Author Topic: What is the basis of Negative Karma?  (Read 12512 times)

WoselTenzin

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What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« on: July 17, 2011, 05:11:54 PM »
We all know that non-virtuous actions creates negative karma.  However, negative karma is not only accrued via explicit non-virtuous or negative actions.  If you carry yourself in a way that makes people lose faith in Dharma or if you act in a way that makes others have negative thoughts, you will also created negative karma.  The basis of negative karma here is harm inflicted on others.

Explicit non-virtuous action is self-explanatory.  However, harm inflicted on others by causing them to have negative thoughts or wrong view is more subtle.

Also if we have negative propensity for eg laziness but for the time being does not harm others, it will also accumulate negative karma because if we continue to be lazy, we are reinforcing the negative propensity in ourselves and eventually when conditions are right, it may cause harm to others. For the time being, negative karma is accumulated because we are causing harm to ourselves by reinforcing our propensity for laziness.

Therefore, negative karma is created on the basis of harm inflicted on others and ourselves.  How many of us realise that we can create negative karma without committing explicit negative actions?

Big Uncle

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 05:05:34 AM »
WoselTenzin,

I think what you are trying to say is that negative or positive karma is dependent upon the motivation (or the intention) of the action or the state of mind. Hence, we can be lazy and sit at home and watch TV all day with a mind of selfishness, then we accrue lots of negative karma without really harming anyone.

Why is this so? All selfish actions and states of mind is very harmful towards oneself and others and it gets worse the more we do it. This is because we are creatures of habit. When we perpetuate a selfish habit of laziness, we will hurt others later when we can't get out of our habit and we disappoint others with our other actions of laziness. Perhaps, we forgot to do our homework or to fulfill our promises because we were to engrossed with our TV. Hence, purification and gaining the merit with our practice and putting effort to overcome our habituation is of paramount importance.

DSFriend

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 06:01:49 AM »

Therefore, negative karma is created on the basis of harm inflicted on others and ourselves.  How many of us realise that we can create negative karma without committing explicit negative actions?

I think in a subtle and superficial way, we are brought up to be aware of our conduct. The education system does give opportunities to kids to learn to be positive role models,...hoping these children will grow up to be good leaders, to create positive impact  through their actions and how they live their lives. Children are warned to stay away from bad "influence".

In the pursuit of financial gains, many pay thousands just to attend workshops to learn how to influence others through various methods, explicit and implicit.

So I think many of us know that we can create good or bad through various ways.. but without the knowledge of dharma and the workings of karma, we exercise this "power" ignorantly, to create much sufferings for ourselves and everyone else.

triesa

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 12:45:10 PM »
I think the basis for negative karma besides that created from very obvious negative actions, a negative or even neutral thought can be the basis for negative karma as well.

As all actions are a results of a thought, so even you do not commit the action but you are constantly brewing yourself with the negative thought, one day, the negative thought will find its momentum to execute the negative action. So it is best to eliminate all negative thoughts at all.

Some would say neutral thoughts create neutral actions, so no negative karma. Say you always like to stay home and watch TV and in fact, you do not do anything to harm others at all. However, the habituation of not wanting to do more but just stay in the comfort zone watching TV, can create negative karma to harm ourselves as we become more and more lazy.


kurava

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 04:55:12 AM »

Some would say neutral thoughts create neutral actions, so no negative karma. Say you always like to stay home and watch TV and in fact, you do not do anything to harm others at all. However, the habituation of not wanting to do more but just stay in the comfort zone watching TV, can create negative karma to harm ourselves as we become more and more lazy.


Staying in our comfort zone, perpetuating lazy habit will only lead to experience of  negative karma because :


1) By not doing anything we slowly exhaust our store of good karma and it's just a matter of time before the bad karma catch up with us.

2) My Guru taught on Universal Responsibility - yes, we can't save everyone in the world but as long as we do some thing to contribute towards the alleviation of pains and sufferings in the world , our motivation to help others create  positive karma  . If we don't do anything at all but  by not caring /not bothering/ not doing anything for others , we create negative karma .

dorjedakini

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 07:53:15 AM »

Some would say neutral thoughts create neutral actions, so no negative karma. Say you always like to stay home and watch TV and in fact, you do not do anything to harm others at all. However, the habituation of not wanting to do more but just stay in the comfort zone watching TV, can create negative karma to harm ourselves as we become more and more lazy.


Staying in our comfort zone, perpetuating lazy habit will only lead to experience of  negative karma because :


1) By not doing anything we slowly exhaust our store of good karma and it's just a matter of time before the bad karma catch up with us.

2) My Guru taught on Universal Responsibility - yes, we can't save everyone in the world but as long as we do some thing to contribute towards the alleviation of pains and sufferings in the world , our motivation to help others create  positive karma  . If we don't do anything at all but  by not caring /not bothering/ not doing anything for others , we create negative karma .


It will strengthen our self-cherishing mind by doing "nothing" sitting there looking at the sky or watching TV. The negative Karma is created so strong that it habituating the subtle mind to be more selfish, to think of ourselves. Eventually, we became to selfish and cold hearten that even good things we will see it as bad things and we are so into ourselves. 

Good Karma create by doing something good for others like giving a cup of water to your mum...Good merit create by having a altruistic mind and do something for others (and dedicate the merits after doing so). Hence the moment we are doing nothing for others but ourselves, we have started creating negative karma.

vajrastorm

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 08:25:14 AM »
Negative, non-virtuous actions stem from our mind's delusions and the propensities / tendencies towards negative actions that have been habituated in our mind-stream over innumerable lifetimes. The main delusions are the three poisons of ignorance that lead to self -grasping, desirous attachment and hostility/hatred.

So what we can do is to be mindful and alert, guard our sense doors and also apply antidotes like practicing kindness and care and compassion and patience.. We need to constantly  think of death and impermanence and also of the universal law of cause and effect - karma. We actually have to rehabituate the mind by familiarizing it with positive/virtuous actions and the above antidotes.

Finally, with regard to being constantly mindful and alert,  I'd like to quote this stanza from the 8 Verses of Mind Transformation:

"In all my actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly confront and avert it."     

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 08:53:53 AM »
The basis of all negative karma is the ignorance of self grasping. Because of this, we create the ego identity   “ I’ .  This gives rise to self cherishing - I must have things my way; I am right you are wrong; I am more important than you. This ‘ I ‘ is a possessor of things – I want this, I want that. Its me,its mine.
When we don’t get what the I  desire, we engage in actions which harm those who stand between us and the object of our desire.
If we do not study dharma , which is antidote to self grasping mind,we will continue adopting worldly views and engaging in worldly actions which will lead us to more suffering. Laziness to practice really means we are causing harm by prolonging sentient beings sufferings and ours.Without overcoming this ignorance, we will not be able to stop making harmful decisions  or engage in virtue. The net effect is that our negative karma will increase over time.

I remembered the saying;
The world is a dangerous place not because of bad people but because good people don’t do anything to stop them.

hope rainbow

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 06:35:25 PM »

Staying in our comfort zone, perpetuating lazy habit will only lead to experience of  negative karma because :

1) By not doing anything we slowly exhaust our store of good karma and it's just a matter of time before the bad karma catch up with us.

2) My Guru taught on Universal Responsibility - yes, we can't save everyone in the world but as long as we do some thing to contribute towards the alleviation of pains and sufferings in the world , our motivation to help others create  positive karma  . If we don't do anything at all but  by not caring /not bothering/ not doing anything for others , we create negative karma .

The refuge vows are clear on this, it is called: refraining from "idle gossip".
Idle gossip is not only blablating stupidly about nothing as a way to entertain ourselves in a useless conversation.
Idle gossip is: WASTING TIME.
The negative karma for this is not as serious as the negative karma one gets from killing, but the problem is here:
WE DO IDLE GOSSIP ALL THE TIME, and therefore we accumulate an enormous quantity of that negative karma!

And as it is, I would even simplify it to this:
IF WE DO NOT CREATE GOOD KARMA, WE CREATE BAD KARMA.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 12:02:05 PM »
I don't quite agree with Hope Rainbow's assertion that actions result only in either good karma or bad karma .
There are three categories of karma, namely good, bad and neutral. We engage in many neutral actions which have no consequences of good or bad results  because it is not willed .Eg Sneezing, coughing, breathing, scratching when feeling itchy etc and other involuntary , reflex actions. Actions without being accompanied by volition or the factor of intention fall into the neutral category which do not produce good or bad effects.

shugdentruth

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 05:34:58 PM »
What if you have very good motivation and the actions results in something negative?? For example, you see a person being robbed. You try to interfere and as a result the robber kills the victim. If you did not try to help, the robber might have just taken the victim's belongings and left.

In this instance, by helping, did I create negative karma?? If I did not help, would I also have collected negative karma??


WoselTenzin

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 12:05:03 PM »
What if you have very good motivation and the actions results in something negative?? For example, you see a person being robbed. You try to interfere and as a result the robber kills the victim. If you did not try to help, the robber might have just taken the victim's belongings and left.

In this instance, by helping, did I create negative karma?? If I did not help, would I also have collected negative karma??

I guess good motivation alone is not enough.  It has to come with skilful means.  Otherwise, the results of our good motivation can be disastrous as in the case mentioned above.  Therefore, I think that before we engage ourselves in such a situation, we should assess the situation first before taking action.  In such cases, I would imagine that it would be better to let the robber take the victim's belongings.  After all what's more important than the victim's safety and your safety. All material items can be replaced but not a person's life. 

In this regard, if the basis of negative karma is causing harm to others, then by interfering, harm is caused and negative karma is created even if your motivation is to help. If your motivation for not helping is self preservation, then I would think that even if no harm is inflicted on the victim, some negative karma is created because you are reinforcing your selfish mind that can cause harm to others in the future. But if your motivation for your non interference is so that the robber do not hurt the victim, then I would suppose no negative karma is created. However, I am not too sure of these point.  Perhaps someone can help explain and correct me if I am wrong

 

 

hope rainbow

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 04:15:29 PM »
I don't quite agree with Hope Rainbow's assertion that actions result only in either good karma or bad karma .
There are three categories of karma, namely good, bad and neutral. We engage in many neutral actions which have no consequences of good or bad results  because it is not willed .Eg Sneezing, coughing, breathing, scratching when feeling itchy etc and other involuntary , reflex actions. Actions without being accompanied by volition or the factor of intention fall into the neutral category which do not produce good or bad effects.

Thanks Khedrub Gyatso.
Though isn't neutral karma one that takes us down anyway, because it simply does not transforms situations in good karma by us taking the opportunity to act virtuously. And I don't mean neutral actions in between virtuous actions, like sneezing and all, but an average sum of our actions being neutral.
Like, if I remain static, not moving forward, nor backwards, I end up backwards as a result compared to what the result could have been if I had moved?

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: What is the basis of Negative Karma?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 01:57:24 PM »
Karma is cause and effect of our lives.  From my level of understanding the karma follows in this way, the thought, the action and the result.

Following that line of thinking if the thought is from negative motivation and intention, the action creates harm either to self or others with harmful results and rejoicing in such accomplishment will provide negative karma.

Inactivities due to laziness will also create negative karma as such neutral karma comes from not caring and selfishness. And will spiral further into the negative territory.