What Kamma is

by Sayadaw U Thittila | 1996 | 4,604 words

"According to the seed that's sown, So is the fruit ye reap therefrom. Doer of good will gather good, Doer of evil, evil reaps, Sown is the seed, and thou shalt taste The fruit thereof" Buddha - Samyutta Nikaya Sukhi Hotu Sdn Bhd (#FREE001/1996) Printed By Unique, Penang, 1998...

Part 2 - The Laws Of Comic Order

Although Buddhism teaches that Kamma is the chief cause of the inequalities in the world yet it does not teach fatalism or the doctrine of predestination, for it does not hold the view that everything is due to past actions. The law of cause and effect (Kamma) is only one of the twenty-four causes described in Buddhist philosophy, (See Compendium of Philosophy, P.191), or one of the five orders (Niyamas) which are laws in themselves and operate in the universe. They are:

1. Utu Niyama, physical inorganic order, e.g., seasonal phenomena of winds and rains.  The inerring order of seasons, characteristic seasonal changes and events, causes of winds and rains, nature of heat, etc., belong to this group.

2. Bija Niyama, order or germs and seeds (physical organic order) e.g., rice produced from rice seed, sugary taste from sugar cane or honey, peculiar characteristics of certain fruits, etc. The scientific theory of cells and genes and physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.

3. Kamma Niyama, order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seeks its own level so does Kamma, given opportunity, produces its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the moon and stars.

4. Dhamma Niyama, order of the norm, e.g., the natural phenomena occurring at the advent of a Bodhisatta in his last birth.  Gravitation and other similar laws of nature, the reason for being good and so forth may be included in this group.

5. Citta Niyama, order of mind or psychic law, e.g., processes of consciousness, arising and perishing of consciousness, constituents of consciousness, power of mind, telepathy, telesthesia, retrocognition, premonition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought-reading, all psychic phenomena which are inexplicable to modern science are included in this lass. 

Abhidhammavatara, Pg 54

These five orders embrace everything in the world and every mental or physical phenomenon could be explained by them. They being laws in themselves, require no lawgiver and Kamma as such is only one of them.

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