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I know karma matures with the right conditions but does it ever force things to happen with the certainty that it will happen?

Like for example can earning a specific karma say that it's going to force an effect, like when somebody does something good that means they'll become a private buddha in the future. Does it sort of "force" or push things in the direction of the karma to happen or is it still just waiting for the right conditions.

  • Nirvana or extinction I don't think cuts off karma, but samsara. Someone correct me... – sorta_buddhist Mar 11 '15 at 23:20
  • perhaps if you give a few examples, we can give better answers. – Anthony Mar 12 '15 at 2:47
  • You might find this interesting: ibiblio.org/zen/gateless-gate/2.html (Hyakujo's Fox) – Dan Sheppard Mar 12 '15 at 21:05
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It doesn't force things to happen because karma by definition has no self which can force anything. Karma doesn't really exist as some punishing entity (like a Western God), which is what the word "force" implies in your question.

In Buddhism and Hinduism, the chain of causation that binds beings to the Wheel of Birth and the natural conditions that stem from it, creates a torrent of karma all of which must be satisfied in life after life until samadhi/bodhi can be achieved.

"Conditions" can be anything by the way. A condition can be being in a certain situation, seeing a certain characteristic of a person (e.g. maleness, femaleness), or even "having a body". Oftentimes I believe that karma has an effect that is beyond time, simultaneously immediate, near, and far..

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When a seed of certain kind is exposed to certain conditions, it grows. Karma works more like this than some deterministically absolute force.

There is never any sort of absolute with this, as we can, for instance, learn to deal with our volitional formations (our sankharas) in ways other than being subject to their conditional fruition, one such effective method is vipassana.

In essence, because we can develop non-attachment and wisdom, no. It is more correct, in my understanding, to say that karma merely encourages certain activities, or acts as an urge that sometimes is perceived as an unstoppable or confounding force depending on our level of attachment.

Becoming a Buddha is more of a transcendence of karmic determinism, rather than being a "thing" brought about by karmic eventuality.

  • It's just that sometimes the Buddha says that because someone earned such and such karma it will lead to such and such eventual result in a future life, or at least that's what I got from some of the dhamma. – Buddhistdude Mar 12 '15 at 21:12
  • Sure, this is to say that certain causes produce certain effects, and this is true from a conventional standpoint. But from the other shore, no. Ultimately there is no determinism that is absolute. It is a question of attachment. – Joshp.23 Mar 12 '15 at 21:16
  • There's also the story of one girl who did something nice to the Buddha then immediately afterward got married to a king. My question is wether karma has a strong attractive force that leads things to happen in a certain manner. – Buddhistdude Mar 12 '15 at 21:23
  • It is the story of Queen Mallika accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel292.html#mallika. – Buddhistdude Mar 12 '15 at 21:45
  • Sure, a relativistic strong attractive force is legitimate, as far as I understand things, but not an absolute determinant. – Joshp.23 Mar 12 '15 at 22:22
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According to the Acintita Sutta, the precise working out of the result of karma is not to be conjectured about, otherwise it will bring madness and vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

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