Page 3... Karma explained

Mental states

With wholesome mental states or cittas, you can perform wholesome deeds, and with unwholesome mental states you may perform unwholesome deeds. Wholesome deeds lead to happiness and peace, unwholesome deeds bring harm to the doer and to others.

A citta is not a soul or self. It is merely a mental state. There are many different cittas which succeed one another. We can experience at a single moment an unwholesome citta; however it does not last, it falls away. Cittas replace one another continuously. How can we take something for "self" if it does not last even a second?

People are so different because of different karmic accumulations in the past. For example, people who are angry very often, accumulate anger. When this accumulation is strong enough, they will perform unwholesome actions through speech or deeds.

The citta or mental state which arises at a given moment adds to the accumulated store. Cittas are not only conditioned by the object one perceives through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind, they are also conditioned by one's past accumulation of experiences.

Good deeds and bad deeds which we performed will bring their results accordingly. The result will take place when it is the right time, when there are right conditions for the result to take place. It is not in our power to specify when the result will occur. Cause and result are beyond our control.

The results that arise are NOT rewards or punishments. Accumulated unwholesome karma, for example, produce at the right moment a citta which experiences an unpleasant object. There will be different results at different moments.

The desire for Nirvana

When there comes the will to end craving and desire, a change takes place. The mind that craved gratification in the fields of sense now turns away. Another desire gathers power and momentum. It is the desire for cessation, for peace, for the end of pain and sorrow; the desire for Nirvana.

Now, this desire is incompatible with all other desires. Therefore, if it becomes strong enough, it kills all other desires. Gradually they wilt and die: first the grosser cravings arising from the three immoral roots; then the higher desires; then the attachments.

As they wilt and die, no more result-producing actions take their place, so the current of the life-continuum dries up. Unwholesome actions cannot be performed because their roots have been destroyed. Wholesome deeds too turn sterile since there is no more motivation. In the end, there is no more craving to produce another birth. Everything has been swallowed up by the desire for the extinction.of desire.

The Buddha said: "For the final cessation of suffering, all karma, wholesome and unwholesome, must be transcended, must be abandoned. Putting aside good and evil, one attains Nirvana. There is no other way."

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