Kamma and Heredity

By Dhammika
Courtesy Vesak Lipi

I have yet another hurdle to jump over. (also read Kamma) There is some confusion of thought in regard to Kamma and Heredity.

Confusion of thought in regard to Kamma and Heredity.
If by heredity, is meant the transmission of qualities, mental and physical, by parent to offspring, the Buddha-Dhamma does not dispute it. But it asks: how is it that to parents who are mentally and physically developed, children exhibiting a lesser quantum of these qualities are born; vice versa, children exhibiting a greater quantum of these qualities are born to parents physically weak; again in the same family all children do not exhibit the same degree of mental and physical development; again twins who are born a matter of minutes apart, do not display the same characteristics.

The answer is obvious; Kamma. Buddha- Dhamma goes still further and maintains that it is not the mentaphysical stature or otherwise that matter; but the development of the inner potentialities of the human mind which has been nursed in its Samsaric wanderings with the aspiration to gain Enlightenment (bodhi). It is this characteristic which distinguishes man from the colour of his skin, from the shape of his nose, from his height, from his mental prowess from his idiocy and so forth. As already mentioned Kamma is mental action (cetana), the mind wills and the thought is translated into action by word or deed. Once again I must remind you of the necessity to refrain from evil and cultivate good. For Kamma is a passport through Samsara till the moment we quit it for good.

The ideal which the Buddha set for us is clearly stated in Majjhima i, 431, where He pointed out to Malunkiyaputta that everything else is beside the point, when one sees, “thereis birth, there is disease, there is decay, there is death and therefore, one should perfect himself to obtain release from the cycle of birth and instead of wasting his time over matters that lead him nowhere. As Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna pointed out to Visakha, and every word of which of which was endorsed by the Buddha, (vide:Majhima i.204) that only by a systematic and sustained development of the ethical process of right speech, right action and right livelihood that the release (nissarana) from Samsaric ills is possible.

This does not mean that one should stop at this poi But it is from this point that one proceeds to develop the inn potentialities latent in him till he arrives at the point to gain the liberati vision to see things as they really are. It is Kamma, to be preci Tihetukapatisandhi that will lead you thither. This is Evolution of I being as the Buddha-Dhamma understands the term. As we proca upward on the path of Evolution,stage by stage, the baser elements the being simply cannot stay, they fall, unable to reisist the powerful glare of penetrative wisdom.

Finally the totally purified being blossoi forth as an Arahant. Kamma has achieved its purpose, sublime int extreme. It is true that an Arahant performs good deeds, but they cam bear fruits (vipaka), for they are barren of clinging to the form formless.
“Where water, earth, heat, air no footing find, There burns no lighting star, nor shines the sun, The moon sheds not her radiant beams-but yet The home of darkness is not there, When in the deep and silent hours of thought, The holy sage (true Brahaman) Truth attains, Then he is well released from joy and pain; From form and the formless is he freed!”
– Courtesy Bosi

Another point of view :-
Whilst the Buddha dharma (Philosophy) deals primarily with! problem of human suffering and its end, over the passage of tin whilst remaining a noble dharma, it has been influenced to satisfy mar psychological requrements to have the “trappings of a religion” whe an all powerful God is not the central figure. Here the lighting of lam| and candles, offerings of flowers and gold foil as done in Myanm and Thailand, in honour of the Buddha, and showing reverence tot Bodhi tree (in the same way the Buddha did for seven long days Buddha Gaya as a mark of gratitude for providing shelter during I jhana;) the annual parading with music of townships carrying tf Buddha’s relics for veneration in great pageantry, and the chanting Paritta suttas have given today an outlook that, what the Buddha taug has become a “popular religion”.

The Dharma has been adorned vii a beautiful culture. That is one of popular cultivation of beliefs by actii to satisfy human want. These actions have not in any way debasf the noble philosophy, as the dharma itself stands high for all tin (akaliko), non diluted and unadulterated, above what man may do.