāka Viññāṇa

      it is said: “One sees, hears, smells, tastes, makes body contacts, or a “dhamma” comes to one’s mind. These do not “just happen”; they happen due to reasons (causes). They come about due to kamma vipāka”.

      I do not understand this fundamental concept which i read again and again on the website. Why is just a seeing-event (for example) a ripening fruit or result of action or intention? In what way is this to be understood?

      Does it mean that when there would not be the cetana-cetasika i would, for example, not hear a train passing by?

      I do not know what it means.

      kind regards,

    • #13341

      Siebe said:

      it is said: “One sees, hears, smells, tastes, makes body contacts, or a “dhamma” comes to one’s mind. These do not “just happen”; they happen due to reasons (causes). They come about due to kamma vipāka”.

      Hi Siebe,
      Kamma vipaka is the resultant citta of the 15 out 18 ahetuka citta (7 akusala vipaka (unwholesome resultant), 8 kusala vipaka (wholesome resultant), and 3 kiriya (functional)). Thus there are 7 vipaka citta which is due to akusala ahetuka citta and 8 vipaka citta which is due to kusala ahetuka citta from our five senses (see, hear, smell, taste and body contact). For example if you see someone which is a close friend which you like, you will extend good will and friendly smile (kusala vipaka citta) towards that friend. But if that person is not a close friend and is one which you do not like then your action may be hostile towards that person (akusala vipaka citta). As you can see, the friendly or hostile action towards the person depends on conditions which are past experiences that provides a result (vipaka).
      As all ahetuka (without root) citta are kammically indeterminate (abyakata), they do not consitute a good or bad kamma.
      Fundamental knowledge of Abhidhamma on citta, cetasika, rupa and piticca sumuppada would be helpful in understanding dhamma.

      Hope this helps

      Seng Kiat

    • #13343

      What i have understood is that just the initial seeing, hearing, smelling…sensing comes to us due to kamma-vipaka. Impulses as like and dislike are not yet involved at that moment.

      My question is, why does the inititial sensing come about due to kamma vipaka? In other words, why is this initial sensing, this solely seeing, hearing etc. a ripening result of my previous intentional moral and immoral acts? What do my former kusala and akusala deeds (or mixed deeds) have to do with just hearing a train passing by or seeing a tree?

      I tend to see this as things that just happen, ofcourse due to causes and conditions, but if i wake up and there are immediately images, sounds, smells, was has kamma to do with this sensing of ‘the world’?

      kind regards,

    • #13346

      Nothing happens without a cause. In modern science, each event can be attributed to a cause (more likely many causes). One can believe whatever one wants, but there are laws of nature.

      Kamma is action by the mind, speech, and body done with intention (based on lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, amoha).

      We do millions of such kamma a day, and most are not strong. But each one has consequences. Just like every action has a reaction in physics, each kamma has a consequence.
      So, it is impossible to figure out how trillions of past kamma lead us to experience many types of sense inputs a day.

      Only when we experience bodily pain (dukha) or bodily pleasure (sukha), those are due to strong past kamma. In other cases, some sense inputs are brought in and any suffering (or pleasure) that we experience is mind-made (somanassa/domanassa), also called “samphassa ja vedana”. Also see the topic:
      Could bodily pain be due causes other than kamma vipaka?

      All this is hard to explain in a post. As one learns Abhidhamma, one may be able to figure out. However, it is not necessary to fully grasp this complex issue. But it is not difficult to see the truth of the framework, based on its validity. It is the same as believing things that physicists have stated, even though one may not have studied physics and thus may not be able to comprehend the finer details. Of course, it is good to understand as mush as one can.
      Just as in science, the complex theory of Abhidhamma can be proven wrong only if serious inconsistencies can be pointed out. That is how scientists throw away “bad theories” that cannot explain a new observation, and build faith in “good theories” as long as they are consistent with each new observations.

    • #13437

      Dagpo Rinpoche wrote a book on kamma, called Karma.

      He describes in this book that cognition is caused by kamma, in the sense that kamma is the mental activity (cetana) which leads the mind towards a certain object. Without this mental activity (Tib. sems pa, cetana in Pali), i.e. without kamma, there will not occur awareness of an object or cognition (page 26, in the Dutch translation). (I am not sure ‘leads the mind to the object’ is a good translation of the Dutch ‘doet de geest uitgaan naar een bepaald object)’.

      This kamma or cetana is Always present when there is sense-cognition. It causes sense-cognition (awareness of Visuals, sounds etc.) and is not a kind of kamma which is bad or good kamma. We do not accumulate kamma in this way. It is just some kind of neutral mental activity, not moral nor immoral. So, sense-cognitions are due to kamma/cetana, but not due to moral or immoral kamma. That is what he seems to write.

      My impression is, in this way it can be understood that the vinnana that sees, hears, smells etc. is a kamma-vipaka. This vipaka is just neutral, not moral or immoral.

      What do you think Lal (or others)?

      kind regards,

    • #13822

      Sybe07 said “My impression is, in this way it can be understood that the vinnana that sees, hears, smells etc. is a kamma-vipaka. This vipaka is just neutral, not moral or immoral.”

      In my opinion, all initial sense inputs are neutral and due to our karmic essence as humans and appear in kamaloka, these are bound to come in front of us. What to do with those inputs creates a good or bad deed in future which might be next moment as a continuity.

      Also it is right that nothing appears without reason and those happen due to kamma vipaka be it neutral, sukha or dukkha, immoral / moral.

      Sybe07, I tend to agree with you that initial inputs of vinnana as in seeing, touching, hearing, smelling etc., are not only due to kamma-vipaka but also are neutral.

      If we were to deeply penetrate, then as an experience can get to a stage that the vibrations / feelings which are got through move from being neutral to either becoming good or bad feeling based upon gati which is defined by kamma-vipaka. From the neutral inputs, if one were to not take any action, then it drops away and does not appear again. This is equal to saying that everything arises, stays and drops away and nothing is there in true sense to be called as “solid experience”

    • #13826

      Vilaskadival said: “In my opinion, all initial sense inputs are neutral..”.

      That is true except for the sense inputs coming through the kaya indriya (physical body).
      Vipaka of past bad kamma bring bring bodily pain (headaches, injuries, cancer and other other diseases, etc).
      Vipaka of past good kamma bring bring bodily pleasures (any pleasurable bodily sensation like a good massage, etc).

      Details at, “Does Bodily Pain Arise Only Due to Kamma Vipāka?“.

    • #13840

      This refers to Majjhima Nikāya 101. Fragments are from MN translation Bodhi.

      It seems that the Nigantha’s were a sect who believed that …”Whatever
      this person feels, whether pleasure or pain or neither-pain nor-pleasure, all that is caused by what was done in the past”…

      …and they believed that extreme exertion with al lot of pain would annihilate that past bad kamma.

      I feel the Buddha rejects this view. He makes clear that when they are involved in intense exertion (like the Buddha himself once was) they felt a lot of pain, but when they ended that intense exertion the pain left. So is the pain caused by bad kamma of the past?

      I think the Buddha with this example makes clear it is not wise to think that all pain is due to past bad kamma. Pain can also arise (as Bodhi says in note 922 of MN)…”as a concomitant of present action…” According Bodhi Buddha also admits feeling that is neither kammically active nor kammic result”.

      Ofcourse one can say that a concomitant painful feeling (accompaning intense exertion) is also due to an intentions, due to present actions, but does that mean that that concomitant painful feeling is also a repaid immoral act? Is it due to a evil act?

      I still think one cannot call running a marathon an evil act while one knows there is concomitant pain. One cannot say that all actions which will lead to some pain are immoral and therefor the pain is due to bad kamma.
      This makes, for me, no sense at all.

      Most people, like paviours, plumbers will feel pain because of their actions.
      For many professions this is true. Are those immoral professions or immoral deeds?


Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.