The Seven Types of Karmic Impulses in Madhyamaka

The karmic impulses of the body, speech and mind can be further divided into seven types. 

Nagarjuna’s Presentation

Nagarjuna states in Root Verses on Madhyamaka, Called Discriminating Awareness (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i tshig-le’ur byas-pa shes-rab ces bya-ba, Skt. Prajñā-nāma-mūlamadhyama-kārikā) (XVII.4-5) (Gretil. ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 96, 9B):

[1] Speech, [2] movement, and [3] those that are distinguished as the nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions), likewise, too, [4] the other recorded nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions), likewise [5] the meritorious (karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made) and, in a similar manner, [6] the non-meritorious (karmic impulses), and also [7] a mental urge – these seven phenomena are recorded as what are denoted by karmic impulses.
(Skt.) vāg viṣpando ‘viratayo yāś cāvijñaptisaṃjñitāḥ, avijñaptaya evānyaḥ smṛtā viratayas tathā. paribhogānvayaṃ puṇyam apuṇyam ca tathāvidham, cetanā ceti saptaite dharmāḥ karmāñjanāḥ smṛtāḥ.
(Tib.)ngag dang bskyod dang mi spong ba’i rnam rig byed min zhes bya gang/ spong ba’i rnam rig byed min pa gzhan dag kyang ni de bzhin ’dod/ longs spyod las byung bsod nams dang bsod nams ma yin tshul de bzhin/ sems pa dang ni chos de bdun las su mngon par ‘dod pa yin//

Nagarjuna elaborates in his autocommentary, Commentary on “Root (Verses on) Madhyamaka,” (Called) Without Fear of Anything, (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i ‘grel-pa ga-las ‘jigs-med, Skt. Mūlamadhyamakavṛtti-akutobhayā) (Derge Tengyur vol. 96, 64A-B):

[1] As for “speech,” (it refers to) the four types of karmic impulses of speech. 
[2] As for “movement,” (it refers to) the three types of motion of the body. 
[3] As for “the nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions)” – having taken it upon oneself (to commit a set of) destructive (actions) and, from then on, not abstaining (from committing them), (they refer to) those (nonrevealing forms) of body and speech produced (from committing these destructive actions, which are) other (than abstaining from committing them). As for “nonrevealing (forms),” “not a (revealing form like a) movement” needs to be added. 
[4] As for “likewise, too, the other recorded nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions)” – having taken it upon oneself (to commit a set of) constructive actions (to abstain from committing a set of destructive actions) and, from then on, abstaining (from committing these destructive actions), (they refer to) those (nonrevealing forms) of body and speech produced (from committing these constructive actions) other (than abstaining from committing them). This is indicated as being similar to not abstaining (from committing the destructive actions one has accepted to commit). 
[5] As for “the meritorious (karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made),” “arising from their making use (of it) as their cause” needs to be added. 
[6] As for “in a similar manner, the non-meritorious (karmic impulses),” “arising from their making use (of it) as their cause” (also) needs to be added. 
[7] As for “a mental urge,” “that affects (the mind)” needs to be added. 
“These seven phenomena are recorded as what are denoted by karmic impulses.”
(Tib.) /ngag ces bya ba ni ngag gi las rnam pa bzhi'o/ /bskyod pa zhes bya ba ni lus kyi g.yo ba rnam pa gsum mo/ / mi spong ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba gang yin pa de ni/ mi dge ba yang dag par blangs pa tshun chad nas mi spong pa gzhan nye bar skyes pa lus dang ngag gi gang yin pa'o/ /rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba ni bskyod pa med pa zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /spong ba rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gzhan dag kyang de bzhin du 'dod do/ /zhes bya ba ni dge ba yang dag par blangs pa tshun chad nas/ spong ba gzhan nye bar skyes pa lus dang ngag gi gang yin pa ste/ mi spong ba dang 'dra bar bstan to/ /longs spyad pa las byung ba'i bsod nams zhes bya ba ni/ yongs su longs spyod pa'i rgyu las byung ba zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /bsod nams ma yin tshul de bzhin/ /zhes bya ba ni yongs su longs spyad pa'i rgyu las byung ba zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /sems pa zhes bya ba ni mngon par 'du byed pa zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /chos de bdun las su mngon par 'dod pa yin no/

Buddhapalita’s Commentary

Buddhapalita explains in Buddhapalita Commentary on “Root (Verses on) Madhyamaka” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i ‘grel-pa buddha-pā-li-ta, Skt. Buddhapalita Mūlamadhyama-vṛtti) (Derge Tengyur vol. 96, 232A-B): 

Here, speech is an utterance of clear, distinct syllables. Movement is a motion of the body. Moreover, because those two are in fact enacted under the power of a karmic impulse, they can be included as pathways of a karmic impulse and here they are to be taken as also counting as karmic impulses. 
(Tib.) /de la ngag ces bya ba ni yi ge gsal bar brjod pa'o/ /bskyod pa ni lus g.yo ba ste/ de gnyi ga yang las kyi dbang du byas pa'i phyir las kyi lam du gtogs pa ste/ 'dir yang las su bgrang ba yin par gzung bar bya'o/ 

Buddhapalita is referring to the explanation found in Maudgalyayana’s text, Revealing Karma (Las gdags-pa, Skt. Karmavijñapti) (Derge Tengyur vol. 139, 175A-B) from the Abhidharma Pitaka, followed also by Vasubandhu, that incited karmic impulses of the body and of the speech, namely revealing forms, are both karmic impulses and pathways of the inciting karmic impulse of the mind that is their antecedent cause (rgyud-rgyu).  

Buddhapalita continues:

As for what are called “the nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions),” they are those destructive (nonrevealing forms) that a destructive state of mind has taken on, (swearing), “I shall enact these specified destructive karmic impulses with my body or speech,” and, from then on, come to arise – even including when not enacting (them) with body or speech – solely produced from the destructive state of mind that has taken them on as their cause. Those have obtained the name “nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions).” 
The other nonrevealing (forms), the ones of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions) are asserted similarly. As for what are called “the nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions),” they are those constructive (nonrevealing forms) that a constructive state of mind has taken on, (swearing), “I shall enact these specified constructive karmic impulses with my body and speech,” and from then on come to arise – even including when not enacting (them) with body and speech – solely produced from the constructive state of mind that has taken them on as their cause. Those have obtained the name “the nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions).”
(Tib.) /mi spang ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba ni mi dge ba'i las 'di zhes bya ba lus sam ngag gis bya'o snyam du mi dge ba'i sems yang dag par blangs pa de tshun chad nas mi dge ba de lus sam ngag gang dag gis mi byed du zin kyang mi dge ba'i sems yang dag par blangs ba'i rgyu las byung ba kho na'i mi dge ba dag skye bar 'gyur ba gang dag yin pa ste/ de dag ni mi spong ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba'i ming 'thob bo/ /spong ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gzhan dag kyang de bzhin du 'dod de/ dge ba'i las 'di zhes bya ba lus sam ngag gis bya'o/ /snyam du dge ba'i sems yang dag par blangs ba de tshun chad nas/ dge ba de lus sam ngag gang dag gis mi byed du zin kyang dge ba'i sems yang dag par blangs pa'i rgyu las byung ba kho na'i dge ba dag skye bar 'gyur ba gang dag yin pa ste/ de dag ni spong ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba'i ming 'thob bo/ 

Although Buddhapalita does not specify here, “nonrevealing forms of not having given up committing a set of destructive actions” refer to avowed nonrestraints (sdom-pa ma-yin-pa, Skt. asaṃvara), while “nonrevealing forms of having given up committing a set of destructive actions” refer to vowed restraints (sdom-pa, Skt. saṃvara; vows). 

Buddhapalita goes on:

As for “the meritorious (karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made),” they are the meritorious (karmic impulses) produced from utilization (by others of something one has given or made) as their cause. As for “produced from them as their cause,” they are the meritorious (karmic impulses) that subsequently come, subsequently get connected with and increase (the positive karmic potential on) their continuum. As for “and in a similar manner, non-meritorious (karmic impulses),” they are those associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made). 
(Tib.) /longs spyod pa las byung ba'i bsod nams ni yongs su longs spyod pa'i rgyu las bsod nams byung ba ste/ rgyu las byung ba zhes bya ba ni/ rjes su 'gro ba dang rjes su 'brel ba dang rgyun 'phel ba ste bsod nams nyid do/ /longs spyod pa las byung ba'i bsod nams ma yin pa yang tshul de bzhin no/ /sems pa zhes bya ba ni sems mngon par 'du byed pa'o/ /de ltar las rnam pa du ma de dag kyang dag la sogs pa'i chos rnams su 'dus pas de nyid kyi phyir ngag la sogs pa chos bdun po de dag ni las su mngon pa dang las kyi ming can dang / las kyi mtshan nyid dag tu 'dod pa yin no/ 

Again, Buddhapalita does not specify, but “the meritorious (karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made)” and “the non-meritorious (karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made)” refer, respectively, to constructive and destructive intermediate nonrevealing forms (bar-ma’i rig-byed ma-yin-pa, Skt. madhyamā avijñapti). They are intermediate in the sense that, being in between avowed restraints and avowed nonrestraints, they are neither of the two. 

Buddhapalita concludes:

As for “and also an inciting karmic impulse,” it is something that affects the mind. By gathering these many types of karmic impulses like this into the phenomena, speech and so on, then because of this, these seven phenomena, speech and so on, are asserted as being what are denoted by a karmic impulse, what are given the name “karmic impulse,” and what have the defining characteristic of a karmic impulse.       
(Tib.) sems pa zhes bya ba ni sems mngon par ‘du byed pa’o/ de ltar las rnam pa du ma de dag kyang ngag la sogs pa’i chos rnams su ‘dus pas/ de nyid kyi phyir ngag la sogs pa chos bdun po de dag ni las su mngon pa dang las kyi ming can dang/ las kyi mtshan nyid dag du ‘dod pa yin no//

Bhavaviveka’s Commentary

Bhavaviveka adds further detail in Lamp for Discriminating Awareness: A Commentary on “Root (Verses) for Madhyamaka” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i ‘grel-pa shes-rab sgron-ma, Skt. Prajñapradīpa Mūlamadhyama-vṛtti) (Derge Tengur, vol. 97, 171B-172A):

Speech is an utterance of clear, distinct syllables. Movement is a motion of the body. As for what are called the “nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions),” they are the nonrevealing (forms) with the defining characteristic of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions) that, having promised, “I shall commit a destructive (action) like this with my body, speech or mind,” from that moment on –  even including when, as the agent, one is not enacting these karmic impulses – are solely produced from that destructive (state of mind) having taken them on as their cause. 
The other nonrevealing (forms), the ones of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions) are asserted similarly. As for what are called the “nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions),” they are the nonrevealing (forms) with the defining characteristic of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions) that, having promised, “I shall do constructive (actions) like this with body, speech or mind,” from that moment on –  even including when, as the agent, one is not enacting this karmic impulse – are solely produced from that constructive (state of mind) having taken them on as their cause.
As for their being “nonrevealing,” it is because, even though they are included as having the essential nature of being a form of physical phenomenon and a karmic agent, they do not make known (the ethical status of the consciousness that causes them to arise) as revealing (forms do).
(Tib.) /de la ngag ni yi ge gsal bar brjod pa'o/ /bskyod pa ni lus g.yo ba'o/ /mi spong ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba ni/ bdag gi lus sam ngag gam yid kyis mi dge ba 'di lta bu zhig bya'o snyam du yi dam bcas pa'i skad cig ma tshun chad nas byed pa pos las de mi byed du zin kyang / mi dge ba yang dag par blangs pa'i rgyu las byung ba mi spong ba'i mtshan nyid kyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gang dag yin pa'o/ /spong pa'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gzhan dag kyang de bzhin du 'dod de/ bdag gis lus sam ngag gam yid kyi dge ba'i las 'di lta bu zhig bya'o snyam du yi dam du bcas pa'i sems pa tshun chad nas byed pa pos las de mi byed du zin kyang dge ba'i bya ba yang dag par blangs pa'i sems pas bskyed pa spong ba'i mtshan nyid kyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gang dag yin pa'o/ /rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba ni/ gzugs dang bya ba'i ngo bo nyid yin du zin kyang rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan la rnam par rig par mi byed pa'i phyir ro/

In explaining that nonrevealing forms have the essential nature of being not only a form of physical phenomenon but also a karmic agent (bya-ba, Skt. kriyā), Bhavaviveka is echoing Vasubandhu’s statement in Autocommentary to “A Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge” (Skt. Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣyā, Tib. Chos mngon-pa’i mdzod-kyi bshad-pa) Gretil ed. 8.07-09, Derge vol. 140, 31B):

While also being something with the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon and a (karmic) agent, it does not make known to others (the ethical status of the consciousness that causes it to arise) as a revealing (form does), and so it is a nonrevealing form. 
(Skt.) rūpakriyāsvabhāvāpi satī vijñaptivat paraṃ na vijñāpayatītyavijñaptiḥ / 
(Tib.) gzugs dang byed pa'i rang bzhin yin yang rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan dag la rnam par rig par byed pa ma yin pas rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'o/ 

So long as the promise with which the nonrevealing forms have arisen has not been given up, the nonrevealing forms function as agents restraining one from committing the destructive actions one has promised to abstain from. They function like this even when one is not actively refraining from either. In the case of intermediate nonrevealing forms, they continue to provide the circumstances to build up positive karmic potential or negative karmic potential for the builder or donor of the utilized object each time the object is made use of. 

Bhavaviveka goes on:

As for “the positive karmic potential associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made),” it is the term applied to positive karmic potential produced from utilization (by others of something one has given or made) as its cause. As for “utilization,” it is (for example, others) making use of a donation of something (made) to the Three Jewels as its object. As for “produced from that as its cause,” it is what is generated afterwards and counts as something connected with and augmenting (the positive karmic potential on the mental continuum of the donor). As for “positive karmic potential,” it is a positive karmic potential through its being purifying. As for “constructive,” it is a synonym for “pure.” As for “and in a similar manner, non-positive karmic potential,” it is that which is associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made). The words “produced from utilization (by others of something one has given or made) as its cause” need to be added. As for “non-positive karmic potential,” it can be comprehended from it being something that is the opposite of being a positive karmic potential.    
As for “And also an inciting karmic impulse,” it indicates a karmic impulse of the mind. Suppose you ask, “Well, what is an inciting karmic impulse?” It is something that affects the mind (to go) toward (an action of body or speech) that has good qualities or faults. 
These seven, speech and so on, like this are phenomena (dharmas). They are phenomena in the sense of their being things that hold their own defining characteristics. “They are recorded as karmic impulses” means they are accepted as having the defining characteristic of karmic impulses.    
(Tib.) /longs spyad pa las byung ba'i bsod nams zhes bya ba ni yongs su longs spyad pa'i rgyu las bsod nams de byung ngo zhes bya bar tshig rnam par sbyar te/ yongs su longs spyod pa zhes bya ba 'di dkon mchog gsum gyi yul la dngos po yongs su btang ba nye bar spyad pa'o/ /de'i rgyu las byung ba zhes bya ba ni de'i rjes las byung ba ste/ 'brel pa dang 'phel ba zhes pa dag gi rnam grangs so/ /bsod nams zhes bya ba ni dag bar byed bas bsod nams te/ dge ba zhes bya ba dag gi rnam grangs so/ /longs spyad pa las byung ba'i bsod nams ma yin pa yang tshul de bzhin te/ yongs su longs spyad pa'i rgyu las byung zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /bsod nams ma yin pa ni bsod nams las bzlog pa las khong du chud par bya'o/ /sems pa zhes bya bas ni yid kyi las bstan te/ 'o na sems pa zhes bya ba de gang yin zhe na/ yon tan dang skyon las sems mngon par 'du byed pa ste yid kyi las so/ /de ltar ngag la sogs pa bdun po de dag ni chos te/ rang gi mtshan nyid 'dzin pa'i don gyis chos yin no/ /las su mngon par 'dod pa yin zhes bya ba ni las kyi mtshan nyid dag tu 'dod pa yin no/ 

Chandrakirti’s Commentary 

Chandrakirti, in Clarified Words: Commentary on “Root (Verses on) Madhyamaka” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i ‘grel-pa tshig-gsal-ba, Skt. Prasannapadā-madhyamaka-vṛtti), (Gretil. ed. 134, Derge Tengyur vol. 102, 102A-103A), clarifies further: 

Out of these, “speech” is an utterance of clear, distinct syllables. “Movement” is a motion of the body. Out of these, “speech” is, in general, all constructive or destructive speech that can cause a nonrevealing (form) to arise with the defining characteristic of an abstention or a non-abstention (from committing a set of destructive actions). Likewise, in general, (“movement” is) all constructive or destructive movement that can cause a nonrevealing (form) to arise with the defining characteristic of an abstention or non-abstention (from committing a set of destructive actions).
Just as these revealing (forms) are divided into two kinds (those of body and speech), so too are nonrevealing (forms), because there are a pair of nonrevealing forms with the defining characteristic of a non-abstention and a pair of nonrevealing forms with the defining characteristic of an abstention. 
The pair of nonrevealing forms with the defining characteristic of a non-abstention are like this: from the time onwards of having sworn (to enact) karmic impulses that are negative potentials, (pledging), “From now on, I shall make my livelihood from taking the lives of living beings or stealing,” then even when not enacting the two, this pair of nonrevealing forms are generated, caused by having sworn (to enact) these destructive karmic impulses. And starting from fishermen and the like’s working with nets and traps, then even when not enacting (these destructive karmic impulses), nonrevealing forms are still generating. These are what are called (nonrevealing forms) having the defining characteristic of a non-abstention.
Similar to these is the other pair, the one that has the functional nature of being constructive. They are like this: from the time onwards of having the defining characteristic of having completed the physical and verbal revealing (forms of the ritual of taking a set of vows, pledging), “From now on, I shall give up taking lives and so on,” then even in situations of being drunk and so on, the pair of nonrevealing (forms of body and speech) are generated with the functional nature of being reinforced (bsags-pa, Skt. upacaya) constructive (karmic potential). This pair is called the pair of nonrevealing (forms) having the defining characteristic of an abstention. Although having the essential nature of forms of physical phenomena and karmic agents, these two (types of) nonrevealing forms do not make themselves known to others like revealing (forms do).
(Skt.) tatra vyaktavarṇoccāraṇaṃ vāk, viṣpandaḥ śarīraṃceṣṭā, tatra kuśalākuśalā vā vāk sarvaiva viratyaviratilakṣaṇā vijñaptisamutthāpikā sāmānyena vāgiti gṛhyate, evaṃ kuśalo 'kuśalo vā viratyaviratilakṣaṇo vijñaptisamutthāpako viṣpandaḥ sāmānyena gṛhyate. yathā caitadvijñapterdvidhā bhedaḥ evamavijñapterapi, aviratilakṣaṇā avijñaptayaḥ viratilakṣaṇāśceti kṛtvā, tatra aviratilakṣaṇā avijñaptayaḥ tadyathā adyaprabhṛti mayā prāṇinaṃ hatvā cauryaṃ kṛtvā jīvikā parikalpayitavyeti pāpakarmābhyupagamātprabhṛti tadakāriṇo 'pi akuśalakarmābhyupagamahetukāḥ satatasamitamavijñaptayaḥ samupajāyante, kaivartādīnāṃca jālādiparikarmakālātprabhṛti tadakāriṇāmapi yā avijñaptaya upajāyante, tā etā aviratilakṣaṇā avijñaptaya ityucyante, yathā caitāstathā anyāḥ viratilakṣaṇāḥ kuśalasvabhāvā avijñaptayaḥ, tadyathā adyaprabhṛti prāṇātipātādibhyaḥ prativiramāmīti kāyavāgvijñaptiparisamāptikālakṣaṇātprabhṛti taduttarakālaṃ pramattādyavasthasyāpi yāḥ kuśalopacayasvabhāvā avijñaptaya upajāyante, tā etā viratilakṣaṇā avijñaptaya ityucyante, etā rūpakriyāsvabhāvā api satyo vijñaptivat parānna vijñāpayantītyavijñaptayaḥ.
(Tib.) /de la ngag ni yi ge gsal por brjod pa'o/ /bskyod pa ni lus kyi g.yo ba'o/ /de la ngag ces bya bas ni dge ba dang mi dge ba'i dag rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i spong ba dang / mi spong ba'i mtshan nyid can kun nas slong bar byed pa thams cad spyir bzung ste/ de bzhin du dge ba dang mi dge ba'i bskyod pa rnam par rig byed ma yin pa spong ba dang mi spong ba'i mtshan nyid can kun nas slong bar byed pa yang spyir bzung ngo / /ji ltar rnam par rig byed 'di'i dbye ba rnam pa gnyis su 'gyur ba de bzhin du/ rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i yang yin te/ mi spong pa'i mtshan nyid can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag dang / spong pa'i mtshan nyid can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag ces bya bar byas pa'i phyir ro/ /de la mi spong ba'i mtshan nyid can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag ni 'di lta ste/ deng nas bzung nas bdag gis sems can bsad cing chom rkun byas la 'tsho bar bya'o zhes sdig pa'i las khas blangs pa'i dus nas bzung ste/ de mi byed pa dag la yang rtag par rgyun mi 'chad par mi dge ba'i las khas blangs pa'i rgyu can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag nye bar skye bar 'gyur ba dang / rgya'i las byed pa nas bzung ste nya pa la sogs pa rnams de mi byed pa la yang rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag nye bar skye ba gang yin pa ste/ 'di dag ni mi spong ba'i mtshan nyid can zhes bya'o/ /'di dag ji ltar yin pa de bzhin du spong ba'i mtshan nyid can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dge ba'i rang bzhin can gzhan dag kyang yin no/ /'di lta ste/ deng nas bzung ste srog gcod pa la sogs pa dag spong ngo zhes lus dang ngag gi rnam par rig byed yongs su rdzogs pa'i dus nas bzung ste/ dus phyis myos pa la sogs pa'i gnas skabs su yang dge ba bsags pa'i rang bzhin gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag nye bar skye ba gang yin pa 'di dag ni spong ba'i mtshan nyid can gyi rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya'o/ /gzugs dang bya ba'i rang bzhin yin du zin kyang/ /rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan la rnam par rig par mi byed pas na rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag go/

Note that Chandrakirti uses the term “reinforced” (bsags-pa, Skt. upacaya) constructive karmic potential. The variable of reinforced positive and negative karmic potential, discussed by Vasubandhu in Treasure House (IV.120) and by his commentators, will be presented in a later part of this series. In brief, whether or not a karmic potential is reinforced is one of the factors that determines whether or not it is certain in which lifetime it will ripen (this lifetime, the immediately next lifetime, or some lifetime after that). Thus, the negative karmic potential that is the nonrevealing form of an avowed nonrestraint is a reinforced karmic potential. 

Chandrakirti goes on:

Likewise, as for the meritorious (karmic potential) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made), (“meritorious karmic potential”) has the meaning of a constructive (karmic potential). “Associated with others making use (of something one has given or made)” (means) it is associated with (others) making use of it. “Making use of” (means) the utilization of an object donated to the monastic community and the like. “Connected with” (means) comes afterwards. It has the meaning of there being an arising of a reinforcement [Tib.: an increase] of constructive (karmic potential) on the mental continuum of the donor.
“In a similar manner, the non-meritorious (karmic potential)” means (the non-meritorious karmic potential) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made). It is like with the building of a temple or the like in which animals are slaughtered (as a sacrifice). Whenever sanctioned pairs of creatures are slaughtered there, then from the utilization of that temple or the like, non-positive karmic potential associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made) is generated on the mental continuum of those who have made that (temple or the like). “In a similar manner, the non-meritorious karmic potential” is like that. “And also, an inciting karmic impulse” is something that has the defining characteristic of being a karmic impulse of the mind (means) something that affects the mind. 
Gathered together, this becomes the sevenfold (division of) karmic impulses: [1] constructive and destructive speech, [2] constructive and destructive movement, [3] that which has the defining characteristic of a constructive nonrevealing (form), [4] that which has the defining characteristic of a destructive nonrevealing form, [5] that which is a meritorious (karmic potential) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made), [6] that which is a non-meritorious (karmic potential) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made), and [7] a karmic mental urge. These seven phenomena are recorded as what are denoted by a karmic impulse, what are declared as a karmic impulse and what have the defining characteristic of a karmic impulse.               
(Skt.) tathā paribhogānvayaṃ puṇyam, kuśalamityarthaḥ, paribhogena anvayaḥ asyeti paribhogānvayam, paribhogaḥ parityaktasya vastunaḥ saṃghādibhirupabhogaḥ, anvayaḥ anugamaḥ, dāyakasaṃtānajaḥ kuśalopacaya ityarthaḥ. apuṇyaṃ ca tathāvidham, paribhogānvayamityarthaḥ, tadyathā devakulādipratiṣṭhāpanam, yatra sattvā hanyante, yathā yathā hi tatkīrtau prāṇino hanyante, tathā tathā taddevakulādyupabhogāt tatkartṛṇāṃ saṃtāne paribhogānvayamapuṇyamapi jāyate, ityevamapuṇyaṃ ca tathāvidhaṃ bhavati. cittābhisaṃskāramanaskarmalakṣaṇā cetanā ceti. saṃkṣepeṇa etatsaptavidhaṃ karma bhavati- kuśalākuśalā vāk, kuśalākuśalo viṣpandaḥ, kuśalamavijñaptilakṣaṇam, akuśalamavijñaptilakṣaṇam, paribhogānvayaṃ puṇyam, paribhogānvayamapuṇyam, cetanā ceti. ete ca sapta dharmāḥ karmāñjanāḥ karmatvenābhivyaktāḥ karmalakṣaṇāḥ smṛtāḥ. 
(Tib.) / rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan la rnam par rig par mi byed pas na rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag go/ /de bzhin du longs spyod las byung ba sod nams te/ dge ba zhes bya ba'i don to/ /longs spyod las byung ba 'di la yod pas na longs spyod las byung ba'o/ /longs spyod ni yongs su btang ba'i dngos po dge 'dun la sogs pa rnams kyis nye bar longs spyod ba'o/ /byung ba ni rjes su byung ba ste/ sbyin pa po'i rgyud la skyes pa'i dge ba'i 'phel bar 'gyur ro zhes bya ba'i don to/ /bsod nams ma yin tshul de bzhin te/ longs spyod las byung zhes bya ba'i don to/ /ji ltar gang du srog chags dag gsod pa'i lha khang la sogs pa brtsigs pa lta bu ste/ ji lta ji ltar lha khang der srog chags dag gsod pa de lta de ltar lha khang la sogs pa der longs spyad pa las byed pa po rnams kyi rgyud la longs spyad pa las byung ba'i bsod nams ma yin pa skye bar 'gyur ro/ /de ltar na bsod nams ma yin pa yang tshul de bzhin du 'gyur ro/ /yid kyi las kyi mtshan nyid can sems mngon par 'du byed pa sems pa zhes bya ba dang ste/ mdor bsdu na las rnam pa bdun po 'di dag tu 'gyur ro/ /dge ba dang mi dge ba'i ngag dang bskyod pa gnyis dang / dge ba rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i mtshan nyid can dang / mi dge ba rnam par rig byed ma yin pa mtshan nyid can dang / longs spyod las byung ba'i bsod nams dang / longs spyod las byung ba'i bsod nams ma yin pa dang / sems pa zhes bya ba ste/ chos de bdun las su mngon par te las nyid du gsal zhing las kyi mtshan nyid can du 'dod pa yin no/

Avalokitavrata’s Commentary

Avalokitavrata, in Extensive Subcommentary to (Bhavaviveka’s) “Lamp for Discriminating Awareness,” (Shes-rab sgron-ma rgya-cher ‘grel-pa, Skt. Prajñāpradīpam-ṭīkā) (Derge Tengyur, vol. 101, 22B-25B) comments extensively on Bhavaviveka’s presentation of these seven types of karmic impulses by including several points made by Vasubandhu. For example, he explicitly identifies “nonrevealing (forms) of not having given up (committing a set of destructive actions)” as being avowed nonrestraints, “nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions)” as being the vowed restraints of one of the seven sets of pratimoksha vows, and “(karmic impulses) associated with (others) making use (of something one has given or made)” as being, respectively, constructive and destructive intermediate nonrevealing forms. 

Regarding intermediate nonrevealing forms, he explains:

To indicate (what are) the constructive karmic impulses that are included as neither vowed restraints nor avowed nonrestraints, their defining characteristic is that, having been generated, relying on a revealing form of body or speech, (they are) nonrevealing forms, invisible and not impeding (the presence or motion of material phenomena), having the defining characteristic of something that increases one’s positive potential from (different) kinds of constructive thoughts, fields or phenomena. 
As for the way in which they are generated, (it can be, for example), on the planes having forms of physical objects, donating to the Three Precious Gems – with a mind of love that reaches (the point) of (practicing) generous giving – (one of the) seven material items (such as a temple) that are objects (which, when offered, bring about) the production of positive karmic potential. From the utilization (of them) by the Three Precious Gems as a cause, a great positive karmic potential comes to be generated on the continuum of the donor. From then on, so long as the continuum of their positive karmic potential is not halted and it has not (finished) giving its result in this life, then whether the mind of the donor is in a situation of straying, being without a mind, or not straying, and even if the meritorious mind (with which the offering was made) is no longer manifestly active, (nevertheless) a form that is included as a nonrevealing (form) included as being a constructive one – (due to its) characteristic feature of (arising from) an item (which, when offered, brings about) the production of positive karmic potential – is generating on their mental continuum. 
Similarly, one may apply this fittingly to phenomena that are actions (which, when , done bring about) the production of the positive karmic potential that is produced from ethical self-discipline or produced from listening (to teachings) or produced from meditating. 
(Tib.) des ni sdom pa yang ma yin pa sdom pa ma yin pa yang ma yin par gtogs pa'i dge ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i las bstan te/ de'i mtshan nyid ni lus dang ngag gi rnam par rig byed la brten te/ skyes ba sdom pa dang sdom pa ma yin par ma gtogs pa dge ba'i bsam pa dang zhing dang / dngos po'i khyad par las bsod nams 'phel ba'i mtshan nyid rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i gzugs bstan du med pa thogs pa med pa yin te/ de skye ba'i tshul ni gzugs can gyi khams su sbyin pa gtong phod pa byams pa'i sems dang ldan pas dkon mchog gsum la rdzas las byung ba'i bsod nams byas pa'i dngos po bdun la sogs pa yongs su gtong ba/ dkon mchog gsum gyis yongs su longs spyod pa'i rgyu las sbyin bdag de'i rgyud la bsod nams rgya chen po skyes par gyur na/ de tshun chad nas ji srid du bsod nams de'i rgyun ma spangs shing / tshe de la 'bras bu ma spyad kyi bar du sbyin bdag des sems g.yengs pa dang / sems med pa dang / sems ma g.yengs pa'i gnas skabs dag na/ bsod nams kyi sems de mngon sum du mi byed du zin kyang / sbyin pa las byung ba'i bsod nams bya ba'i dngos po'i mtshan nyid dge bar gtogs pa'i rnam par rig byed ma yin par gtogs pa'i gzugs sems kyi rgyud las skye bar 'gyur ro/ /de bzhin du tshul khrims las byung ba dang thos pa las byung ba dang / bsgoms pa las byung ba'i bsod nams bya ba'i dngos po dag la yang ci rigs par sbyar ro/  

Tsongkhapa’s Commentary

Tsongkhapa explains in An Ocean of Reasonings: An Explanation of Verses on Root Madhyamaka, Called Discriminating Awareness,” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i tshig-le’ur byas-pa shes-rab-ces-bya-ba’i bshad rigs-pa’i rgya-mtsho), (Drepung Gomang Monastery ed., 263-264):

There are two divisions of revealing (forms): constructive or destructive utterances of the clear syllables of speech and constructive or destructive driven movements of the body – these pairs. Similarly asserted as being of two (kinds), constructive and destructive, other than these revealing (forms), is the pair of nonrevealing (forms). Also, from the utilization, by monastic members and so on, of an object given over (to them), there is also the meritorious karmic potential that increases, afterwards, the constructive (positive potential of the nonrevealing form) on the mental continuum of the donor. And similar to this manner in which constructive (positive potential) is generated, there is – from the utilization of a (Durga) temple, built for sacrificing animals, to sacrifice animals in such temples and the like – non-meritorious karmic potential that generates, afterwards, (increased) negative karmic potential on the mental continuums of those who made (the temple). There are also the inciting karmic impulses – the karmic impulses of the mind – that affect (the mind to go) toward constructive or destructive (actions of the body or speech). These seven have been recorded as karmic impulses.
As for the nonrevealing (forms) that are destructive, they are what are called, the “nonrevealing (forms) of having not given up (committing a set of destructive actions).” From when fishermen and the like have sworn, “From now on, we shall make our livelihood from killing living beings and stealing” and then work with nets and traps – from then on, even at times when they are not actually enacting those deeds, they generate destructive nonrevealing (forms on their mental continuums) without break. 
Further, (as stated) from A Treasure House (of Special Topics of Knowledge) (IV. 37ab), “The obtainment of an avowed nonrestraint is by means of what is done or by means of a swearing,” there are two ways of obtaining avowed nonrestraints. It is explained from (Vasubandhu’s) Autocommentary that the first (way of) obtaining (them) is by those born into the caste of fishermen and the like implementing methods for killing, and the latter is by those born into the castes of others from having sworn, “We shall make our living by this livelihood.” Although these are the ways for obtaining nonrevealing avowed nonrestraints, they are not (applicable) to what are merely destructive nonrevealing phenomena. 
As for the nonrevealing (forms) that are constructive, they are the nonrevealing (forms) of having given up (committing a set of destructive actions). From the time onwards of completing the physical and verbal revealing (forms of vowing), “From now on, I shall give up taking lives and so on,” then afterwards, even in situations of being drunk and so on, one generates constructive nonrevealing (forms on one’s mental continuum). Although this is the manner of generating some avowed restraints and (some) nonrevealing (forms) of intermediate (avowed restraints), it is not the case for all constructive nonrevealing (forms). They are nonrevealing forms because, although they have the functional nature of forms of physical phenomena and karmic agents, they do not make known to others what caused (motivated) them to arise like revealing (forms do).
(Tib.) dge mi dge’i ngag yi ge gsal por brjod pa dang dge mi dge’i lus kyi bskul bskyod gnyis dang rig byed kyi dbye ba gnyis yod pa de bzhin du rig byed las gzhan pa rnam par rig byed ma yin pa dag kyang dge mi dge gnyis su ‘dod pa dang/ yongs su btang ba’i dngos po dge ‘dun la sogs pa rnams kyis longs spyad pa las de’i rjes su sbyin pa po’s rgyud la byung ba’i bsod nams dge ba ‘phel ba dang/ dge ba skye ba’i tshul de bzhin du srog chags gsod pa’i lha khang brtsigs par srog chags bsad cing lha khang la sogs pa der longs spyad pa las de’i rjes su byed pa po rnams kyi rgyud la byung ba’i bsod nams ma yin pa sdig pa skye bar ‘gyur ba dang/ yid kyi las dge mi dge la mngon par ‘du byed pa’i sems pa dang chos de bdum ni las  su mngon par ‘dod pa yin no// rnam par rig byed ma yin pa mi dge ba ni mi spong ba’i rnam par rig byed min pa zhes bya ba gang yod pa ste/ deng nas bzung nas sems can bsad cing chom rkun byas la ‘tsho bar bya ‘o zhes khas blangs pa dang nya ba la sogs pa rgya’i las byed pa nas bzung ste bya ba de dag dngos su mi byed pa’i dus su’ang rgyun mi chad par mi dge ba’i rig min skye ba’o// de yang mdzod las, sdom pa min par bya ‘am, khas len pa las ‘thob par ‘gyur/ zhes sdom min thob tshul gnyis gsungs pa’i dang po ni nya ba la sogs pa’i rigs su skyes pa rnams ni bsod pa sbyor ba byas pa dang/ phyi ma ni gzhan gyi rigs su skyes pa rnams ni bdag cag kyang ‘tsho ba ‘dis ‘tsho bar bya’o zhes khas blangs pa las ‘thob par rang ‘grel las bshad do//’di yang rig min gyi sdom min ‘thob tshul yin gyi rigs min gyi mi dge ba tsam la min no. dge ba’i rig byed ma yin pa ni spong ba’i rnam par rig byed min pa ste deng nas bzung ste srong gcod pa sogs spong ngo zhes lus ngag gi rig byed rdzogs pa’i dus nas bzung ste/ dus  phyi myos pa la sogs pa’i skabs su yang dge ba’i rig min skye ba’o// ‘di yang sdom pa dang bar ma’i rig smin ‘ga’ zhig gi skye tshul yin gyi dge ba’i rig min thams cad la min no// gzugs dang bya ba’i rang bzhin yin kyang rig byed bzhin du kun slong gzhan la rig par mi byed pas rig byed ma yin no//

Gorampa’s Commentary

Gorampa explains in a similar fashion in Rays of Light of the Correct View: An Explanatory Commentary on Root Verses on Madhyamaka, (Called) Discriminating Awareness,” (dBu ma rtsa ba’i shes rab kyi rnam par bshad pa yang dag lta ba’i ‘od zer) (gSungs ‘bum bSod nams seng ge, Sakya College ed., vol. 4, 650-651):

The two (kinds of) revealing forms, constructive and destructive, (that are) [1] utterances of speech and [2] movements of the body; [3] the avowed nonrestraints that are called the nonrevealing (forms) of not abstaining from destructive (actions, such as) taking lives and so on; [4] the vowed restraints that are (called) the nonrevealing forms of abstaining from faulty behaviors, (such as) taking lives and so on, and other pairs of nonrevealing forms that also, like this previous (pair), are asserted as pairs of constructive and destructive (nonrevealing forms); [5] (the nonrevealing forms that are a meritorious (karmic potential) produced on a donor’s continuum from the monastic sangha and so on making use of something of use that they have offered; and [6] (the nonrevealing forms) that are produced as non-meritorious (karmic potential) on a builder’s continuum (from) however many living beings are later sacrificed in a temple for sacrificing living beings that they have built and which, like this, constitute a pair as well (with the previous type of nonrevealing form) – like this, the pair of constructive and destructive revealing forms, the pair of nonrevealing (forms that are) vowed restraints and avowed nonrestraints, and the pair (of nonrevealing forms that are) meritorious and non-meritorious (karmic potential) – these are the six (types of) incited karmic impulses. Together with the previously explained [7] inciting karmic impulses, they make seven phenomena that are accepted as bases with the defining characteristic of being a karmic impulse. (These) are the divisions in the count (of types of karmic impulses).      
(Tib.) ngag smra ba dang/ lus skyod pa ste dge ba dang/ mi dge ba’i rnam par rig byed gnyis dang/ srog gcod la sogs pa mi dge ba mi spong ba’i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa zhes bya ba gang yin pa sdom pa ma yin pa dang/ srog gcod la sogs pa nyes spyod spong ba’i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa sdom pa ste gzhan rig byed ma yin pa dag kyang di snga ma de bzhin du dge ba dang mi dge ba gnyis su ‘dod do/ longs spyod phul bas dge ‘dun la sogs pas long spyod pa las sbyin pa po’i rgyud la ‘byung ba’i bsod nams dang srog chags gsod pa’i lha khang la sogs pa gtsigs pas phyis der srog chags ci tsam bsad pa ni rtsig pa po’i rgyud la bsod nams ma yin pa ‘byung ba’ang tshul de bzhin du gnyis te/ de ltar na rig byed la dge mi dge gnyis/ rig byed ma yin pa la sdom pa dang/ sdom min gnyis/ longs spyod las byung ba la bsod nams dang bsod nams ma yin pa gnyis te/ bsam pa’i las drug dang/ sngar bshad pa’i sems pa’i las dang chos de bdun las kyi mtshan gzhir mngon par ‘dod pa yin ces pa ni grangs kyi dbye ba’o/

Note that here Gorampa explicitly asserts that the revealing and non-revealing forms listed by Nagarjuna are incited karmic impulses and that the karmic impulse of the mind is an inciting karmic impulse. This is implicitly suggested by Nagarjuna’s Root Verses (XVII.2) (Gretil. ed., Derge 9B) immediately preceding verse 3 in which he lists the seven types of karmic impulse:

Inciting karmic impulses and incited (karmic impulses) have been spoken of by the Supreme Sage (Buddha). The division of these two (kinds of) karmic impulses into many types has been proclaimed (by him).
(Skt.) cetanā cetayitvā ca karmoktam paramarṣiṇā, tasyānekavidho bhedaḥ karmaṇaḥ parikīrtitaḥ.
(Tib.) drang srong mchog gis las rnams ni sems pa dang ni bsams par gsungs/ las de dag gi bye brag ni rnam par du mar yongs su bsgrags//

Mipam’s Commentary

Mipam, in Filigree for the King of the Naga’s Intention, Clarifying Completely the Abiding Nature, A Word-for Word Commentary on “Root (Verses on) Madhyamaka,” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba’i mchan-‘grel gnas-lugs rab-gsal klu-dbang dgongs-rgyan) (Sonam Topgay Kazi, Gangtok ed., 189-190), echoes the commentaries of these prior masters:

Clearly spoken constructive or destructive words of speech as the revealing forms of speech and driven movements of the body as the nonrevealing forms of body make two. Further, the non-abstention from ever taking a life and so on as the nonrevealing (form) of an avowed nonrestraint and the abstention from that as the nonrevealing (form) of a vowed restraint also make two. Further, (there are) the two (kinds of) intermediate nonrevealing (forms), constructive and destructive – namely, the constructive nonrevealing (form) that is produced, without a break, on (the continuum) of an agent who has offered a temple and the like to the monastic community, for as long as its remaining in use is unbroken, and similarly, the intermediate destructive nonrevealing (form) that is produced from building a slaughter house, for instance, up until it is no longer (used) for this non-meritorious purpose. These, together with the constructive or destructive karmic impulse that is a mental urge, affecting (the mind) and causing (motivating) all of them (the other six) to arise, make seven.   
(Tib.) de la dge mi dge’i ngag gi tshig ’bru gsal por brjod pa ngag gi rig byed kyi las dang/ dge mi dge’i lus kyi bskul bskyod lus kyi rig byed dang gnyis/ yang srog gcod sogs gtan nas mi spong ba sdom min kyi rig byed min pa dang/ de spong ba sdom pa’i rig byed min gnyis/ yang bar ma’i rig byed min pa la yang dge mi dge gnyis su yod de 
dge ‘dun la gtsug lag khang sogs phul ba ji srid longs spyod pa ma chad kyi bar di de byed pa po la dge ba’i rig min rgyun mi chad du byung ba dang/ de bzhin srog gcod pa’i khang pa byas pa lta bu bsod nams min pa’ang don de dag ma chad kyi bar du bar ma’i mi dge’i rig min ‘byung bas so/ de dag kun gyi kun slong du gyur pa dge mi dge’i las mngon par ‘du byed pa’i sems pa dang ni bdun po’o/  

Note that in explaining that an intermediate nonrevealing form continues to arise each moment in the mental continuum of someone who offers or builds an object of constructive or destructive use up until that object is no longer used, Mipam implies that the karmic potential of that intermediate revealing form is not lost with death but can continue into future lives. Although not stated in any of these commentaries, but similarly, although the nonrevealing form of a pratimoksha vowed restraint and an avowed nonrestraint are relinquished with death, the nonrevealing form of the bodhisattva vowed restraint continues in all future lives up to enlightenment, so long as one does not give up bodhichitta.

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