Definition - What does Vipaka mean?

Vipaka is a Sanskrit word meaning “ripe” or “mature.” In the context of Buddhism, it refers to the result – maturation or ripening – of intentional action (karma). Kamma-vipaka (also spelled karma-vipaka) is a key moral law in Buddhism.

In the traditional Indian medical system of Ayurveda, vipaka is the result of digestion on dravya (a substance used for medical purposes, such as herbs, drugs or food) and is key to balancing the body's bio-energy centers, thereby promoting healing.

Yogapedia explains Vipaka

In Buddhism, the law of kamma-vipaka refers to any action that has a moral context. Good consequences “ripen” as a result of morally good actions, whereas bad consequences ripen from morally bad actions. The motivation of the action determines whether it is morally good or bad.

In Ayurveda, vipaka determines how the dravya affects the doshas, the three bio-energy centers of the body that are believed to control physical, mental and emotional health. A dosha or combination of two doshas tend to dominate in each person's body. By balancing the doshas, healing is achieved. Depending on the results of metabolism, vipaka promotes one of the doshas – vata, pitta or kapha – to achieve balance. If vata dosha is weak, for example, the Ayurveda practitioner may choose an herb or drug that, when digested, boosts vata.

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