[Buddha-l] Re: Karma and ethics [was: angels]

Steven Lane steven505 at earthlink.net
Fri May 27 19:36:16 MDT 2005

 That is the Tantric view but not the Pure Land view nor the view of the
more enlightened East Asian Buddhists. In the Pure Land view in which the
overwhelming majority of East Asian Buddhists subscribe, no vow can cause
more suffering only less. You might want to read Yin Kuan on this.


-----Original Message-----
From: buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com
[mailto:buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com] On Behalf Of Bernie Simon
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 9:07 PM
To: buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com
Subject: [Buddha-l] Re: Karma and ethics [was: angels]

"Steven  Lane" <steven505 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> The closet person I have ever had to a teacher specifically states the 
> view below is incorrect. While it probably is correct in Hinayana and 
> Tantric traditions in other Mahayana traditions one's karma is never 
> made worse by taking a vow and then breaking it. That particular 
> teacher says that a vow is a model for the mind it is better to take 
> it and break it than never to take it at all. At least the imprint of 
> the vow remains even if it is broken. The Pure Land tradition agrees 
> with that and it is my own personal belief also. The tantric and 
> Hinayana traditions emphasize the retribution aspect of karma far too 
> much for my tastes as well as far too much to be a useful teaching in 
> today's world. I personally am much more attracted to the salvific 
> doctrine of the Mahayana schools.

I think my most recent read, Karma Chagme's Mountain Dharma, sets out the
traditional view on page 176:

"It is taught if you take a vow and break, it is better than not having
taken it at all, in the sense that samsara will have an end for you.  
... But eventually means after a great deal of suffering, because the result
of breaking any vow you take is to be reborn, definitely, in lower realms
and to remain there for a long time and experience a great deal of
suffering. In a sense, you can say it is better than having no connection
whatsoever, but it is not a very happy situation."

It's like Devadatta, who gets liberated as a Pratyekabuddha for messing with
his cousin, but has to hang out in Avicci hell in the mean time.

And I am a writer, writer of fictions

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