Home » Excerpts » Three Types Of Karma

With increasing of wisdom,
spiritual cultivation also includes
the purifying of mixed karma,
by creating more positive karma,
for diluting more negative karma.

Stonepeace

If a person is stubborn, haughty, honours not those who are worthy of honour, he, as a result of his arrogance and irreverence, when born amongst mankind, will have a birth in a low family. If a person is not stubborn, not haughty, honours those who are worthy of honour, he, as a result of his humility and deference, when born amongst mankind, will have a birth in a high family.

If a person does not approach the learned and the virtuous and inquire what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what should be practised and what should not practised, what should be done and what should not be done, what conduces to one’s welfare and what to the reverse, he, as a result of his non-inquiring spirit, when born amongst mankind, will be ignorant. If a person does approach the learned and the virtuous and make the above inquiries, he, as a result of his inquiring spirit, when born amongst mankind, will be intelligent…

Buddhism also teaches that there are three types of Kamma; Kamma that ripens in the same lifetime, Kamma that ripens in the next life and Kamma that ripen in successive births. Generally speaking, these three forms of Kamma are bound to produce result (vipaka), but to produce and effect, several auxiliary causes are required, and it sometimes happens that such auxiliary causes do not arise, and there are no effects. It may also come about that some weak Kamma is counteracted by stronger Kamma of an opposite type, and so does not produce vipaka or resultant. But, usually the results pf good and bad Kamma may be seen manifesting side by side; as for instance, when a child is born into a rich and powerful family, but is physically weak; or, being born poor parents may be healthy and highly intelligent. In fact, all possible combinations of fortune and misfortune are accountable to the admixture of past good and bad Kamma.

The Supreme Science of the Buddha
Egerton C. Baptist

Share This:
Tags: ,

11 Responses to “Three Types Of Karma”

  1. Dr D.P.D Wijesinghe January 14, 2012

    Rationally thinking person can easily understand that the karmic process does exit and is rational. The world will be a happy place if people can understand that. 🙂

  2. Derringer January 17, 2012

    I’ve a Christian friend who told me that he chooses Christianity because it preaches the Law Of Grace, which can rise above the Law Of Karma. He finds that the Buddhist explanation of worldly phenonmenon through Karmic causes is rather scary and calculative. He added that the idea of paying our Karmic debts life after life is rather depressing and scary, as you don’t know if something unfortunate is going to happen to you.
    Take for example the earthquakes and tsunamis happening around the world rather frequently now, is this due to the victims commiting bad deeds in their past lives that causes such an unavoidable payback?

  3. ABuddhist January 17, 2012

    The Christian law of grace, in the eyes of Buddhism, does not exist. This is so as if there is such grace, the mythical first humans Adam and Eve would be graciously pardoned already, with no so-called original sin passed on indefinitely to billions till today. If such simple grace was no available then, when things were so simple, how can it be available now, when things are so complex.

    Also, if there is a perfect creator god, there would be no creation of any imperfect beings in the first place, including Adam and Eve, who needed but never got grace. In the eyes of Buddhism, such a god simply does not exist. Many articles on this can be seen at http://thedailyenlightenment.com/?s=creator as to why.

    In Pure Land practice in Buddhism, there is the practice of connection to the Buddha (eg. Amituofo) whom one is mindful of with right faith and aspiration single-mindedly, such that on the deathbed, he is able to share his pure merits with the dying, to lift the person up, to dilute the negative karma, to enable birth in Pure Land. This is the Buddhist version of grace, that is still in accordance with the law of karma. This is called the law of self-power plus other-power. To see many cases of Pure Land births, see this:

    念佛成佛20則

    01。念佛可免難。吳允升
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8eGBUJQMBJM
    02. 念佛保康寧。周乃勳
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=EIgEmMFszZA
    03。念佛能解厄。台中阿俊嫂
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=CVKyEVAj9Y4
    04。念佛蒙接引。李顯貞
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3Ouc2LmMe3A
    05。念佛得安樂。徐雷
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lluE5G7r-J8

    06。佛為大醫王。沈中旭
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=PCCp6cmYBoY
    07。念佛開智慧。王呆頭。站著往生。靈瑞舍利
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qKLG6IEt6XY
    08。念佛救冥苦。張元壽
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ebTo5IWcX90
    09。念佛化熱惱。黃打鐵。站著往生。天樂異香
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8Qh_acb5MdY
    10。佛為大寶藏。新定少康。口出金佛
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=u07QLwbva0E

    11。念佛能賣苦。慈溪老婦
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=-_XMd3-5EMw
    12。佛為大明燈。顧源。坐蓮半月。異香三日
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=pp3BJUwJpV0
    13。念佛可延年。羅允枚。勝蓮。
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=uu4Xht4qZRA
    14。佛為甘露雨。雲棲蓮池大師
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=QMQsxbC6hDE
    15。念佛上蓮臺。慈覺母陳氏
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=NvikNk6L_jk

    16。念佛放光明。道昂法師
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sAb8sODdTSg
    17。念佛結善緣。文彥博。十萬人念佛
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=z8wVZIxm4TY
    18。念佛決定往生。僧衒。啟芳。圓果
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbVuoMSGRHM
    19。佛為大法王。廬山東林。慧遠大師
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=c5Q8Mxap5to
    20。念佛蒙開示。法照大師。念佛是諸法之王
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=jGEXMJcDszY

    Natural disasters affect BOTH Buddhists and non-Buddhists (e.g. Christians) alike. In Buddhism, when a person is harmed by a disaster, it is a reflection of negative karma’s ripening. However, those who practise mindfulness of Buddha diligently can avoid such incidents, as they are always connected to the blessings of Buddha. Amituofo

  4. Dr D.P.D Wijesinghe January 17, 2012

    Those who have not read about Buddhism think that it only teach karmic theory as the explanation for causation. It is not. The Lord Buddha has given 5 factors(panchaniyama) 1. chiththa niyama(mind) 2.dhamma niyama(ethic,dhamma) 3 biju niyama(genetic /biological) 4.ritu niyama(seasonal,geographycal, ect 5.kamma niyama Therefore acording to Buddhism, every thing is not from kamma. 🙂

  5. When sentient beings suffer from natural disasters, it is a reflection of their karma, as expressed, intermingled with other natural niyamas. If not, there would be such thing as ‘sheer bad luck’ that strikes one randomly without reason, even if one has super good karma that should prevent such incidents. There is no such thing as luck of course.

  6. Derringer January 18, 2012

    Isn’t luck a manisfestation of good Karma? Doesn’t the Boddhisattvas we pray to suppose to bestow good luck on us? I am sure there are countless disaster victims who have prayed but couldn’t escape their ill fate in the end. It is disheartening to think that even the Great Boddhisattvas we revered couldn’t save us from such calamities.

  7. What meant is that there is NO such thing as luck, for the definition of luck is that which is not based on any cause, which does not exist.

    In Buddhism, we speak of Karma, which is the natural law of cause and effect linked to morality. Good karma is created when one does that which is based on generosity, compassion and wisdom.

    When praying to Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, they don’t pass us any luck, but from mindfulness of them and their teachings, we are reminded to be virtuous, which creates good karma.

    As the deceased in disasters are already deceased, there is no way to know if any of them prayed to Bodhisattvas. There are countless cases of Buddhists who are saved in disasters, who lived to tell the tale.(The other way round, if there is a good almighty creator god, he would not create even a single disaster.)

    Looks like you lack basic understanding in karma. Here is a course to recommend that coves it:

    http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/12/course-project-rebirth-rediscover-reflect-recharge-round-4

  8. Derringer January 18, 2012

    Sometimes it’s hard to accept that you are in a bad plight because of certain things you did in your past lives. Take for example deformed babies and people who are handicapped, they never ask to be born this way. It is true that life is unfair, isn’t it? I have a friend who told me that he has been good and pious all his life but still couldn’t achieve much in life, whereas his brother, who is a gangster who take part in fights, are making more money and much better off than him. He told me he felt disappointed and now go less and less to pray at temples, as he think it is all bollocks anyway.

  9. If you think of it, if one prefers to imagine that one’s plight is unreasonable, based on random luck, or worse still, as determined by a lousy creator, doesn’t that make life more depressing and hopeless? It is worse to think that life is randomly unfair, that any good efforts will never lead to good results.

    If one is born handicapped, it is better to have hope that the law of karma exists, and to take responsibility to make the best of one’s situation, to make things better – rather than just resigning to one’s ‘fate’. This is wise application of karma.

    No one who says, gets lung cancer, asks for it, but most of us know the means to get it – smoking for example. This is karma from ignoring the causes.

    Maybe your friend lacked compassion and wisdom? Compassion in helping others creates good karma. Wisdom helps us to succeed. Mere praying for success doesn’t work as the right karma is not created. When the evil seems to profit, it is due to them having leftover good karma from the past, while the bad karma created now will ripen later.

    If your friend really believes there is no karma (which I think is not the case for him), why don’t he join his gangster brother for the sure way to ‘success’? He wouldn’t. Deep down, we all believe in karma. His brother just happen to be deluded at the moment.

    Four Reasons for Goodness

    Firstly, if there is afterlife,
    and if there’s karma,
    I’ll have a good rebirth
    as I do good.

    Secondly, if there is no afterlife,
    and if there’s no karma,
    I’ll live happily now,
    as I’m free of ill will.

    Thirdly, if evil befalls the evil,
    it will not affect me
    as I do no evil.

    Fourthly, if evil does not befall the evil,
    as I do no evil and do good instead,
    I’m pure both ways.

    (The course recommended answers all such questions from participants)

  10. Derringer January 19, 2012

    Not everyone likes to think that they are in a sad situation because of some unknown mistakes they committed in their past lives. Some people, even those who are not religious, like to think that certain things happen to them for a reason. For example, they may think that they get to servive a certain tragedy in order to help those who are going through the same thing. This gives them a sense of purpose in life.

  11. There is no sense at all in thinking oneself to be in an unfortunate state due to nothing done in the past. This makes life hopeless.

    Of course, things happen for a reason. When one suffers, the reason for it is negative karma’s ripening.

    This can still give a purpose – e.g. to take responsibility, to not blame others or ‘bad luck’, to learn to overcome it, by cultivating the right attitude, by creating positive karma, and teachings others to do the same in overcoming the suffering.

    It is not sensible to imagine one has suffering because some superbeing gave it to one to strengthen one, to inspire others – because if this being is so super, this being won’t create any weak being in the first place, who needs strengthening,or beings who need to be inspired.

    It is much much more sensible to take responsibility and make the best of one’s situation for one and all.

    He who has eyes can see the sickening sight;
    Why does not Brahma [equivalent to creator God idea] set his creatures right?
    If his wide power no limit can restrain [if he is omnipresent and omnipotent],
    Why is his hand so rarely spread to bless?
    Why are all his creatures condemned to pain?
    Why does he not to all give happiness?
    Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail [if he is omni-benevolent]?
    Why triumphs falsehood — truth and justice fail?
    I count your Brahma one the unjust among
    Who made a world in which to shelter wrong.

    – Bhuridatta Jataka, No. 453

Leave a Reply

Name (required please)

Email (required, will not be published)

Website (optional)