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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Kammas are said to be of three kinds


style="text-align: justify;">Payasi's type, we have every reason to believe that the doctrine of rebirth in other worlds and in this was often spoken of in the Upani@sads and taken as an accepted fact by the Buddha. In the _Milinda Panha_, we find Nagasena saying "it is through a difference in their karma that men are not all alike, but some long lived, some short lived, some healthy and some sickly, some handsome and some ugly, some powerful and some weak, some rich and some poor, some of high degree and some of low degree, some wise and some foolish [Footnote ref 1]." We have seen in the third chapter that the same soil of views was enunciated by the Upani@sad sages.

But karma could produce its effect in this life or any other life only when there were covetousness, antipathy and infatuation. But "when a man's deeds are performed without covetousness, arise without covetousness and are occasioned without covetousness, then inasmuch as covetousness is gone these deeds are abandoned, uprooted, pulled out of the ground like a palmyra tree and become non-existent and not liable to spring up again in the future [Footnote ref 2]." Karma by itself without craving (_ta@nha_) is incapable of bearing good or bad fruits. Thus we read in the _Mahasatipa@t@thana sutta_, "even this craving, potent for rebirth, that is accompanied by lust and self-indulgence, seeking satisfaction now here, now there, to wit, the craving for the life of sense, the craving

for becoming (renewed life) and the craving for not becoming (for no new rebirth) [Footnote ref 3]." "Craving for things visible, craving for things audible, craving for things that may be smelt, tasted, touched, for things in memory recalled. These are the things in this world that are dear, that are pleasant. There does craving take its rise, there does it dwell [Footnote ref 4]." Pre-occupation and deliberation of sensual gratification giving rise to craving is the reason why sorrow comes. And this is the first arya satya (noble truth).

The cessation of sorrow can only happen with "the utter cessation of and disenchantment about that very craving, giving it up, renouncing it and emancipation from it [Footnote ref 5]."

When the desire or craving (_ta@nha_) has once ceased the sage becomes an arhat, and the deeds that he may do after that will bear no fruit. An arhat cannot have any good or bad


[Footnote 1: Warren's _Buddhism in Translations_, p. 215.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 216-217.]

[Footnote 3: _Dialogues of the Buddha_, II. p. 340.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._ p. 341.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._ p. 341.]


fruits of whatever he does. For it is through desire that karma finds its scope of giving fruit. With the cessation of desire all ignorance, antipathy and grasping cease and consequently there is nothing which can determine rebirth. An arhat may suffer the effects of the deeds done by him in some previous birth just as Moggallana did, but in spite of the remnants of his past karma an arhat was an emancipated man on account of the cessation of his desire [Footnote ref 1].

Kammas are said to be of three kinds, of body, speech and mind (_kayika_, _vacika_ and _manasika_). The root of this kamma is however volition (_cetana_) and the states associated with it [Footnote ref 2]. If a man wishing to kill animals goes out into the forest in search of them, but cannot get any of them there even after a long search, his misconduct is not a bodily one, for he could not actually commit the deed with his body. So if he gives an order for committing a similar misdeed, and if it is not actually carried out with the body, it would be a misdeed by speech (_vacika_) and not by the body. But the merest bad thought or ill will alone whether carried into effect or not would be a kamma of the mind (_manasika_) [Footnote ref 3]. But the mental kamma must be present as the root of all bodily and vocal kammas, for if this is absent, as in the case of an arhat, there cannot be any kammas at all for him.

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