By watching crime in mobile apps or in website , is one actually participating in the incident? If one thinks about it, is one perpetuating the incident again? Does it add to one's karma? How does one react to this kind of situation ? if we ignore the video , are we creating a bigger incident?



5 Answers 5


Let's separate this out. If you watch a recording of a crime on a website, does it impact the victim of the crime? Not in itself.

It DOES give a "view" to the video, and thus you are, in a sense, giving your tacit support to the recording, and publishing, of the event. THAT is, for me, the reason not to watch such events, as far as the world impact is concerned. I guess one needs to attempt to assess the motive of the publisher - was it to shock? Or to educate?

As far as impact upon oneself is concerned, this is another question. Are we adding to our own karma? It depends entirely upon the intent with which we are watching. Sooooo much consumption of internet material is quietly mindless - which means we are blindly watching with no concern for what impact it might have on us: because someone has published it, it must be okay. This attitude allows others to have control over our minds! As a meditator, I'd rather that weren't the case!

Thinking about karma is tough - does it affect my Karma? Can I ever experience my karma as a tangible sensation? I'm not sure I ever have.

Can I see impacts on my experience that demonstrate that certain kinds of actions have noticeable impacts on my experience? For sure, and some have impacts on my experience in meditation. Some I can learn to work with. For others, I just practice "guarding the gates of the senses" and avoid that stimulus.


Intentionally watching or thinking about a negative thing (like a violent incident) is wrong concentration. Especially if one is not having equanimity while watching the violent scenes ( something that takes a lot o practice to develop), that person is generating strong emotions that have huge impact on the mind.

By watching crime in mobile apps or in website , is one actually participating in the incident? If one thinks about it, is one perpetuating the incident again?

Maybe the first few times one watches those images, they have the same impact as watching those events live. In time, the emotional impact of those images might weaken, as mind might try to avoid the intense negative emotion generated by those scenes ( habituation) . Even in the absence of strong emotions (like intense sadness, rage), a still negative state of mind is generated when one thinks about the incident, perpetuating the negativity generated by that incident.

Does it add to one's karma?

These very strong emotions can create new karma, as they can influence the mind and the actions of that person.

How does one react to this kind of situation ? if we ignore the video , are we creating a bigger incident?

It all depends on the reason one watches these images and the stability of mind that person has. Might be wrong understanding to think that watching those kind of scenes help improve the mind in some way - to make it stronger or ready to face the brutal aspects of life( a reason why someone would see a benefit in watching those images). If after watching the video, someone does something positive (like helping the victims), that reaction would be beneficial. But only by watching the video, is one changing the suffering of the persons involved in the video?! Until one has the ability to watch these violent scenes without getting caught -up in them, they do more harm than good.


Watching a crime anywhere, on TV, the computer or in one's memories has potential to cause unwholesome states to arise within one.

This is why we try to be mindful on a moment by moment basis. If one knows that something(like crime) is around that might make unwholesome states arise inside a person then that can be reminder for one to be mindful.

If one is correctly mindful when an unwholesome state like anger arises inside oneself then one doesn't act on anger. If one isn't mindful when anger arises then one is in the proliferation zone, unaware of the whole prosess of anger and is liable to react unwholesomly.


It is the heart that is important. In other words, your intention while you are watching a crime on TV, for example. Do you enjoy it and reinforce the idea that crime is justified to a very strong degree? Or do you watch it from an apathetic perspective (the opposite extreme). There are so many videos, literature, etc, that depict violence or crime as entertainment, so in that case do the people accumulate negative karma? What about people who eat non-vegetarian food? Are they all accumulating bad karma? Which leads us to ask what about the animals who eat others for survival?

Buddhism talks about varying degrees of negative causes we make. Some are very mild and can be easily expiated, while others are very deep and require great deal of effort. It teaches that the greatest negative cause is slander of the Buddha's highest teachings, which assert that every living being is a Buddha. In other words, disregard for life itself, especially that of another human being, is a huge negative cause. On top of that, Buddhism teaches that slandering or causing harm to a "Buddha" (in this context, one who propagates the true teachings of the Buddhism) is the greatest possible negative cause.

I would say, one need not worry about such small things as what would happen if one watches violence on website or phone or any other medium. The most important question is, do I believe in the immense worth of my own life and others, and do I make efforts to create value in my life and others? What is my behavior like?

"The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being" - Nichiren Daishonin.


Is one actually participating in the incident?

No it is a recording, you do not take on the karma of the criminal or the victim. You only gain knowledge that the event occurred.

Does it add to one's karma?

How you react to the video determines the karma acquired from watching the video.

  • Empathy and compassion for the victim?
  • Joy and pleasure in watching the crime
  • Detached indifference
  • With the motivation of trying to increase security / prevent crime by learning about such

These are just some situational conditions, reasons for watching, and reaction to the video determines the karma. Each has its own separate effect.

If we ignore the video , are we creating a bigger incident?

This is situational as well. Is it a video of something we have no control over? If so the answer is no.

Is our job to stop crime, or does the video give you some knowledge that could stop the criminal etc. and you choose (Through apathy or other reasons) to ignore it, then the answer is yes.

However if it is a youtube fail compilation video, or just a compilation of random crimes, that have nothing to do with you, or your community, ignoring it, would be the best option.

By that I mean, not seeking more out to watch as well.

A side note : Seeking these videos out merely for self entertainment would not be participating in the event, but would in my opinion be negative karma. Watching movies is one thing, they are fictional, but when you are at a point where watching real world people suffer at the hands of others is what you need for entertainment, I do not think there is any way you could say that you are accumulating good karma. Though you are absolutely not accumulating the same kind of karma as the criminal, the kind you are accumulating would not be favorable.

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