AN 6.63 says the Noble Eightfold Path ends kamma, as follows:

And what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma; and just this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration — is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma

AN 6.63

MN 117 says "kamma" is something with effluents and results in acquisitions (of "self"), as follows:

And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions...

The term "acquisitions" ("upadhi") is described in MN 26 as follows:

Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

SN 12.66 describes "acquisitions" as follows:

Acquisition has craving as its source, craving as its origin; it is born and produced from craving. When there is craving, acquisition comes to be; when there is no craving, acquisition does not come to be.

In the Angulimala Sutta, before attaining arahantship, Angulimala (the former mass murderer) was pardoned by King Pasenadi Kosala after learning Angulimala was rendered harmless by the Buddha. If he chose to, King Pasenadi Kosala could have had Angulimala executed for his former crimes. King Pasenadi Kosala obviously possessed this power of volition; to execute criminals.

However, after attaining Arahantship (which includes the ending of the effluents and all self-views), Angulimala was stoned by certain people who knew of Angulimala's past murderous deeds, after which Angulimala declared the following:

Who once was heedless, but later is not, brightens the world like the moon set free from a cloud.

His evil-done deed is replaced with skillfulness: he brightens the world like the moon set free from a cloud.

Having done the type of kamma that would lead to many bad destinations, touched by the fruit of kamma, unindebted, I eat my food.

The three knowledges have been attained; the Buddha's bidding, done.

Did Angulimala's attainment of arahantship end "kamma"? Or was it the stones thrown by unforgiving people that ended the kamma of Angulimala? If the later, are these stones thrown by unforgiving people more powerful in extinguishing kamma & suffering than the Noble Eightfold Path?

  • Hi Dhammadhatu. I am surprised you ask this question. However, I gave an answer.-)
    – SarathW
    Dec 1, 2018 at 4:32
  • @SarathW I think it was a result of this discussion. I guess that discussion was whether "kamma is ended" even when the "fruits of kamma" still happen.
    – ChrisW
    Dec 1, 2018 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


A person ends making Kamma when he becomes an Arahant. The Vipaka of his Kamma continues until he attains Parinibbana.

  • I marked this answer down because it is not comprehensively supported by any suttas; nor does it define what kamma & vipaka are. For example, when Gotama lived in the palace, he pondered about the inevitability of death (AN 3.38). This pondering was "kamma". The result of this pondering was Gotama became despondent (causing him to leave home). Or when Gotama was a child; surely, Gotama made some kamma, such as becoming attached to his favourite food, which would result in him being upset if he did not get his favourite food. When attaining enlightenment, this despondency & getting upset ended. Dec 1, 2018 at 7:06

I will attempt to answer my questions about this sutta; where the Buddha tells an arahant to "bear it", which might sound illogical, because since an arahant is free from craving & becoming, why would an arahant need to be instructed to "bear it"?

In the sutta, Angulimala says:

Having done the type of kamma that would lead to many bad destinations, touched (phuṭṭha) by the fruit of [that] kamma, unindebted, I eat my food.

It seems some Buddhists take the above verse to mean somehow, because stones were thrown at Angulimala, that "justice" occurred in respect to his past kamma and his kamma was resolved.

However, in the suttas, the word "phuttha" generally refers to being "touched" by a mere vedana (feeling) rather than afflicted by the ordinary vipaka of suffering, as follows:

When an educated noble disciple experiences painful physical feelings they don’t sorrow or pine or lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion.

Sutavā ca kho, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako sārīrikāya dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno neva socati, na kilamati, na paridevati, na urattāḷiṃ kandati, na sammohaṃ āpajjati.

SN 36.4

The sutta also says the following about the "enemies" of Angulimala:

May even my enemies hear talk of the Dhamma. May even my enemies devote themselves to the Buddha's bidding. May even my enemies associate with those people who — peaceful, good — get others to accept the Dhamma. May even my enemies hear the Dhamma time & again from those who advise endurance, forbearance, who praise non-opposition & may they follow it.

The sutta also says about the Arahantship of Angulimala:

Uprooted is [craving], the guide to becoming.

About "becoming", it is often defined as "kamma", as follows:

Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a... property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. This is how there is becoming.

AN 3.76

About "kamma", it is defined as new actions of body, speech & mind, as follows:

Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, and intellect.

AN 6.63

And what is new kamma? Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech, or with the intellect: This is called new kamma.

SN 35.145

My conclusion here is Angulimala obviously ended kamma because his mind was free from becoming and free from craving & attachment towards the painful feelings from stoning. Angulimala did not react to the stones thrown at him with new actions (of becoming) of body, speech & mind. Instead, his mind only manifested metta towards his enemies.

The sutta says Angulimala still had "enemies", who were unable to forgive him for his past kamma. Therefore, in my opinion, Angulimala ended kamma but his enemies did not end kamma. Ultimately, Angulimala was stoned because his enemies did not end kamma. Angulimala's enemies made kamma (new actions of body, speech & mind) by stoning him but Angulimala made no new kamma (because Angulimala followed the Arahant practise of bearing painful feelings).

  • Angulimala still has bad karma that he did before becoming an arahant that’s why he got hit in the head. That is resultant karma
    – user14213
    Dec 2, 2018 at 8:34
  • Angulimala got stoned because another people could not forgive him. Angulimala only felt a feeling from the stoning but created no kamma from the stoning. Dec 2, 2018 at 19:59
  • (fyi I edited Dhammadhatu's reply, and deleted TheDBSGuy's replies to it. If you want to post more comments, I can move them to chat.)
    – ChrisW
    Dec 3, 2018 at 18:25

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