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Pubba and Papa with existence (sajsara)

In any religion or philosophy where there is a system of moral code or ethics,


evaluative words or statements are to be found. Those criteria would be different in
different religions, philosophies and societies.
Buddhism evaluates individuals as well as their conducts. This is clear from the
evaluative statements found throughout early Buddhism. The followings are some terms
used in the evaluation.
Sadhu (good) Asadhu (bad)
ubba (merit) apa (demerit)
!usala (wholesome) A"usala (unwholesome)
Samma (right) #iccha (wrong)
$hamma (right) Adhamma (un%ust) etc.
This evaluation has been done in the light of definite criteria.
The word pubba (S"t. unya) is a nouns as well as an ad%ective. .T.S ali & 'nglish
dictionary gives the meaning for pubba as merit, meritorious action and virtue. (urther it
defines pubba as follow)
*Always represented as foundation and condition of heavenly rebirth and a future
blissful state, the en%oyment of which depends on the amount of merit accumulated in
former e+istence,.
The word pubba is often used in Buddhist ethic. But it is not exclusive to Buddhism.
It appears that Buddhism inherited this word from early Brahmanical usage.
In the early Buddhist canonical literature, the word pubba is often used in connection
with mundane matters and lay life. To understand what pubba is, it is necessary to accept
the e+istence of Sajsara (the cycle of births and deaths) and the belief in the law of !arma.
According to early Buddhism the status of a being is made better through pubba, for those
who are reborn in the other world after death pubba also becomes a refuge.
All beings are sub%ect to death. -ives are depending on the result of merits. Those
who have done demerit go to hell while those who have done merit go to heaven. Thus
merit is related to the e+istence of a being in Sajsara. The word, which is the opposite of,
related to the e+istence of a being in Sajsara. The e+istence is made happy or unhappy
according to pubba (merit) or papa (demerit).
Thus merit is a factor that increases happiness and which follows by giving his
mundane happiness. The commentaries define .pubba/ as the cleaning of the continuation
of the life. According to Mahaniddesa, pubba is something that accumulates good virtue
in three worlds. (urther Mahaniddesa says that the apa which is the opposite of pubba
is all unwholesome actions. Ittivttakapali e+plains pubba as synonymous with happiness.
According to Mavgalasutta, for progress in mundane life in this world, meritorious
deeds done in previous life are conductive. As long as one continues in Sajsara until one
reali0es Nibbana, one needs merit to lead a happy life without the pain of hunger, thirst
etc. Such difficulties li"e the pain of hunger and thirst etc. are obstructions to a virtuous
life.
Thus the word pubba represents a preliminary stage Buddhist ethics. Though the
Buddha praised meritorious action, he did not give a higher value to it. In the ttra!sutta
of Samyutta!nikaya provides that how the Buddha has lowered its value. This shows that
the word pubba is related to the individual/s e+istence in Sajsara. So pubba is associated
with the continuity in Sajsara.