The Problem of Incomprehensibility of Vipāka: A Solution

Watchara Ngamchitcharoen


Kammavipāka or vipāka is the effect of kamma. It is unthinkable or incomprehensible (acinteyya) because the precise working out of the effects of kamma is imponderable or incomprehensible. Moreover, it cannot be shown where it is when it hasn’t yet been produced and another related problem is that kammic effects are usually referred to nāmarūpa (corporeality and mentality) but what is the kammic effect which hasn’t yet been produced but cannot be known where it is.  However, the problem of the incomprehensibility of vipāka can be partly solved by explaining its nature and classification, i.e. there are 2 main kinds of vipāka, immediate and subsequent, of which the latter is further classified into primary and secondary vipāka. It is this primary vipāka that plays an important role in the working out of the vipāka of kamma, i.e. the secondary vipāka in the future. This primary vipāka is like  a kammic seed, i.e. potential energy or unseen power that cannot be shown where it is and will bring about the secondary vipāka, i.e. body and mind including experience or happiness and  unhappiness in the future in this life or next life.

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