The Info List - Anantarika-karma

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Ānantarika-karma or ānantarika-kamma is a heinous crime that through karmic process brings immediate disaster.[1][2] They are called ‘anantarika’ because they are ‘an’ (without) ‘antara’ (interval), in other words the results immediately come to fruition in the next life, i.e. the participant goes straight to hell. These are considered so heinous that Buddhists and non-Buddhists must avoid them. According to Buddhism, committing such a crime would prevent the perpetrator from attaining the stages of sotāpanna, sakadagami, anāgāmi or arhat in that lifetime.[3] The five crimes are:[4][5][6]

Intentionally murdering one's father. Intentionally murdering one's mother. Killing an Arhat
(enlightened being). Shedding the blood of a Buddha. Creating a schism within the Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks, nuns and pariṣā who try to attain enlightenment.

In Mahayana
these five crimes are referred to as pañcānantarya and are mentioned in "The Sutra
Preached by the Buddha on the Total Extinction of the Dharma".[7][8]


1 Devadatta 2 King Suppabuddha 3 Karma 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading

Devadatta[edit] Devadatta
is noted for attempting to kill the Sakyamuni Buddha
Sakyamuni Buddha
on several occasions including:

Throwing a large rock at him. Devadatta
missed, but a splinter from the rock drew blood from the Buddha's foot. Inciting an elephant to charge at the Buddha. The Buddha was able to pacify the elephant by directing Mettā
to it.

According to Sutta Pitaka, after trying to kill Sakyamuni Buddha
Sakyamuni Buddha
a number of times, Devadatta
set up his own Buddhist monastic order by splitting the (sangha). During his efforts to become the leader of his own Sangha, he proposed five extra-strict rules for monks, which he knew Buddha would not allow. Devadatta's reasoning was that after he had proposed those rules and Buddha had not allowed them, Devadatta could claim that he did follow and practice these five rules, making him a better and more pure monk. One of these five extra rules required monks to be vegetarian. In the Contemplation Sutra, Devadatta is said to have convinced Prince Ajatasattu
to murder his father King Bimbisara
and ascend the throne. Ajatasattu
follows the advice, and this action prevents him from attaining enlightenment at a later time, when listening to a teaching of the Buddha. Devadatta
is the only individual from the early Buddhist tradition to have committed three anantarika-karmas. King Suppabuddha[edit] King Suppabuddha was the father of Devadatta
and Yasodharā
and the father-in-law of Prince Siddhattha. One day Suppabuddha blocked the Buddha's path, refused to make way, and sent a message saying, "I cannot give way to the Buddha, who is so much younger than I". Finding the road blocked, the Buddha and the bhikkhus turned back. As the Buddha turned back, he said to Ananda, "Because the king has refused to give way to a Buddha, he has committed a bad kamma and before long he will have to face the consequences". It is said that the king died on the seventh day after that event had taken place. He fell down the stairs, collapsed and died and was born in a suffering state, being unable to escape the effects of his evil kamma (according to Buddhist belief).[9] According to the Buddha's prediction the earth swallowed him. It is said, "So the king went down the stairs and as soon as he stepped on the earth, it opened and swallowed him up and dragged him right down to Avici Niraya.".[10] Karma[edit] Anyone who commits an anantarika-karma will go to hell. The five different actions which each constitute an anantarika-karma are the only actions which can produce a definite result.[11] Accounts claim that toward the end of Devadatta's life, he was struck by a severe remorse caused by his past misdeeds and did indeed manage to approach the Buddha and retook refuge in the Triple Gem, dying shortly afterwards.[12] Because of the gravity of his actions, he was condemned to suffer for several hundred millennia in Avici. However, it was also said that he would eventually be admitted into the heavens as a Pratyekabuddha
due to his past merits prior to his corruption. In the Samaññaphala Sutta, Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
said that if Ajatasattu hadn't killed his father, he would have attained sotapannahood, a degree of enlightenment. But because he had killed his father he could not attain it.[13] See also[edit]

Mortal sin
Mortal sin
(Christian version) Buddhist views on sin Devadatta Karma
in Buddhism Merit (Buddhism) Pratitya-samutpada Samsara (Buddhism) Twelve Nidanas


^ Gananath Obeyesekere (1990), The Work of Culture: Symbolic Transformation in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology, University of Chicago, ISBN 978-0-226-61599-8  ^ The Buddha's Bad Karma: A Problem in the History of Theravada Buddhism
Jonathan S. Walters, Numen, Vol. 37, No. 1 (June, 1990), pp. 70-95 ^ Nakamura, Hajime (1991). Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet, Japan. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 285. ISBN 978-8120807648.  ^ "The Sutra
Preached by the Buddha on the Total Extinction of the Dharma". buddhism.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013.  ^ Nyanatiloka (1980), Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, ISBN 978-955-24-0019-3  ^ Triplegem glossary Archived 2006-12-28 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "The Sutra
Preached by the Buddha on the Total Extinction of the Dharma". buddhism.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013.  ^ Hodous, Lewis; Soothill, William Edward (1995). A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: With Sanskrit
and English Equivalents and a Sanskrit- Pali
Index. Routledge. p. 128. ISBN 978-0700703555.  ^ IX:12 King Suppabuddha blocks the Buddha's path ^ Dhammapada
Verse 128 Suppabuddhasakya Vatthu ^ See Ven. Pesala's exposition on Hell Archived 2010-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sarvastivada text the event creating a schism in the Sangha
Archived 2008-11-22 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Buddha say King Ajatasattu
asking five grave offenses sutra Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]

Silk, Jonathan A. (2007). Good and Evil in Indian Buddhism: The Five Sins of Immediate Retribution, Journal of Indian Philosophy 35 (3), 253-286

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