When a bad deed has been done, it is usually followed by kukkucca (remorse). Remorse occurs as a result of bad deeds. It is repentance over wrong things done and right things neglected. So there are two kinds of remorse.
Don’t Leave Room For Remorse
Regret over past wrong deeds will not expel your worries. Regret or remorse will not deliver you from painful consequences. Such repentance will only serve to develop kukkucca, another form of unwholesome mental state. The correct way to overcome remorse is to avoid doing evil deeds again, to make a firm resolution to refrain from akusala, evil action. If the evil deeds are not too serious, you will escape their evil results by virtue of your restraint, as taught by the Buddha in the Mahavagga Samyutta.
Strive Hard While There Is Ample Time
Everyone has to acquire education, wealth and merit according to ability and skill. For such acquisition, opportunities and time are available only when one is young. If he has squandered away the good opportunities and time, he will come to wreck and ruin. There is a saying, “Strike while the iron is hot”. The country folk say, “Sow the seeds when there is rain”. If the rainy season is gone you cannot plough the fields and sow seeds and you fail to harvest the grains.
Even if you realize too late that you have not done meritorious deeds, you should not lament for it. It is never too late to mend. Belated mindfulness is better than total neglect.
There is the story of an executioner who carried out death penalties during the time of the Buddha. He served the king in this way until old age when he was unable to discharge his duty and resigned from his office. The Venerable Sariputta happened to meet him when he was close to death and preached the Noble Dhamma to him. But the old man could not concentrate on the Dhamma because there was too much a contrast between what unwholesome deeds he did and the Noble Dhamma he was hearing.
Knowing the true situation, the Venerable Sariputta asked, “Did you execute the condemned criminals on your own will or by the orders of the king?” He replied: “I had to carry out the commands of the king. I did not kill them on my own will”. Then the Venerable Sariputta said, “If so, is there offence?” and continued his preaching. The old man began to think that he seemed to be free from guilt and his mind became calm. While listening to the Dhamma, he reached the stage of Culasotapanna (A Junior Stream-winner) and he was reborn in the celestial plane (Deva-loka) after his death.
(According to the Dhamma, actually, both he and the king were guilty of these executions even if he was carrying out the orders of the king. But the Venerable Sariputta, in order to calm him and create a clear mind to attend to his teaching, used a good strategy to ask questions that seemed to make him innocent.) (Remark: View Note* for detailed understanding about Facts Concerning “Panatipata Precept”)
Note: The old executioner, admittedly, had taken many lives. But the Venerable Sariputta had asked helpful questions to extinguish kukkucca (remorse). When remorse disappeared the old man was able to concentrate his mind on the true Dhamma attentively and was reborn in the abode of celestial beings. Taking lessons from this story, people should not regret for the evil deeds they have done and the wholesome deeds they have not done, but try not to let fresh unwholesome kamma to arise, and make effort to perform good deeds from the time they come to know of this fact.
Special Advice For My Dhamma Friends
Everyone should prepare to be able to annihilate remorse especially while dying hence at dying moments, kukkucca (remorse) usually comes. Don’t let remorse be your death-approximate kamma otherwise it would serve as Asanna Kamma and it would defeat all Good Acinna Kammas. It would bear its bad results in prior to other good kammas and drown you to woeful abodes. So it is of vital importance to be aware of kukkucca (remorse) and to be able to annihilate especially at dying moments. (Remark: View Note** for detailed understanding about Kammas According to the Priority of Bearing Results)
Doc Version Here In My Group:
Title- Facts Concerning “Panatipata Precept”
Title- Kammas According to the Priority of Bearing Results
Title- 14 Unwholesome Mental Factors That Influence The Mind (Akusala Cetasikas)
Title- 14 Wholesome Mental Factors That Influence The Mind (Kusala Cetasikas)