Points of Controversy

22.7. Of Correlation by Repetition

Controverted Point: That there is no correlation by way of repetition.

Theravādin: But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“The taking of life, bhikkhus, when habitually practised and multiplied, is conducive to rebirth in purgatory, or among animals, or Petas. In its slightest form it results in, and is conducive to, a brief life among men.”

And again:

“Theft, bhikkhus, adultery, lying, slander, uttering harsh words, idle talk, intoxication, habitually practised and multiplied, are each and all conducive to rebirth in purgatory, among animals, or Petas. The slightest theft results in, conduces to destruction of property; the mildest offence against chastity gives rise to retaliatory measures among men; the lightest form of lying exposes the liar to false accusation among men; the mildest offence in slander leads to a rupture of friendship among men; the lightest result of harsh words creates sounds jarring on the human ear; the slightest result of idle talk is speech commanding no respect among men; the mildest inebriety conduces to want of sanity among men.”

And again:

“Wrong views, bhikkhus, wrong aspiration, effort, speech, activity, livelihood, mindfulness, samādhi—each and all, if habitually practised, developed, and multiplied, conduce to rebirth in purgatory, among animals, among Petas.”

And again:

“Right views, right purpose, etc, habitually practiced, developed, and multiplied, have their base and their goal and their end in the Deathless.”