Suffering as purification of Karma

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Post Reply
Posts: 2933
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Suffering as purification of Karma

Post by plwk » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:45 pm

So my Vajra brethren, what thinkest thou of the topic?

Posts: 1711
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Suffering as purification of Karma

Post by Josef » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:37 pm

plwk wrote:So my Vajra brethren, what thinkest thou of the topic?
Its not a very efficient or smart way to purify karma.
The four opponent powers are used so we dont have to "purify" karma through suffering.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

User avatar
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Suffering as purification of Karma

Post by ronnewmexico » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:26 pm

To qualify I am not necessarily reflecting a Buddhist view(it may or may not be I don't know), but my personal view which is but equal not superior in any manner to any others.

Suffering normally is pervasive in this reality. If studied however suffering seems to have no reality, as suffering is invariably tied to sense of self, a unreal thing.

Karma is action in pure form. We set into motion by one action another or consequence. That sets in motion another and on and on. It becomes karma when self is so involved. It attaches. Consequence of action in a personal sense thusly arises. This is due to the habitual aspect of our cognitive mechanism. A aspect of our awareness which retains in the notion of understanding, but abeit in a faulted manner as all is habitated in relationship to a self, which does not reallly exist.

So no problem....there is no self there is no karma, there is no suffering if there is no thing to suffer.
So my view there is no thing to purify. Suffering there is no thing to suffer.
Pain when studied closely and with no being to expeience it is but another sensation not good nor bad nor really pain nor delight at all. It is but equal.

Anything with sense of self suffers, it is the back side of the coin of self.
So as we act with compassion to help others to ease their suffering which all derives from self. We create by cause and result what seems a most beneficial unsuffering life. It however under study is neither suffering nor nonsuffering. With no sense of self occurances which may normally produce a suffering state produce not that thing, but produce nothing, but the realization that such occurances are occurances and nothing more.

So methods to remedy a considered bad effect....I personally do not employ them. I of course do not seek to walk in front of buses as nothing matters. In a conventional sense pain is real and to be avoided. However a purification ritual is not one to stop us from walking in front of buses but for other more involved remedial action. Pain itself is not suffering, suffering is more than that though it may involve pain.

So I say suffering may be employed to learn and understand self and its reality.
So it is useful and not to be remedied against to my view. This life as they say, is a flash. So what suffering can be so important in this very brief life that I employ remedy to prevent against.
I find none.

So I do not purify nor employ remedy for that thing called karma. other than in a functional sense... if possible living a life of compassionate action which produces a life of no conventional suffering for the most part. But the aim is not to produce such a circumstance the aim is to be compassionate. As compassion to my view is entwined with awareness, abeit awareness in a true manner perceived. A real reality.
The suffering matters not. The benefit personally is quite secondary as no personal ultimately exists. So it matters not.

The permenant remedy is removal of self concept. Karma being not a object but a mechanism or way of functioning.

Some employe them, quite a few, perhaps all. I do not. I care not a fig about this thing.
But that may or may not be a Buddhist view, I don't know or particularly care. So with that qualifier I answer this question.

Any samaya's I may honor, any mantra I may sing is all for the others, perhaps the enterouage which follow such beings with great spiritual understanding, or those perhaps like spirits of ill intent stuck by karmic result in a tree perhaps or other suffering place. For these I sing these things.....those so stuck are so sad. To clarify I employ means but not for personal aim in this fashion. I would not honor samaya for myself....I don't give a fig about myself or consequence other than being put in situation not being able to help.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Suffering as purification of Karma

Post by narraboth » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:45 pm

Nangwa wrote:
plwk wrote:So my Vajra brethren, what thinkest thou of the topic?
Its not a very efficient or smart way to purify karma.
The four opponent powers are used so we dont have to "purify" karma through suffering.
I think another meaning is:
when you can't avoid suffering, you take it as purification of karma.

suffering itself is already 'exhausting' negative karma, if you use suffering as path (such as visualise taking others' pain through your suffering), you can purify more negative karma.

User avatar
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Suffering as purification of Karma

Post by conebeckham » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:08 pm

Suffering is the existential state of Samsara. In itself, "suffering" in this sense is not a "purification" of karma, per is just as often a cause for further suffering. The only true and lasting purification of Karma occurs when one goes completely beyond suffering, beyond Samsara. Enlightenment.

But, if you're talking about "individual" instances of suffering--for example, the headache you're currently suffering-- that instance may, or may not, be a purification of karma. I understand Buddhism to say that the "cause(s)" of that suffering is/are karmic, for sure. But the actual karmic causes, of individual "coarse" sufferings--such as your current headache--can't usually be pinpointed by ignorant beings such as ourselves. There are several methods I can think of that involve using such "coarse" events beneficially. First, recognize the temporary nature of the event, which reinforces the impermanence of our situation. Bringing this to mind is a virtuous state, and is certain to be a "positive" karmic force. Second, if one knows "tonglen," or "taking and sending," one can use one's current headache as a focal point for "taking" on and condensing the suffering of others. If one is really practicing HYT in the Vajrayana, one can transform this, but I'll just let that alone. At our level, inviting suffering, while thinking that it will somehow purify negative karma, is folly. as Ron said, not a good idea to walk in front of a bus with the thought that we are purifying bad karma......!!!! There are instructions, and instances, where "suffering" can be invited, or entered into, on the path...but these are pretty advanced instances.

"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Lingpupa, Yanako and 60 guests