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If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate? - Dhamma Wheel

If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Alvaro
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If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Alvaro » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:43 pm

Hello...
Just this very simple question. I have tried to find some explanation but the results haven't been too good so far.
My doubt is....I understand that the no self (annatta) is one of the ultimate teachigs of the Buddha. But,...if there is no self, no objective entity, where does kamma accumulate? Where do kamma seeds wait for the proper time to bear fruit?
I hope I have managed to make myself clear... :tongue:
Thanks a lot...

With Metta
Alvaro

santa100
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby santa100 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:27 pm

Why must there be a self for kamma to accumulate? FOr example, there can be many light bulbs in different shapes and strengths, made by different companies. And electricity needs a light bulb for light to appear. But that doesn't mean that if a light bulb is broken, electricity will also be dead. Simply put a new light bulb in place, and there'll be light again..

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:56 pm

What we call a person or a being is a process not an object. Its behaviour is more like a wave than a particle. As a light wave can convey its energy over vast distances and time scales, the energy of kamma keeps on driving beings throughout many existences.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Alvaro
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Alvaro » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:37 pm

Thank you, venerable. That is what my reasoning was sort of telling me, but i thought it would be good to get some confirmation from more experienced people.
Thank you again

Regards

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cooran
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby cooran » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Hello Alvaro,

Worth reading and contemplating:

Anatta (Non-self) by Ajahn Brahmavamso
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ANATTA.htm

Anatta (Non-self) and Kamma (Karma): The Best Kept Secret in the Universe Ajahn Jagaro
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha260.htm

No inner core - Anatta Sayadaw U Silananda
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha215.htm

Puggala Nirātman and Dhammā Anatta - A Dynamic Encounter With Life
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha326.htm

Anatta or soul-lessness
http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell09.htm

with metta
Chris
---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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Alvaro
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Alvaro » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:57 pm

Thank you Chris.
I'll give them a good read right now

Alvaro

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Goofaholix
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:27 pm

I think everyone would agree my car is not a self, however all kinds of dirt and wear and tear accumulates, so selfhood isn't a prerequisite for accumulation.

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retrofuturist
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:41 pm

Greetings Alvaro,

A suggestion, if you're willing to try it...

1. Do good activities based in wholesome states of wisdom, kindness and generosity and experience the pleasant results that come from such activity.
2. (Not deliberately, but by force of old habit...) Do bad activities based in unwholesome states of ignorance, aversion and greed and experience the unpleasant results that come from such activity.
3. Repeat 1 & 2 enough times until you see that the causality defined therein is steadfast. Then, you may no longer see the need to answer, let alone ask the question "where does Kamma accumulate?"

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby pegembara » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:40 am

Kamma & Rebirth in the face of anatta

The belief in rebirth can even be a hindrance to one's progress in enlightenment.
This is because, to think of rebirth and samsara is to get entangled in the concept of time
and to do so is to affirm the belief in the continuity of an entity, in the past, present and
future which is experienced as the 'self' that exists' in time. If, on the other hand, we deny
the continuity of an entity in time, we get caught up in the present and say:
'There is no rebirth after my death." Thus the concept "there is a soul" leads to the
eternalist stand-point and the concept "there is no soul", leads to the annihilationist position.

This was what happened to Vacchagotta (S IV 400) when he came to ask the Buddha
whether there was a (self) or not. The Buddha circumvented this situation by answering
the question through silence. But he explained to Ven. Ananda, his disciple, the reason
for silence. The Sabbasava Sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya explains clearly how one's
progress is hindered through thinking in terms of rebirth.

["This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?"

This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. Sabbasava Sutta]

Genuine Buddhism, therefore, is not 'Kamma and Rebirth Buddhism'. Genuine Buddhism which is independent of time (akalika), speaks not about rebirth but about suffering (dukkha) and its cessation here and now; “One thing alone do I teach, monks, suffering and the cessation of suffering".

Suffering, according to Buddhism, is 'existence' itself. Where ever there is 'existence', there is also birth and death! Birth and death are two ends of the same stick, 'existence'. Therefore, 'eternal existence' is impossible. We cannot remove 'death' and have 'existence' only.

To be free of 'death' we have to be free of, existence also. But to be free of 'existence' is not to stop existing. To be free of existence we have to realise that existence, is only an experience, not a reality. If existence, is not a reality, then death is also not a reality. By 'experiencing' the 'experience' of existence, we gain freedom of existence, 'birth' and 'death'. This is Nibbana the cessation of suffering.

Therefore, 'pre-existence' and 're-existence', from the Buddhist perspective, is an 'experience', an empirical fact, but it is not a reality. To cling to the concept of 'existence' 'pre-existence' or 'reexistence' is to suffer. To be free of death and suffering, we have to experience the experience of 'existence' and 'death' and see it as only an experience'.

[Thus, monks, a Tathàgata does not conceive of a visible thing as apart from sight; he does not conceive of an unseen; he does not conceive of a 'thing-worth-seeing'; he does not conceive about a seer. [seeing without a seer]

He does not conceive of an audible thing as apart from hearing; he does not conceive of an unheard; he does not conceive of a thing-worth-hearing'; he does not conceive about a hearer. [hearing without a hearer]

He does not conceive of a thing to be sensed as apart from sensation; he does not conceive of an unsensed; he does not conceive of a 'thing-worth-sensing'; he does not conceive about one who senses.

He does not conceive of a cognizable thing as apart from cognition; he does not conceive of an uncognized; he does not conceive of a 'thing-worth-cognizing'; he does not conceive about one who cognizes. [cognizing without a cognizer] Kalakarama Sutta]

[Dwelling at Savatthi. There the Blessed One addressed the monks: "I will teach you the origination of the world & the ending of the world. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. This is the origination of the world. SN 12.44]


It is quite clear that by playing with this concept of 'Kamma and Rebirth' we might more than burn our fingers, by getting entangled in, views about the 'soul' and losing our way to freedom from suffering. 'Kamma and Rebirth' therefore, is a dangerous concept if mishandled.

In conclusion, let us recall that this concept, though accepted in Buddhism as a fact, observable by developed minds, and also regarded in Buddhism as a wholesome view that encourages good living, it is not an essential dogma of Buddhism nor is it the basis of Buddhist ethics or even of the life of renunciation. In fact, this belief is a hindrance to enlightenment. Therefore, it is wiser not to pay too much attention to it.

Bhante Punnaji

NB. The Pali Canon quotes are mine.
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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contemplans
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby contemplans » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:35 pm


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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:17 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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contemplans
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby contemplans » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:41 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:03 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby ground » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:21 am


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Jason
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Jason » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:28 am

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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Cittasanto
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:51 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.

Ariya Suriya
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Ariya Suriya » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:03 am

Pondering about these thing doesn't lead to Self-Awakening.

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contemplans
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby contemplans » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:32 pm


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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:01 pm



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.

greggorious
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Re: If there is no self, where does Kamma accumulate?

Postby greggorious » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:52 pm

I want to ask something in reagrds to Karma. I was going to start a thread about this but I feel this may be a good place to put it. What concerns me with the mindset that people have with Karma, is that they do good deeds, say the right things, behave morally in order to strive off bad karma and generate good karma. While I feel this is all very well, it seems that in some people there's a fear element attached. People are doing things just in order to avoid bad karma. This is in effect quite an egotistical concept to me. I believe that when a person does good deeds, karma should play no part in his or her mind, they should do good deeds just because it is in their inherant, compassionate nature, NOT to be rewarded with good karma.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah


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