Is the idea of Karma important in Buddhism?

The Nibbedhika Sutta (AN 6.63) lists “karma” as among six things that should be understood.

Kamma should be known.
   The origin of karma should be known.
   The diversity of karma should be known.
   The result of karma should be known.
   The cessation of karma should be known.
   The way to the cessation of karma should be known.

One of the more famous lines in this discourse says,

Intention,
   I tell you,
      is kamma.

But it is essential to continue on to read the next line:

Having willed,
   one creates karma
   through
      the body,
      speech and
      the mind.

And what,
   is the origin of karma?
Contact
   is the origin of karma.

(Intentions behind our thoughts, speech and actions arise in response to awareness of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, and thoughts and memories.)

And what,
   is the diversity of karma?
There are karma that would be experienced
   in the hells
   in the animal kingdom.
   in the ghost realms.
   in the human world.
   in the heavenly world.
This,
   is called the diversity of karma.

(Karma can occur in both negative and positive situations, in both suffering and pleasure, wanting and having, whether powerless or powerful.)

And what,
   is the result of karma?
There are, these three kinds of karmic results, I say!
   Those that ripen
      here and now,
      or in the next life,
      or in a subsequent life.
This,
   is called the result of karma.

(See my previous post on “timing of effect of karma“.)

And what,
   is the cessation of karma?
The cessation of contact,
   is the cessation of karma.
It is this noble eightfold path
   that is the way
      to the cessation of karma,

That is to say:
   right view,
   right thoughts,
   right speech,
   right action,
   right livelihood,
   right effort,
   right mindfulness,
   right concentration.

Monks, when the noble disciple knows karma thus,
   when he knows the origin of karma thus,
   when he knows the diversity of karma thus,
   when he know the result of karma thus,
   when he knows the cessation of karma thus,
   when he knows the way to the cessation of karma thus,

That noble disciple knows
   this holy life of penetrating insight
      as the cessation of karma.

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1 Comment

  1. ts said,

    21 September 2009 at 00:55

    thx idol….for waking me up the importance of the 8 fold path


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