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There are four kinds of [karmic] actions
proclaimed by me,
after realising them for myself
with direct knowledge.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Kukkuravatika Sutta)

(As paraphrased and extended from the second half of the Kukkuravatika Sutta)

[1] There are dark [i.e. unwholesome or unskilful] actions
with dark results [of pain]
,
having created afflictive bodily, verbal and/or mental formations,
[of deeds, words and thoughts
with greed, hatred and delusion],
thus reborn with afflictive contacts and feelings,
with only pain [when the negative karma lasts],
as in the case of the hells.

[2] There are bright [i.e. wholesome or skilful] actions
with bright results [of pleasure]
,
having created unafflictive bodily, verbal and/or mental formations,
[of deeds, words and thoughts
with generosity, compassion and wisdom],
thus reborn without unafflictive contacts and feelings,
with only pleasure [when the positive karma lasts],
as in the case of the higher heavens.

[3] There are dark-and-bright [i.e. unwholesome-and-wholesome] actions
with dark-and-bright results [of pain-and-pleasure]
,
having created afflictive-and-unafflictive bodily, verbal and/or mental formations,
[of deeds, words and thoughts
with greed-generosity, hatred-compassion, and delusion-wisdom],
thus reborn with afflictive-and-unafflictive contacts and feelings,
with pain-and-pleasure [when the mixed karma lasts],
as in the case of the lower heavens, human, parts of the animal and ghost realms.

[4] There are neither-dark-nor-bright [i.e. pure] actions,
[of deeds, words and thoughts]
with neither-dark-nor-bright results [of lasting liberation]
,
that lead to transcendence of [wholesome and unwholesome] karma,
which is the volition [i.e. resolute will] to relinquish
dark actions with dark results, [by avoiding evil, without hatred],
bright actions with bright results, [by doing good, without greed],
and dark-and-bright actions with dark-and-bright results, [by purifying mind, of delusion].

Thus, I say [sentient] beings
are the [karmic] heirs
to their [intentional] actions.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Kukkuravatika Sutta)

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