We deserve what we get... - Dhamma Wheel

We deserve what we get...

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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We deserve what we get...

Postby VictoryInTruth » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:00 am

Hello to everyone... It's been a long while since I have posted and hope that you can answer a question for me. This has been bothering me for a long time and is the greatest obstacle towards my embracing the lifestyle of a Buddhist.

The obstacle concerns the bad things that happen to one in this life that are a result of previous bad kamma. In several books on Buddhism I have read it makes it seem as if whatever bad happens to you in this life you deserve. How can an innocent child that is raped or woman who is burned alive be held accountable for what was done in a past life? How can such horrible acts bring any kind of a lesson to the victim? Especially, if you are an infant who dies before the age of reason.

If someone can reasonably explain this I would appreciate it.


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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:04 am

Dear members:

Please remember the for posting in the Discovering Theravada forum.
Only those posts which strictly abide by the forum guidelines will be approved.
Thanks for your cooperation,

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby manas » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:32 am

Last edited by manas on Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:33 am

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:33 am

Hello ViT,

Not everything is the result (vipaka) of Kamma .

It isn’t a case of ‘deserving’ or ‘not deserving’, of being ‘lovable’ ‘cute’’, innocent’ or anything else. It isn’t the case that every single thing that happens to us is a result saved up from some past life action.

If you intentionally perform any action of body, speech or mind, then the results will occur. They may occur now or in a future life – depending on whether there is an opening for the results to occur.

Kamma- a Study Guide ... Thanissaro Bhikkhu ... html#kamma

Acintita Sutta – Unconjecturable ... .than.html

The Buddha's Words on Kamma: Four Discourses of the Buddha from the Majjhima Nikaya by Ñanamoli Thera ... el248.html

Only We Can Help Ourselves — Ven. Dhammavuddho.

with metta
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby pegembara » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:33 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:34 am

Why get upset at gravity? It is a mechanism of matter. Why be upset at kamma? It is a mechanism of the mind. It's not fair that a child falls of a building. It's not fair either that a child is molested. It's a law, that wasn't created by anyone.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: We deserve what we get...

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:44 am

What are the alternatives?

1. Its God's will. So God is wicked and unjust since he punishes an innocent child? Or, does he punish some because they did something evil in a previous life?

2. No cause or reason at all. This doesn't sit well at all with science — we may not know what the causes are but there always seems to be a cause. Scientific inquiry is all about finding out causes and the laws of physics.

I find it helps to reflect on the other end of the law of kamma. What happens to the rapist or child-molester after death? If, after suffering in hell for aeons, he or she is reborn in the human realm again, what kind of existence will be the result?

What about the case of , who was murdered by robbers? He had done nothing terrible in his final existence — unlike Angulimāla — but Angulimāla was not murdered.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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