intention and kamma

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    • #21845

      I like to share some thoughts, maybe you can correct when i make mistakes.

      Kamma refers to intentional deeds. Lobha, dosa and moha are itself not kamma, but are causes for kamma. Other causes for kamma are alobha, adosa and amoha (AN3.34, AN3.111, AN6.39).

      Killing, stealing, lying, sexual abuse…all ten akusala kammapatha can be caused by lobha, dosa and moha (AN10.174).

      What is exactly meant by intention in ‘intentional deed’?

      It think SN12.38-40 (cetana sutta’s) might give some clues:…” what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards”.

      So, probably intention does not only refer to clearly conscious plans and conscious intentions, but apparantly also to the kind of volition which can be called a tendency . Not all our behaviour is so well planned, so thoughtful, but also impulse, driven by tendencies.

      Although people or other beings might not be aware of their own bad intentions or plans, they can still be driven by bad tendencies. I think, (correct me if i am wrong), those deeds also refer to kamma.

      For example, one hears and sees a mosquito or spider and out of habit, driven by a tendency, one kills. It is not really planned of very thoughtful killing. Still, i think this is kamma too. One did have the volitional activity to kill, otherwise one would not kill.

      If there is no real thoughtful or conscious plan or intention to kill but one kills habitually, does that differ regarding kamma-vipaka? My feeling is it does. Probably very well planned or intention killing weighs heavier than killing due to a tendency to kill. Very well planned and intentional killing also takes more time. Still, both are the kamma of killing.

      When one kills due to the volition of a tendency, without really thoughtful intentions, it cannot be called unintentional. Killing can only be called unintentional when the volitional activity to kill was absent. When this voltional activity to kill is not seen, not conscious experiened, not noticed, it cannot be named unintentional killing, it is intentional killing.


    • #21853

      “If there is no real thoughtful or conscious plan or intention to kill but one kills habitually, does that differ regarding kamma-vipaka? My feeling is it does. ”

      The whole idea of practicing Buddha Dhamma is to remove such bad habits.
      – One kills (or steals, or misbehaves) out of habit BECAUSE one has cultivated those (even starting from previous lives).
      – So, one needs to start getting rid of any such habit by being mindful.

      Sati in Ānapānasati/Satipatthāna – Two Meanings of Sati

      9. Key to Anapanasati – How to Change Habits and Character (Gathi)

    • #21855

      Hi Lal,

      I have read somewhere (i think in works of Nina van Gorkom on Abhidhamma) that only magga citta can really uproot anusaya.

      By being mindful we can weaken them, but that will not uproot them. To really uproot underlying tendencies to doubt, attachment to rules and rituals, sakkaya dithhi, greed, hate, restlessness, longings for subtle states, restlessness, conceit and ignorance we must first make a breaktrough to the Dhamma and acquire the right view of the nobel Path. We must first see Nibbana.

      Is this true?


    • #21856

      Yes. As one cultivates the Path, anusaya (as well as samyojana, ditthi, etc) are weakened.
      – Then they are removed in four stages:
      Conditions for the Four Stages of Nibbāna

    • #23143


      I just read the new post:

      Kamma are Done with Sankhāra – Types of Sankhāra

      Kamma are Done with Sankhāra – Types of Sankhāra

      … and I thought this may be the right forum to post a question instead of creating a new forum.

      One thing I took away from the post was that sankhāra comes before kamma; if we were to sketch the various flows of things, would the following be accurate pictures (for a normal human):

      manō sankhāra → manō kamma


      manō sankhāra → vaci sankhāra → vaci kamma


      manō sankhāra → kāya sankhāra → kāya kamma

      Thank you,

    • #23147

      Yes, Lang. The last one should be:
      manō sankhāra → vaci sankhāra → kāya sankhāra → kāya kamma

      Most of the time one consciously thinks about doing something before acting on it.

      See, “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.
      – Many people acquire more bad kamma with vaci sankhara (by consciously thinking about it for hours and hours) than with kaya sankhara. This is an important point.

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