Anantarika Kamma

I once opened a Topic about Anantarika Kamma,but there were almost no answers.

My Question is:
The term Anantarika Kamma, is only two times mentioned in the palikanon:

And in Vinaya: Vin.2.193:
(I am not able to find the vinaya part here on suttacentral)
Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “This, monks, is the first deed whose fruit comes with no delay accumulated by Devadatta since he, with his mind malignant, his mind on murder, drew the Truth-finder’s blood.”

The suttas which mentioned the five deeds are:

Both of these Suttas don’t have the term anantarika Kamma, nor do they say they lead to hell in the immediately following life.

So why is everyone so sure that the deeds lead to hell in the next life and how comes that two times in the sutta they are called Anantarika Kamma, but without explanation. What am I missing here?

With Mettā

I can’t say why everyone is so sure, but my own sense that this is probably what the term was originally understood to mean is based partly on the fact that all Indian Buddhist schools seem to have understood it this way, with (afaik) no alternative views being offered, and partly on the earlyishness at which such an understanding is strongly hinted at.

An explicit statement to the effect that the five actions involve a fixed destiny of some sort is already present in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, which some consider to be the earliest book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka:

Katame dhammā micchattaniyatā? Pañca kammāni ānantarikāni, yā ca micchādiṭṭhiniyatā: ime dhammā micchattaniyatā.
Katame dhammā sammattaniyatā? Cattāro maggā apariyāpannā: ime dhammā sammattaniyatā.


Katame dhammā niyatā? Pañca kammāni ānantarikāni, yā ca micchādiṭṭhi niyatā, cattāro maggā apariyāpannā: ime dhammā niyatā.

The likelihood that the destiny is hell is suggested, firstly, by the above passages’ linking of the five kammas to niyatā micchādiṭṭhi, which in many suttas is said to be a cause for rebirth in hell; secondly by the fact that in the Vinaya this is explicitly predicated in the case of fomenters of schism.


Thank you, can you point me to the english translation of the text?

Which are the states the wrongfulness of which is fixed as to its consequences?
The five acts that have immediate results, and those wrong views that are fixed in their consequences.

Which are the states the righteousness of which is fixed as to its consequences?
The four Paths that are the Unincluded.


Which are the states that are fixed in their consequences?
The five acts that have immediate results, and those wrong views that are fixed in their consequences; the four Paths also that are the Unincluded.


Thank you, it being the earliest text in the Abidhamma, is it almost as trustworthy as the early buddhist texts?

Among those EBT enthusiasts who regard the Abhidhamma as meriting attention, the two books on which they are most likely to focus are are the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and Vibhaṅga, each of which is regarded by one scholar or another as the earliest book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.

But as to the trustworthiness of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, I’m probably not the best person to field the question in the form in which it’s phrased as I don’t accept its premise. That is, I don’t make the earliness or lateness of a text a criterion for its trustworthiness with respect to Dhamma. For this my standard is that taught to Mahāpajāpati: a teaching is trustworthy and can be accepted as Dhamma if it leads to…

“… dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to bondage; to dismantling, not to building up; to fewness of desires, not to strong desires; to contentment, not to non-contentment; to solitude, not to company; to the arousing of energy, not to laziness; to being easy to support, not to being difficult to support.”

By these criteria the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, in my view, is a text that passes muster.


Thanks again.
How is that part to be understood? Where is it hinted at the earlyishness?

I meant that the common understanding of ānantarika kamma as an action that results in a fixed destiny is probably the original understanding and not a later innovation. Because: (1) it is stated to be such in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and (2) the Dhammasaṅgaṇī is an earlyish text, being either the first or second of the books of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka to be composed.

Or do you mean to ask me where it’s stated that the Dhammasaṅgaṇī is earlyish? If that’s the question you can take your pick from almost any modern scholar who has analysed the contents of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, e.g.,

Fumimaro Watanabe, Philosophy and Its Development in the Nikāyas and Abhidhamma
Karl Potter (ed.), Abhidharma Buddhism (Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. VII)
Erich Frauwallner, Studies in Abhidharma Literature
A. K. Warder, Indian Buddhism


Ok, thanks now I understand.