Circling in Six realms due to Karma?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Circling in Six realms due to Karma?

Postby Rakshasa » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:59 am

I believe the law of Karma directly implies that a being will continue to circle from lower realm to higher and then lower again to higher....continuously.

Suppose someone is greedy and filthy rich in this life and looks down upon the poor, and because of accumulation of bad Karma, he gets a rebirth in abject poverty condition. But poor people become humble and less greedy because of their experiences. So because of his next life's experiences and actions as a very poor peasant, the man gains good qualities and again regains good Karmic roots - which give him a birth as a rich man again in the next life. This goes on again and again? I hope, despite my lack of good articulation, most of you understood where I am pointing at.

If someone has done great offenses, broken the precepts and become a hungry ghost in this life, because of immense suffering he will become more compassionate with greater solidarity with other hungry ghosts. Which means, his birth in a higher realm is assured due to his experiences in hell.

And when we analyze this process in a broader perspective, we might as well come to the conclusion that the whole process of birth and rebirth spanning over the six realms is more or less a spontaneous process. If you are born as an animal, your experiences only lead to exhaustion of earlier karma, where as your karma accumulated as an animal being is more or less neutral - which means all animals have a higher birth assured in future?

So can we conclude that the cyclical existence is not only cyclical in the sense of "birth and rebirth" but also in the sense of circling in different states and realms again and again?
User avatar
Rakshasa
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am

Re: Circling in Six realms due to Karma?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:21 am

It is not that your experiences in any of the six realms will automatically lead to the exhaustion of karma. It is your active volitions that create new karmic tendencies, that will wipe out, or replace, the previous tendencies. Animals too have volitions, they thus create tendencies that will ripen in a future life

Why is it said that your maintaining karma of a life in a heavenly realm will necessarily end one day? - It is said that a birth in a heavenly state can last for thousands, or millions, or hundred millions etc years. Why can one not continue maintaining the volitions that originally caused the birth in a heavenly realm?

If heavenly realm ends automatically, then why not hell, or human state also?
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Circling in Six realms due to Karma?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:42 am

Very well said. That is why the statement is often rendered in the scriptures as "circling cyclic existence due to being under the power of karma and affliction".
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2280
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Circling in Six realms due to Karma?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:11 pm

Rakshasa wrote:Suppose someone is greedy and filthy rich in this life and looks down upon the poor, and because of accumulation of bad Karma, he gets a rebirth in abject poverty condition. But poor people become humble and less greedy because of their experiences. So because of his next life's experiences and actions as a very poor peasant, the man gains good qualities and again regains good Karmic roots - which give him a birth as a rich man again in the next life. This goes on again and again? I hope, despite my lack of good articulation, most of you understood where I am pointing at.
Not necessarily, a poor peasant can also be greedy and ambitious and willing to get rich at the expense of his fellow peasants and a rich man can be generous with their wealth. You seem to be linking karma to fate, you forget the matter of choce involved in ones actions (as a human being).
If someone has done great offenses, broken the precepts and become a hungry ghost in this life, because of immense suffering he will become more compassionate with greater solidarity with other hungry ghosts. Which means, his birth in a higher realm is assured due to his experiences in hell.
Again this is untrue. Consider the story of the Buddha and the thief:
The Spider Thread
(from a lecture by Masao Yokota)

The Buddha was in a lotus-filled garden when he perceived a man named “Kandata” who was squirming in the depths of Hell. He had been a murderer, an arsonist, and thief. A lifetime of these causes had put him in hell. He was in the company of others like him.

The Buddha looked further into Kandata’s life and saw an incident where Kandata came upon a spider. He raised his foot to stomp on it. Suddenly, he reconsidered, thinking, "There is no doubt that this spider is also a living being and it is a shame to take its life for no reason." In the end he spared the spider.

Knowing this, the Buddha took a spider thread and lowered it to into depths of Hell with the intention of saving Kandata.

Kandata reached for the thread and found it strong enough to hold his weight. Using all his strength he began lifting himself from Hell.

After some progress, he looked down and saw hundreds of others behind him climbing on the same spider thread.

He shouted back at them: “Get off! This is mine!” Just then, the thread broke and Kandata fell back into Hell.
There is nothing in Buddhism that says that suffering is redemptive. Samsara is suffering. This suffering is neither redemptive nor a punishment.
which means all animals have a higher birth assured in future?
Nope. Positive or wholesome actions assure higher rebirths and/or liberation not birth in the animal realm. Rebirths in lower realms are consequences not causes. It is, of course, very difficult to accumulate positive causes whilst in the lower states (and in the God realms). That is the importance of human rebirth, we have a chice as to whether we will accumulate merit through our actions or just keep the cycle going.
So can we conclude that the cyclical existence is not only cyclical in the sense of "birth and rebirth" but also in the sense of circling in different states and realms again and again?
Yes and no. You can (right now) take advantage of your precious human birth and break the cycle forever.
:namaste:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9200
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: asunthatneversets, Jetavan, pemachophel and 22 guests

>