Jhana anantariya punna kamma

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    • #20478

      Hi Lal. I have some comments and questions about these quotes regarding jhana in terms of it being anantariya punna kamma from the following forum topic and PureDhamma post:

      5th reply from this forum topic:
      Are the following 2 cases definite ways to tell if one has tihetuka patisandhi?
      Lal wrote:
      “Attainment of a jhana is an anantariya kamma. It WILL lead to birth in a brahma realm.

      However, if one loses that ANARIYA jhana before the time of the death, then he/she will not be born in a brahma realm. That means one’s mindset would have been corrupted.

      However, if that person is not able to get into jhana while on the death bed due to a physical problem (like pain due to an injury), that would not be a problem; he/she will still be born in a brahma realm.”

      And #6 from this post:
      Samādhi, Jhāna, Magga Phala – Introduction
      Lal wrote:
      “In the same way, those humans who get into jhānas SUPPRESSING kāma rāga can lose the ability to get into jhānas even in this life. The best example from the Tipitaka is Devadatta, who developed not only anāriya (mundane) jhānas but also abhinnā powers, and then lost all that and ended up in an apāya. ”

      To me, it seems there are different standards for anantariya papa kamma(AP) vs anantariya punna kamma(APK)

      Let’s use person X as an example:

      With anantariya papa kamma(AP):
      1) After having done the original AP, X doesn’t need to keep doing more AP throughout the rest of X’s life for it to count. Regardless, that one original AP still counts.
      2) It does not matter whether the AP is done near/at death. Regardless that one AP counts.
      3) X could even have remorse after the AP, but this will not negate it. The original AP still holds and still counts.
      4) X could even become a moral person later in life after having done the AP, but still all that will not matter. After death, X will immediately go to apayas.

      For AP: one needs to commit it only once for it to count. Whether it is in the beginning, middle, or near the end of one’s life. That one time is enough to guarantee apaya destination after death.

      Why is it not the same for jhana which is an anantariya punna kamma(APK)?
      1) Why does X have to retain this ability(jhana) throughout the rest of X’s life for it to count?

      2) Why does it have to be there at moment of death for it to count? For anantariya kamma, I’d think the cuti-patisandhi citta does not apply because the transition to a new bhava does not have to be at the last moment of a human bhava. Because even if it is in the midway of X’s human bhava(meaning that let’s say X has 12 more human jathi/lives left in the bhava) if X does anantariya kamma, then dies, X is supposed to bypass those 12 human jathi and jump straight to a brahma bhava.

      3) Why is it that if X attains jhana in X’s 20s, and becomes immoral later in life and has corrupted mind near/at death, why would this negate the APK?

      4) For APK: why does that one action of APK not guarantee a destination to a brahma loka after death, why does that one APK not count regardless of what happens throughout the rest of X’s life(excluding anantariya papa kamma).

      From what I’ve read and contemplated on so far, this what I think:
      If X attains jhana and gets into jhanic state just once, I think this one time alone is enough and will count as anantariya punna kamma. If X does not commit anantariya papa kamma, I don’t think it will matter if X loses this ability(jhana), or matter if X dies in a jhanic state or not. I think, regardless of what X does after the anantariya punna kamma(excluding anantariya papa kamma), after death X will be reborn in a brahma loka. Just like that one AP is enough to count as AP, regardless of what X does or becomes like later in life. Otherwise it seems like different standards for anantariya papa kamma and anantariya punna kamma.

      To me, it seems the only thing that can negate or overpower the anantariya punna kamma is an anantariya papa kamma. Meaning, even if X does APK, and if later in life does AP, then X will have to serve the kamma vipaka for the AP first. The kamma vipaka for the APK will come after the kamma vipaka for the AP has been exhausted/served.

      I don’t think one can lose abhinna powers in the same life UNLESS their kama raga/patiga rises back up to the surface or they commit an AP. Which Devadatta did. I think just 1 AP is enough to overpower 1 APK. With Devadatta though, he didn’t do just 1 AP, but at least 2 AP. Even though he had anantariya punna kamma via jhana, that 1 anantariya punna kamma was overpowered by not just 1 but at least 2 AP. I think after he serves his kamma vipaka for the 2 AP in the apayas, he will get to expereince the kamma vipaka for the APK by being reborn in a brahma loka.

    • #20479

      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.

    • #20489

      Agree with those points.

      I’m interested in your view about this:
      That if someone never does an anantariya papa kamma in their life, and gets into a jhanic state just once, that one time is enough to guarantee an immediate rebirth in brahma loka after death, regardless of whether they retain/lose that ability, and regardless of whether or not they die in a jhanic state.

    • #20491

      As I explained, if that person has not the new gati by the time of death, he/she will be born in the corresponding brahma realm.

    • #20504

      Hi Upekkha,

      An anantariya kamma is a specific type of kamma that will bring vipaka for certain at the time of death. It is fixed and there is no reason what so ever that can change the fact that the vipaka will arise after death. So if one commits an anantariya papa kamma there is no way he can avoid being born in the apayas after death.

      You mention that if one gets into an (anariya) jhana the only way that he will not be born in the brahma realm is if he commits an anantariya papa kamma. If this is the case, then an anariya jhana cannot be an anantariya kamma, because the vipaka of the jhana will not arise after death (as the vipaka of the anantariya papa kamma will take precedence). So, technically an anariya jhana is not an anantariya kamma (a kamma that will give vipaka definitely at the time of death) because it’s vipaka can be overridden.

      I may be wrong, but as far as I know, jhana have not been specifically classified as an anantariya kamma. The explanations in the sutta’s as far as I can recall, state that, if a person who has cultivated a jhana dies without it wearing off then he will be born in the brahma realms.

      I guess the opposite of an anantariya papa kamma is to attain sotapanna stage. If one attains a sotapanna stage then one will definitely not to be born in the apayas ever.

      So if a sotapnna (or above) person cultivates jhana, as he won’t commit any anantariya papa kamma, chances are that he will be born in the brahma realms after death.

    • #20519

      Yes. Akvan is right.
      – An anantariya kamma, by definition, is one that WILL invariably bring in vipaka at death. It will not wait until one’s kammic energy for the current bhava runs out.

      Therefore, an anariya jhana cannot be labelled an anantariya kamma.
      – However, an Ariya jhana is an anantariya kamma.

      Now, the question is: When one attains an anariya jhana AND does not lose it until the moment of death, will he/she be born in a brahma realm EVEN IF one has kammic energy for the current bhava left?
      – I need to think about that to make sure.
      – If someone has evidence from the Tipitaka, please post it.

      • #20523


        “When one attains an anariya jhana AND does not lose it ” how to behave for not losing it – Panca Sila and not acting with dasa akusala it’s enough ? By the way as for dasa akusala what is exactly meant by “indulging in sense pleasures” ? Can this “indulging” vary from person to person or is it a strict rule ?


    • #20522

      Hi Akvan. That makes sense! Thank you for that! See this is one of reasons why this forum is so valuable. If something is not explicitly stated/found in the Tipitaka, the next best option is to critically think and infer from the various information from the Tipitaka that is available to us. Discussions from all sides, working together to find the truth or get to the bottom of unclear topics. And that is one of the goals of Lal, PureDhamma website and this forum. I have not expressed it before, but I just want express my appreciation for Lal, SengKiat, Akvan and everyone here who have contributed greatly to improving my understanding and making concepts more clear. I thank you all!

      Regarding the topic, it didn’t occur to me to question whether an anariya jhana is an anantariya punna kamma or not. It would make more sense that Ariya jhana due to magga phala, rather than an anariya jhana, being an anantariya punna kamma.

    • #20557

      Yeos asked: “When one attains an anariya jhana AND does not lose it ” how to behave for not losing it – Panca Sila and not acting with dasa akusala it’s enough?”

      To attain jhana one must abstain from both dasa akusala and at least suppress kama raga. Jhanas correspond to mental states of brahma realms, and thus one must have the mindset of a brahma, who do not engage in sex (they are unisex, i.e., no male/female brahmas).
      – Also see the response to upekkha100 below.

      Ascendance to Nibbāna via Jhāna (Dhyāna)

      Rest of your question: I just answered in the other post that you asked essentially the same question.

      Upekkha100: I have revised #8 of the following post to provide a better explanation of what happens to one who has attained anariya jhana:

      Ascendance to Nibbāna via Jhāna (Dhyāna)

      From there:

      • One who abstains from akusala kamma and kāmaccanda, can cultivate rūpavacara or arūpavacara jhāna. With those mahaggata kusala kamma (mahaggata means higher), one WILL be reborn in rūpa or arūpa lōka at the next cuti-patisandhi transition., not at the death of the current physical body.
      • However, one must not lose that jhāna until that moment, which means through possibly more births as a human within the current human bhava.
      • This also explains why some people can easily get to jhāna. Those had cultivated jhāna in recent human births within this human bhava.
      • However, if it is an anāriya jhāna, one has not been released from the apāyas, since one has not removed avijjā by comprehending Tilakkhana.

      P.S. I have not yet found a Tipitaka reference for the effects of mahaggata kusala kamma. Here is a short desana by Waharaka Thero for those who understand Sinhala:
      ආනන්තරිය කුසල් තිබේද?

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