Upāyikā 4.081: Discourse on Accumulated Actions.

Then the Blessed One called the monks and said: ‘Monks, the results of actions that have been done and accumulated shall be experienced. And these shall be experienced either in this very lifetime or after taking rebirth or on some future occasion. Monks, I say that the results of actions that have not been done and accumulated shall not be experienced.

Furthermore, monks, there are three types of evil, unwholesome bodily actions and four evil, unwholesome verbal actions and three evil, unwholesome mental actions that are done and accumulated, which will bring forth results that will be duḥkha and unwholesome. Monks, what are the three evil, unwholesome bodily actions that, when done and accumulated, will bring forth results that will be duḥkha and unwholesome?

(1) Some who take the life of a living being—these are those who have not abstained from taking the life of a living being, are bloody-handed, have no shame in destroying and totally annihilating living beings, are ruthless, put all their minds on taking the life of any living beings, even as much as an ant.

2) Some who have taken what has not been given—these are those who have not abstained from taking what had not been given and who are counted among those who by going to a village or to a monastery have stolen what is not given by others.

(3) Some who have committed sexual misconduct—these are those who have not abstained from sexual misconduct, that is, seducing a woman guarded by her mother or guarded by her father or guarded by her brother or guarded by her sister or guarded by her father-in-law or guarded by her mother-in-law or guarded by her relatives or guarded by her family or guarded by her clan or a woman who has been garlanded in token of betrothal and is under threat of punishment and veiled, because she has been already obtained by somebody else and is thus somebody else’s woman, or having sexual intercourse with her by overwhelming her.

Monks, when these three types of evil, unwholesome bodily actions are done and accumulated, they will bring forth results that are duḥkha and unwholesome.

Monks, what are the four evil, unwholesome verbal actions that, once done and accumulated, will bring forth results that are duḥkha and unwholesome?

(1) There are some who speak falsehood—these are those who have not abstained from speaking falsehood, that is, those who for their own sake or for the sake of others or for the sake of just a small share of material gain, knowingly speak falsehood, such as, be it in the king’s palace or in the minister’s hall or having gone in the midst of an assembly or having gone amidst an entourage, upon being questioned by the authority like this: “Come, man, say what you do know! Don’t say what you don’t know! Say what you’ve seen! Don’t say what you haven’t seen!”, without giving wise consideration to what the authority has questioned them about, they answer in response: “I know!” although they do not know and “I have seen!” although they have not seen.

(2) There are some who slander and are divisive—these are those who have not abstained from slandering speech, that is, having heard something from that person they report it to this person, and having heard something from these people they report it to those other people and the community becomes thus divided, not in accord with the principle of trust, undisciplined, in conflict.

(3) There are some who speak harsh speech—these are those who have abandoned types of speech such as a speech that is sweet to the ear, that is pleasant and that delights the heart of others, illuminating, charming, worth hearing to, appealing to many beings, enchanting to many beings, that greatly gladdens many beings, that touches the heart of many beings, that is conducive to mental equipoise, and that brings about the right mental conditions for concentration. Those who speak harsh speech are then those who have not abstained from harsh speech, such as a speech that is abusive and harsh, that wrenches the heart of others, that is not in harmony with others, that is disagreeable to many beings, that is repulsive to many beings, that is unpleasant to many beings, that upsets the minds of many beings, that is not conducive to mental equipoise, and that does not bring about the right mental conditions for meditation.

(4) There are some who speak frivolous talk—these are those who have not abstained from speaking frivolous talk, that is, they speak pointless words, they speak untruthful words, they speak words that are not in accordance with reality, they speak words that are meaningless, they speak words that are not peaceful, they speak words that provoke agitation and are untimely, that are not leading to discernment and that are against the Dharma, that draw together what is not the real meaning. Monks, when these four evil, unwholesome verbal actions are done and accumulated, this will bring forth results that are duḥkha and unwholesome.

Monks, what are the three evil, unwholesome mental actions that, once done and accumulated, will bring forth results that are duḥkha and unwholesome?

(1) There are some who are covetous—these are those who have not abstained from covetousness, that is, have strong attachment to things that are the objects of desire, covetousness for the material goods of another, the wealth of another and the necessities of life of another, and the wish: “What if that which belongs to another would instead become mine?”

(2) There are some who have ill will—these are those who have not abstained from ill will, that is, with a poisonous mind they think such kind of thought: “May it be that all of you living beings experience failure, be defeated, encounter misfortune and loss!”

(3) There are some who have wrong view—these are those who have not abstained from wrong view, that is, holding a view that is a distorted view, they propound such statements: “There is no efficacy in giving, there are no ritual offerings and donations, there is no good conduct, there is no bad conduct, there is no ripening of the fruits of karma of good conduct nor of those of bad conduct, there is no this world, there is no other world, there is no father, there is no mother, there are no spontaneously arisen beings, in the world there are no arhats that have rightly gone who have by themselves gained direct knowledge of this world and of the other world in their present lifetime and thus attained perfect realisation being thereby able to proclaim: ‘For me birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more of this hereafter.’”

Monks, when these three types of evil, unwholesome mental actions are done and accumulated, they will bring forth results that are unhappy and duḥkha.

Furthermore, monks, a noble disciple abandons unwhole—some bodily factors and develops wholesome bodily factors; he abandons unwholesome verbal and mental factors [272a] and develops wholesome verbal and mental factors:

With a mind imbued with benevolence (byams pa, Skt. maitrī), free from enmity, unsurpassed, free from ill will, vast, all—pervasive, immeasurable, well-developed, he dwells pervading one direction, and likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth direction, the quarters above and below, he dwells pervading the whole world with a mind imbued with benevolence, free from enmity, unsurpassed, free from ill will, vast, all—pervasive, immeasurable, well-developed.

He should then reflect in this way: ‘Formerly, my mind was not developed, it was small, whereas in this way now my mind has become immeasurable and well-developed.’ Monks, for the mind of a well-taught noble disciple which has been cultivated in this way it is impossible to be negligent, the mind does not fall into negligence, it does not abide in negligence, and becomes beyond measurement.

Monks, suppose there is a small boy or a small girl who has since birth developed the concentration of the mind of benevolence. Would later he or she change into doing actions of body, speech and mind that are evil and unwholesome actions? Or would he or she similarly display for a long time actions that are contrary to the Dharma, unbeneficial and result in duḥkha for others?” “It is not so, venerable sir.”

“Monks, it is well, it is well. Monks, a man or a woman, whether being a householder or one gone forth, should develop the concentration of the mind of benevolence. Why is that, monks? A man or woman, whether being a householder or one gone forth, once he or she has abandoned this body and will be going to the other world, monks, he or she will enter the next birth based on a mind which is determined by the mind that depends on the mental quality that conforms to that particular mental state.

Monks, one says: ‘With this body of mine formerly I did evil, unwholesome actions, which have been accumulated. With regard to all that has become accumulated, let it be experienced now and not be experienced further at the time of birth.’

Monks, if at the present time one is thus endowed with the concentration of the mind of benevolence, one will directly know the state of non-retrogression or the highest Dharma. Therefore a Monks, one says: ‘With this body of mine formerly I did evil, unwholesome actions, which have been accumulated. With regard to all that has become accumulated, let it be experienced now and not be experienced further at the time of birth.’

Monks, if at the present time one is thus endowed with the concentration of the mind of benevolence, one will directly know the state of non-retrogression or the highest Dharma. Therefore a well-taught noble disciple has abandoned evil and unwholesome bodily actions and develops wholesome bodily actions, has abandoned evil and unwholesome verbal and mental actions and develops wholesome verbal and mental actions.

By developing in sequence one after the other that which is called a ‘mind imbued with compassion, a mind imbued with sympathetic joy and a mind imbued with equanimity’, monks, one who having done so is endowed with the concentration of the mind of equanimity, will directly know the state of non—retrogression or the highest Dharma.”