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What wholesome deed?

Hi guys,

The story is long, so let's just straight to the meat of the question.
Some time ago someone in an improper manner said to me, "you are a leper". I don't have leprosy but I am kind of fear I will develop the disease. Who knows I had committed something unwholesome in the past life that will have the fruit of leprosy in this or next life. The question, what particular wholesome deed do I need to do to neutralize or counteract this particular disease, if any? I'm talking about specific wholesome deed (not general) for this specific disease. Thanks.

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 6

    .

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Leprosy is treatable, too.

    ShoshinBunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Yes it is one of the things I do not like about karma, that it encourages magical thinking, while in fact almost all of such things have good scientific explanations and in fact people should rely on reason.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    You could use a leper licking guru ...
    https://embezzlingtheworld.blogspot.com/2013/12/superhuman.html

    ... or maybe not ...

  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer
    edited July 7

    Maybe I cut the story too short. I was involved in a temple quite a while ago, I felt I was treated differently but I still kept going anyway. Until one day I found my personal problem that I used to consult with the monastic there spread to other people. I never told other people but they knew my problem. One day I went to a website of a temple that has the same ethnicity of the temple I used to regularly visit.

    I read my personal story there on the website, it was my story I knew it. I kept reading it until last paragraph it said " this guy is a leper". I have no leprosy. I do not know who put that on their website. I thought this statement was like cursing or something like that but later it got me thinking about this disease. I am aware this is because of the fear.

    Since we have been in samsara for unimaginably long, how do we know what type of good or bad deeds we have done? So it's possible we have committed unwholesome deed that the fruit of that deed is leprosy. I'm thinking what particular of wholesome deed do I have to do to counteract this specific disease? hopefully, this is clearer :)

  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    Yes it is one of the things I do not like about karma, that it encourages magical thinking, while in fact almost all of such things have good scientific explanations and in fact people should rely on reason.

    You can explain scientific explanation when it comes to science. But karma is not science. Or maybe it's science but we just haven't got there yet.

    Kundo
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 7

    .

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 7

    @NB1100 said:
    Since we have been in samsara for unimaginably long, how do we know what type of good or bad deeds we have done?

    You don't. All you can do is abstain from bad deeds and only do good deeds, right now and in the future.

    So it's possible we have committed unwholesome deed that the fruit of that deed is leprosy. I'm thinking what particular of wholesome deed do I have to do to counteract this specific disease?

    Karma does not work like that. There are no specific deeds that have specific fruits. And there is no particular wholesome deed to counteract some theoretical particular future fruit. All of that is way to specific and particular. Karma does not function in such a specific and particular manner.

    Someone called you a leper. That's unfortunate and a very unkind comment. However, such unkind comments are a reflection of the mind of the person speaking them, not the person being spoken to. A person who would say such mean things about other people does not have the wisdom enough to know someone else karma. People who are actually wise don't say mean things about other people and they also don't gossip about other people behind their back. Only a foolish person would do that. A foolish person does not have the wisdom required to know another's karma.

    Furthermore, you should not take it literally. It's merely a figure of speech.

    figure of speech
    noun
    a word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect.

    Their unkind comments don't have anything to do with the actual disease of leprosy. It's almost like saying "It's raining cats and dogs". When someone says that, you don't go looking out the window to see if cats are falling from the sky. It's just a figure of speech.

    So what is the best thing you can do? Abstain from bad deeds and only do good deeds, right now and in the future. =)

    personlobsterkandoShoshin
  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer

    @seeker242 said:

    Karma does not work like that. There are no specific deeds that have specific fruits. And there is no particular wholesome deed to counteract some theoretical particular future fruit. All of that is way to specific and particular. Karma does not function in such a specific and particular manner.

    In the Sutta, it says the result of killing is short-life, become poor is the result of stealing . Is that not a specific result of a particular deed? Do you have any thoughts? Thanks

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    NB1100 there are some of these things in the JOoL (jewel ornament of liberation) which is a text about the Tibetan Mahayana. The point of the chapter that contains these is that attachment to pleasure is not wise because whenever pleasure there also is suffering eventually. Or maybe it is in the chapter about Karma and its result? I don't know if leprosy is mentioned in that text but it isn't terribly long and I can look for you. It might not be in it but then maybe so.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 8

    1 Taking Life
    a) Classification of Taking Life. (I skip this)

    b) Three Results of Taking Life. There are three results of taking life: the result of the maturation of the act, the result similar to the cause, and the general result of the force.

    (Ok paraphrasing hell realm is the first "Result of maturation)
    (Ok paraphrasing "similar to cause" is that even if born human life will be short or experience much sickness.
    (OK "General result of the force" means born in inauspicious place where there is little dignity

    Leprosy not specifically mentioned though. The other results of 10 non virtuous actions do not mention disease as a result. I suppose wholesome deed to oppose this might be to protect and support life of sentient beings?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 9

    @NB1100 said:

    @seeker242 said:

    Karma does not work like that. There are no specific deeds that have specific fruits. And there is no particular wholesome deed to counteract some theoretical particular future fruit. All of that is way to specific and particular. Karma does not function in such a specific and particular manner.

    In the Sutta, it says the result of killing is short-life, become poor is the result of stealing . Is that not a specific result of a particular deed? Do you have any thoughts? Thanks

    My thoughts are that you are making is much more specific than it actually is. It says killing is the way that leads to a short life yes. But it does not say any particulars of how that will be the case. You are theorizing how that will be the case and taking it much further than the sutta does, based entirely on a foolish person's comments.

    It is also not a guarantee. The sutta you refer to is MN 135. MN 135 should be read in conjunction with MN 136.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.136.nymo.html

    Here is Bhikkhu Khantipalo's commentary on MN 136

    Finally, the Buddha explains his Great Exposition of Kamma (MN 136) in which he shows that notions of invariability like "the evildoer goes to hell" are much too simple. The minds of people are complex and they make many different kinds of kamma even in one lifetime, some of which may influence the last moment when kamma is made before death, which in turn is the basis for the next life.

    And from the sutta itself

    "Ananda, there are four kinds of persons existing in the world. What four?

    (i) "Here some person kills living beings...he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

    (ii) "But here some person kills living beings... he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

    (iii) "Here some person abstains from killing living beings,...he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

    (iv) "But here some person abstains from killing living beings... he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

    Karma is too complex to get so particular. Which is why the Buddha advises against getting particular.

    "There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

    "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    "The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

    "The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

    "Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    What you are doing here is # 3, which is bringing you vexation, just like the Buddha said it would. So it would be appropriate to stop doing that. =)

    personShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 9

    @NB1100 said:
    Hi guys,

    The story is long, so let's just straight to the meat of the question.
    Some time ago someone in an improper manner said to me, "you are a leper".

    How very rude. He's creating bad kamma for himself right there.

    I don't have leprosy but I am kind of fear I will develop the disease.

    The chances of you contracting the disease are infinitely much, much lower than ou being hit by a car and suffering permanent injury as a result. I mean, so much lower, it's probably incalculable. And you can't develop a disease until you contract it. and leprosy is primarily an infection, not a disease.

    Who knows I had committed something unwholesome in the past life that will have the fruit of leprosy in this or next life.

    Nobody. Especially the idiot who insulted you.

    The question, what particular wholesome deed do I need to do to neutralize or counteract this particular disease, if any? I'm talking about specific wholesome deed (not general) for this specific disease. Thanks.

    Any specific wholesome deed will specifically generate specifically good Kamma. It goes where it's specifically needed. The gooder you are, the gooder life gets. Specifically.

    As long as you are doing good specifically for the sake of goodness.
    Not doing good specifically for the sake of you. ;)

    lobster
  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer

    Thanks all for the prompt reply. Sorry if I missed to reply.

    @seeker242 said:

    @NB1100 said:

    In the Sutta, it says the result of killing is short-life, become poor is the result of stealing . Is that not a specific result of a particular deed? Do you have any thoughts? Thanks

    My thoughts are that you are making is much more specific than it actually is. It says killing is the way that leads to a short life yes. But it does not say any particulars of how that will be the case. You are theorizing how that will be the case and taking it much further than the sutta does, based entirely on a foolish person's comments.

    It is also not a guarantee. The sutta you refer to is MN 135. MN 135 should be read in conjunction with MN 136.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.136.nymo.html

    Here is Bhikkhu Khantipalo's commentary on MN 136

    Finally, the Buddha explains his Great Exposition of Kamma (MN 136) in which he shows that notions of invariability like "the evildoer goes to hell" are much too simple. The minds of people are complex and they make many different kinds of kamma even in one lifetime, some of which may influence the last moment when kamma is made before death, which in turn is the basis for the next life.

    How is that "I am making it much more specific than it actually is"? Can you elaborate it?
    Short-life is the result of killing, therefore the antidote of short-life is to refrain from killing living beings, I think that is quite specific. How is that different with what is the antidote of the karma of leprosy?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @NB1100 said:
    How is that "I am making it much more specific than it actually is"? Can you elaborate it?

    You are specifying a particular disease. There is no karma that specifically leads to leprosy. Therefore, there is no specific karmic antidote to leprosy in particular.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @NB1100 You're over-thinking this. Your focus is taken up too much with one short careless, thoughtless, ignoran and frankly spiteful phrase.
    Yet we have written much here to reassure you and bring you comfort. We have written hundreds of words of positive benefit. He gave you three negative words.

    Why is it that you are so focused on a few pointless words, when we have given you hundreds of meaningful, comforting and reassuring, beneficial ones?

    Why do you insist, and resist?

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It seems to me he was using the word figuratively.

    You would be well within your right to respond that you recognise yourself in the account written, and what you spoke of, you gave in confidence. You are hurt, disappointed and wounded that your trust was so badly broken, and that you feel betrayed and insulted. His attitude was careless, and his words thoughtless and unkind. You are surprised and disappointed that someone of such standing, could act in such a questionable way.

    I think that would be your right.

    I would do that, in your shoes.

    Bunkslobster
  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer

    @seeker242 said:

    @NB1100 said:
    How is that "I am making it much more specific than it actually is"? Can you elaborate it?

    You are specifying a particular disease. There is no karma that specifically leads to leprosy. Therefore, there is no specific karmic antidote to leprosy in particular.

    Sorry I don't get you. If short life is the specific result of killing, the specific antidote to short life is not to kill then how is that that different to specific cause and effect of leprosy? Can you provide a source that "there is no specific karma to leprosy? "

  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer
    edited July 10

    @federica said:
    @NB1100 You're over-thinking this. Your focus is taken up too much with one short careless, thoughtless, ignoran and frankly spiteful phrase.
    Yet we have written much here to reassure you and bring you comfort. We have written hundreds of words of positive benefit. He gave you three negative words.

    Why is it that you are so focused on a few pointless words, when we have given you hundreds of meaningful, comforting and reassuring, beneficial ones?

    Why do you insist, and resist?

    I appreciate all replies here but we don't really know how if the person who said that mean it literally or figuratively? Even if they didn't say that it's possible the karma of leprosy has been sown in previous lives, right? As said previously, how do we counteract this karma, maybe you can share your thoughts on this? Thanks again

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You have already been told how to counteract negative Karma; by focusing on the present, and generating beneficial karma.
    Also, nowhere in the texts or suttas, or even the sutras, does the word 'leprosy' occur, and how to counteract it, arise.

    Get over this.
    We've already explained in detail.
    Rehashing the question isn't going to elicit different answers.

    Simply because you want something to "be" doesn't mean it can, or will "be".

This discussion has been closed.