Types of Kamma Vipaka

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    • #47327

      I would like to know if these statements are correct. I have bolded the importants statements.

      THE LAW OF KAMMA กฏแห่งกรรม

      Obstructive Kamma (Upapilaka kamma)

      1. The Meaning of Obstructive Kamma

      Obstructive Kamma does its work by exerting an effect opposite to the other types of Kamma.

      2. Characteristics of Obstructive Kamma

      The above definition demonstrates that Obstructive Kamma exerts an effect opposite to Reproductive and Supportive Kamma. For example, if Reproductive Kamma causes an individual to be reborn under good circumstances, Supportive Kamma will aid the situation by making it even better, but Obstructive Kamma will wreak havoc on the individual. On the contrary, if Reproductive Kamma causes a being to be reborn under poor circumstances, Supportive Kamma will add insult to injury, but Obstructive Kamma will aid the individual by improving his/her situation.

      There are two categories of Obstructive Kamma: unwholesome and wholesome. Unwholesome Obstructive Kamma works to decrease the being’s happiness and success by causing it to receive suffering and loss, as can be seen in the following case study.

      A Case Study in Unwholesome Kamma as Recorded in the Tipitaka

                Being Destined for the States of Loss and Woe Because of the Lack of Analytical Reflection (Yoniso manasikara)

      Once, there was a man whose house was close to the temple. One evening, while bathing at the landing by the river in front of his house, he saw a novice monk rowing by in a boat. He wanted to tease the novice monk, so he splashed the novice monk with water. The novice monk did not want to get wet and tried to duck the streams of water. His movements caused him to lose his balance, and the small boat capsized. The novice monk swam toward the bank and hurled abusive remarks at the man, which made him angry, and he boxed the novice monk’s ears a few times. He helped pull the novice monk out of the water and returned home annoyed.

      After the man died, he underwent a round of rebirth for an incalculable amount of time until the time of our Lord Buddha. He was reborn as a human being in the royal family of ‘Licchavi’ by the name of ‘Sunakkhatta.’ After he grew up, he had the opportunity to listen to the Lord Buddha’s sermons. His heart was filled with religious fervor, and he requested to be ordained as a Buddhist monk. After his ordination, he wanted to practice meditation by first working on his concentration (Samatha). He wanted to attain the Jhanas before continuing his insight development (Vipassana), where different levels of defilements can be removed, and he could attain the different stages of holiness. As soon as the Lord Buddha gave him instructions on developing his concentration, he began practicing meditation immediately. In a few days, he could attain the Jhanas and the Superknowledge of the ‘Celestial Eye.’

      His attainment of the ‘Celestial Eye’ allowed him to penetrate the different realms of existence. He was filled with delight and felt the deepest respect for the Lord Buddha. He wanted to continue practicing meditation until he could attain the Lokutara Realm, but first he wanted to attain the next Superknowledge of ‘Celestial Ear.’ The Lord Buddha instructed him as requested, but He did not give him any strategy because He knew about the monk’s Obstructive Kamma, which arose from the existence where he boxed the novice monk’s ears.

      Phra Sunakkhatta practiced meditation by chanting a few words in his mind to attain ‘Celestial Ear.’ However hard he tried he could not attain the Superknowledge of ‘Celestial Ear’ because a particular Obstructive Kamma was giving its consequences. After three years of endeavoring, he still could not attain ‘Celestial Ear.’ Later, his Obstructive Kamma caused him to have the perverted idea that his failure came from the fact that the Lord Buddha only knew how to attain ‘Celestial Eye’ but not how to attain ‘Celestial Ear.’ He concluded that it was why the Lord Buddha was still not coming forth with any more instruction.

      With this doubt in his mind, he continued to practice in the same way without making any progress. He soon became tired and concluded that the Lord Buddha had only attained the Superknowledge of the ‘Celestial Eye’ but not other Super knowledge. He also concluded that the Lokutara Realm and Nibbana, which the Lord Buddha had been teaching about, did not exist. He further concluded that the Arahats who claimed to have attained enlightenment after the manner of the Lord Buddha could in fact attain the ‘Celestial Eye’ only.

      Finally, he abandoned Buddhism to look for higher knowledges in other religious beliefs. He subsequently disrobed and became a householder.

      Later, he went searching for other great teachers and finally ended up in the office of ‘Nigaranathanatputra,’ the leader of another religious belief. As a result of his ‘Wrong View,’ after he died he was reborn in the Hell Realm.

      A Case Study in Wholesome Kamma as Recorded in the Tripitaka

      The Hereafter of an Executioner Who Had Faith

      During the time of our Lord Buddha, there was a very fierce-looking man. He had bulging yellow eyes. His hair was long and unkempt. He had a long red beard. He inspired fear in everyone who saw him. He did not have a job and did not do any work. One day he went into the woods to meet a gang of robbers. The head of the gang wanted to know his reason for being there and was told that the man wanted to join the gang. The head of the gang was well-versed in making predictions based on the individual’s physical characteristics and could tell that the man was a beast of a person in that he was capable of cutting off his mother’s breast and drinking blood from his father’s throat.

      As a result, the head robber decided not to let him join the gang. But the man did not give up; he hung around the robbers and waited on them until they were willing to beg the head robber to take him in. Eventually, the head robber did not want to go against the wishes of the gang members and reluctantly allowed the man to join his gang.

      One day, government officials tracked down the robbers and arrested all of them. Their crimes were such that they were sentenced to receive capital punishment. None of the government officials wanted to carry out the execution, however. Therefore, they made a bargain with the head robber. They offered him freedom if he would execute the rest of the robbers. The head robber refused the offer. The offer was made to every robber respectively, but everyone turned it down except for the newest member of the gang. He was willing to execute the rest of the robbers in exchange for his freedom.

      After the mass execution, he was set free as promised. Later, whenever mass execution had to be performed, this man would be called upon to do the nasty job.

      The red-bearded executioner had continued to perform his work for payment for 55 long years. As he became older, he did not have enough strength to decapitate criminals with just one stroke, but it took him a few strokes to do it. This caused the criminals to suffer horrifically before they died. Onlookers felt very bad for the criminals and requested the king to retire him and hire a younger, stronger man in his place.

      On the morning of his retirement, he received a large amount of cash reward. As a result, he wanted to wear new clothes, put flowers behind his ears, and consume an elaborate rice pudding dish he had yet to taste. He went to the market to buy what he wanted and gave his wife some money to buy what she needed to cook him a fine meal. Afterward, he went to the landing by the river to bathe and shave himself. Later, he put on his new clothes, sprinkled himself with scented water, and put flowers behind his ears. He went up to the house and sat down to wait for the finest meal of his life.

      On the same morning, Phra Sariputra just emerged from the bliss of deep meditation and considered whom he could save that morning. The image of the red-bearded man appeared to him, and he could foresee that if he saved the man, the man would later receive tremendous wealth. Therefore, Phra Sariputra took his alms bowl and appeared instantly at the man’s door by supernormal powers. The man was just about to eat when he saw Phra Sariputra. He was filled with religious fervor and happiness. He reflected upon the fact that all his life, he had decapitated so many criminals and never once did a wholesome deed, but now was an excellent opportunity for him to do a good deed because Phra Sariputra(Venerable Sariputta) had appeared at his doorstep. He wanted to offer his finest meal to the holy one.

      He subsequently got up and went to where Phra Sariputra was standing. He went down on his hands and knees in front of Phra Sariputra and requested Phra Sariputra to come inside the house. He took the alms bowl and filled it with the fine food. He gave the alms bowl back to Phra Sariputra so that he could commence eating. With a heart filled with faith, the man stood at one side to fan the monk while eating.

      After the meal, Phra Sariputra rejoiced in the man’s wholesome deed by giving him a sermon, but his mind was elsewhere. Phra Sariputra asked him the reason for his absentmindedness, and the man answered that he had committed a great number of unwholesome deeds by decapitating criminals. The memory prevented him from being able to concentrate on the Dhamma lecture. Phra Sariputra then asked him if he did the killing of his own volition or because it was his duty. He answered that he did it because it was his duty, for he had no desire to kill anyone. Phra Sariputra then asked him if that was the case, would his killing still be considered an unwholesome deed? The man understood it not to be, and he could then concentrate on the Dhamma lecture that Phra Sariputra was presenting to him. As a result, at the end of the sermon, the man could attain the First Stage of Holiness (Sotapanna). This miraculous event occurred because the man was aided by his wholesome Obstructive Kamma.

      When Phra Sariputra realized that the man had attained the First Stage of Holiness, he bid him farewell. The man accompanied Phra Sariputra halfway to the temple before he turned around to return home. On his way back, a Yakkhini (a female ogre) that was bound to him by ill will from a past existence possessed a cow in the field and caused it to attack and gore the man to death. After he died, he was reborn as a gentleman celestial being in the Tusita Realm.


      A public executioner of Rājagaha. 


      A Licchavi prince of Vesāli. He was, at one time, a member of the Order and the personal attendant of the Buddha (anibaddhaupatthāka), but was later converted to the views of Korakkhattiya and went about defaming the Buddha, saying that he had nothing superhuman and was not distinguished from other men by preaching a saving faith: that the doctrine preached by him did not lead to the destruction of sorrow. For we find in the Mahāli Sutta (D.i.152) the Licchavi Otthaddha relating to the Buddha how Sunakkhatta had come to him three years after joining the Order, claiming that he could see divine forms but could not hear heavenly sounds. The Sutta itself gives (D.i.153) because he had only developed a one-sided concentration of mind.

      (Yet another proof of the blessing of the sotāpanna stage. The first man, the monk Sunakkhatta, attained all the Jhanās but ended up in an apaya because of his wrong beliefs. The second man, Tambadathika, became sotāpanna without any Jhanās. The difference between these two is that one has completely eradicated Micchā diṭṭhi.)

      Defunct Kamma (Ahosi kamma)

      1. The Meaning of Defunct Kamma

      Defunct Kamma means unwholesome or wholesome Kamma, which has already given its consequences or lost the kammic energy and became defunct. Therefore, Defunct Kamma will never give its consequences.

      2. Characteristics of Defunct Kamma

      Defunct Kamma can be compared to seeds that have been stored for too long or seeds that have been roasted. When such seeds are sown, they cannot grow in spite of rich soil and adequate water being present. The Tipitaka, under the subject of ‘The Way of Mutta-sangaha-vibhaga’ had the following to say about Defunct Kamma.

      1.) Ahosi-kamman nahosi-kamma-vipako: Kamma which has already given its consequences by causing the individual to meet with suffering in the Hell Realm or utter happiness in the Celestial Realm. The Kamma then becomes defunct. Or after a more powerful Kamma has already given its consequences, it then causes the less powerful Kamma to be defunct. For example, when an individual has attained the third Jhana, then the first and the second Jhanas will not give their consequences and become defunct.

      2.) Ahosi-kamman natthi-kamma-vipako: Kamma which will no longer give its consequences. It can be unwholesome or wholesome Kamma which is performed in the current lifetime but cannot give any consequences by causing the individual who performs the Kamma to experience suffering or happiness. One example is Kiriya-citta or functional consciousness which yields defunct Kamma. Another example is when an individual’s past wholesome Kamma stops sending its consequences because it is overpowered by a much weightier unwholesome Kamma. In this case, this particular past wholesome Kamma will become defunct. In the same manner, an individual’s unwholesome Kamma can stop sending its consequences because it is overpowered by a much weightier wholesome Kamma. Therefore, this particular past unwholesome Kamma will become defunct.

      3.) Ahosi-kamman nabha-vissti-kamma-vipako: Kamma which has no consequences as in the case of Phra Ongulimala(Arahant Angulimala). His unwholesome Kamma of killing so many people could not give its consequences as soon as he was able to attain Arahatship, which caused the round of rebirth to be terminated. His unwholesome Kamma turned into Defunct Kamma. It is like a person who runs away from a chasing dog. The dog can no longer reach him once he crosses to the other side. Since the person does not return, the dog can only watch him until it dies.

      The Sammohavinodani Scripture has the following to teach about Defunct Kamma.

                      “Of all the various types of Kamma including Dittha-dhamma-veda-niya-kamma, once one Dittha-dhamma-veda-niya-kamma gives its consequences in the current existence, the rest of Dittha-dhamma-veda-niya-kamma will not give its consequences at all. When Upa-pajja-veda-niya-kamma has been performed, the rest of the Upa-pajja-veda-niya-kamma will not give its consequences at all. Once one type of Anantariya kamma causes an individual to be reborn in the Hell Realm, the rest of the Anantariya kamma will not give its consequences at all. When Jhana attainments cause an individual to be reborn in the Brahma Realm, the rest of the same type of Kamma will not give its consequences at all.

      The three types of Defunct Kamma, which include Ahosi kamman nahosi-kamma-vipako, Ahosi-kamman natthi-kamma-vipako, and Ahosi-kamman nabha-vissati-kamma-vipako, will become defunct once it is past the time for it to give its consequences. In the situation where the individual attains Nibbana, every single one of his Kamma will become defunct. There are two types of Defunct Kamma: Unwholesome and wholesome Defunct Kamma.

      Wholesome Defunct Kamma

      It means wholesome deeds which are overdue, hence can no longer give their consequences. Wholesome Ahosi-kamma can be exemplified in the following story as recorded in the Tripitaka:

      The Story of Kāḷadevila the Hermit

       ‘Yogi Kala-devila’

      The Yogi Kala-devila had attained the eighth level of meditative absorption. He was one of the teachers of King Suddho-dana, Prince Siddhattha’s father. The Yogi’s level of meditative absorption caused him to be reborn in the Brahma Realm to enjoy the bliss there for a very long time. His meditative absorption is considered to be Garuka-kamma.

      Although the Yogi attained respectively the first to the seventh level of meditative absorption, which are considered to be Upa-pajja-veda-niya-kamma, it became defunct as soon as the Yogi was able to attain the eighth level of meditative absorption. It was his eighth level of meditative absorption alone which caused him to be reborn in the Brahma Realm. The scenario can be compared to a person dining on eight tablespoons of rice. By the time he gets to the eighth spoonful, he is already full. The first to the seventh spoonfuls have a supporting role but the decisive role is the eighth spoonful.

      The types of Kamma and the way they give its consequences as a function of time and the third category of Kamma can be summarized as follows:

      Effective Kamma (Ditthadhammavedaniya kamma): It has consequences in the present lifetime and can be compared to an annual plant. It possesses a weak force and can only give its consequences within one lifetime. Any unwholesome or wholesome Effective Kamma that an individual performs will result in suffering or happiness in the present lifetime.

      Subsequently Effective Kamma (Upapajjavedaniya kamma): It gives its consequences in the next lifetime and can be compared to a biennial plant. It possesses a stronger force than Effective Kamma. It will only give its consequences in the next lifetime and its job is finished. Any unwholesome or wholesome, subsequently Effective Kamma which an individual performs will cause him/her to be reborn in the States of Unhappiness or in the States of Happiness after he dies.

      Indefinitely Effective Kamma (Aparapariyayavedaniya kamma): It gives its consequences starting from the third lifetime from now and can be compared to a perennial plant. It possesses more force than Effective Kamma and Subsequently Effective Kamma. When it is time for Indefinitely Effective Kamma to give its consequences, it can continue to do so endlessly until such time as all defilements are removed and Arahatship is attained. Any unwholesome or wholesome Indefinitely Effective Kamma that an individual performs will cause him to experience suffering or happiness starting from the third lifetime onward.

      Defunct Kamma (Ahosi kamma): It does not give its consequences in the past, in the present, or the future. It can be compared to seeds that have been stored for too long or which have been roasted. When these seeds are sown, they cannot grow regardless of how fertile the soil may be or how much water may be available. Defunct Kamma is Kamma, which is overridden by more powerful Kamma and applies to both unwholesome and wholesome Defunct Kamma.

    • #47342

      Those are different types of “kamma vipaka” that can materialize as a consequence of various types of kamma (actions/deeds.)

      • The Sutta Pitaka does not have descriptions of many of them. What Gad quoted above are descriptions in the Commentaries.
      • It is best to focus on how to stop doing any kamma. That CAN NOT be done with sheer willpower. That ability comes through understanding how our minds are fooled to crave worldly things. That is what the recent posts have been focused on “distorted saññā“: “Sotapanna Stage via Understanding Perception (Saññā).”
      • However, it is good to know about various types of kamma vipaka

      What Gad wrote at the end, starting with “The types of Kamma and the way they give its consequences as a function of time and the third category of Kamma can be summarized as follows:”  is a good summary of the types of kamma vipaka

      • If anyone has specific questions, I can take a look. I have not had the time to read what Gad wrote in detail above the summary. 
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