Karma - The Mechanism: Tattvarthasutra 6.15

Published: 09.08.2014
Updated: 09.08.2014

Bahvarambha parigrahatvam narakasyayusah (15)

Excessive infliction of pain and excessive attachment to this world attracts karma that leads to incarnations in 'infernal' regions. (15)


Excessive infliction of pain means all unnecessary pain and suffering caused to living beings. It also includes cruel action and killing.

Excessive attachment to this world is possessive clinging to property (objects, beings, status etc.). It includes unrestrained longing for the belongings of others, the acquisition and accumulation of goods that far exceeds our needs. Excessive attachment manifests thoughts like "all this is mine" and a deep feeling of resentment and loss if only a small part of what we regard as our own needs to be parted with.

These excessive actions and attitudes and also revengeful, cruel thoughts and emotions at the time of death[25] lead to birth(s) in the nether, 'infernal' regions. This manifests the deep desire of the respective person for further attachment to matter and for the experience of cruel, revengeful behavior. Since the nether, 'infernal' regions are inhabited by beings with similar attitudes, this desire can be satisfied without disturbing other beings who have different objectives of life.[26]

As soon as this attitude weakens (i.e. when we dissolved the corresponding karma and do not manifest further emotional attachment to this region), opportunities will arise that enable the departure from these areas.

It is important to understand that this denotes no (religious) concept of 'hell' in the sense of 'punishment' or 'eternal damnation', but a mechanism that positions us in exactly those conditions of life that are ideally suited for our desires and the abilities we want to manifest. It is an optional path that everyone defines by his own behavior in the present.

Footnotes
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Sources

Title: Karma - The Mechanism

Publisher: Crosswind Publishing

Edition: 2000

HN4U Edition: 2014

'The purpose of souls is to assist each other.'
TATTVARTHASUTRA - Chapter 5, Sutra 21

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