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REBIRTH VIEWS 
 IN THE SURANGAMA SUTRA
(Fifth Edition)
Dr. Bhikkhunī Giới Hương

doahong

 

CHAPTER XIII
SIX CONSEQUENCES

What are six consequences? Ānanda, all living beings have created karma with their six consciousnesses. Therefore, they are subjected to evil consequences. All these wrongs come from six sense faculties. What are the negative consequences from six sense faculties? 

1. Firstly, THE CONSEQUENCE OF SEEING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the seeing karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the red flames in all over ten directions are seen. The spirituality of the deceased flies following the smoke to fall down into the unintermittent hell (avīci). which has two appearances as below:

 The foremost, the deceased, sees the illumination in which there are too many evil things and he feels terrible horror. 

 In the other view, the deceased sees the darkness where there is no sight and it is so quiet that he feels terrible horror. 

 With such a seeing retribution, when the fire of seeing burns the hearing, it can make the pan of boiling and the molten copper. When it burns the breath, it can produce the black smoke and the red fire. When it burns the taste, it can generate broiling tablets and the iron rice. When it burns the touch, it can make the hot ash and the coal tunnel. When it burns the consciousness, it can produce fire everywhere to shake the entire space.

2. Secondly, THE CONSEQUENCE OF HEARING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the hearing karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the giant waves flooding all over the earth and heaven are seen. The spirituality of the deceased descends in the water to fall into the unintermittent hell (avīci). which reveals two states as follows:

 The foremost, the deceased hears clearly but there are too many noisy things and he feels confused. 

 In the other, the deceased becomes deaf. There is no sound and it is so quiet that he feels he is sinking in a down state. 

 With such a hearing retribution, when the waves of hearing pour into the hearing, they can produce the complaints and questions. When they pour into the seeing, they can generate thunder, roar, and poisonous evil smokes. When they pour into the breath, they can make rain and fog to penetrate on the poisonous worms that totally cover up the body. When they pour into the taste, they become pus, blood and the filthy things. When they pour into the touch, they can create animals

(tiracchānayoni), ghosts (pittivisaya), excrement, and urine. When they pour into the thinking, they invent the lightning and hail which destroy mental thought.

3. Thirdly, THE CONSEQUENCE OF SMELLING causes us to bear the negative fruit. When the smelling karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the poisonous smoke all over the near and far atmosphere is seen. From the earth, the spirituality of the deceased arises to enter the unintermittent hell (avīci). which has two experiences as follows:

 The foremost, the deceased, smells smoothly. There is so much extremely toxic air that his mind becomes terribly puzzled. 

 The other, the deceased’s nose, is obstructed. The breath fails to get through, so he faints on the ground.

 With such a smelling retribution, when the smelling intrudes the breath, it can smooth and create hindrances. When it intrudes the seeing, it can generate fire and torch. When it intrudes the hearing, it can produce the sink, drowning, the ocean, and boiling water. When it intrudes on the taste, it can make hunger and rancid foods. When it intrudes the touch, it can create the ugliness, splits, a giant mountain of flesh which has a hundred thousand eyes, is sucked and fed upon by numberless worms. When it intrudes the thinking, it can make the ash, the deadly air, and the flying stones to beat upon the body in pieces.

4. Fourthly, THE CONSEQUENCE OF STINGING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the tasting karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly a flamed iron net in all over ten directions is seen. The spirituality of the deceased which is aroused up from the earth, is suspended upside down at the net to enter the unintermittent hell (avīci). There, there appears two sensations as follows: 

 The foremost, the deceased inhales the air which is solidified too, so freezing that his flesh becomes cracked.

In the other, the deceased spits in the air and flies up to  the big fire burning the bones and marrow. 

 With such a tasting retribution, when the tasting takes action at the flavors, it can make what is recognized and what is endured. When it takes action at the seeing, it can generate the burned metal and stones. When it takes action at the hearing, it can produce sharp weapons and knives. When it takes action at the smell, it can create a big iron cage which covers all the countries. When it takes action at the touch, it can invent the bows, arrows, crossbows, and darts. When it takes action at the thinking, it can make the flying molten irons that rain down from the space. 

5. Fifthly, THE CONSEQUENCE OF TOUCHING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the touching karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly four faces of a big mountain joining to be one completely without a road is seen. The spirituality of the deceased sees a vast iron fortress, firing snakes, firing dogs, wolves, lions, ox-headed prison keepers, and the horse-headed rakshas as brandishing spears and lances drive him into the iron fort gates toward the unintermittent hell (avīci). There appear two experiences as follows:

 The foremost, the deceased combines with the touching so, the consequence is the mountains squeeze his body. His flesh, bone, and blood are disseminated completely.

 The other, the deceased, detaches from the touch in which swords and knives hit the body, cut the liver and heart in pieces.

 With such a touching retribution, when this touching gets through the sensation, it can make the road, shop, hall, and table. When it gets through the seeing, it can generate the char and sear. When it gets through the hearing, it can produce the hitting, beating, piercing, and shooting. When it gets through the breath, it becomes cover, push, investigation, and cord. When it gets through the taste, it can invent the plow, pinching, chopping, and severing. When it gets through the thinking, it can generate the falling, flying, cooking, and grilling. 

6. THE CONSEQUENCE OF THINKING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the conscious karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the terrible wind blows and the land is seen. The spirituality of the deceased is stormed up into space following the wind and spiraled downward to the unintermittent hell (avīci). There are two appearances as below:

The foremost, the deceased, is aware of anything in which there is extreme confusion that he chases without stopping.

 The other, the deceased, knows without confusion in which he feels suffering and terrible pain without stand by the fury burn.

 With such mental-conscious retribution, when the mental-consciousness unites with thinking, it can make the location and place. When it unites with seeing, it can produce the mirror and proof. When it unites with hearing, it can create the big joining rocks, ice, frost, soil, and fog. When it unites with breath, it can invent the great firing cart, a firing boat, and a fiery stockade. When it unites with tasting, it can generate the loud shout, confession, and regretful crying. When it unites with touch, it can make the large, small, tilted, and down posture in which he can daily spend ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths.1

Those who nurture ten habitual causes will encounter six retributions. What are six retributions? They are six kinds of sufferings resulting from bad karma which are created by our six organs and six consciousnesses.

There are two categories about the time of consequences such as “at once” or “later.” For example, people incur their offense soon after they created the bad karma or at the time of death, they will encounter the consequences. However, some cases of wholesome and unwholesome karmas are created in this life, and they will pass through the second, third life, or even longer to be present, because they still wait for the right conditions or the meritorious retributions, and so on. It is the conditions to obstruct the consequences.  The conditions clash with one another to produce many kinds of retributions:

7. THE CONSEQUENCE OF SEEING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the seeing karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the red flames in all ten directions are seen. The spirituality of the deceased flies following the smoke to fall down the unintermittent hell (avīci). which has two appearances as below:

 The foremost, the deceased, sees the illumination in which there are so many evil things that he feels terrible horror. 

 The other, the deceased, sees the darkness in which there is no sight and so quiet that he feels terrible horror. 

 With such a seeing retribution, when the fire of seeing burns the hearing, it can make the pan of water boil and the copper molten. 

 When it burns the breath, it can produce black smoke and red fire. 

 When it burns the taste, it can generate broiling tablets and the iron rice. 

When it burns the touch, it can make the hot ash and the coal tunnel. 

 When it burns the consciousness, it can produce fire everywhere to shake the entire space.

The Buddha describes how, at the moment of death, the deceased will have a terrible experience due to his seeing karma. For example, if the criminals from the eyes like seeing valuable things, in his mind, the idea of stealing arises. If they like to watch the sexual desirability, killing, war, the impure things, the evil or immoral thing to harm people and animals (tiracchānayoni). Thus, when he dies, the evil retribution of seeing will appear. Eye-organ has two external objects like brightness and darkness. The deceased will affect either the retribution of the bright or the dark, but it does not means he bears two objects of bright and dark in turn. It is true that we must see two objects of bright and dark, but if we make sin on the eye-faculty, that is where we must face the different consequences.

And here the fire of seeing burns six senses of organs, such as fire of the seeing, hearing, smelling (breath), tasting, touching, and knowing. As burning at each sense, there are the raging flames, boiling water pan, the molten copper, the broiling tablets, the iron rice, the hot ash, the coal tunnel, and other horrrible things appear to torture the deceased in the unintermittent hell (avīci). Thanks to the Buddha, we know these things. Therefore, we should be afraid of it and protect our six organs. Whenever six faculties see six objects, we must detach the greed (abhijjhā, visamalobha), anger (kodha), and wrong view (micchā-ditthi). We maintain mindfully the righteous eyes and the open heart without stealing and other crimes; we will avoid this fiery disaster at the moment of death.  

If we see the dark that is guilty, what is the meaning for a person going to steal in the night or find darkness? This is a subtle place for us to notice. The karma consequences come from our mind. It is meticulously, one by one, that we have to take time to pay attention and reflect.

8. THE CONSEQUENCE OF HEARING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the hearing karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the giant waves are seen, flooding all over earth and heaven. The spirituality of the deceased descends into the water to fall into the unintermittent hell (avīci). which reveals two states as following:

 The foremost, the deceased, hears clearly in which there are so many noisy things that he feels confused. 

 The other, the deceased, becomes deaf. There is no noise and it is so quiet that he feels he is  sinking in the down state. 

 With such a hearing retribution, when the waves of hearing pour into the hearing, they can produce complaint and question. 

 When they pour into the seeing, they can generate the thunder, the roar, and the poisonous evil smokes. 

When they pour into the breath, they can make rain and fog penetrate the poisonous worms that totally cover up the body. 

 When they pour into the taste, they become pus, blood, and the filthy things.

 When they pour into the touch, they can create animals (tiracchānayoni), ghosts (pittivisaya), excrement, and urine. 

 When they pour into thinking, they invent the lightning and hail which destroy mental thought.

The ear-organ is often to hear the sexuality (sarāgaṃ), seductiveness (trishna), harming (sātheyya), oppression (thambha), competition (sārambha), fighting (upanāha, Viddesanā), wrong view (micchā-ditthi), and so on, thus at the time of death, the deceased receives the negative retribution of the hearing.

Hearing has two objects like motion and stillness, so it belongs to the vibrating waves and water. The deceased will hear all sorts of noises or be deaf without a voice.

In the consequences of hell (niraya), the deceased is fearful of the noise. It is right, because the sound is too loud that he feels disturbed and uncomfortable. Moreover, he feels terribly afraid of the silence. Why does it happen? When he was alive, he was familiar with the vivid sounds of family member and people in society. Now in this circumstance, he is scared of the lonely state without sound in the vast space.

And here the waves of hearing make six senses of organs sinking down, such as flooding seeing, hearing, smelling (breath), tasting, touching, and knowing. As watering at each sense, there are the rain, waves, wind, fog, pus, blood, urine, and other dirty things appear to torture, drown, or destroy the mind of the deceased in the unintermittent hell. Thanks to the Buddha, we know these things. Therefore, we must reflect carefully on it and mindfully protect our six organs as contact with six external objects.

9. THE CONSEQUENCE OF SMELLING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the smelling karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the poisonous smoke all over the near and far atmosphere is seen. From the earth, the spirituality of the deceased arises to enter the unintermittent hell (avīci) which has two experiences as follows:

The foremost, the deceased, smells smoothly. There is so much extremely toxic air that his mind becomes terribly puzzled. 

The other, the deceased’s nose is obstructed. The breath failed to get through, so he faints on the ground.

With such a smelling retribution, when the smelling intrudes on the breath, it can smooth and also create hindrances. When it intrudes on the seeing, it can generate fire and torch. When it intrudes on the hearing, it can produce sinking, drowning, the ocean and boiling water. When it intrudes on the taste, it can make hunger and rancid foods. When it intrudes on the touch, it can create ugliness, splitting, a giant mountain of flesh which has a hundred thousand eyes, is sucked, and fed upon by numberless worms. When it intrudes on the thinking, it can make ash, deadly air, and the flying stones to beat the body in pieces.

The nose-organ is often used to smell the impure sperm, eroticism, blood, killing air, wine, animal (tiracchānayoni) flesh, filthy things and so on, thus at the time of death, the deceased receives the negative retribution of scent.

Smelling has two objects like the open and sticking, so it belongs to the air, foul, and odors. The deceased will smell all sorts of poisons or be stuck without odor.

The terrible odor of smelling makes six senses of organs, such as the seeing, hearing, smelling (breath), tasting, touching, and knowing to be stuck. As air is stuck at each sense, there are the poison air, big current, fire, flame, hunger, tedium of eating, ugliness, cracking, fleshy mountain, flying stones, and other things appear to destroy or be sucked into the body of the deceased in the unintermittent hell (avīci). Thanks to the Buddha, we know these things. Therefore, we must reflect carefully on it and mindfully protect our six organs as contact with six external objects to avoid the negative consequences of the smell.

10. THE CONSEQUENCE OF TASTING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the tasting karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly a flamed iron net in all ten directions is seen. The spirituality of the deceased has jumped up from the earth, suspended upside down at the net to enter the unintermittent hell. There, it appears to have two sensations as follows:

The foremost, the deceased inhales the air which is solidified so freezing that his flesh becomes cracked.

The other, the deceased, spits in the air to fly up which is formed to be the big fire burning bones and marrow to the end. With such a tasting retribution, when the tasting takes action at the flavors, it can make what is recognized and what is endured. 

When it takes action at the seeing, it can generate the burned metal and stones. 

 When it takes action at the hearing, it can produce the sharp weapons and knives. 

 When it takes action at the smell, it can create a big iron cage which covers all the countries.

 When it takes action at the touch, it can invent the bows, arrows, crossbows, and darts. 

 When it takes action at the thinking, it can make the flying molten irons that rain down from space.

The tongue-organ is often to taste the wine, animal (tiracchānayoni) flesh, to talk, tell a lie, defame the Triple Gems, wrongly blame, and so on. Thus, at the time of death, the deceased receives the negative retribution of the tasting.

Tasting has two objects like  flavor and bland, so it belongs to the red flame. The deceased experiences the extreme cold so that his body is cracked or the raging fire burns his bones and pus endlessly.

In the consequences of hell, the deceased feels the fire of tasting burn six sense organs, such as seeing, hearing, smelling (breath), tasting, touching, and knowing. As burning at each sense, there are the melting metals, huge cage, sharp weapons, bows, arrows, crossbows, darts, and other instruments of torture  appear to punish and destroy the body of the deceased in the unintermittent hell (avīci). Thanks to the Buddha, we recognize these realistic things of cause-effect. Therefore, we must reflect on it and mindfully protect our six organs as contact with six external objects. Due to being a slave of our tongue, we kill animals to satisfy our meat cravings. The animals suffer horribly as we do this. We receive food by harming the animals (tiracchānayoni) by eating, chewing, and swallowing them, and so in the present and future, we are subjected to suffering and the negative consequences in return.

11. THE CONSEQUENCE OF TOUCHING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the touching karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly four faces of a big mountain join to be one completely without a road is seen. The spirituality of the deceased sees a vast iron fortress, the firing snakes, the firing dogs, wolves, lions, ox-headed prison keepers, and the horse-headed rakshas as brandishing spears and lances drive him into the iron fort gates toward the unintermittent hell (avīci). There appear two experiences as follows:

 The foremost, the deceased, combines with touch in which the mountains squeeze his body in order that the flesh, bone, and blood are disseminated completely.

 The other, the deceased, detaches from the touch in which the swords and knives hit the body, cut the liver, and heart in pieces.

 With such a touching retribution, when this touching gets through the sensation, it can make a road, shop, hall, and table. 

 When it gets through the seeing, it can generate the char and sear. 

 When it gets through the hearing, it produces the hitting, beating, piercing, and shooting. 

 When it gets through the breath, it becomes covering, pushing, investigation, and cord. 

 When it gets through the taste, it can invent the plow, pinch, chop, and sever. 

 When it gets through the thinking, it can generate falling, flying, cooking, and grilling.

The body-organ is often enjoyed to touch another person’s flesh, seductiveness, gentle silks, luxury accommodations, violent weapons, and so on, thus at the time of death, the deceased receives the negative retribution of the touching.

Touching has two objects like separation and combination, so it belongs to the sensitive. The deceased will frighten either the surrounding mountains without exit for him or the swords cutting his body in pieces.

And here the sensation of touching burns six senses of organs (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and knowing) to extinguish. As smothering at each sense, there are the mountains squeezing the body, swords cutting the internal body parts, the hitting, beating, piercing, shooting covering, pushing, investigation, cord, plowing, pinching, chopping, severing, falling, flying, cooking, grilling and other torture instruments appear to execute the mental consciousness of the deceased in the unintermittent hell (avīci). Thanks to the Buddha, we acknowledge these things. Therefore, we must reflect mindfully protect our six organs and contact with six external objects.

12. THE CONSEQUENCEOF THINKING causes to bear the negative fruit. When the conscious karma takes action, at the time of death, firstly the terrible wind blows and the land is seen. The spirituality of the deceased storms up into space following the wind spiraling downward to the unintermittent hell (avīci). They have two appearances as follows:

 The foremost, the deceased, is not aware of anything.  There is so much confusion that he chases without stopping.

 The other, the deceased, knows without confusion in which he feels suffering and terrible pain without standing by the fury burning. 

 With such mental-conscious retribution, when the mental-consciousness unites with thinking, it can make location and place. 

 When it unites with seeing, it can produce the mirror and proof. 

 When it unites with hearing, it can create the big joining rocks, ice, frost, soil, and fog. When it unites with breath, it can invent the great firing cart, a firing boat, and a fiery stockade. 

 When it unites with tasting, it can generate the loud shout, confession, and regretful crying. 

 When it unites with touch, it can make the large, small, tilted, and down posture in which he can daily spend ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths.2

The mental consciousness is often to think of six external objects, killing, stealing, sexuality, telling a lie, committing the precepts (vinaya), dirty things (amahaggataṃ) and wrong views (micchā-ditthi), and so on, thus at the time of death, the deceased receives the negative retribution of the hearing.

Knowing has two objects like the appearing and disappearing, so it belongs to the image or shape. The deceased cares so much that he runs unaware and confusedly or he suffers extremely from all sorts of burnings.

And here the images or shadows of knowing fire at the six senses of organs, such as seeing the blazing, hearing, smelling (breath), tasting, touching, and knowing. As flaming at each sense, there are the mirror, proof, rocks, ice, frost, soil, fog, a great firing cart, a firing boat, a fiery stockade, the loud shout, confession, the regretful crying, births, deaths, and so forth to torture the mind of the deceased in the unintermittent hell (avīci). Thanks to the Buddha, we come to know these things. Therefore, we must reflect and mindfully protect our six organs as contact with six external objects. 

 Ānanda, these are called ten causes and six retributions of the hells (niraya), which are all created by the ignorance and falseness of living beings.

 If six organs of living beings simultaneously create evil karma, they can enter the avīci hell to endure extreme suffering in measureless kalpas. If each of six sense organs creates the evil karma including environment and organs, the deceased must fall down into eight unintermittent hells. If three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse, the deceased can transform into the eighteen hells. If only one or two among three (of body, mind, and mouth) commits just one act of killing or stealing, the deceased will enter thirty-six hells (niraya). If there is only an organ breaking a precept, the deceased must enter one hundred and eight hells.

 Because of the different individual karmas, living beings create the certain same karma in order to enter the collective hells. These arise from false thinking which originally does not exist in the world.3

In the above paragraph, the Buddha summarized ten causes and six consequences of the hells (niraya) which are created by the ignorance and falseness of living beings.

– If six organs of living beings simultaneously create evil karma, they can enter the avīci hells.

– If each of six sense organs creates evil karma including environment and organ, the deceased must fall down into eight unintermittent hells (avīci).

– If three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse, the deceased can transform into eighteen hells (avīci).

– If only one or two among three of body, mind, and mouth commits just one act of killing or stealing, the deceased can enter thirty-six hells (avīci).

– If there is only an organ breaking a precept, the deceased must enter one hundred and eight hells (avīci).

Living beings alone create karma in order to fall into the same commutative hell themselves. It arises because of the false thoughts (samohaṃ) which originally did not exist. Due to suddenly unenlightenment, the inborn ignorance (avijjā) appears. Likewise, owing to the sore eyes, the sky-flowers arise; honestly, the sky still shines bright and clear. Do not grasp phenomena and illusory thoughts, the original nature appears obviously as Vĩnh Gia Zen Master expresses in his poem that:

Whenever the dust is ended, the mirror will shine                  

Mind and environment are detached,                         

the true nature will present. 

THE REMAINING CONSEQUENCES:

Again Ānanda, if living beings who do not defame or destroy the disciplines, violate the bodhisattva precepts, slander the Buddha’s Nirvana (Nibbāna), but generate many complex kinds of karma, so that they must be burned in human lives. Once their punishing karmas is finally finished, they will be reborn in the ghost (pittivisaya) form.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SINS FOR MATERIAL OBJECTS (rūpa), they will meet the material objects to take it as their shapes. This is called the odd ghosts.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SINS FOR THE SEXY FORMS (sarāgaṃ), they will meet the wind to take it as their shapes. This is called the blowing ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) CRIMES OF TELLING A LIE (māyā), they will meet the animal (tiracchānayoni) to take it as their shapes. This is called the pretend ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SINS OF ANGER (byāpāda, dosa), they will meet the worms to take it as their shapes. This is called the poisonous ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SIN FOR THE REVENGE (upanāha) they will meet the atmosphere to take it as their shapes. This is called the pestilence ghost.

– If living beings paid already THE GREEDY SINS OF ARROGANCE (mada), they will meet the worms to take it as their shape. This is called the hungry ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SINS OF CHEATING (musāvāda, abhùtavādi) they will meet the gloom to take it as their shapes. This is called the paralysis ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY (abhijjhā, visamalobha) SINS OF CRAVING (trishna), they will meet the core to take it as their shapes. This is called the illusory ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY SINS OF WRONG BLAME (upavādī), they will meet the vividness to take it as their shapes. This is called the servant ghost.

– If living beings paid for already THE GREEDY SINS OF COVERING (chādeti), they will meet the human (manussa) beings to take it as their shapes. This is called the spreading ghost.

 Ānanda, these people are wholly emotional states,4 so they will fall down in the low realms. Once their karmic fires are extinguished, they will reborn as ghosts (pittivisaya). This is aroused by their own karma of false thinking (samohaṃ). If they are enlightened at bodhi nature, there will have nothing at all in the wonderful perfect luminousness.

 In addition, Ānanda, when their ghost (pittivisaya) karmas are ended, the state of emotional as well as discursive thought is resolved. At that time, he who will rebirth as animal (tiracchānayoni) to pay his remaining past debts, will meet the debtors to solve the matter between them from past lives. 

– The karma of the odd ghosts in the form of things is ended and the things disappear, and then almost of them will be reborn in the world as the species of owls.

– The karma of the blowing ghosts in the form of the wind is ended and the wind is diminished, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the ghostly species of ominous prophecies.

– The karma of the pretend ghosts in the form of animals (tiracchānayoni) is ended and the animals are dead, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of tigers.

– The karma of the poisonous ghosts in the form of worms is ended and the worms perish, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the vicious species.

– The karma of the pestilent ghosts in the form of deterioration is ended and the deterioration is paused, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of worms.

– The karma of the hungry ghosts in the form of air is exhausted and the air is finished, then almost of them will be reborn in the world as the species of animals whose flesh is used for food.

– The karma of the paralysis ghosts in the form of undisclosed is declined and the undisclosed ended, and then almost of them will be reborn in the world as the species of animals which is used for clothing.

– The karma of the illusory ghosts in the form of energy is finished and the essential energy is extinguished, and then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of migratory birds.

– The karma of the servant ghosts in the form of vividness is finished and the vividness disappeared, and then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the auspicious species.

– The karma of the spreading ghosts in the form of human (manussa) beings is paused and human beings are dead, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of domestic animals (tiracchānayoni) which are friendly close to people.

 Ānanda, after their karmic fire is burned out, they will rebirth as animals to pay their remaining debts from past lives. All these retributions come from their own false illusory karmas. If they are enlightened at bodhi nature, then the illusory conditions are originally empty.

 As you mentioned above, Bhikkhunī (Bhikṣuṇī) Precious Lotus Fragrance, King Crystal, and Bhikkhu (Bhikṣu) Good Stars own caused the evil karmas which neither fall down out of the heavens nor spring up from the earth, nor imposed upon by any person, but it is their own falseness to bring into being in order that they themselves must undergo it. In the bodhi mind, it is as the form or result of false thoughts.

 In addition, Ānanda, as animals repay their past charges, if they pay over the quantity they owed, they will rebirth as human beings to ask the surplus.

 If the debtors are healthy and have merit, they can return to the owner (on surplus) in their human realm. In contrast, if they have not enough merit to do it, they will rebirth in the animal form continually to repay this debt.

 Ānanda, you should know that whether money or labor, once it is paid off, then it comes to end naturally. 

But if in the course of payment, if they commit killing other beings or eating their flesh, then they continue in such a way, pass numberless kalpas as many as molecules, turn around as a rotating wheel, and exchange in the up and down states without stopping except for practicing śamatha or meeting a Buddha ascending in the world.

1. You should know that after the owls have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm belong to the corrupt and stubborn beings.

2. When the ghostly species of ominous prophecies have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm belong to the strange beings.

3. When the tigers have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the foolish beings. When the poisonous species have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the malignant beings.

4. When the worms have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the cowardice beings.

5. When the species of animals being used for food have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the chicken-hearted beings (Khuppipasinos preta).

6. When the species of animals being used for clothing have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the toiling beings.

7. When the species of migratory birds have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the literate beings.

8. When the auspicious species have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the smart beings.

9. When the species of domestic animals being friendly close to people have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the well-communicated beings.

 Ānanda, after paid off the past old debts, these creatures are reborn in the human shape. Due to ignorance (avijjā) from beginningless time, they have created the upside-down karmas of pay-borrow, lack-extra, and kill/being killed one another. If they have not met the Tathāgata or listened to Dharma, they must rotate forever in the wearisome saṃsāra cycle without stopping. How pitiful such creature beings are!5

 Living beings who have not defamed and destroyed the precepts, violated the bodhisattva rules, and slandered the Buddha’s Nirvana (Nibbāna) except committing various complex kinds of karma, then after many kalpas have passed of being burned, they finally finish paying for their offenses to be reborn in the ghost shape.

– The odd ghosts: Due to desire for things, human beings commit offenses. After finished paying for their sins, they take things as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the odd ghosts (pittivisaya).

– The blowing ghosts: Due to desire for the sexy forms, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying their sins, they take wind as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the blowing ghosts.

– The pretend ghosts: Due to desire for lies, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying their sins, they take animals as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the pretend ghosts.

– The poisonous ghosts: Due to desire for anger, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying their sins, they take worms as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the poisonous ghosts.

– The pestilent ghosts: To desire for revenge, human beings commit offenses. After finishing paying for their sins, they take the deteriorations of enemy as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the pestilent ghosts.

– The hungry ghosts: Due to desire for arrogance, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying for  their sins, they take air as their shapes. Therefore, they  are called the hungry ghosts. Greed (abhijjhā, visamalobha) to be arrogant (mada), people commit offenses, after they finish paying for their crimes, they take shape when he encounters gases (pittivisaya).

– The paralysis ghosts: Due to desire for cheating, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying for  their sins, they take undisclosed as their shapes.  Therefore, they are called the paralysis ghosts.

– The illusory ghosts: Due to desire for the evil views (micchā-ditthi), human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying for their sins, they take the essential energy as their shapes. Therefore, they are called the illusory ghosts.

– The servant ghosts: To desire for blame, human beings commit offenses. After finished paying for their sins, they  take vividness as their shapes. Therefore, they are called  the servant ghosts.

– The spreading ghosts: Due to desire for covering the group’s evil, human beings commit offenses. After they finished paying for their sins, they take human beings as their shapes. Ghosts enter their bodies to control and demand them to speak the lucky/unlucky things.

Therefore, these beings are called the spreading ghosts.

 At present they are ghosts under the human shapes. However, if they are enlightened the bodhi nature, in the wonderful perfect illumination, there has not anything at all.

Owing to the wholly emotional states, these creatures fall down to the low realms. As their karmas are paused, they will reborn as ghosts. These retributions which they must bear themselves come from false thoughts. If they become awakened at the bodhi nature, then they will realize that there has not anything at all in the wonderful perfect illumination.

As the ghost karma is ended, the emotion and thought become voidness too. At that time, they will meet the lenders to repay what they borrowed or cheated. They will reborn in the form of animals (tiracchānayoni) to repay the past remaining debts.

1. The species of owl: The karma of the odd ghosts in the form of things ending and the things disappearing—then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of owls.

2. The ghostly species of ominous prophecies: When the karma of the blowing ghosts in the form of the wind is ended and the wind is diminished, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the ghostly species of ominous prophecies.

3. The species of tiger: When the karma of the pretend ghosts in the form of animals is ended and the animals die, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of tigers.

4. The poisonous species: When the karma of the poisonous ghosts in the form of worms is ended and the worms perish, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the vicious species.

5. The worm species: When the karma of the pestilent ghosts in the form of deterioration is ended and the deterioration is paused, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of worms.

6. The species of animals being used for food: When the karma of the hungry ghosts in the form of air is exhausted and the air is finished, and then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of animals whose flesh is used for food. The species of animals which is used for clothing: When the karma of the paralysis ghosts in the form of undisclosed is declined and the undisclosed is ended, and then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of animals which is used for clothing.

7. The species of migratory birds: When the karma of the illusory ghosts in the form of energy is finished and the essential energy is extinguished, and then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of migratory birds.

8. The auspicious species: When the karma of the servant ghosts in the form of vividness is finished and the vividness disappears, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the auspicious species.

9. The species of domestic animals: When the karma of the spreading ghosts in the form of human beings is paused and human beings are dead, then almost all of them will be reborn in the world as the species of domestic animals which are friendly and close to people.

After these various creature beings are burned from their karmic fires, they will reincarnate as animals to pay off their remaining charges. These suffering circles come orginally from the false thought which they cause by themselves so that they must bear the consequence by themslves. If they luckily realize the bodhi essence, they will experience fundamentally none of these false conditions to exist.

Bhikkhunī (Bhikṣuṇī) Precious Lotus Fragrance, King Crystal, and Bhikkhu (Bhikṣu) Good Stars created the evil karma which neither springs up from the earth, nor falls down out of the heavens nor imposes by other persons. It is brought by their own falseness—they must undergo it. In the bodhi mind, these retributions and karma are just the cohesion of false thoughts.

They live out the lives in animal forms to labor or serve their flesh for food in order to pay back the remaining debts. If in the process of payment, it is more than the amount they owe, they then get rebirth as a human again to make up the difference. If the debtors accumulate blessings and merits, then they can pay it off in this life; they do not wait for the next life. But if they lack blessings and merits, then they will return to the animal realm to continue repaying the remaining debts.

Thus, in the course of payment, they can use money, materials, goods, or manual labor to pay the charges, it will naturally work to come to an end. But if in the process of repaying their debts, they create new karmas of killing creature beings, stealing, cheating, or eating other beings’ flesh. Due to tying up the bad conditions with other beings, they continue in the same low way, passing through kalpas as many as motes of fine dust,  rotating through cycles of consuming and being slaughtered in an endless cycle. There is no way to put a stop to it, except through the practice of śamatha or through a Buddha’s coming to the world.

1. The corrupt and stubborn people: After the owls have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the corrupt and stubborn beings.

2. The strange people: When the ghostly species of ominous prophecies have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the strange beings.

3. The foolish people: When the tigers have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the foolish beings.

4. The malignant people: When the poisonous species have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the malignant beings.

5. The cowardly people: When the worms have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the cowardly beings.

6. The chicken-hearted people: When the species of animals being used for food have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the chicken-hearted beings.

7. The toiling people: When the species of animals being used for clothing have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the toiling beings.

8. The literate people: When the species of migratory birds have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the literate beings.

9. The smart people: When the auspicious species have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the smart beings.

10. The well-communicated people: When the species of domestic animals being friendly and close to people have paid off their charges, they who regain their original form as human beings in the human realm, belong to the wellcommunicated beings.

After these beings finally finished repaying the karmic debts they owed, they will rebirth as human beings. They ignograntly keep creating the same kind of upside-down evil karma by killing as well as being killed and lacking extra payment. If they have not met the Tathāgatas or hear the true Dharma, they will remain forever in the wearisome mundane world. Such beings can truly be called the pitiful ones.6

In brief, we experience that the reincarnation of any species definitely relates with characteristics and functions of what it creates from the past. Due to the past cause, it will affect the present result. Owing to the present cause, it will affect the future which is like the rotation of twelve chains without stopping.

Because of killing, stealing, and lusting, they must fall into the hells. After finishing paying the debts in hells, they will be born as kinds of ghosts and animals. Therefore, due to their own karmas, the realms of hell, ghosts, animal, or human beings are seen in accordance. If they can awaken the bodhi nature to live with it, there is no retribution at all because it appears as an illusion.

Thanks to the Buddha who comprehended the complex cause-effect discipline and who kindly pointed out for us to avoid them. The disliked or liked people must meet one another to pay or repay their past dues which is the endless cycle of cause-effect.

Once the states of emotion and thought are ended, i.e., living beings spent too much time suffering and being punished in hells. Moreover, there is still a small debt which force them to be born into the bodies of animals to pay off the past dues. Then, they can be reborn as human beings.

Whoever creates ten habitual causes, such as lust, greed, conceit, ahankāra, hatred, deception, lying, animosity, evil views, injustice, litigation, and slanders the precepts will fall into the hells. Breaking the precepts is a small sin but slandering the precepts is a serious sin because it destroys the correct view. It also encourages us and others disregard the valuable Buddhist precepts, so the wrong view people will easily drop in the hells in many directions.  

In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Bhikkhunī Precious Lotus Fragrance announces that sexual acts do not hurt and injure other people as killing or stealing, so they do not carry the karmic retribution. After death, she falls into the hell because she broke the right views and precepts.

Those who break the right views are ready to break precepts. False thoughts lead to false acts. After death, they fall into the hells (niraya) and be subjected to torture. Once they finish paying their karma in hell, they will be reborn a ghost, and then animal. They wander from this to another realm in three evil worlds without stopping. Nguyen Du exclaims that:

The hungry ghosts (preta) wander on the way

Devils without heads cry at the night rain

Whenever we see such suffering ghosts, we should pray for them to get out of their karma as soon as possible.

When animals recompense their old charges, if they pay back more than the needed amount, they get reborn as persons to make up the difference. It means the debtors become the creditors and in contrast, the creditors become the debtors. In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, we learn śamatha to distinguish between falseness and reality. All phenomena in the world are illusory. Only the Buddha nature is real. Realize it and we should not continue creating such a disturbing karmic net of saṃsāra. There are many ways to pay, such as money, material, health, labor (as a slave), and so on which can be changed for people’s karmas. However, if they take other’s lives, they must be paid by their own lives.

For instance, A eats B today. Then in the future B will eat A in return. Then, A takes revenge B. B hates A. Both of them keep taking revenge each other and kill or harm each other. For example, a person eats a goat and a hen in this life. A goat and a hen will be reborn into human beings and a person is reborn into a goat or a hen in the future. They will eat one another to pay the flesh owed. Through numberless kalpas, they are stuck in the cycle of birth and death, because of the debt of flesh and lives over and again. This body is the heavy retribution, a misery net, therefore we should not slave for it to cause the bad karma.

Śamatha also teaches us that all living beings have the same permanent nature, so we do not hate any one. Understanding this absolute, the revenge will turn into the compassion easily. If not, we keep attaching to our bodies. If someone abuses us, we will hate him and want to take revenge. So, we will wander in the saṃsāra again and again until we see a Buddha who can teach us how to avoid the complex causeeffect (pratītyasamutpāda, paṭiccasamuppāda) way.

As we attain the prajñā wisdom, we will enlighten that this body is an illusion, a bond, or a burden to detach. If one pays his debts with hatred, his consciousness still follows his enemy to take revenge in return.

If we are killed, we do not know this is our debt to pay, so in our mind arises the hatred to follow the murder to revenge. The murder also counterattacks the opponent. This life is important and precious, so it is a terrible crime if the body is hurt. Not only the debt the life but also using the animals’ flesh, blood or body parts which are still the resentment against the body parts. We eat five grams of animal flesh, then we must pay the exact amount of five grams of meat too.

Pork is sold in the market, hundreds of thousands of people eat it, and so hundred thousand people must pay their debts of flesh. They keep eating and killing one another in the rotation wheel. If people drink the cow’s milk, they will owe debts on liquid but not debt of flesh. Thus, we are advised to take vegetarian to avoid the debt and develop the great compasion.

These are the consequences of six misery retributions on bad karma which are created from six organs and six consciousnesses. Thus, Trần Nhân Tông King composed the repentance book on six organs to recite every morning in some pagodas. This book helps practitioners repent from serious guilts to subtle mistakes which were made from six organs intentionally or unintentionally.

Thanks deeply to the Buddha’s wisdom; he kindly shows us the way of cause-effect pratītyasamutpāda, paṭiccasamuppāda) and each low realm to avoid, especially at the time of approaching death, our dark consciousness easily goes to the wrong direction.

In The Book of Death,7 Sogyal Rinpoche said that Tibetan monks with their power of concentration and deep wisdom, can experience the approaching state to death. If the present karma is good, the intermediate consciousness will be happy. If a person creates bad karma in present, in the approaching state to death, he will see the unsatisfactory states as follows:

–When he has just stopped breathing, the basic light appears.

–The intermediate existent body is as tall as a boy between eight and ten years old and is very quick and healthy (the deceased may be ageing lame or blind).

–The intermediate existent body wanders around as a person in a dream and hears the mountain falling behind, the roaring sound of the large waterfalls, volcanic eruption, wind storms, and so on.

–The intermediate existent body in the dark horror tries to escape the counterattack by the whole blood hailstorm, the haunted sound of screaming demons, monsters, and beasts being hunted. It always has three deep pits ahead. The karmic wind is strongly sucking him away without a place to hold on.

The hurricane wind pushes the intermediate existent body away. Everything is blown away like the pistil flying in the course of wind. Then the intermediate existent body wanders hopelessly, looking for a refuge place.”

Thus, we see that the Tibetan monk masters have seen the same as what the Buddha said in detail twenty-six centuries ago. With the flesh eyes, we fail to see, but we can understand and believe strongly that once we focus at one pointedness without heedlessness, keep the morality pure, our mind will be bright and the eye wisdom will illuminate everywhere.

 

SUMMARY OF CHAPTER XIII

Chapter XIII is about six consequences. All living beings have created karma with their six consciousnesses. Therefore, they are subject to the evil consequences. All these wrongs come from six sense faculties.

Six consequences are as following:

1. The Consequence of Seeing causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, the flames in all over ten directions are seen. They fall down to the unintermittent hell (avīci).

2. The Consequence of Hearing causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, the giant waves flooding all over the earth and heaven are seen. They fall into the unintermittent hell.

3. The Consequence of Smelling causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, the poisonous smoke all over the near and far atmosphere is seen. They enter the unintermittent hell.

4. The Consequence of Tasting causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, a flaming iron net all over ten directions is seen. They enter the unintermittent hell.

5. The Consequence of Touching causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, four faces of a big mountain joining to be one completely without a road is seen. They fall into the unintermittent hell.

6. The Consequence of Thinking causes to bear the negative fruit. At the time of death, first, the terrible wind blowing up the land is seen. They spiral downward to the unintermittent hell.

These six causes of hell (niraya) are caused by the delusions of sentient beings.

If six organs of living beings simultaneously create evil karma, they can enter the avīci hell (niraya) to endure the extreme suffering in measureless kalpas. If each of six sense organs creates evil karma including environment and organ, the deceased must fall down eight unintermittent hells (niraya). If three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse, the deceased can transform into eighteen hells. If only one or two among three (of body, mind, and mouth) commits just one act of killing or stealing, the deceased will enter thirty-six hells (niraya). If there is only an organ breaking a precept, the deceased must enter one hundred and eight hells.

– Ten types of demons: the odd ghosts, the blowing ghosts, the pretend ghosts, the poisonous ghosts, the pestilent ghosts, the hungry ghosts, the paralysis ghosts, the illusory ghosts, the servant ghosts, the spreading ghosts.

– Ten types of animals: owl, ominous prophecies, tiger, poisonous, worm, animals being used for food, animals which are used for clothing, migratory birds, auspicious species, and domestic animals.

– Ten types of people: 1. The corrupt and stubborn people, 2. the strange people, 3. the foolish people, 4. the malignant people, 5. the cowardly people, 6. the chickenhearted people, 7. the toiling people, 8. the literate people, the smart people, 10. the well-communicated people.

Because of the different individual karmas, living beings create the certain same karma in order that they enter the collective hells. These arise from false thinking which originally did not exist in the world.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What are “six consequences”?

2. Explain the sentence, “These six causes of hell are caused by the delusions of sentient beings.”

3. Present the hell retribution of one or many sense faculties and one or three body, speech, and thought.

4. What is the “remaining karmic retribution”?

5. List ten types of demons, ten types of animals, and ten types of people.

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