How to overcome past bad karma (or) kamma ! by- Karate Myint Kywe (a) Myoma Myint Kywe

How to overcome past bad karma (or) kamma!
Karate Myint Kywe(a) Myoma Myint Kywe

Karma กรรม is literally means "action" or "doing". Karma is the law of moral causation. The theory of Karma is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism.

Kamma or karma can be put in the simple language of the child: do good thing, good will come to you, now, and hereafter.
Do bad thing, bad will come to you, now, and hereafter.

In the language of the harvest, kamma can be explained in this way: if you sow good seeds, you will reap a good harvest. If you sow bad seeds, you will reap a bad harvest. Buddhists believe that man will reap what he has sown.

Since kamma is an invisible force, we cannot see it working with our physical eyes. To understand how kamma works, we can compare it to seeds: the results of kamma are stored in the subconscious mind in the same way as the leaves, flowers, fruits and trunk of a tree are stored in its seed. Under favorable conditions, the fruits of kamma will be produced just as with moisture and light, the leaves and trunk of a tree will sprout from its tiny seed. Kamma is equated to the action of men. This action also creates some karmic results.

All kamma that we do have the potential to ripen (become ripe).

The Buddha said that if every kamma has to ripen, then we cannot get out of samsara (round of rebirths).  This is because our kammic account is so great due to our uncountable lifetimes of kamma.

Kamma can produce results at different times, even in different lives.

The Buddha says that there are three types of kammas distinguished by way of time of ripening. There are kammas which ripen in this lifetime, kammas which ripen in the next lifetime and kammas that ripen some lifetime after the next. The last kind of kamma is the strongest. The first two kinds become defunct if they don't find an opening. They will never ripen if they don't get the opportunity to ripen either in the present life or in the next life. But the third type remains with us as long as we continue in Samsara. It can bring its results even after hundreds and thousands of aeons in the future. This time lag help us to understand what might seem to be a discrepancy (difference or surprising lack of compatibility or similarity between two facts) in the working of kamma.

Often we see good people who meet with much suffering and bad people who meet with great success and good fortune. This is due to the time lag. The good man is reaping the results of a bad kamma of the past. But he will eventually gain the pleasant results from the good kammas he is performing now. In the same way, the bad man is enjoying the results of his good kammas of the past. But in the future he will meet with the fruition of his bad kammas and must undergo suffering.

However, not every kamma will ripen.  

To overcome past evil kamma, the Buddha said that we have to do a lot of good deeds now.  The Buddha gave a beautiful simile of salt and water (The Anguttara Nikaya, Lonaphala Sutta: The Salt Crystal).

The Buddha said that suppose a man took a some salt and put it into a cup of water, stirred the water, and drank it. The water would definitely taste salty.

However, if the person took the same amount salt, and put it into the river, and stirred the river water, and drank it, it would not taste salty because of the large amount of water in the river.

The Buddha said that the water represents good kamma and the salt represents evil kamma.  So a lot of good kamma dilutes the effect of the evil kamma.  Therefore it is very important that we do a lot of good to overcome our past evil kamma. 

What is past, we cannot change; but we can only take care of the present.  To take care of the present, we have to do a lot of good as much as we can (which includes avoiding evil, i.e. keeping the precepts).

Kamma is generated due to clinging, clinging to good or bad actions. Clinging rests upon ignorance. By developing mindfulness and insight, by learning to see things as they really are, we can put an end to clinging and break free from kamma. Then we discover the freedom beyond kamma, the freedom of liberation. 

The Arahant, the liberated one, does NOT generate any more kamma. He continues to act and perform volitional actions, but without clinging. Hence his actions no longer constitute kamma. They don't leave any imprints upon the mind. They don't have the potency of ripening in the future to bring about rebirth. Like a Buddha, an arahant has perfected wisdom and compassion and is no longer subject to rebirth.

(For example: Angulimala become a robber and killer who is redeemed by a sincere conversion to Buddhism, he is seen as an example of the redemptive power of the Buddha's teaching and the universal human potential for spiritual progress, regardless of one's background.Then Angulimala พระองคุลิมาลเถระ had repented, strove (practiced) vipasana meditation very hard and became an Arahant.  Just think of that! He did not have to be reborn in hell for many hundreds of thousands of years to repay his kammic debt!

Karma must be repaid, but it is up to the individual as to how they react to their karma that will determine the change in their character. Even though Angulimala had repented and was enlightened, he still had to pay the karma of killing so many. He was peaceful and accepted what was done, and was therefore liberated from the Wheel of Rebirth (Samsara). 

The merit of striving in the holy life and attaining Ariya-hood is so great as to free us from rebirth in the woeful places. In Theravada Buddhism, an อรหันต์ Arhat (arahant); "one who is worthy" is a "perfected person" who has attained nirvana. In other Buddhist traditions the term has also been used for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddha-hood.

Everyone can practice that of the three bases of meritorious actions from now to until they died, development of the mind (ภาวนา bhavana) surpasses moral discipline (ศีลsila) and charity (ทาน dana).

Meditation (ภาวนา bhavana) is of three kinds: meditation for calmness and concentration, (สมถะ samatha bhavana), meditation for advanced concentration and development of insight, (วิปัสสนา vipassana bhavana), and the development/cultivation of loving-kindness, (เมตตา metta-bhavana).

Samatha is a state of mind characterized by concentration, one-pointedness and undistractedness.  It is a practice of mental concentration leading to tranquility through ridding of mental defilements (desire, ill-will, etc.).  It is one of the two branches of mental development (bhavana) and it ultimately leads to mind absorptions (jhana). Jhana is a series of cultivated states of mind, which lead to "state of perfect equanimity and awareness. 

According to the Theravada Buddhism Jhana (dhyana) must be combined with vipassana.

Vipassana, on the other hand, is the penetrative understanding by direct meditative experience of the three basic characteristics (ti-lakkhana) of all phenomena of existence (that is of all living beings) … namely,

·       impermanence (anicca);
·       unpleasantness (dukkha); and
·       selflessness (anatta).
Vipassana meditation uses the power of concentration (samadhi) on sensations within the body and so is concerned with the universe within as it is in their essentiality beyond the realm of concept.  It purifies the mind to enable it to gain insight (panna) leading to knowledge of the way (magga).  It is the main branch of mental development (ภาวนา bhavana) to attain นิพพาน Nibbana.

Vipassana is the application of mind (nama) over matter (rupa) using the two legs of concentration (samadhi) and sensation (vedana), whereas samatha uses concentration as its main support.

The first essential equipment of the yogi is a concentrated mind.  For only a concentrated mind is a cleansed mind.  And only the mind which is cleansed of the five elements (นิวรณ์ nivarana) of sensual lust, ill-will, torpor, agitation and doubt can function properly to realize วิปัสสนา vipassana insight.

The Metta meditation , or Development of Loving kindness, practice is one of the most ancient forms of Buddhist practice, one that has been passed down in an unbroken line for over 2,600 years since BC 588).

We’re often taught as children that we should love others. Religious teachings say, for example, that we should “love others as ourselves.” But how do we learn to love others? And what happens if we don’t particularly like, never mind love, ourselves? The development of loving kindness meditation practice is the practical means by which we learn to cultivate love for ourselves and others.
The practice helps us to actively cultivate positive emotional states towards ourselves and others, so that we become more patient, kind, accepting, and compassionate.

It’s part of a series of four practices which lead to the arising of:
  • loving kindness
  • compassion (empathizing with others’ suffering)
  • empathetic joy (rejoicing in others’ well being and joy)
  • and equanimity (patient acceptance of both joy and suffering, both our own and others’).
'Metta', 'karuna', 'mudita', 'upekkha': loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity (detachment), these four states of mind represent the highest levels of mundane consciousness. One who has attained to them and dwells in them is impervious to the ills of life. Like a god he moves and acts in undisturbed serenity, armored against the blows of fate and the uncertainty of worldly conditions. And the first of them to be cultivated is 'metta', because it is through boundless love that the mind gains its first taste of liberation.
The metta bhavana is the foundation practice for this series of meditations.

'Metta bhavana meditation', begins with the peaceful thought

"May I be free from enmity and hatred; may I be free from ill-will; may I be rid of suffering; may I be happy."  

"May you be free from enmity and hatred; may you be free from ill-will; may you be rid of suffering; may you be happy."

"May they be free from enmity and hatred; may they be free from enmity; may they be free from ill will; may they be rid of suffering; may they be happy. For each object he specifies the particular group which he is suffusing with 'metta': 

"May all sentient beings be free from enmity and hatred, etc... May all things that have life be free from enmity and hatred, etc." This meditation embraces all without particular reference to locality, and so is called "suffusing without limitation."

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