Dhamma Letter No. 33

Rebirth in Kamma 


Rebirth in Kamma 

Karma (Kamma in Pali) means action, any kind of intentional mental, verbal or physical action. We are all responsible for our actions. Much of our present mind state is the result of our past actions, and our present actions will determine our future mind states. After the Buddha’s enlightenment, he revealed to the world the process of dependent origination (Paticcasamuppada), which is happening in every conscious moment. And it is this very process that shows us (to some extent) how kammic actions are propelled from a cycle of cause-effect relationships rather than from a person.

Both good and evil actions (kamma) will trigger rebirth in Samsara. Good actions lead to rebirth in realms or dimensions of happiness (sukkha). Evil actions lead to rebirth in realms or dimensions of misery or suffering (dukkha). After many, many cycles in Samsara, when a being finally breaks free from attachment to sense desires and the illusion of a separate self that is experiencing them, they can attain Nibbana (Nirvana), a state of liberation and freedom from every kind of suffering.

Every action is a cause that has an effect, and the effects of our actions come back to us. We should be very clear about this. Our good kamma will return to us as a blessing and lead to a good rebirth, and our bad kamma will return to us as misfortune and lead to rebirth in a lower form of regeneration. 

A person can be reborn as another person, as an animal, or as any kind of creature, depending on their kamma. Each rebirth moment to moment is propelled by some action performed in a previous moment, and at the time of death rebirth is propelled by some action performed in a previous life. This is why people try really hard to gain merit by doing only those actions which improve their karmic field.

May you cultivate the parami for your lasting happiness!

May you accumulate the merit of good verbal, mental and physical actions with Nibbana as your goal!

with Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha


We have begun translating the English version of The Dhamma Letter to Korean. Please click here for the Korean version.

한국어로 담마레터를 읽고 싶으신 분은 여기를 클릭 해주세요.


If you have any questions related to dhamma, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at bhikkhuni.kosalla@gmail.com. We will answer your questions and include them in future Dhamma Letters.


Bhikkuni Kosalla Vipassini is the Abbess of Mahapajapati Monastery in Pioneertown, California. For monastery updates, please see Mahapajapati’s Facebook. Donations are gratefully accepted, whether you volunteer your time, offer funds, or provide needed requisites for the monastics. If you are inspired to donate, you may do so here.


Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu! 
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!  
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !


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