Setting in Motion the Dharma Wheel 38

Still another twofold division is made according to the practice of the path: karma with vexations and pure karma. Karma with vexations includes good, bad, and neutral karma, and is the origin of suffering Pure karma is created by the practice of Buddhadharma, the path leading out of suffering. Engaging in pure karma, one can become free from the origin of suffering.

The Klesas

Earlier we talked about karma and vexations accumulating as causes and conditions to causing our suffering. This is what the Buddha meant by the origin of suffering. Our emotional afflictions are really the ripening agents for karma, whether it be good, bad, or neutral karma. Whatever propels us to continue the cycle of existence is considered the origin of suffering. A sentient being completely free of emotional afflictions or vexations Will not originate suffering. Thus, the way out of the suffering is the termination of the klesas.

It is crucial to understand the role emotional afflictions in creating karma. Of these, the most important is avidya, or fundamental ignorance. In the Chinese avidya is translated as two characters to mean 'not bright' or 'not clear,' referring to the brightness and clarity of the mind of wisdom. Without this mind of wisdom, one remains in darkness--a kind of innate or fundamental ignorance that governs our way of being. Once we truly understand how the auxiliary forces of the klesas ripen our karma, it becomes possible to change these conditions to end suffering. Then, karma is less likely to ripen into effects.