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Johannes Bronkhorst

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835705

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835705.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 October 2018

Competitors of Karma

Competitors of Karma

(p.97) Chapter 6 Competitors of Karma

Johannes Bronkhorst

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines concepts that oppose the notion of karma. The importance of karma is emphasized in texts belonging to both Brahmanism and Buddhism, including the Padma Purana and the Buddhist Abhidharmakosha Bhashya. However, earlier deeds are not always presented as the only factor that determines present events. Present experiences are often believed to be the result of other factors, often banal ones such as the state of one's health, the weather, excessive indulgence in unwholesome substances, or violence. This chapter first considers curses, a special concern of the Brahmins, as well as the idea of fatalism known from Ajivikism. It then discusses the opposition between curses and karmic retribution and between fatalism and karmic retribution. It also explores other notions that seem to counter the essence of karma, including fate, expiation, and asceticism.

Keywords:   karma, Brahmanism, Buddhism, curse, fatalism, Ajivikism, karmic retribution, fate, expiation, asceticism

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