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The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra on the Differences in the Karmic Recompenses of Action

Section 26

“Furthermore, there are actions that are initially pleasurable but subsequently painful. Suppose there is a sentient being who, thanks to someone’s encouragement, rejoices in practicing giving, but his intent to give is not firm and he subsequently ends up feeling regret. Due to this cause and condition, he is reborn as a human being who may initially enjoy being rich but who subsequently ends up suffering from poverty. This is called ‘initially pleasurable but subsequently painful.’
“Furthermore, there are actions that are initially painful but subsequently pleasurable. Suppose there is a sentient being who, thanks to someone’s encouragement and guidance, reluctantly gives just a little but after making that donation ends up rejoicing and feels no remorse. Due to this cause and condition, he is reborn as a human being who may initially suffer from poverty but who subsequently ends up enjoying being rich. This is called ‘initially painful but subsequently pleasurable.’
“Furthermore, there are actions that are initially painful and subsequently painful. Suppose there is a sentient being who stays far removed from spiritual mentors and does not receive others’ encouragement and guidance, to the point that he is unable to make even a modicum of offerings. Due to this cause and condition, he is reborn as a human being who initially suffers from poverty and who subsequently also suffers from poverty. This is called ‘initially painful and subsequently painful.’
“Furthermore, there are actions that are initially pleasurable and subsequently pleasurable. Suppose there is a sentient being who draws near to spiritual mentors, whose encouragement stimulates him to engage in giving; he then rejoices in and resolutely cultivates the act of giving. Due to this cause and condition, he is reborn as a human being who initially enjoys being rich and who subsequently enjoys being rich. This is called ‘initially pleasurable and subsequently pleasurable.’