If an evil person repents

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If an evil person repents

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:08 am

I remember reading the legend of Devadatta.Before he died,he repented of his crimes and was about to go ask the Buddha for forgiveness before dying.Now this is my opinion of it:Devadatta went to hell. :toilet:
There's no denying it.He started a schism in the Sangha,wounded the Buddha,and killed a nun(who was an arhat if I remember correctly.)all in all,all of these acts are worthy of the Avici Hell(the bottom level of hell though I personally believe Avici is a type of hell rather than one hell.)and in some myths,he fell directly into hell.
I feel that what makes a significant difference is that Devadatta repented.After his evil karma has exhausted itself,his repentence will "reap what it sowed."and he will be born as an upright,moral and decent person.
However,that's my interpretation of it.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: If an evil person repents

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:34 am

Red Faced Buddha wrote:I remember reading the legend of Devadatta.Before he died,he repented of his crimes and was about to go ask the Buddha for forgiveness before dying.Now this is my opinion of it:Devadatta went to hell. :toilet:


The whole Devadatta incident(s) are likely a later development reflecting sectarian concerns rather than historical fact, or so some scholars have concluded.


There's no denying it.He started a schism in the Sangha,wounded the Buddha,and killed a nun(who was an arhat if I remember correctly.)all in all,all of these acts are worthy of the Avici Hell(the bottom level of hell though I personally believe Avici is a type of hell rather than one hell.)and in some myths,he fell directly into hell.


Some people say Mahādeva, the purported founder of the Mahāsāṃghika sect, did a long string of evil deeds, such as provoking a schism, killing his parents, killing an arhat, etc... It seems the whole story was used to blacken his name and in turn the Mahāsāṃghikas.

So, like with Devadatta, sectarian concerns must be taken into consideration when addressing these stories about figures who lived many centuries ago.
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Re: If an evil person repents

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:34 am

Perhaps Devadatta's good karma as explained in the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra counter-acted some of his crimes...
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Re: If an evil person repents

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:06 am

jikai wrote:Perhaps Devadatta's good karma as explained in the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra counter-acted some of his crimes...


Karma doesn't counteract itself.It's like seeds that grow up in the mind.

Huseng wrote:
Red Faced Buddha wrote:I remember reading the legend of Devadatta.Before he died,he repented of his crimes and was about to go ask the Buddha for forgiveness before dying.Now this is my opinion of it:Devadatta went to hell. :toilet:


The whole Devadatta incident(s) are likely a later development reflecting sectarian concerns rather than historical fact, or so some scholars have concluded.


There's no denying it.He started a schism in the Sangha,wounded the Buddha,and killed a nun(who was an arhat if I remember correctly.)all in all,all of these acts are worthy of the Avici Hell(the bottom level of hell though I personally believe Avici is a type of hell rather than one hell.)and in some myths,he fell directly into hell.


Some people say Mahādeva, the purported founder of the Mahāsāṃghika sect, did a long string of evil deeds, such as provoking a schism, killing his parents, killing an arhat, etc... It seems the whole story was used to blacken his name and in turn the Mahāsāṃghikas.

So, like with Devadatta, sectarian concerns must be taken into consideration when addressing these stories about figures who lived many centuries ago.


I agree with you,but I was using the story as a metaphor for how I believe repentance and karma works.It doesn't matter to me whether the story is true or not,I was simply using it as a metaphor.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: If an evil person repents

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:37 am

Red Faced Buddha wrote:Karma doesn't counteract itself.It's like seeds that grow up in the mind.
Well, yes and no.
AN 3.99
Lonaphala Sutta: The Salt Crystal
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2008–2012

Translator's note: For a discussion of this discourse in the general context of the Buddha's teaching on kamma (karma), see "Kamma & the Ending of Kamma" in The Wings to Awakening.

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress.

"There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable.[1] A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into a small amount of water in a cup. What do you think? Would the water in the cup become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"Yes, lord. Why is that? There being only a small amount of water in the cup, it would become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink."

"Now suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into the River Ganges. What do you think? Would the water in the River Ganges become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"No, lord. Why is that? There being a great mass of water in the River Ganges, it would not become salty because of the salt crystal or unfit to drink."

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual [the first] takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in the body, [2] undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind [i.e., painful feelings can invade the mind and stay there], undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

'Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in the body,[3] developed in virtue, developed in mind [i.e., painful feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there], developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"There is the case where a certain person is thrown into jail for half a dollar (kahapana), is thrown into jail for a dollar, is thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. And there is the case where another person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar, is not thrown into jail for a dollar, is not thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. Now what sort of person is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who is thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars. And what sort of person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions. This is the sort of person who is not thrown into jail for half a dollar... for a dollar... for one hundred dollars.

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"It's just as when a goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes a certain person who steals a goat, but is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes another person who steals a goat. Now, when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. And when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher not empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions; a king or a king's minister. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. All he can do is go with his hands clasped before his heart and beg: 'Please, dear sir, give me a goat or the price of a goat.'

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress."
Notes

1.
Immeasurable concentration. See also AN 3.65.
2.
I.e., pleasant feelings can invade the mind and stay there — see MN 36.
3.
I.e., pleasant feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: If an evil person repents

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:08 am

@ Red Faced Buddha,

Similar to the passage quoted by Greg, I didn't mean to suggest that it would 'wipe' the karma out as such, I merely meant that the way it would be experienced because of his other previous virtues might mean that he didnt quote end up in Avici. I merely mean't to say re your original post that Devadatta was not all bad news so to speak- The Buddha even credits his own enlightenment to Devadatta in a past life. But your absolutely right so far as my expression was concerned. I really should have worded that better because it does indeed look like I was suggesting something else. My apologies Red Faced Buddha :smile:
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