LAMRIM CHENMO (5)



10 KARMA AND ITS EFFECTS


GENERATING THE FAITH OF CONVICTION IN ACTIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS


This has three points:
contemplating karma and its effects in general,
contemplating karma and its effects in particular,
and having contemplated karma and its effects, how to engage in virtue and desist from non-virtue.

CONTEMPLATING KARMA AND ITS EFFECTS IN GENERAL


This has two points:
the actual way to contemplate karma and its effects in general;
and contemplating the specific categories.

THE ACTUAL WAY TO CONTEMPLATE KARMA AND ITS EFFECTS IN GENERAL


This has four points:
karma is certain,
karma greatly increases,
you do not meet with karma you have not created,
and karma you have created does not dissipate.


KARMA IS CERTAIN

All happiness that is a type of pleasant feeling, whether in ordinary beings or aryas, comes from virtuous karma accumulated previously. This includes even pleasures as small as the pleasure in a sentient being born in hell when a cool breezed springs up.

There is no way for happiness to arise from non-virtuous karma. All suffering that is a type of painful feeling comes from non-virtuous karma accumulated previously. This includes even pains as small as the pain in the mind of an arhat. [75] There is no way for suffering to arise from virtuous karma.

Precious Garland (1.21) says:

From non-virtue comes all suffering
and, likewise, every lower rebirth.
From virtue comes every fortunate rebirth
and the happiness in all rebirths.

Therefore happiness and suffering do not arise without cause or from an incongruous cause, such as the fundamental nature of Isvara.

Happiness and suffering in general arise, respectively, from virtuous and non-virtuous karma in general.

Also, the various specific instances of happiness and suffering each arise from the various specific instances of the two types of karma without any inconsistency.

To gain certainty with regard to actions and their effects being certain and infallible is said to be the correct view of all Buddhist and praise as the foundation of all virtuous phenomena.


KARMA GREATLY INCREASES

Even from a small virtuous action these arises enormous happiness as its effect, while even from a small non-virtuous action there arises enormous suffering as its effect. There is nothing among external causes and effect that resembles the increase of effects from internal causes. The Collection of Indicative Verses (28.25-26) says:

Even creating a small bad deed
will result in terrible fear
and disasters in future lives,
like having ingested poison.

Even creating a little merit
will bring great happiness in future lives
and accomplish vast objectives,
like grains that ripen to perfection.


YOU DO NOT MEET WITH KARMA YOU HAVE NOT CREATED


If you have not accumulated karma that will become the cause for experiencing happiness or suffering, you will never experience the happiness or suffering that is its effect. Also, those who enjoy the effects of the Teacher’s accumulation of an incalculable accumulation of merit do not need to accumulate all its causes; however they need to accumulate one part of them.


KARMA YOU HAVE CREATED DOES NOT DISSIPATE


The virtuous and non-virtuous actions that have been done will bring forth pleasant and unpleasant effects.

Praise of the Exalted One says:

Brahmins claim that good and bad deeds
are transferable like gifts one receives.
You teach that deeds done are never lost
and what is not done will not be met.

[76] The King of Concentrations Sutra also says:

What is done will never not be met.
What others did you will not experience.

Chapters of Scriptural Transmission says:

Actions never come to naught,
even after a hundred eons.
When the time comes and the conditions are met
beings will surely experience their effects.


CONTEMPLATING THE SPECIFIC CATEGORIES


This has two points:
the principal teaching of the ten paths of action,
and establishing actions and their effects.


THE PRINCIPAL TEACHING OF THE TEN PATHS OF ACTION


So you have first generated certainty concerning the ways of actions and their effects through this understanding
that happiness and suffering are certain to occur as effects of their specific causes,
that karma increases greatly,
that you do not meet with anything you have not created,
and that karma does not dissipate.

Now which actions should be adopted and which rejected? In general, the doorways for engaging in good conduct and faulty conduct are determined as three.

Although not all virtues and non-virtues of the three doors are included in the ten paths of action, the Blessed One, summing up the essential points, stated the more obvious or coarser virtues and non-virtues, the main basis of misdeeds being the ten black paths of action.

Having seen that, when they are abandoned, the most significant points are also included in those ten, he taught the ten white paths of action.

The Treasury of Abhidharma (4.66) says: 

Categorising the most obvious among them,
he taught the paths of actions as ten:
virtuous and non-virtuous, respectively.

Also, Exegesis of the Vinaya says:

Guard your speech, completely restrain your mind,
and perform no non-virtuous deeds with the body;
when you purify these three paths of action,
you will attain the path taught by the Sage.

Therefore the object praised in the Ten Grounds Sutra (Dasabhumikasutra) is the ethical discipline of abandoning the ten non-virtues.

This is summarised in Entering the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara, 2.7):

For the definite goodness and higher states
of ordinary beings, those born from his speech,
those established for self-enlightenment,
and the victors’ children –
the cause [77] in none other than ethical conduct.

That beings so, if someone who does not rely on restraining the mind again and again, so as to guard even a single ethical discipline, were to claim, “As for me, I am a Mahayanist,” that would be a disgrace.

The Ksitigarbha Sutra says:

By way of theses ten virtuous paths of actions, you
will become a buddha. On the other hand, if one
who does not guard even a single virtuous path
of action throughout his [her] life nevertheless says, “I
am a Mahayanist. I seek unsurpassed, perfectly
complete enlightenment,” that person is an utter
hypocrite and a great liar. He [she] is deceiving the
world before the eyes of all the blessed ones and
propounding nihilism. At the time of death, he [she]
will be very confused and fall in the wrong direction.

“Fall in the wrong direction” should be understood as a synonym for the miserable lower rebirths.

ESTABLISHING ACTIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS


This has three points:
non-virtuous actions and their effects,
virtuous actions and their effects,
and other categories of actions.


NON-VIRTUOUS ACTIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS

This has three points:
the actual non-virtuous paths of action,
differentiating heavy and light karma,
and a presentation of their effects.



THE ACTUAL NON-VIRTUOUS PATHS OF ACTION


KILLING



Basis
The basis of killing is another sentient being.

Attitude
This has three points: discernment, mental affliction, and motivation.

The discernment has four possibilities:
when the basis is a sentient being, the discernment of it as a sentient being;
when the basis is a sentient being, the discernment of it as not a sentient being;
when the basis is not a sentient being, the discernment of it as not a sentient being;
and when the basis is not a sentient being, the discernment of it as a sentient being.

The first and third discernment are unmistaken, while the second and fourth are mistaken.

Here, there may be a particular motivation. For example, if you are thinking to kill only Devadatta, but when it comes to performing the action, you mistakenly kill Yajnadatta, then there is no bad deed in connection with the actual basis.

If there were, then an unmistaken discernment would be necessary. However, if at the time of performing the action, you have the general motivation to kill whomever is at hand, then an unmistaken discernment is not necessary.

You should understand this rule to apply also to the remaining nine paths of action as appropriate.

The mental affliction is any of the three poisons.
The motivation consists in the desire to kill.


Performance
This is the same whether you yourself do the killing or whether you cause someone else to do it. The nature of the performance is the act itself, whether done by means of a weapon, poison, mantra, or anything else. [78]

Completion
The completion consists in the death of the other being because of the performance of the action, whether at that time or at some other time before you yourself die.



STEALING


Basis
The basis of stealing is something owned by another.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment and the mental affliction are as [with killing] above. The motivation consists in the desire to take something belonging to someone else away from them without it having been given.

Performance
As for the performance, the agent is as explained above. The nature of the performance is the same whether you take something by force or steal it sneakily. In addition, being deceitful regarding a debt or a trust and using other fraudulent methods also constitute stealing. Also, whether it is done for one’s own sake, for someone else’s sake, or to harm the owner and so forth, it is stealing.

Completion
The completion consists in the arising of the thought “Now it is mind!” Or, if you have caused someone else to rob or steal, it is enough for that thought to arise in him or her. This is similar to when someone kills someone else because of an order, where the latter dies, the bad deed of the actual path of action befalls the one who gave the order, even if he does not know the person is dead.


SEXUAL MISCONDUCT


Basis
Among the four bases of sexual misconduct, the first, inappropriate persons, is those you should not have sexual intercourse with: your mother and so forth, women under the care of their mothers and so forth, all men, hermaphrodites and ordained women.

Inappropriate body parts are those other than the entrance to the womb, such as the mouth.

Inappropriate places are in the vicinity of gurus, places with stupas, and the like.

Inappropriate times are during pregnancy, when you are keeping one-day vows, and so forth.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment is explained as follows. The Compendium of Ascertainments says “discerning that as that,” which indicated that a nonmistaken discernment is necessary. The Vinaya states that in the case of a defeat of impure conduct, it is the same whether the discernment is mistaken or nonmistaken. The Treasury of Abhidharma Autocommentary explains that if you approach someone else’s wife perceiving her to be yours, this will not constitute the path of action under discussion, and getting involved with someone else’s wife while perceiving her to be the wife of yet another person may or may not constitute such a other.

The mental affliction can be any of the three poisons.
The motivation is the desire for sexual intercourse in a manner that constitutes impure conduct.

Performance
The performance consists in striving for that goal.

Completion
The completion consists in the two joining with each other.



LYING


Basis
Among the two bases of lying, the expressed basis refers to the four – that which one has seen, heard, differentiated, or understood – [79] as well as their four opposites. The object understood is the meaning understood by the other person.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment consists in actions such as taking something one has observed and changing it into something one has not observed. The mental affliction is any of the three poisons. The motivation is the desire to express that altered discernment.

Performance
The performance consists in indicating a falsehood by speaking, by accepting it through not saying anything, or by signalling with a physical gesture. Moreover, the scriptures state that is amounts to the same whether you say it for your own purposes or for someone else’s sake. Here Asanga’s texts say that the three – lying, divisive speech, and harsh speech – become paths of action for yourself even if you get someone else to perform them. The root text and autocommentary of the Treasury of Abhidharma say that all four non-virtues associated with speech become paths of action when you get someone else to perform them. The Vinaya states that in order to produce a complete infraction, you yourself must speak.

Completion
The completion consists in it being understood by the other person. The Treasury of Abhidharma Autocommentary explains that if it is not understood, it becomes merely idle talk. This is also the same for divisive speech and harsh speech.

DIVISIVE SPEECH


Basis
The basis of divisive speech is sentient being who are in agreement or in disagreement with each other.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment and the mental affliction are as above. The motivation consists in the desire to divide sentient beings who are in agreement and the desire for those who are in disagreement not to be reconciled.

Performance
The performance consists in making pleasant or unpleasant statements, using true or untrue words, saying them for either one’s own or someone else’s sake.

Completion
The completion consists in the divisive words uttered having being understood.



HARSH SPEECH


Basis
The basis of harsh speech is a sentient being which has become the causal basis of a hostile intent arising in you.

Attitude
With respect to the attitude, the discernment and the mental affliction are as above. The motivation is the wish to utter harsh speech.

Performance
The performance consists in speaking unpleasantly, whether truthfully or falsely, about another person’s faults associated with his lineage, body, ethics, or behaviour.

Completion
The completion consists in the one to whom it was said understanding the meaning.



IDLE TALK


Basis
The basis of idle talk is a meaningless topic.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment is stated merely as “discerning that as that”. In this context, it is to accurately discern the topic one wants to talk about and then talk about it. There is no need for something to understand it. The mental affliction is any of the three poisons. The motivation is the desire to express whatever random thoughts occur.

Performance
The performance consists in starting to utter idle talk.

Completion
The completion is to finish uttering idle talk. [80]



COVETOUSNESS


Basis
The basis of covetousness is the wealth or property of someone else.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment consists in an accurate discernment of that basis.

The mental affliction is any of the three poisons. The motivation is the desire to make it one’s own.

Performance
The performance consists in striving for the object of that thought.

Completion
The completion is the thought “May this wealth and so forth be mine!”


HARMFUL INTENT


Basis and attitude
The basis, the discernment, and the mental affliction of harmful intent are the same as with harsh speech. The motivation is the desire to hit someone and the like; it is the thought “How nice it would be if this person were to be killed or imprisoned, or if his [her] wealth were ruined by itself or by someone else” and the like.

Performance
The performance consists in actually engaging in this thought.

Completion
The completion consists in the resolve to hit and the like.



WRONG VIEWS


Basis
The basis of wrong views is an object that actually exists.

Attitude
Among the three aspects belonging to the attitude, the discernment consists in considering the denial of the object to be true. The mental affliction is any of the three poisons. The motivation consists in wanting to deny that thing.

Performance
The performance consists in beginning to engage in such thinking.
This has four points:
 
denying causes
, which consists in the view “There is no good conduct and bad conduct”;
denying effects, which consists in the view “There are no fully ripened effects of those two”;
denying activities; and
denying existing phenomena, which consists in the view “Arhats and the like do not exist”.

The third, denying activities, has three aspects:
 
denying the activity of planting and holding the seed, which consists in the view “There is no planting of a seed by the father and no holding of a seed by the mother”;
 
denying the activity of coming and going, which consists in the view “There is no coming from a former existence to this one and no going from this one to a future one”; and

denying the activity of being born, which consists in the view “There is no intermediate state into which sentient beings are miraculously born”.

Completion
The completion is to be certain of one’s denial. Among these ten, the intentions in the mind are actions but not paths of action. The seven actions of body and speech are actions, and they are also paths of action since they are the basis of carrying out the intentions. The three of covetousness and so on are paths of action but not actions.



DIFFERENTIATING HEAVY AND LIGHT KARMA


This has two points: the heaviness of the ten paths of action, and an ancillary presentation of ways in which karma is strong.



THE HEAVINESS OF THE TEN PATHS OF ACTION


Levels of Yogic Practice states six ways in which they are heavy.

1. Conditioning – this is the strong presence or absence of the three poisons that motivate the action.
2. Habituation – [81] this is having engaged in virtuous or non-virtuous actions for a long time such that one has become accustomed to them through repetition.
3. Nature – in the case of the seven actions of body and speech, each preceding one is heavier than the subsequent one, whereas with the three actions of mind, each subsequent one is heavier than the preceding one.
4. Basis – this is what is benefited or harmed, such as the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha, and the gurus.
5. Singularly adhering to the discordant side – this is spending one’s whole life committing non-virtuous actions with singular conviction and not engaging in even one virtue.
6. Clearing away the discordant side – this is giving up the side of non-virtue, becoming free from attachment, and training in virtuous actions.

Letter to a Friend (v.42) also says:

There are five ways that non-virtuous and virtuous karma become great:
persistence, strong adherence, no antidote,
and a basis with foremost qualities of primary importance.
Among these, strive to practice virtue!

These are five because of the division of the basis into two: a basis endowed with foremost qualities, such as the Three Jewels, and a basis of great benefit, such as one’s parents.


AN ANCILLARY PRESENTATION OF WAYS IN WHICH KARMA IS STRONG


This has four points: great strength by way of the field, great strength by way of the support, great strength by way of the thing, and great strength by way of the attitude.



GREAT STRENGTH BY WAY OF THE FIELD


In the case of the Three Jewels, gurus, those who are like gurus, one’s parents, and so forth, even if one’s attitude toward them lacks intensity, and the benefit or harm one does to them is small, any merit or misdeed will be great.

The Application of Mindfulness Sutra (Smrtyupasthansasutra) says:

The karma of stealing even a little thing from the
Three Jewels is purified if it is returned in the case
of the Buddha and the Dharma. However, in the
case of the Sangha, it is not purified as long as the
result is not experienced. It is a requisite means
by providing sustenance for the Sangha, one will
be born in the great hells, and if something else,
then one will be born in the great darkness
surrounding Avici.

Bodhisattvas are an extremely powerful field of virtue and non-virtue. Seal Enhancing the Power of Faith Sutra (Sraddhabaladhanavataramudrasutra) says that compared to someone who, out of anger, puts all the sentient beings of the ten directions into a dark prison, if someone else, out of anger, turns his back on a bodhisattva, saying, “I will not look upon this horrible person again,” he generates an incalculably greater bad deed. [82] Also compared to someone who has destroyed and burned down stupas as numerous as the sand grains of the Ganges River, is someone else generates anger and harmful intent in his mind towards a bodhisattva and says unpleasant thing to him, it is as above.

Seal of Engaging in Certain and Uncertain Destinies Sutra (Niyataniyatamudravatarasutra) says that compared to someone, who, out of love, restores the eyes of those sentient beings in the ten directions whose eyes were gouged out, and who, after releasing the aforementioned sentient beings from prison, establishes them in the happiness of a universal monarch (cakravartin) or of Brahma, if someone else out of trust looks at or out of faith wishes to look at a bodhisattva endowed with Mahayana aspiration and sings his praises, he generates incalculably greater merit.

Also, the Magic of the Complete Certainty of Total Peace Sutra (Prasantaviniscayapratiharyasutra) says that compared to killing all the sentient beings of Jambudvipa or seizing all their possessions, someone who obstructs even as little as the virtue of a bodhisattva giving a handful of food to an animal generates incalculably greater evil. Therefore you should be very careful with respect to these objects.


GREAT STRENGTH BY WAY OF THE SUPPORT


Just as even a tiny lump of iron sinks whereas a container made from it floats, so likewise the bad actions committed by unskilful people and skilful people are respectively heavy and light. It is said that for those who are skilful, who regret their previous bad actions, retrain themselves in the future, do not keep them secret, and apply their virtuous antidotes, they are light, whereas for those who arrogantly assume they are skilful and do not do this but out of contempt deliberately engage in them, they are heavy.

The Heap of Jewels Sutra (Ratnarasisutra) also declares that is all the sentient beings of the billion universes were to have entered the Mahayana and gained the endowments of universal monarchs, and if each of them were to offer butter lamps in vessels the size of an ocean and with wicks the size of Mount Meru to a stupa or a buddha, this would not match even one hundredth part of the merit or a bodhisattva who has left his home and who hold up a little bit of wick smeared with butter in front of a stupa.

This makes clear the strength of the support even if there is no difference in the attitude and the field, and even if the thing offered is very different. [83] This reasoning also makes clear that depending on whether one has the support of vows and, if so, whether it is one, two, or three sets of vows, the cultivation of the path will be the more effective the more one has.

For example, there is a great difference in the strength of the roots of virtue according to whether a householder, at the time of giving donation and the like, acts on the basis of keeping vows, such as one-day vows, or whether he acts without any vows.

The Overcoming Faulty Ethical Discipline Sutra (Duhsilanigrahasutra) says that compared to a human being possessing the ten non-virtues who, for a hundred years, continuously and uninterruptedly accumulates bad actions, a fully ordained monk who has completely broken his vows of discipline and who for one day, dressed in the victory banner of sages, enjoys that which has been offered in faith to him, accumulates far more bad actions. Again because of the support, the bad actions have greater strength.

Exegesis of the Vinaya also says:

It is better that they eat lumps of iron
blazing with tongues of fire
than for those with slack or corrupted discipline
to eat the alms of food of the local people.

This has been taught with regard to both corrupted discipline and slackness in training. Dromtonpa’s statement – that the sin of engaging in the ten non-virtues is very small when compared to the sin of having broken one’s reliance on the Dharma – appears to be true.



GREAT STRENGTH BY WAY OF THE THING


In the case of giving gifts to sentient beings, giving the Dharma is supreme, and in the case of making offering to the buddhas, offering one’s practice is supreme – each being far superior to gifts and offering of material things. Using this as an example, understand it to apply in other cases.



GREAT STRENGTH BY WAY OF THE ATTITUDE


The Heap of Jewels Sutra says that if all the sentient beings of the billion universes out of aspiration for self-liberation were each to create a buddha stupa as massive as Mount Meru, and if they and all those who are objects of respect were to pay respect to them for ten million eons, this would not match the merit generated by a bodhisattva who, never separated from the mind aspiring for omniscience, offers one single flower.

Likewise, a difference in attitude – such as aspiring for a higher or lower goal, or focusing on one’s own or others’ purpose – should be understood also in terms of greater or lesser intensity, and longer or shorter duration. [84] When it comes to faulty conduct, an intense afflicted attitude and long duration also have greater strength.

Also among the mental afflictions, anger is particularly strong. Entering the Bodhisattva Way (6.1) says:

Whatever good conduct has been amassed
Over a thousand eons by giving
and worshiping those gone to bliss and so on
is all destroyed by one moment of anger.

Here, anger toward those who perfectly observe their celibacy is very heavy, and anger toward bodhisattvas is heavier still. The King of Concentrations Sutra says:

If someone harbours harmful intention for another,
ethical conduct or studying cannot protect him [her],
nor can meditative concentration or solitude,
nor generosity or worshipping the Buddha.



A PRESENTATION OF THEIR EFFECTS


This has three points: the fully ripened effect, the effect concordant with the cause, and the dominant or environmental effect.


THE FULLY RIPENED EFFECT


Since each of the ten paths of action depends on whether the basis, the three poisons, is small, intermediate, or great, the fully ripened effect is also threefold. Levels of Yogic Practice says that through each of the ten great ones, a great act of killing and so on, you are born as a hell being, through each of ten intermediate ones you are born as a hungry ghost, and through each of the ten small ones are you are reborn as an animal. In the Ten Grounds Sutra the effects of small and intermediate ones are said to be the other way around.



THE EFFECT CONCORDANT WITH THE CAUSE


Each of the ten non-virtuous paths of action also gives rise to an effect concordant with the cause, so that even when you have left the lower rebirths and taken rebirth as a human being, your life will be short, you will lack wealth, your partner will leave you, you will be slandered, you will be separated from loved ones, you will hear unpleasant speech, others will not listen to you, and each of the three – attachment, anger, and confusion – will predominate respectively.



THE DOMINANT OR ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT


The dominant or environmental effect of killing is that in the surrounding environment, food, drink, medicine, harvests, and the like will have little potency.
The environmental effect of stealing is that there will be great droughts, torrential rains, poor harvests, and so forth.
The environmental effect of sexual misconduct is there will be foul swamps, excessive filth, unpleasant odours, and so forth.
The environmental effect of lying is that any work, whether in fields or boats and so on, will not succeed.
The environmental effect of divisive speech is that the area will be bumpy and uneven, making it difficult to travel, and so on.
The environmental effect of harsh speech is that the area will be full of logs, brambles, rocks, pebbles, potsherds, and so forth.
The environmental effect of idle talk is that [85] fruit trees will not bear fruit or will bear fruit out of season and so forth.
The environmental effect of covetousness is that everything excellent will deteriorate year by year, month by month, and day by day, and so forth.
The environmental effect of harmful intent is a multitude of epidemics, injuries, infections, disputes, wars with enemy troops, and so forth.
The environmental effect of wrong views is an environment where the best provisions will be exhausted, and so forth.



VIRTUOUS ACTIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS


This has two points: virtuous actions and their effects.


VIRTUOUS ACTIONS


These are the physical acts, that with a virtuous mind cognising the faults of killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct, correctly refrain from killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct and succeed in having refrained from them.

This is to be applied likewise to the four of speech and the three of mind, the difference being that they are called “actions of speech” and “actions of the mind,” as stated in Levels of Yogic Practice.

So this should be applied to the basis, attitude, performance, and completion as appropriate. When applied to the path of action of avoiding killing, the basis is another sentient being, the attitude is the wish to avoid it having seen its faults, the performance is to put effort into completely abstaining from killing, and the completion is the physical act of having successfully refrained from it. The other paths of action should also be understood in this manner.


THE EFFECTS OF VIRTUOUS ACTIONS


From among the three effects of the virtuous paths of action, the fully ripened effect is to be born as a human being, a desire-realm god, or a god of the two upper realms through the force of small, intermediate, or great virtuous action. In the case of the effect concordant with the cause and the dominant or environment effect, these are the opposite of the respective effects from non-virtuous actions.



OTHER CATEGORIES OF ACTIONS


This has two points: the difference between propelling and completing actions, and the difference between what will definitely be experienced and what will not necessarily be experienced.



THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROPELLING AND COMPLETING ACTIONS


Propelling actions for a fortunate rebirth are virtuous actions,
whereas propelling actions for rebirth in the lower rebirths are non-virtuous actions.

The completing ones are undetermined. However, even in the fortunate rebirths, incomplete limbs, minor body parts or sense faculties, hideous looks, a short lifespan, multiple illnesses, poverty, and so forth are caused by non-virtue.

Also, in the case of animals and hungry ghosts, abundant prosperity is causes by virtue.

Thus there are four possibilities:
that which is propelled by a virtuous propelling action and completed by a virtuous action or by a non-virtuous completing action,
and that which is propelled by a non-virtuous propelling action [86]
and completed by a non-virtuous action or
by a virtuous completing action.



THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT WILL DEFITITELY BE EXPERIENCED AND WHAT WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE EXPERIENCED


That which will definitely be experienced is what has been done intentionally and has been accumulated.

That which will not necessarily be experienced is what has been done intentionally but has not been accumulated.

The difference between what has been done and what has been accumulated is as follows.

What has been done is an intention or is a performance with body or speech following an intention.

What has been accumulated are any actions apart from the ten – those done in a dream and so forth – conversely, what has not been accumulated are the ten types such as those in a dream.

That which will definitely be experienced has three categories based on when the effect will be experienced:
that which will be experienced as a visible phenomenon is an action whose effect will be experienced in this life,
that which will be experienced after taking rebirth is an action whose effect will be experienced in the next life,
and that which will be experienced at another time is that which will be experienced in the life after that or beyond.



CONTEMPLATING KARMA AND ITS EFFECTS IN PARTICULAR


Through abandoning the ten non-virtues, you do indeed obtain a good rebirth.

But were you to achieve a fully qualified basis for accomplishing omniscience, you would be able to cover the ground in your meditations on the path in an unparalleled manner. Therefore you should try to achieve such a life.

This has two points:
the fully ripened excellent qualities and their functions,
and the causes of the fully ripened effects.



THE FULLY RIPENED EXCELLENT QUALITIES AND THEIR FUNCTIONS


The first has eight points: excellent lifespan, excellent complexion, excellent lineage, excellent complexion, excellent lineage, excellent power, respected words, renown for being powerful, male birth, and strength.

Excellent lifespan
The first is to have a long life, propelled by an earlier propelling action, and to live accordingly. On this basis you undertake actions for the purpose of yourself and others, accumulating a lot of virtue over a long period of time.

Excellent complexion
The second is to have a good complexion and attractive physical form, well-proportioned with complete sense powers. Owing to this, disciples gather, just delighted to see you, and listen to your words.

Excellent lineage
The third is to be born into an exalted family that is well known and respected by the world. Owing to this, your commands are accomplished and not transgressed.


Excellent power
The fourth is to have great wealth, many friends, and numerous helpers. Owing to this you gather many beings around you and bring them to spiritual maturity.

Respected words
The fifth is to not deceive others through your verbal or physical actions, so that they trust your words. Due to this you gather sentient beings with the four ways of gathering disciples and bring them to spiritual maturity.

Renown for being powerful
The sixth is to possess excellent qualities such as joyously striving in generosity and so forth, so that you become an object of veneration of great beings. Owing to this, they help you with all activities, acknowledge your deeds, and quickly heed your instructions.

Male birth
The seventh is to be born a male, which allows you to become a receptable for all excellent qualities and, [87] with aspiration and effort, a receptacle for increasing wisdom. You are not afraid to be in a crowd, and nothing prevents you from travelling together with anyone else or from living in seclusion.

Strength
The eighth is to be naturally healthy and free of adversity, and to have great enthusiasm owing to the present conditions in your life, through the power of previous actions. Owing to that, you do not get overwhelmed by whatever goals you or others may have, and in reliance upon intense diligence, you attain the power of fine investigation, whereby clairvoyance will quickly develop.



THE CAUSES OF THE FULLY RIPENED EFFECTS


This has eight points, the first of which is not to harm any sentient being and to cultivate an attitude of non-harm.

Furthermore it says [in the Discourse Explaining Seven Qualities]:

By freeing beings bound for slaughter
and likewise helping through sustaining life,
by turning away from harming animals,
you will obtain longevity.

Out of caring for the sick as a healer,
administering medicine,
and not harming creatures with stones or sticks,
you will be without illness.


The second is to offer light in the form of butter lamps and so forth, and new clothing. Furthermore it says:

By relying on having no anger
and offering jewellery, you will have a good physique.
The result of having no jealously
is said to be good fortune.


The third is to overcome one’s pride and, like a servant, to respect gurus and others.

The fourth is to give food, clothing, and so forth to those who ask for it, as well as to benefit others without being asked, and to give to those who are suffering as well as to those who are fields of excellent qualities but in need of requisites.

The fifth is to cultivate the habit of abandoning the four non-virtues of speech.

The sixth is to make aspirational prayers to accomplish all kinds of excellent qualities in future lives and to make offerings to the Three Jewels, one’s parents, sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, abbots, masters, and gurus.

The seventh is to rejoice in the excellent qualities of being a man, to see the disadvantages of being a woman and not rejoice in them, to oppose the inclinations of those who wish to be born as a female, and to rescue those who are to be castrated.

The eighth is to accomplish what others are unable to do, to help them do what they can accomplish with your assistance, and to give food and drink to others. [88] If those eight causes are conjoined with three conditions, their fully ripened effects will be outstanding.






(Continued on LAMRIM CHENMO (6) page of this website…)