Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa
2.1.3 Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasuttaṃ - Born of One’s Own Kamma
Byādhidhammā jarādhammā, atho maraṇadhammino;
Ahañce taṃ jiguccheyyaṃ, evaṃ dhammesu pāṇisu;3
Na metaṃ patirūpassa, mama evaṃ vihārino.
Sohaṃ evaṃ viharanto, ñatvā dhammaṃ nirūpadhiṃ;4
Beings, subject to disease, aging and death,
Get disgusted when encountering (other) worldlings of the same nature,
But if I were to get disgusted, by beings of such nature,
How would that be proper for me who am likewise subject to the same nature?
Realizing this natural character I lived in this way- freed from any attachment,
The attachment with health, with youth and the intoxication with life
I mastered all intoxications having found security in renunciation. …
Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhāna literal means abhiṇha + paccavekkhitabba + ṭhāna (repeatedly + should be put before one’s eyes, reflected upon + ground, reason) and it refers to the advice of the Buddha given in this selection. He instructs that one should always keep in mind that kamma is one’s own, real, true, only and last refuge: … kammapaṭisaraṇo …. The verses that open this Introduction conclude the Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta and reflect considerations of the Buddha before his enlightenment. They occur twice in the Tipiṭaka and carry the spirit of the contemplations that the Buddha expresses in the Sukhumālasutta9 where he specifies how he found the path. He describes how as a future sovereign he was nurtured affectionately in all splendour with the best available nutrition, dwelling in three superb mansions according to the season. He also relates how he then realised that he too, in spite of all these royal pleasures, was subject to the identical three human shortcomings as everyone else: old age, illness and death.
… assutavā kho puthujjano attanā jarādhammo samāno jaraṃ anatīto10 paraṃ jiṇṇaṃ disvā aṭṭīyati11 harāyati12 jigucchati attānaṃyeva atisitvā,13 ahampi khomhi jarādhammo jaraṃ anatīto. ‘Ahañceva kho pana jarādhammo samāno jaraṃ anatīto paraṃ jiṇṇaṃ disvā aṭṭīyeyyaṃ harāyeyyaṃ jiguccheyyaṃ na metaṃ assa patirūpa’nti. …14
… An ordinary, unlearned worldling, who himself is subject to old age and cannot escape aging, gets disgusted when he encounters someone being old, and feels deterred and worried - disregarding his own (real) condition: ‘I myself am subject to old age and cannot escape aging. How would it be proper for me, being myself subject to old age and not able to escape aging, to get disgusted, feel deterred and to worry when I encounter someone being old?’ …
The current selection of the Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta presents the advice of the Buddha to realize the effects of one’s actions and deeds — kamma. His admonishment to the Kālāmas elucidated the emphasis and the impact of the performance of wholesome actions that result from avoiding the impairing influence of the three internal stains.15 The performance of kamma is nothing but the determined realization and purposeful accomplishment of one’s positive or negative volition.
Tattha kammaṃ nāma kusalākusalacetanā.16
Here kamma is wholesome and un wholesome volition.
It is nothing but the ripened fruit of the past volition and the result of actions derived thereof that enable concentration, faith and understanding:
Ye ca te sattā kammāvaraṇena17 vā samannāgatā kilesāvaraṇena vā samannāgatā vipākāvaraṇena vā samannāgatā asaddhā acchandikā duppaññā abhabbā niyāmaṃ18 okkamituṃ19 kusalesu dhammesu sammattanti20 vuttā, tesamekassāpekakasiṇepi21 bhāvanā na ijjhati.22
Those beings that are endowed with obstructive kamma, endowed with obstructive defilements or obstructive kamma-result, who lack faith, lack zeal and lack ability of comprehension, will be incapable of any practice to cultivate the righteousness of profitable states, not a single object of concentration (kasiṇa) can be successfully developed by any of them.
The Buddha’s appeal is presented in three parts. He advises reflecting upon the common defects of the human life that no one can escape: old age, illness, death, separation of something liked. He further emphasises the fact that one carries one’s own kamma. Finally he provides an explanation why such reflections are important.
… kiñca atthavasaṃ paṭicca? …
… And what is the reason? …
It is because beings are intoxicated with youth, health, and life; they crave for and hanker after things that are agreeable and adored. When they become intoxicated with these things, they are induced to perform unwholesome acts of body, speech and mind.23 Though on the other hand when one practises or even fully realises the spirit of such reflections then one’s intoxications may be completely abandoned or at least reduced.
… so sabbaso vā pahīyati tanu vā pana hoti. …
The Buddha finally extolls that any Noble Disciple, based upon the identical logic, should likewise make use of the same reflections to undergo all the following reconsiderations for himself. Based on these, the path will become generated, developed, increased and impurities removed.
… na kho ahaññeveko jarādhammo jaraṃ anatīto; …
… na kho ahaññeveko byādhidhammo byādhiṃ anatīto; …
… na kho ahaññeveko maraṇadhammo maraṇaṃ anatīto; …
… na kho mayhevekassa sabbehi piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo; …
Independently whether one may believe in the theory of kamma, i.e., in its effects24 or not, one may keep in mind the previous Introduction about the assurance, confidence, mental calm and security of a Noble Disciple or anyone who lives a life of non-harm, performs wholesomeness and doesn’t carry any ill-will within.25 Whether there are negative results of actions or not, one can at least rest in peace knowing one has lived a good life.
If there is no further world nor any fruit or result of any good or evil action performed, still in this very life I surround myself with happiness, without enmity, aversion, ill-will.
Therefore, may one and all establish a profitable base and repeatedly consider the advice as provided in this observant Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta and follow it accordingly.
Kamma is my only possession, I am heir to my kamma, I am born from my kamma, kamma is my relative, kamma is my reconciliation, whatever kamma I perform, wholesome or unwholesome, I will be the heir thereof.
1. jigucchati: to loath, be disgusted.
2. puthujjana: common person, worldling.
3. pāṇisu (loc.): in beings.
4. nirūpadhi / nirupadhi: free from attachment.
5. yobbanasmiñca: yobbana + asmiṃ + ca — youth + I + and.
6. madā (pl.): intoxications.
7. abhibhosmi: abhibhavati (pp.) + asmi: overcome, master + I.
8. daṭṭhu: dakkhati (ger.): see, observe, find, behold.
9. Sukhumālasuttaṃ, Devadūtavaggo, Paṭhamapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Tikanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo.
10. anatīto: an + atīto: not + past.
11. aṭṭīyati: worry, trouble.
12. harāyati: worry, be ashamed, depressed.
13. atisitvā: atisaritvā: atisarati: (ger.) go too far, beyond one’s limits, overstep.
14. It continues: … ahampi khomhi jarādhammo jaraṃ anatīto’. … ‘ahampi khomhi maraṇadhammo, maraṇaṃ anatīto’. …
16. Rūpanibbattipassanākārakathā, Visuddhimagga.
17. āvaraṇa: hindrance, shutting out from, obstructing.
18. niyāmaṃ: method, manner, practise.
19. okkamati: enter, develop.
20. sammatta: righteousness, correctness, the eight sammattā are the eight limbs of the Eightfold Noble Path.
21. tesamekassāpekakasiṇepi na ijjhati: tesaṃ + ekassa + pi + eka + kasiṇe + pi + na + ijjhati — of these + one + one + whole, entire, meditation object + not + have good result, be successful, prosper.
22. Pakiṇṇakakathā, Visuddhimagga.
23. … ‘Atthi, bhikkhave, sattānaṃ yobbane yobbanamado, yena madena mattā kāyena duccaritaṃ caranti, vācāya duccaritaṃ caranti, manasā duccaritaṃ caranti.’ …
… ‘Atthi, bhikkhave, sattānaṃ ārogye ārogyamado, yena madena mattā kāyena duccaritaṃ caranti, vācāya duccaritaṃ caranti, manasā duccaritaṃ caranti.’ …
… ‘Atthi, bhikkhave, sattānaṃ ārogye ārogyamado, yena madena mattā kāyena duccaritaṃ caranti, vācāya duccaritaṃ caranti, manasā duccaritaṃ caranti. …
… ‘Atthi, bhikkhave, sattānaṃ piyesu manāpesu yo chandarāgo yena rāgena rattā kāyena duccaritaṃ caranti, vācāya duccaritaṃ caranti, manasā duccaritaṃ caranti.’ …
26. sukatadukkaṭānaṃ: sukata + dukkaṭa (pl., gen/dat.) — well done + bad done.
27. athāhaṃ: atha + āhaṃ — then + I.
28. Tikanipātapāḷi, Paṭhamapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Mahāvaggo, Aṅguttaranikāyo.
29. kammassako: saka: one’s own — opposite: assaka/appassaka — having little or nothing of one’s own.
30. kammadāyādo: dāyādo: dāya + ā + do — receiving the son’s portion (getting what is left), heir.
31. kammapaṭisaraṇo: paṭi + saraṇo: an offence that has been committed is atoned, act of protection.