Thursday, 31 March 2011

Concept of åkiriyavAda (The Theory of Non-Efficacy of Kamma) in Buddha’ Time


AkiriyavAda means the theory of non efficacy of kamma. It is a general characteristic is that religious teaching says good actions have good results and bad actions have bad results. Those religious or theories that reject the efficacy of kamma are called åkiriyavAda. From the six heretical teachers four were åkiriyavAdins. They are:

1.  PuraNakassapa
2.  µakkhalighosAla
3.   Ajitakesakambala
4.  PakudakaccAyana

When these four teachers are rejecting the efficacy of kamma they did it with purpose of rejecting kammic determination, the theory that holds the idea all present experience of human beings is determination by past action (PubbekatahetuvAda).

YavajjIvet sukkhaM jived - Rnam kRtvA grham pivet
bhasmikRtasya dehasya - punarAgamanaM kRtaH
=As long as you live, live happily, Enjoy ghee even on loans,
Where there can be a return of body, when turned into ashes?”
Above verses clearly shows the theory of åkiriyavAda. Once this teachings were taken into discussion in the ßandhakasutta of MN, there about those theories Ven; Ānanda gives the following justification.

“Ime kho te ßandaka tena bhagavatA jAnatA passatA arahatA sammAsambuddhena cattAra abrahmacariyavAsA akkhAtA, yattho viJJU purisa sasakka brahmacariyaM na vaseyya vasato vA narAdheyyaM JAyaM dhammaM kusalanti

=O Sandaka! These four are said by the blessed one, the worthy one, the fully enlightened one, who knows and sees, as not holy ways of life; where wise man would not live double less (pure) religious life; and even lives he would not achieve knowledge, a doctrine or a wholesome.
According to this classification any theory that hold the efficacy of kamma are not holy or religious way of life. Only those of less wisdom would go to them and practiced.  They can not grand any knowledge doctrine or wholesome to the followers. Therefore, Buddhism considers them as a set of misunderstand secular argument.

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