167. If anyone were to say that just as a person does a deed, so is his experience determined by it, and if this were true, then living the holy life would not be possible – there would be no opportunity for the overcoming of suffering.
But if anyone were to say a person does a deed that is to be experienced, so does he experience it, then living the holy life would be possible – there would be an opportunity for the destruction of suffering.
For instance, a small evil deed done by one person may be experienced here in this life or perhaps not at all. Now, what sort of person commits a small evil that takes him to hell? Take a person who is careless in the development of body, speech and mind. He has not developed wisdom, he is insignificant, he has not developed himself, his life is restricted, and he is miserable. Even a small evil deed may bring such a person to hell.
Now, take the person who is careful in development of body, speech and mind, He has developed wisdom, he is not insignificant, he has developed himself, his life is unrestricted and he is immeasurable. For such a person, a small evil deed may be experienced here or perhaps not at all.
Suppose a man throws a grain of salt into a little cup of water. That water would be undrinkable. And why? Because the cup of water is small. Now, suppose a man throws a grain salt in River Ganges. That water would not be undrinkable. And why? Because the mass of water is great.
Anguttara Nikaya I.249
Shared via Buddha Vacana for Android