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Aloka
01 Jun 10, 09:13
is plain bad manners.

All of us need to be mindful about bullying and the way we address others, frank, including yourself on many occasions.

...and back to topic...http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Element
01 Jun 10, 09:27
The Visuddhimagga is quite interesting to read...that is...the parts that can be read. Alot of it is just Abdhidharma frenzy, just too many dhammas, like nineteen & thirty-two consciousnesses.

It is interesting because it is such a well preserved old work.

On the subject of birth (jati), it states:


Now this word jati has many meanings. For in the passage 'he recollects one birth, two births, etc', it is becoming. In the passage 'Visakha, there is a kind (jati) of ascetics called Niganthas (Jains)', it is monastic order. In the passage 'birth is includes in two aggregates', it is whatever is formed. In the passage 'his birth is due to the first consciousness in the mother's womb' (Vin.i,93), it is rebirth-linking. In the passage 'as soon as he was born (sampatijata), the Bodhisattva' (M.iii,123) it is parturition[childbirth]. In the passage 'one who is not rejected and despised on the account of birth', it is clan. In the passage 'sister, since i was born with noble birth', it is the Noble One's virtue.
http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Element
01 Jun 10, 09:30
Becoming is said to be two-fold, with the analysis derived from the Vbh.

Kamma-process becoming, namely, both volition and covetousness.

Rebirth-process becoming, ie, aggregates generated by kamma.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Element
01 Jun 10, 09:42
In the passage 'Visakha, there is a kind (jati) of ascetics called Niganthas (Jains)', it is monastic order. In the passage 'one who is not rejected and despised on the account of birth', it is clan. In the passage 'sister, since i was born with noble birth', it is the Noble One's virtue.

These meanings here accord with parts of the suttas, as follows:


And what is birth? Whatever birth...coming-to-be...of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html)
Or MN 98:

http://i49.tinypic.com/vkf34.jpg

Element
01 Jun 10, 09:48
In the passage 'Visakha, there is a kind (jati) of ascetics called Niganthas (Jains)', it is monastic order. In the passage 'one who is not rejected and despised on the account of birth', it is clan. In the passage 'sister, since i was born with noble birth', it is the Noble One's virtue.

The meaning here is also the same as found on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C4%81ti), in relation to the Hindu meaning of jati:


Jāti (in Devanagari: जाति) (the word literally means thus born) is the term used to denote communities and sub-communities in India. It is a term used across religions. In Indian society each jāti typically has an association with a traditional job function or tribe, although religious beliefs (e.g. Sri Vaishnavism or Veera Shaivism) or linguistic groupings define some jatis. A person's surname typically reflects a community (jati) association: thus Gandhi = perfume seller, Dhobi = washerman, Srivastava = military scribe, etc. In any given location in India 500 or more jatis may co-exist, although the exact composition will differ from district to district.
Interesting how the Buddhist meaning over time appears to have not only lost the standard Indian meaning but also became more meta-physical than the Hindu meaning over time:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Buddhism, Jāti (the Sanskrit and Pāli word for "birth") refers to the arising of a new living entity in saṃsāra.

Synonyms:

生 Cn: shēng; Jp: shō; Vi: sinh
Tibetan: skyed.ba
http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

retrofuturist
01 Jun 10, 10:09
Greetings,

Buddhaghosa has completely brothelised dependent origination with his Hinduesque papanca-laden Abhidhammic interpretation of it that bears virtually no resemblance whatsoever to what the Buddha taught.

Stuka and Element speak well on dependent origination and (unless you are a Hindu) it would be in one's interest to listen to and deeply consider the words they speak.

Dependent origination is about the factors that lead to suffering, and it doesn't need rebirth shoehorned into it.

Metta,
Retro. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Aloka
01 Jun 10, 17:26
from post #506

Hi Retro,http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

nice to see you posting....and I agree that its definately worth listening to what Stuka and Element have to say.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

stuka
01 Jun 10, 17:30
I would suggest that to dismiss another persons point of view as "irrelevant" is plain bad manners.....to bully others is this way shows a lack of tolerance.

That has nothing to do with "bad manners" or "bullying". We are debating issues here; this is not personal. Either a point is relevant or it is not. If someone challenges the relevance of a point, either its relevance can be shown, it cannot. Either way, what is being challenged and defended is the point, not the person. A person taking it to be "mine" or "yours" is just ......irrelevant.

Aloka
01 Jun 10, 17:37
from post #508


Very well said, Stuka. Thank you.

stuka
01 Jun 10, 18:16
Ven. Mettiko makes an interesting observation about the Abhidhamma and the Commentaries, here speaking of Bhikkhu Bodhi:

He concedes that the commentarial description is not to be found in the Suttas in all its particulars but serves as an instrument to make the Suttas and the Abhidhamma compatible.

stuka
01 Jun 10, 18:21
from post #506

Jeez, Retro, careful saying stuff like that here, they'll ban you for your heresy at E-Sangha!

Sobeh
01 Jun 10, 23:19
#kickban member @internet
/msg:"you make baby maitreya cry"

Element
02 Jun 10, 04:04
The Visuddhimagga I am reading has an interesting historical introduction.

It talks about how at the time of Buddhaghosa, the Mahavihara had been in decline for some time, how different kings sponsored different schools and, most of all, how Sanskrit had attained predominance in India as the language of Buddhism.

So one goal of Buddhaghosa was to create a work to restore Pali to some pre-eminance.

It all shows how much Buddhism had changed prior to Buddhaghosa.

Often we have the impression Buddhaghosa changed the Buddhism of the suttas however obviously Buddhism had changed enormously prior to Buddhaghosa.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Aloka
03 Jun 10, 05:29
from post #513

Please keep us updated on your investigations, whenever you can, Element. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

clw_uk
05 Jun 10, 13:51
Ive come to an understanding that the argument threads found in Buddhist forums concerning rebirth after death are tied up with "me and mine". That is in the sense those with a desire to know if it is true are coming from the idea of "Will I be or not be after death".


It also seems it comes from doubt, also something that is caught up in me and mine. "I want to know, I must know"


If you notice however the Buddhas teachings arent involved with "me and mine". The four noble truths come from observation via mindfulness and reflection

"There is dukkha" not "I have dukkha"

"There is origing of dukkha" not "This is the cause of my dukkha"

"There is nirodha of dukkha" not "This is how my dukkha ceases"

"There is a path for the nirodha of dukkha" not "This will lead me to ending dukkha"


metta

dude
05 Jun 10, 13:57
If you notice however the Buddhas teachings arent involved with "me and mine".

I think that's valid. In fact an important part of Theravada practice is to meditate on "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not myself."

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 00:00
I found this on the website "Urban Dharma" The decription of Hell reminded me of the medieval Christian Hell and its portrayal in paintings.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/sad.gif

URL (http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma5/viewdeath.html)

Sobeh
11 Jun 10, 00:26
And on that page you've linked to, we find this:

"This is called the Law of Karma, or the Law of Cause and Effect."

Ugh. As other threads on the board have detailed, there is connection between these two, and when one is crafted all sorts of ridiculousness arises.

dude
11 Jun 10, 03:03
As other threads on the board have detailed, there is connection between these two, and when one is crafted all sorts of ridiculousness arises.

Huh?

londonerabroad
11 Jun 10, 08:51
Buddhism does not say that there is no I just that there is no inherent I, no I which is not interdependent with everything else. With no belief in rebirth at all this means there is no I and no responsibility either. This surely is not the case. Buddhism is the middle way - a path between the concrete inherent, self-standing I and the nilhism of no I at all.

It is because the I is not inherent or self-standing but interdependent and existing because of the laws of karma, as a process, that rebirth exists. Karma can't just dry up at death or the person would mutate into what?

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 09:58
Buddhism does not say that there is no I just that there is no inherent I

Hi londonerabroad,
If we take this to be correct, then we would need to establish the nature of this non-inherent 'I'. We would be able to find it upon investigation and demonstrate how it is reborn and becomes the recipient of its own former actions (karma).

I think you will agree that no such thing can be found.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 10:03
Karma can't just dry up at death or the person would mutate into what?

Compost ? http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/dazz/dunce.gif

dude
11 Jun 10, 10:28
We would be able to find it upon investigation

How would you propose to do that?

sparrow
11 Jun 10, 12:40
Hi londonerabroad,
If we take this to be correct, then we would need to establish the nature of this non-inherent 'I'. We would be able to find it upon investigation and demonstrate how it is reborn and becomes the recipient of its own former actions (karma).

I think you will agree that no such thing can be found.

londonerabroad merely states an orthodox Buddhist view, found in the Madhyamaka-Prasangika teachings. You cannot find a non-inherently existent object because non-findablilty is entailed in being non-inherently existent. All things exist like this. Being empty of inherent existence does not entail non-existence; if it did then nothing would exist. Non-findability is universal and is implied by existing as a conventional object.

What is reborn is the 'mere I' that is imputed on the 5 aggregates. Conventionally, the generality 'I' exists from one life to another, but the particular 'I' of one life is not the particular 'I' of another. In other words there is no survival of persons or selves from life to life: only the expression 'I' is common to different lives.

Deeds performed by one person/self in one life may ripen upon the (conventionally) same self in that same life, but if they ripened in a future life they would do so upon a different person/self who was a later instance of the same continuum. All selves lack inherent existence but exist conventionally in dependence on the aggregates.

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 13:58
londonerabroad merely states an orthodox Buddhist view, found in the Madhyamaka-Prasangika teachings.

Indeed he does sparrow.


You cannot find a non-inherently existent object because non-findablilty is entailed in being non-inherently existent.
All horns of a rabbit IMHO. The concept of the two truths is an interesting intellectual exercise but does not represent direct experience in any way. It is based on the belief that we are all deluded by Maya and unable to see the "true" nature of things which is emptiness.


All things exist like this. Being empty of inherent existence does not entail non-existence; if it did then nothing would exist.
Non-affirming negation is just a cop-out.


Non-findability is universal and is implied by existing as a conventional object.

Is it?


What is reborn is the 'mere I' that is imputed on the 5 aggregates.
How can the 'mere I' be reborn when it is not a 'thing'? The imputation of 'I' is an occurrence which transpires in dependence upon the aggregates - not something which is re-born.


the particular 'I' of one life is not the particular 'I' of another. In other words there is no survival of persons or selves from life to life: only the expression 'I' is common to different lives.
Very much agree with that assessment. But the expression of 'I' is common to all people alive today, so what's the big deal? We wouldn't claim that they are our past incarnations would we?

The expression of 'I' is just what everyone does, like digesting food or anything else mundane. There is nothing transcendent about it.


Deeds performed by one person/self in one life may ripen upon the (conventionally) same self in that same life, but if they ripened in a future life they would do so upon a different person/self who was a later instance of the same continuum.
I don't like the word 'conventionally', as it implies 'ultimate'. But yeah, I'm sort of with you there-ish, but only ish.


All selves lack inherent existence but exist conventionally in dependence on the aggregates.
That's a philosophical hypothesis which is very handy when de-bunking Hindus or nihilists but I wouldn't take it any further than that.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Namaste

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 14:01
How would you propose to do that?

How would anyone do it dude?

dude
11 Jun 10, 14:17
that's what I'm asking.

sparrow
11 Jun 10, 14:48
from post #525

I take it you've mastered Nagarjuna et al and found them wanting. You're clearly out of my league!

stuka
11 Jun 10, 15:49
Buddhism does not say that there is no I just that there is no inherent I, no I which is not interdependent with everything else.

But rather than speculating on whether there is an atta or not, the Buddha taught that no atta can be found. The point it to give up the speculation, and to give up on self-view.



With no belief in rebirth at all this means there is no I and no responsibility either.

That does not follow. The belief "there is no "rebirth", therefore there is no responsibility" certainly follows, but non-belief in rebirth is different: "There is rebirth/there is no rebirth" are speculative views; I hold to neither and instead I see the truth of suffering and follow the Noble Eightfold Path".



This surely is not the case. Buddhism is the middle way - a path between the concrete inherent, self-standing I and the nilhism of no I at all.

The Buddha takes a "Middle Way" that neither takes either extreme, nor any mix of the two. "I do not believe in reincarnation/'re-birth'" is neither the opposite of "there is reincarnation/'rebirth'", nor is it a nihilistic statement. Compare it to "I do not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster" -- Is do you seriously see that statement as nihilism,. too?



It is because the I is not inherent or self-standing but interdependent and existing.......that rebirth exists

This statement assumes an "I", assumes an atta. This is an attavadan position the Buddha rejected.



because of the laws of karma, as a process

Nor does this follow. What "laws of karma" are you claiming causes "rebirth" to exist? Who decrees and enforces these "laws"? This speculation is simply being fallaciously decreed by fiat here.



Karma can't just dry up at death or the person would mutate into what?

This statement only makes any sense to one who is immersed in the karma/rebirth speculative view. In the light of the open, it is just nonsense. It assumes a multitude of things that are not agreed upon by all. Nor does it pass the test of the Buddha's claim of the universality of his Dhamma..

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 15:55
I take it you've mastered Nagarjuna et al and found them wanting.

Well, it's a theory and as such not the worst one but it remains just a philosophical position, not a path. I studied it for a long time in the belief that an intellectual grasp of the material would lead to the "truth" but it doesn't. It just leads to a good grasp of the materialhttp://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Thanks for giving me the chance to dust it off.

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 16:00
that's what I'm asking.

Well, I can only speak for myself dude and I did it by honestly looking at what was there in meditation. There is stuff there but you will need to be completely open and direct about what you find.

Theory doesn't help at all because it's just more mental junk. Experience it for yourself, it's not as difficult as it sounds. I practice anapanasati. Get to know your breath, your body, the sounds and sensations which surround you.

More of which, in due course, on my Jhana thread.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 16:02
londonerabroad merely states an orthodox Buddhist view, found in the Madhyamaka-Prasangika teachings.

...but one that the Buddha did not teach, and would not have agreed with.



You cannot find a non-inherently existent object because non-findablilty is entailed in being non-inherently existent.

This is a speculation about the nature of matter. The Buddha did not speculate on such things; they are not relevant to the problem of suffering and its quenching. The Buddha did not teach the Mahayana "two truths".



All things exist like this.

"All things exist" is one speculative view. "All things do not exist" is its opposite. Rejecting both, the Buddha taught from his own middle: "the influence of ignorance causes suffering" (short short form of paticcasamuppada).



Being empty of inherent existence does not entail non-existence; if it did then nothing would exist. Non-findability is universal and is implied by existing as a conventional object.


You are trying to sneak an atta into this through the back door. I am shutting that door.



What is reborn is the 'mere I' that is imputed on the 5 aggregates.

-- and there he is! No, no, sorry, Mr. Atta, no admission here. Go back to Hinduism and Brahminism where you belong, sir. Had the Buddha imputed an "I" inherent in the 5 aggregates, he would have explicitly said so.

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 16:13
No, no, sorry, Mr. Atta

Oh come on stuka, just an itsy bitsy atta - please! It's not much to ask is ithttp://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 16:29
Oh come on stuka, just an itsy bitsy atta - please! It's not much to ask is it

No, no, no, no, no! <where is the "wagging finger" smiley when we need it?>


-- 'cause in the blink of an eye, itty bitty attas grow up to be great big attas and all the sudden we have a house full of Brahmins all telling us what Buddhism is about...

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 16:39
No, no, no, no, no!

Okay, how about we say, the atta arises from the deep state of sunyata and returns to it, thus its true nature is emptiness but it is created by the volition of Lord Shiva and is, in truth, one with him.

You can't tell me that that doesn't sound nice eh!http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/meditate.gif http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/meditate.gif http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/meditate.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 16:42
You can't tell me that that doesn't sound nice eh!

.
I am sure it goes over well in Dharmasala and the Dha(r)ma Wheel(s). Much tougher crowd out here in the Real World, though....


....what's that, you say...? What about E-Sangha...? The Rodents Of Unusual Size..? I don't think they exist....

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 16:52
http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:01
The Buddha takes a "Middle Way" that neither takes either extreme, nor any mix of the two

This is ridiculous.

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:05
from post #531

Sounds like the mental junk is coming from You.

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:06
Oh come on stuka, just an itsy bitsy atta - please! It's not much to ask is it



House full of stinking insult comics.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 17:18
House full of stinking insult comics.

Interesting observation.Have you read the Code of Conduct extra which I've posted in the Tea Room, Dude ?

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/washing.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 17:18
Conventionally, the generality 'I' exists from one life to another, but the particular 'I' of one life is not the particular 'I' of another.

You've got four attas stashed in that statement. None of them are getting in the door. Get Thee Behind Me, Atta!

"Two truths" argumentation is not a mutually agreed-upon convention and is invalid.



In other words there is no survival of persons or selves from life to life: only the expression 'I' is common to different lives.

Another Atta! The "Expression" Atta! An ARMY of Attas trying to charge the gates!!!




Deeds performed by one person/self in one life

And another!



may ripen upon the (conventionally)

No, No, No! Two Truths is Begging the Question!



same self in that same life

Another Atta!



but if they ripened in a future life

And another!



they would do so upon a different person/self

And another!



who was a later instance of the same continuum.

On No! An Endless Continuum of Selves! A sea of them, forming up as far as the eye can see, across the entire horizon, massing to charge the gates!!




All selves lack inherent existence but exist conventionally in dependence on the aggregates.

An Inherent-Existence-Lacking-Self, whetherexisting "Conventionally(TM)" or not, or "in dependence on the aggregates" or not, is still a Self!!! Whether argued Conventionally(TM) or Ultimately(TM)!!! This is Attavada! No Admission!

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 17:22
On No! An Endless Continuum of Selves! A sea of them, forming up as far as the eye can see, across the entire horizon, massing to charge the gates!!

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/biglol.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 17:34
stuka #529:
The Buddha takes a "Middle Way" that neither takes either extreme, nor any mix of the two

This is ridiculous.

It is straight from the Buddha's lips! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/shock.gif But of course it is ridiculous to one who holds an attavadin view! Attavadins in the Buddha's day called him a nihilist and an annihilationist, too! No surprise here!

stuka
11 Jun 10, 17:38
You cannot find a non-inherently existent object because non-findablilty is entailed in being non-inherently existent.

All horns of a rabbit IMHO.

An army of little Attas dancing on the head of a pin!

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 17:38
Sounds like the mental junk is coming from You.

Why?

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:41
Interesting observation.Have you read the Code of Conduct extra which I've posted in the Tea Room, Dude ?

Should I read it again? You have some serious issues. I recommend you seek help.

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:42
Oh it's new. I'll report you to the gods. You got dues to pay.

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:44
It is straight from the Buddha's lips!

I'll bite, quote and reference please.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 17:47
Should I read it again?

Please do. Yet more ad hom attacks on me don't address your own tedious ill will and lack of cooperation, Dude.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 17:49
Replying to srivijaya:
from post #525



I take it you've mastered Nagarjuna et al and found them wanting. You're clearly out of my league!

Why would a Buddhist want to "master Nagarjuna" the Hindu*, rather than practice and master the teachings of the Buddha, which are available as well?

*From the Internet Journal of Philosophy, a "Peer Reviewed Academic Resource(TM)":

Nagarjuna was born a "Hindu," which in his time connoted religious allegiance to the Vedas, probably into an upper-caste Brahmin family and probably in the southern Andhra region of India.

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 17:53
An Inherent-Existence-Lacking-Self, whetherexisting "Conventionally(TM)" or not, or "in dependence on the aggregates" or not, is still a Self!!! Whether argued Conventionally(TM) or Ultimately(TM)!!! This is Attavada! No Admission!

It's interesting to see how the Mahayanists arrived at that position. There was an evolution in thought known as the tenets. Its basis, or starting point, is a fallacy taught by the long-defunct Hinayana schools (I mean the proper long-vanished ones).

It was quite a journey to refute these views. Still, views they are and nothing more.

dude
11 Jun 10, 17:58
Nagarjuna" the Hindu



come on now, let's get real

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:00
Yet more ad hom attacks on me don't address your own tedious ill will and lack of cooperation, Dude.

You would do better to respectfully cite what in particular you object to than to post personal attacks in the guise of admonitions.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:05
stuka #544:
It is straight from the Buddha's lips!

I'll bite, quote and reference please.

You got it!:

"There is atta" is one speculative view.

"There is no atta" is a second speculative view.

"There is both atta and no atta" [note: one mix of the two] is a third speculative view.

"There is neither atta nor no atta" [another mix of the two] is a fourth speculative view.

Avoiding extremes, the Tathagata teaches via the middle: avijjapaccaya sankara,...(etc)."

This statement and its variants are repeated countless times in the Nikayas, including in his very first discourse to the five ascetics, the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta, and the Kaccayanagotta Sutta, fo starters.

Now please tell me why you call this teaching of the Buddha, straight from his own lips, "ridiculous" in a Buddhist forum?

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:07
Help me out and give me the reference.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:09
stuka #542:
An Inherent-Existence-Lacking-Self, whetherexisting "Conventionally(TM)" or not, or "in dependence on the aggregates" or not, is still a Self!!! Whether argued Conventionally(TM) or Ultimately(TM)!!! This is Attavada! No Admission!

It's interesting to see how the Mahayanists arrived at that position. There was an evolution in thought known as the tenets. Its basis, or starting point, is a fallacy taught by the long-defunct Hinayana schools (I mean the proper long-vanished ones).

It was quite a journey to refute these views. Still, views they are and nothing more.

Indeed. And the position has millennia of verbose arguments propping it up. But the "evolution" was eisegesis, not exegesis.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 18:12
come on now, let's get real

From The Zensite:


The problem of the historical Nagarjuna revisited

" Claims about the life of Nagarjuna are often asserted as if the facts were known and secure, when they are not. Those who explore the evidence in quest of more secure facts come up with contradictory conclusions.
Even the century or centuries in which Nagarjuna lived cannot be confidently identified."


continued : URL (http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/The_problem_of_historical_Nagarjuna.htm)

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:13
stuka #551:
Nagarjuna" the Hindu



come on now, let's get real

I gave you a reference....not a very good reference, but the fact that the writer confused Brahminism for Hinduism does not change his grounding in the Vedas.

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:17
okay, I get it. This is a tired controversy, repeated many times and suitable for head trippers. I have no doubt that no discussion would be productive and pretty much guaranteed to give rise to abusive posts from the usual suspects.

The sutra does not in fact say what you claim it does, but I am well aware you will insist that it does. I have nothing more to say so you may feel free to have the last word.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:18
Help me out and give me the reference.

I gave you three, was that not enough?

In the Pali Canon itself, this view is not explicitly called the "Middle Way" (majjhimā paṭipadā) but is literally referred to as "teaching by the middle" (majjhena dhamma) as in this passage from the Samyutta Nikaya's Kaccāyanagotta Sutta (in English and Pali):

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme.
'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme.
Avoiding these two extremes,
the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle...."[10]


Sabbamatthī'ti kho ..., ayameko anto.
Sabbaṃ natthī'ti ayaṃ dutiyo anto.
... [U]bho ante anupagamma
majjhena tathāgato dhammaṃ deseti.[11]

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_way

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:20
The problem of the historical Nagarjuna revisited

Always a reliable way to shut the whole thing down, put the evidence into question. Rather questionable, however, for one who so often talks about "respected Buddhist teachers" and so on.
Nagarjuna is about as respected as it gets.

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:22
from post #559

what?

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 18:24
okay, I get it. This is a tired controversy, repeated many times and suitable for head trippers. I have no doubt that no discussion would be productive and pretty much guaranteed to give rise to abusive posts from the usual suspects.

What ? Please refrain from you usual off topic accusations and complaints which side track discussions when you are unable to sustain and debate a point, Dude.

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:28
when you are unable to sustain and debate a point, Dude.



As predicted, abuse.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 18:30
As predicted, abuse.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/zzz.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:30
okay, I get it. This is a tired controversy, repeated many times and suitable for head trippers.

Whatever your ad hominem "suitable for head trippers" is supposed to carry, this controversy is vitally important to the survival of the Buddha's teachings, which at this point in history have been all but buried under with eisegesis and cultural baggage.



I have no doubt that no discussion would be productive....

If by "productive" you mean "stuka will shut up about the Buddha's teachings and dive into the cesspool of superstition", then no, it would not. If you mean, "if we actually investigate what is being said to see if it holds true", then it can and will be productive.



and pretty much guaranteed to give rise to abusive posts from the usual suspects.

....like the posters of # 538, #539, #540, #547, #548, #560...?



The sutra does not in fact say what you claim it does

Sure they do. If you think they don't then please do offer an alternative analysis.

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:36
from post #566



Continued abuse. Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech? Oh of course you do. You do not believe in karma. You do not believe in rebirth.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:36
Dazzle #558:
The problem of the historical Nagarjuna revisited

Always a reliable way to shut the whole thing down, put the evidence into question. Rather questionable, however, for one who so often talks about "respected Buddhist teachers" and so on.


The relevant evidence is that Nagarjuna's musings are not the Buddha's teachings and do not comport with them.




Nagarjuna is about as respected as it gets.

More respected than the Buddha himself. Fine if one is a Nagarjunist rather than a follower of the Buddha's teachings.

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:39
The relevant evidence is that Nagarjuna's musings are not the Buddha's teachings and do not comport with them

So pretty much the whole Mahayana School is inferior to you.

clw_uk
11 Jun 10, 18:46
In relation to views, which essentially this discussion is about


"And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — <u>he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views</u>.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.010.than.html#vie ws (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.010.than.html#views)


"There is rebirth" = view

"There is no rebirth" = view

both come to be via clinging, however the Buddha taught the abandoning of views. This means one sees view as impermanent, dukkha and not self and abandons them



"And how is there unyoking from views? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — <u>he is not obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is unyoking from sensuality, unyoking from becoming, & unyoking from views</u>.
Id would also recommend reading this



One incident is reported where Anathapindika wanted to visit the Buddha one morning, but because it was still too early, he went to the monastery of some brahman pilgrims. Since they knew him as a follower of the Buddha, they asked him which views the ascetic Gotama held. He replied that he didn't know all the views of the Exalted One. To the question of which views the monks held, he replied again that he did not know all their views. Thereupon he was asked what view he himself held. He replied:

"What views I hold, O honorable ones, would not be difficult for me to explain. But may I first ask the honorable ones to present their own views. After that it will not be difficult for me to explain what kind of views I hold."

The pilgrims explained their notions of the world. One held it to be eternal, another held it not to be eternal; one held it to be finite, another held it to be infinite; one believed that body and life were identical, others supposed them to be distinct; some believed that Enlightened Ones endured after death, others said that they were destroyed.

Then Anathapindika spoke: "Whichever of these views held, it could only come from one of two sources: either from one's own unwise musings, or through the words of another.<u> In either case, the view has arisen conditionally. Conditioned things, however, are transitory; and things of a transitory nature involve suffering. Hence, one who holds views and opinions clings to suffering, succumbs to suffering.</u>"

Then the pilgrims wished to know what views Anathapindika held. He answered: "Whatever arises is transitory; the transitory is of the nature of suffering. But suffering does not belong to me, that is not me, that is not my self."

Seeking a rebuttal, the pilgrims argued that he himself was involved in as much as he clung to the view he had just expressed. He replied that that was not the case, for he had perceived those facts in accordance with reality, and besides that, he knew the escape from it, as it really is — in other words, he used the view only as a means and in time would also discard it. Thereupon the pilgrims were unable to respond, felt defeated, and sat in silence.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel334.html#part5

jack
11 Jun 10, 18:46
Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech?

The only punishment, IN MY EXPERIENCE, is the punishment we ourselves cause by destroying the tranquillity of our own minds. Everything else, is just sounds, or words or symbols or smells, or tastes or a combination of those kinds of things. That's all they are, and it's we who associate with them in one way or the other.

This reminds me of what Ajahn Chah said, "it's not the sound that bothers you, but you who bothers the sound".

So, in that regard, dude, regardless who believes what, don't react and get heated, because isn't that itself the disturbance of the tranquillity of ones mind?

This entire thread, much ado about nothing.

clw_uk
11 Jun 10, 18:47
"Only here is there purity"
— that's what they say —
"No other doctrines are pure"
— so they say.
Insisting that what they depend on is good,
they are deeply entrenched in their personal truths.

Seeking controversy, they plunge into an assembly,
regarding one another as fools.
Relying on others' authority,
they speak in debate.
Desiring praise, they claim to be skilled.

Engaged in disputes in the midst of the assembly,
— anxious, desiring praise —
the one defeated is
chagrined.
Shaken with criticism, he seeks for an opening.

He whose doctrine is [judged as] demolished,
defeated, by those judging the issue:
He laments, he grieves — the inferior exponent.
"He beat me," he mourns.

These disputes have arisen among contemplatives.
In them are elation,
dejection.
Seeing this, one should abstain from disputes,
for they have no other goal
than the gaining of praise.

He who is praised there
for expounding his doctrine
in the midst of the assembly,
laughs on that account & grows haughty,
attaining his heart's desire.

That haughtiness will be his grounds for vexation,
for he'll speak in pride & conceit.
Seeing this, one should abstain from debates.
No purity is attained by them, say the skilled.

Like a strong man nourished on royal food,
you go about, roaring, searching out an opponent.
Wherever the battle is,
go there, strong man.
As before, there's none here.

Those who dispute, taking hold of a view,
saying, "This, and this only, is true,"
those you can talk to.
Here there is nothing —
no confrontation
at the birth of disputes.

Among those who live above confrontation
not pitting view against view,
whom would you gain as opponent, Pasura,
among those here
who are grasping no more?

So here you come,
conjecturing,
your mind conjuring
viewpoints.
You're paired off with a pure one
and so cannot proceed.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 18:55
Dazzle #564:
when you are unable to sustain and debate a point, Dude.



As predicted, abuse.

dude -- quit whining. After six posts of your ad homs you call Dazz out for



Continued abuse. Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech?

Are you threatening the admin here now?




Oh of course you do. You do not believe in karma. You do not believe in rebirth.

--That's OK, though, as long as she believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and touches His Noodly Appendage rather than Chogyam Trungpa's noodly appendage, everything will be alright. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/cool.gif

...or maybe I was thinking of the Four Solaces instead:

"Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:

"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now."

clw_uk
11 Jun 10, 18:55
dude #568:
Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech?


It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life. <u>I have seen a hell named 'Contacts Sixfold Base.' Whatever form one sees there with the eye is undesirable, never desirable; </u>displeasing, never pleasing; disagreeable, never agreeable. Whatever sound one hears there with the ear... Whatever aroma one smells there with the nose... Whatever flavor one tastes there with the tongue... Whatever tactile sensation one touches there with the body... Whatever idea one cognizes there with the intellect is undesirable, never desirable; displeasing, never pleasing; disagreeable, never agreeable.

"It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life. I have seen a heaven named "Contacts Six Fold Base.' Whatever form one sees there with the eye is desirable, never undesirable; pleasing, never displeasing; agreeable, never disagreeable. Whatever sound one hears there with the ear... Whatever aroma one smells there with the nose... Whatever flavor one tastes there with the tongue ... Whatever tactile sensation one touches there with the body... Whatever idea one cognizes there with the intellect is desirable, never undesirable; pleasing, never displeasing; agreeable, never disagreeable.

"It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life."


Khana Sutta - SN
Punishment for wrong speech is here and now in the subjective experience



Firstly it leads to hell (i.e. hell here and now) in the forms of guilt etc. Also it can be habitual and lead to suffering in the form of outward punishment, such as being caught out lying. Also lying in itself is centred around protecting a "self" and so leads to dukkha

dude
11 Jun 10, 18:59
Are you threatening the admin here now?

If one were to walk toward a cliff and I were to tell him, "If you continue to walk in that direction you will fall off" is that threatening him?

stuka
11 Jun 10, 19:02
stuka #569:
The relevant evidence is that Nagarjuna's musings are not the Buddha's teachings and do not comport with them

So pretty much the whole Mahayana School is inferior to you.

Do not put words in my mouth.

Many of the teachings and "sutras" represented in the Mahayana schools fail the Buddha's own test of the Four Great References and do not comport with his teachings. So what? Facts are just facts. No need to get upset about them, they are just there.

clw_uk
11 Jun 10, 19:04
dude #568:

Oh of course you do. You do not believe in karma. You do not believe in rebirth.
<u>"I"</u> will be punished for bad actions


<u>"I"</u> will be rewarded for good actions


Clinging leads to "Self" which leads to dukkha


Buddha taught Anatta



As to why Buddha taught "You" will be reborn after death past the grave, he explains why here



The Buddha has states why he teaches rebirth post mortem
MN 68
"So, Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, and renown, or with the thought " let people know me to be thus", that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance thus "so-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place" <u>Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time</u>"

lofty
Adjective
[loftier, loftiest]
1. of majestic or imposing height
2. morally admirable: lofty ideals
3. unpleasantly superior: a lofty contempt


It helps lead people to be moral, which helps them to progress to the Buddhas own teachings, the 4 noble truths (if they want to or can)


metta

stuka
11 Jun 10, 19:04
If one were to walk toward a cliff and I were to tell him, "If you continue to walk in that direction you will fall off" is that threatening him?

No one is walking toward a cliff, and that is not what you said. You said:



Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech?

stuka
11 Jun 10, 19:15
This entire thread, much ado about nothing.

I beg to differ. At the heart of all this is the issue of what the Buddha's own liberative teachings are all about, their very foundation. It is much like the debate 500 years ago over whether the earth was flat, and has the same sort of earth-shaking ramifications for "Buddhism" as the flat-earth controversy did and still does now for Xtians -- who, BTW, only just this month, 500 years later, caved in and provided Copernicus' bones the "honor" of a "Christian burial".

Are the Buddha's liberative teachings all about learning mental and moral discipline and finding peace of mind here and now, or are they just another pack of superstitions designed to scare us out of bad behavior (or, as we see in practice in many cases, coerce us out of good behavior) and entice us into good behavior (or, again, out of good behavior), just like every other run-of-the-mill primitive religion? It is a very important question, and the "reincarnation/'re-birth'" controversy is really just a manifestation of this larger question.

Aloka
11 Jun 10, 19:26
Do you expect to escape punishment for wrong speech

The words "threatening," "vindictive,"and "fundamentalism " float through my mind and out into the warm and pleasant summer evening.(Must do some weeding !)

No more ad homs or complaints from you now, please Dude. Futher attacks will be deleted. This is the 'Beyond Belief' debating forum for experienced practitioners, lets get back to the topic again.

jack
11 Jun 10, 19:27
It is a very important question.

it maybe so, but it's somewhat dealt in a non-skilful manner, hence the sparks on this thread. Maybe that's why the Buddha taught things in both ways, superstitious and non-superstitious, with the idea that both would lead to one thing, as clw_uk has pointed out

jack
11 Jun 10, 19:29
Must do some weeding !

There's gonna be more sunshine tomorrow! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif We're doing our garden too, it's nice to do physical work.

Si si http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/topic.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 19:35
it maybe so, but it's somewhat dealt in a non-skilful manner, hence the sparks on this thread.

I am sure the Xtians threw plenty of grenades in the room 500 years ago during the flat-earth debate. Hell, they still do now! Of course, there was always the grenade of death by burning at the stake, its a good thing we don't still have that now...or do we not, really? http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/cool.gif



The tactic seems to be, when all reason fails and the evidence is against you, throw grenades! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/zonked.gif

jack
11 Jun 10, 19:47
or do we not, really?

The tactic seems to be, when all reason fails and the evidence is against you, throw grenades!

Agreed. It's the human condition. In our case, I bet it happens when we forget what dukkha really is, and try to control dukkha instead of remembering that it is inherent in nature.

I mean if we really remembered what dukkha is, then we come back to my earlier point, none of this matters, if it's cessation to dukkha that we are looking for.

dude
11 Jun 10, 19:48
"Student, beings are owners of kammas, heirs of kammas, they have kammas as their progenitor, kammas as their kin, kammas as their homing-place. It is kammas that differentiate beings according to inferiority and superiority."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel248.html#shor ter (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel248.html#shorter)

srivijaya
11 Jun 10, 19:56
My point is, you are free to hold whatever views you want about the matter - take your pick. But at some point you have to make a decision as to whether it's worth following the actual "path".

The path is not a religion, philosophy, opinion, idea or view but is to be found within this fathom-long body.

At the end of the day that is the only choice that can make an actual difference. Arguing views 'does not apply'.

jack
11 Jun 10, 19:57
Arguing views 'does not apply'.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Sobeh
11 Jun 10, 20:06
"Student, beings are owners of kammas, heirs of kammas, they have kammas as their progenitor, kammas as their kin, kammas as their homing-place. It is kammas that differentiate beings according to inferiority and superiority."

Certainly.



Verses 651, 652, and 653, of the Suttanipāta are as follows:

651
By action is one a farmer, by action a craftsman,
By action is one a merchant, by action a servant,

652
By action is one a thief, by action a soldier,
By action is one a priest, by action a king.

653
In this way the wise see action as it really is,
Seeing dependent arising, understanding result of action.

Verse 653 is sometimes isolated from its context and used to justify the 'three-life' interpretation of the twelve-factored formulation of paticcasamuppāda as kamma/kammavipāka—kamma/kammavipāka, an interpretation that is wholly inadmissible.



As the traditional interpretation has it, vedanā is kammavipāka. Reference to Vedanā Samy. iii,2 <S.iv,230> will show that as far as concerns bodily feeling (with which the Sutta is evidently dealing) there are seven reasons for it that are specifically not kammavipāka. Only in the eighth place do we find kammavipākajā vedanā. This would at once limit the application of paticcasamuppāda to certain bodily feelings only and would exclude others, if the traditional interpretation is right. Some of these bodily feelings would be paticcasamuppannā, but not all; and this would hardly accord with, for example, the passage:

Paticcasamuppannam kho āvuso sukhadukkham vuttam Bhagavatā (Nidāna/Abhisamaya Samy. iii,5 <S.ii,38>).

"The Auspicious One, friend, has said that pleasure and unpleasure are dependently arisen."

(emphasis added)

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:08
. In our case, I bet it happens when we forget what dukkha really is

There lies another problem, and another manifestation of the controversy: the issue of what dukkha is. There are many who believe that dukkha is "round of reincarnation/'re-birth'". The Buddha taught something very different, and demonstrated the irrelevance of "round of reincarnation/'re-birth'" to his own liberative teachings.



and try to control dukkha instead of remembering that it is inherent in nature.

The whole business of eradicating dukkha is about controlling it. We buy "weed control" products to get rid of weeds, to poison them at the roots. So the Buddha teaches dukkha control by cutting it off at its roots of greed, anger, ignorance.

If dukkha were "inherent in nature", we would never be able to quench it.



I mean if we really remembered what dukkha is, then we come back to my earlier point, none of this matters, if it's cessation to dukkha that we are looking for.

If we are looking to have dukkha cease, and we hear that the Buddha taught how to cause dukkha to cease, then the question of what he actually taught toward that end matters a great deal.

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:12
If dukkha were "inherent in nature", we would never be able to quench it.


Let me rephrase, "dukkha is inherent in the nature of the mind".

Sobeh
11 Jun 10, 20:14
The second Noble Truth says otherwise.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:18
srivijaya #587:
Arguing views 'does not apply'.
http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif


But, again, the discussion of "This is a teaching of the Buddha, this is not a teaching of the Buddha" is not "arguing over views". Nor is it necessary for one to get upset or agitated over the matter of investigating "This is the utterance of the Buddha, this is the liberative teaching of the Buddha; this is not the utterance of the Buddha, this is not the liberative teaching of the Buddha". It either is, or it isn't.

Esho
11 Jun 10, 20:20
from post #591

Dukkha, I feel, is just a result of something we do wrong so, it has no inherent exitence. What we do wrong? The four noble truths and the eightfold noble path are a good starting point to develop this fundamental understanding.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
11 Jun 10, 20:22
from post #593

If we are commited with what is stated in the buddha teachings, views, phylosophies and the same will vanishes by themselves in a very smoothly way.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:23
Let me rephrase, "dukkha is inherent in the nature of the mind".

That is just re-stating the same thing. If it were inherent to the nature of the mind, we would never be able to quench it. As Sobeh suggests, the Buddha teaches that dukkha is caused by craving and clinging to sense pleasures. if we do not crave and do not cling, we do not have dukkha.

Esho
11 Jun 10, 20:23
from post #592

The whole teaching tells otherwise...

Esho
11 Jun 10, 20:25
from post #596

I feel that reifying dukkha and not considering it as a result gives it the deluded understanding as something with some sort of inherent existence.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:30
It either is, or it isn't.

Well, if it came out of the thathagatha's mouth into my ears, then it would be, and so would any following clarifications.

Things that have been written centuries ago and passed down, are up for various interpretations, are they not?

In the end, it's up to us to decide, through our own experience. This is where arguing views do not apply.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:33
If we are commited with what is stated in the buddha teachings, views, phylosophies and the same will vanishes by themselves in a very smoothly way.

Indeed, Kaarine dear.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:35
That is just re-stating the same thing. If it were inherent to the nature of the mind, we would never be able to quench it. As Sobeh suggests, the Buddha teaches that dukkha is caused by craving and clinging to sense pleasures. if we do not crave and do not cling, we do not have dukkha.

I think my use of the word inherent was wrong. I don't think dukkha cannot be quenched, what I was trying to say was that we cannot look outside to quench dukhha. Changing things outside, like by throwing grenades, to quench dukkha, is trying to control it under an improper understanding of dukhha, i.e. forgetting what dukkha really is.

Esho
11 Jun 10, 20:40
from post #600

Thanks stuka...

and I think that the real issue, in a very personal consideration, is not in the debate itself but in a kind of unrecongnizable fear about loosing views, phylosophies and the same. This aspect, I think, hinders meditation, hinders the commitment and the understanding, to say, of the four noble truths...

Just some ideas...

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:48
Things that have been written centuries ago and passed down, are up for various interpretations, are they not?

In the end, it's up to us to decide, through our own experience. This is where arguing views do not apply.



Before they were written down, they were passed down orally by persons with a vested interest in preserving them. I am a musician and can recite the lyrics to, and can play on various instruments, a couple of thousand songs. And I have a lot more to distract me from this than just memorizing and practising the teachings of the Buddha, which is pretty much all a monk has to do all day. These arguments that "well, we really don't know what he taught because it wasn't written down for x time" really just don't hold water. We also know, in many cases, the origin of various "additions", eisegeses, and fabrications that also clearly do not comport with what we see the Buddha teaching in the Nikayas.

I have said this before here, but it bears reiterating: all traditions that calls themselves "Buddhist" defer to the Buddha's words in the Nikayas as authoritative.

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:53
Before they were written down, they were passed down orally by persons with a vested interest in preserving them. I am a musician and can recite the lyrics to, and can play on various instruments, a couple of thousand songs. And I have a lot more to distract me from this than just memorizing and practising the teachings of the Buddha, which is pretty much all a monk has to do all day. These arguments that "well, we really don't know what he taught because it wasn't written down for x time" really just don't hold water. We also know, in many cases, the origin of various "additions", eisegeses, and fabrications that also clearly do not comport with what we see the Buddha teaching in the Nikayas.


I have said this before here, but it bears reiterating: all traditions that calls themselves "Buddhist" defer to the Buddha's words in the Nikayas as authoritative.

Well, before I can come to discuss further, I should pay respect by at least trying to read the Nikayas.

stuka
11 Jun 10, 20:54
Well, before I can come to discuss further, I should pay respect by at least trying to read the Nikayas.

I think that is a very good idea! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:54
I'm a bad (lazy) Buddhist. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/cool.gif

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 20:56
This reminds me of what Ajahn Chah said, "it's not the sound that bothers you, but you who bothers the sound".

I first encountered this concept quite some time ago and it took me quite some time to comprehend it as meaning that for someone to feel "bothered" requires their mind to be active in a certain way. If we master the mind in such a way that it does not become active when encountering various normally "bothersome" phenomena, then we have achieved cessation of a certain kind of suffering. How appropriate this is to the current situation, where we read a post, form an opinion that the poster intended insult, then further create an emotional reaction to that post (or poster). This likewise requires our minds to be active in a certain way that can cause suffering. Everything depends, it seems to me, on training the mind not to respond in this way. I love the beautiful concept I heard Ajahn Brahm articulate of "a mind that inclines to abandonment". This in itself seems, to me, a nutshell description of the Buddhist path. The untrained mind does not incline to abandonment, it inclines to seizure, to convulsively grasping hold of things which cause suffering. How well I know it, and continue to know it. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 20:58
from post #573

Absolutely awesome quote.

jack
11 Jun 10, 20:59
from post #608

Hence, why I'm a bad lazy Buddhist, moderation is required.

jack
11 Jun 10, 21:02
from post #608

It is a wonderful concept. Training the mind in that manner has helped me out a lot in my life. This was thanks to meditation. It made me really calm and not much got to me.

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 21:08
stuka #580:
It is a very important question.

it maybe so, but it's somewhat dealt in a non-skilful manner, hence the sparks on this thread. Maybe that's why the Buddha taught things in both ways, superstitious and non-superstitious, with the idea that both would lead to one thing, as clw_uk has pointed out

If we just forget our "selves" for the duration of the post, and attentively seek, we can find the gold hidden amongst the dross. For me, it is certainly here to be found, and for one who desperately wishes cessation of suffering, supremely important ... and certainly worth the effort.

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 21:12
jack #591:
Let me rephrase, "dukkha is inherent in the nature of the mind".

That is just re-stating the same thing. If it were inherent to the nature of the mind, we would never be able to quench it. As Sobeh suggests, the Buddha teaches that dukkha is caused by craving and clinging to sense pleasures. if we do not crave and do not cling, we do not have dukkha.

Perhaps Jack means that it is inherent in the nature of the *untrained* mind.

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 21:14
I think that the real issue, in a very personal consideration, is not in the debate itself but in a kind of unrecongnizable fear about loosing views, phylosophies and the same. This aspect, I think, hinders meditation, hinders the commitment and the understanding, to say, of the four noble truths...

Very important point! Such fears we have of letting go of what we consider to be our "self". How tightly we cling!

Snowmelt
11 Jun 10, 21:22
Well, before I can come to discuss further, I should pay respect by at least trying to read the Nikayas.

Be comforted, Jack. I have encountered somewhere that to try to force oneself to understand the dhamma can be counterproductive; instead, simply expose yourself to the teachings in whatever medium they are available, and await results. I was very pleased to encounter this concept, as I am truly convinced that I have some sort of learning difficulty (and not just with the Dhamma). I do not remember where I got my ideas from, I cannot quote the simplest of Buddhist lists with certainty - it is probably most accurate to say that a diamond-hard comprehension of the Dhamma is almost at the opposite end of the scale from where I am, despite all my exposure to the teachings. But results seem apparent, nonetheless, thankfully. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Esho
11 Jun 10, 21:24
How tightly we cling!

Yeah Snowmelt dear, that was the point I tried to stand out.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
11 Jun 10, 21:25
Be comforted, Jack. I have encountered somewhere that to try to force oneself to understand the dhamma can be counterproductive; instead, simply expose yourself to the teachings in whatever medium they are available, and await results.

A wise advise...

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

jack
11 Jun 10, 21:59
from post #615

Thank you http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Aloka
13 Jun 10, 05:25
Getting back to the topic of rebirth again, I found this :

" Nibbana, liberation, is that which is not born and does not die, it carries us beyond the cycle - not in terms of whether we will be a rabbit in the next life - but right now. If you get that principle right, it will always work for us in this way."


Source -URL (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books5/Ajahn_Viradhammo_The_End_of_Rebirth.htm)

dude
13 Jun 10, 05:56
Slander of the Law. Very bad indeed.

Sobeh
13 Jun 10, 17:15
Slander of the Law. Very bad indeed.

Neither of these sentences has a subject; they are sentence fragments.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/dontknow.gif

dude
13 Jun 10, 18:18
from post #621

Is the meaning not clear?

clw_uk
13 Jun 10, 19:02
Replying to Sobeh:
from post #621

Is the meaning not clear?

The problem is that such statements like the one you made above dont really add anything to a discussion. Expanding on why you think such and such would be good.


metta

stuka
13 Jun 10, 20:43
Slander of the Law. Very bad indeed.

Oh, by all means, issue a fatwa, then. Off with their heads!


Really, dude, this sounds like a fundamentalist Xtian getting all up in arms at folks who point out contradictions in their bible, or a militant islamic getting all bent out of shape for pointing out that Muhammed was a pederast...

The Buddha himself pointed out the inconsistencies and illogic of karma-beliefs. Was that "very bad" of him, too? http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/zonked.gif

Snowmelt
13 Jun 10, 22:22
The Buddha himself pointed out the inconsistencies and illogic of karma-beliefs.

I would be pleased to read more about that. Can you give us a sutta reference, please?

stuka
13 Jun 10, 22:35
stuka #624:
The Buddha himself pointed out the inconsistencies and illogic of karma-beliefs.

I would be pleased to read more about that. Can you give us a sutta reference, please?

Of course!


Maha Kammavibhanga Sutta
MN 136

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.136.nymo.html

11. (i) "Now, Ananda, when a monk or brahman says thus: 'It seems that there are evil kammas, there is the result of misconduct,' I concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'For I have seen that some person killed living beings... had wrong view. I saw that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he had reappeared in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell,' I concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'It seems that one who kills living beings... has wrong view, will always, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'Those who know thus know rightly; those who know otherwise are mistaken in their knowledge,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he obstinately misapprehends what he himself has known, seen and felt; and insisting on that alone, he says: 'Only this is true; anything else is wrong,' I do not concede that to him.

"Why is that? The Tathagata's knowledge of the Great Exposition of Kamma is different.

12. (ii) "Now when a monk or brahman says thus: 'It seems that there are no evil kammas, there is no result of misconduct,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'For I have seen that a person killed living beings... had wrong view. I saw that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he had reappeared in a happy destination, in the heavenly world,' I concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'It seems that one who kills living beings... has wrong view, will always, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, in the heavenly world,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'Those who know thus know rightly; those who know otherwise are mistaken in their knowledge,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he obstinately misapprehends what he himself has known, seen and felt; and insisting on that alone, he says: 'Only this is true; anything else is wrong,' I do not concede that to him.

"Why is that? The Tathagata's knowledge of the Great Exposition of Kamma is different.

13. (iii) "Now when a monk or brahman says thus: 'It seems that there are good kammas, there is a result of good conduct,' I concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'For I have seen that a person abstained from killing living beings here... had right view. I saw that on the dissolution of the body after death, he had reappeared in a happy destination, in the heavenly world,' I concede that to him.

"When he says: 'It seems that one who abstains from killing living beings... has right view will always, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, in the heavenly world,'[6] I do not concede that to him.

"When he says: 'Those who know thus know rightly; those who know otherwise are mistaken in their knowledge,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he obstinately misapprehends what he himself has known, seen, and felt; and insisting on that alone he says: 'Only this is true: anything else is wrong,' I do not concede that to him.

"Why is that? The Tathagata's knowledge of the Great Exposition of Kamma is different.

14. (iv) "Now when a monk or brahman says thus: 'It seems that there are no good kammas, there is no result of good conduct,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he says thus: "For I have seen that a person abstained from killing living beings here... had right view. I saw that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he had reappeared in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell," I concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'One who abstains from killing living beings... has right view will always, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he says thus: 'Those who know thus know rightly; those who know otherwise are mistaken in their knowledge,' I do not concede that to him.

"When he obstinately misapprehends what he himself has known, seen and felt; and insisting on that alone, he says: 'Only this is true; anything else is wrong,' I do not concede that to him.

"Why is that? The Tathagata's knowledge of the Great Exposition of Kamma is different.


...


19. "So, Ananda, there is kamma that is incapable (of good result) and appears incapable (of good result); there is kamma that is incapable (of good result) and appears capable (of good result); there is kamma that is capable (of good result) and appears capable (of good result); there is kamma that is capable (of good result) and appears incapable (of good result)."[14]

Snowmelt
14 Jun 10, 04:13
Thanks.

Snowmelt
14 Jun 10, 21:11
Hopefully I will be forgiven for being blunt, but it has just occurred to me that, if there is no rebirth in the sense that one dies physically and returns physically, then, for one in unbearable bodily or mental or emotional pain, suicide is as effective a solution to suffering as the Dhamma.

stuka
15 Jun 10, 00:12
Hopefully I will be forgiven for being blunt, but it has just occurred to me that, if there is no rebirth in the sense that one dies physically and returns physically, then, for one in unbearable bodily or mental or emotional pain, suicide is as effective a solution to suffering as the Dhamma.

I didn't see that as "blunt". I have seen this point raised many times;it is a function of perspective.

I have seen this argument put forth by a well-known monk; it seems to me that it was Brahmavamso, but I was not able to find my bookmark to it.

First off, though, when a person says, "if there is no rebirth in the sense that one dies physically and returns physically...", we are talking about reincarnation here, of an atta. This is an attavadan strategy that does not comport with the liberative teachings of the Buddha, or with the later convolutions of the "re-birth" of an "atta-that-is-not-an-atta" that we often see floating around in Buddhist circles.

As for the notion that death would be the end of suffering without reincarnation/"re-birth", I call that "the 'die-and-be-done-with-it' Fallacy".

The Buddha did not call bodily pain or acute emotional pain "suffering". These he called "unpleasant sensations" or "unpleasant feelings" that arise at contact between the body and touches, and the between mental processes and mental activities. For the Buddha, what might make these seem "unbearable" is our reaction to them, under the influence of ignorance.

The "Die-and-be-done-with-it" Fallacy only appears to be valid from an attavadan standpoint, from within the attavadan box. Outside of that, the assertion has no substance at all in the light of reason and experience and of the Buddha's teachings, and, frankly, is so non-sequitur that it approaches absurdity.

Beyond that, the Buddha did not recognize any sort of "emotional pain" that he deemed "incurable" or "unbearable". Physical pain can be assuaged with medicine. Emotional pain can be assuaged with the understanding that comes with knowledge of the Buddha's Dhamma, and with implementation of the Buddha's recommended course of practice.

Looking a bit deeper into the "Die-and-be-done-with-it" argument, we see that it is challenging the speculative-view declaration "There is no 're-birth' (reincarnation)". No one here has proposed this, and it does not comport with the Buddha's teachings to declare so. So the argument "If there is no 're-birth' (reincarnation)..." is a straw man, propped up against the rational and valid (not speculative view) argument of the inconsistency and speculative nature of karma/reincarnation views and their irrelevance to the Buddha's liberative teachings. Arguing against the possibility of no reincarnation/"re-birth", one argues against the Buddha himself, who, in his great wisdom, fearlessly embraced the possibility that there is no reincarnation/"re-birth", as we can see here:


"Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:

"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now."

-- the Four Solaces, Kalama Sutta AN 3.65

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html




So you see here, the Buddha clearly allows the possibility that there is not reincarnation/"re-birth", which is exactly what this "Die-and-be-done-with-it" fallacy argues against, though it stands the "There is no reincarnation/'re-birth'" straw man in the place of the allowance for possibility.


Underlying this argument is also an assumption here that "lie is suffering" (and thus if there is no reincarnation/"re-birth", then we might as well kill ourselves to stop all this suffering we are doing), which is also not what the Buddha taught about suffering.

The Buddha taught "there is this problem of suffering", rather than "Life is Suffering". "Life is Suffering" is simply not true. I see this and know this from my own experience, and i suspect that you do, too. The Buddha defined "suffering" in terms of not getting what one wants, and getting what one does not want, i.e., as functions of greed (or grasping), aversion, and ignorance. It might make sense from within this coccoon of assumptions to argue, "Since life is suffering, and the only way (according to my speculative-view assumptions) to stop life (and therefore stop suffering) is the "total" annihilation of 'Nibbana' (in accordance with my speculative-view assumptions), if there is no 'karma/rebirth' consequence to fear, then we could just kill ourselves and be done with all this suffering".

That sort of logic might seem to work within the confines of its own assumptions, but it relies heavily on speculative view assumptions that do not comport with either reality or the Buddha's teachings.


Please understand that the above is an analysis and criticism of a particular argument or point, and in no way an attack on anyone who might raise it.

dude
15 Jun 10, 01:55
The problem is that such statements like the one you made above dont really add anything to a discussion. Expanding on why you think such and such would be good.

Do you know what slander of the Law is ? Do you believe in karma?

stuka
15 Jun 10, 02:52
Do you know what slander of the Law is ?

Why don't you just drop the puerile and sad attempts at verbal bullying, and explain what "slander of the Law(Tm)" means to you, and how you think it is relevant to the Buddha's teachings, to Ajahn Viradhammo's essay, and to this discussion.


Do you believe in karma?
No. Nor is it relevant to the Buddha's liberative teachings.

Aloka
15 Jun 10, 03:32
Do you know what slander of the Law is ? Do you believe in karma?

Dude please dispense with the cryptic one-liners which add nothing to a discussion and lets have some sensible debating from you with reasons and evidence to support your statements.

It might also be useful for you to remember that this website encourages lively debate and doesn't enforce any particular views... so please always also try to keep things polite and friendly.

dude
15 Jun 10, 04:16
Why don't you just drop the puerile and sad attempts at verbal bullying, and explain what "slander of the Law(Tm)" means to you

The Buddha did not answer every question, and I'm not going to answer this one, at least at this time, for reasons which should be obvious.

For now, I will only state that you are wrong. Karma (good or bad result in the future dependent on causes made in the present) is real, and it is the Buddha's teaching. Thank you for taking away some of my bad karma with your insults, which I have no doubt that I have in the past made the cause to suffer and now bear with joyful equanimity.

I have no illusions that you will suddenly change your mind, nor am I attempting to "win" an argument. My only motivation comes from my responsibility to uphold the true teaching and concern for your well being.

You are taking away my bad karma and hence doing me favor which I am grateful. However, you are taking that karma on yourself, the thought of which causes me no pleasure at all.

What you do from here on and the consequences of your decisions are not my responsibility. I do not mean to "bully" anyone, nor do I mean you any harm. Even if you do not believe in karmic retribution, surely you realize that I do, so why would I?

dude
15 Jun 10, 04:22
from post #631

I have asked you before to cite what you object in my posts and received no answer. I have also received insults when I disagree with others, which seem to have met with your approval. You yourself have made disparaging remarks as well as veiled threats. I recommend that you reflect on your behavior.

stuka
15 Jun 10, 04:47
Um, I had no idea up until now how much Nichiren was so very like Fred Phelps. Interesting.


"To ignore the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra and assert that other sutras stand on a par with it is to commit the worst possible slander of the Law"

-- http://www.nbaa.tv/Organization/Vows.doc





In the Nirvana Sutra Shakyamuni stated, "If even a good priest sees someone slandering the Law and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him or to punish him for his offense, then that priest is betraying Buddhism. But if he takes the slanderer severely to task, drives him off or punishes him, then he is my disciple and one who truly understands my teachings." Never forget this admonition against ignoring another's slander of Buddhism. Both master and disciple will surely fall into the hell of incessant suffering if they see enemies of the Lotus Sutra and fail to reproach them. The Great Teacher Nan-yueh wrote, "They will fall into hell with evil men." To seek enlightenment without repudiating slander is as futile as trying to find water in the midst of fire or fire in the midst of water. No matter how sincerely one believes in the Lotus Sutra, any violation of its teachings will surely cause him to fall into hell, just as one crab leg will ruin a thousand pots of lacquer. This is the meaning of the passage in the Lotus Sutra, "The poison has penetrated deeply, causing them to lose their true minds."


--- http://nichiren.info/gosho/AdmonisionsAgainstSlander.htm


"The Law" in "slandering the Law" refers to the Lotus Sutra. Of course, as Nichiren Daishonin made clear, the Lotus Sutra of the Latter Day means the sutra's essence, the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. But since the Daishonin expounded the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on the basis of the doctrines contained in the Lotus Sutra, when we examine the Buddhist concept of slander in terms of its doctrinal meaning, it is appropriate to take "the Law" to mean the Lotus Sutra. "A slander of the Law," therefore, literally means a slander of the Lotus Sutra; it is speech or conduct that denies the teaching and ideal of the Lotus Sutra.

-- http://www.sokaspirit.org/resource/living-buddhism/the-meaning-of-slan der-and-religious-tolerance (http://www.sokaspirit.org/resource/living-buddhism/the-meaning-of-slander-and-religious-tolerance)



This reminds me of the Allah-bothering tripe that showed up on a handbill on my front door about the same time they picked up Najibullah Zazi, that claimed:

"...But if you reject Islam, then I warn you that God does not like those who reject him and are heedless of His signs and Guidance. He has reserved the most undesirable punishment in the grave as well as eternal punishment in the Fire of Hell of which we can never put off for even a single minute. This warning has come to you out of Mercy from your Lord and his utmost desire for the best of your conditions here on earth and in the Hereafter. He wishes not to see any harm done to any of you but has decreed the Fire for those who reject Him and Faith. The decision, however, is yours."

So tell me, Dude, what the difference is between this militant islamic allah-bothering crap and the militant inauthentic-lotus-"sutra"-bothering crap you are dancing so passive-aggressively around here?

stuka
15 Jun 10, 05:18
The Buddha did not answer every question, and I'm not going to answer this one, at least at this time, for reasons which should be obvious.

The Buddha refused to answer questions that would require indulgence in speculative view. You will find this to be true, right down the line. After two refusals, he would give an answer according to the belief of the questioner. Hence the answer to the naked dog-duty ascetic that his efforts would earn him rebirth as a dog, etc. The Buddha did not abstain from answering questions just to play head games. I call your bluff.




For now, I will only state that you are wrong.

Oh, well that settles it, then.



Karma (good or bad result in the future dependent on causes made in the present) is real, and it is the Buddha's teaching.

You are confusing idappaccayata with upanishadic karma. The two are not the same.



Thank you for taking away some of my bad karma with your insults, which I have no doubt that I have in the past made the cause to suffer and now bear with joyful equanimity.

The Buddha did not teach that karma was some kind of currency to be exchanged between persons. I pass on your imaginary bad karma, you can keep it for yourself, thanks.



have no illusions that you will suddenly change your mind, nor am I attempting to "win" an argument. My only motivation comes from my responsibility to uphold the true teaching and concern for your well being.


Frankly, dear dude, that is a high-and-mighty load of of shit. If you were concerned for my well-being (and truly believed that what I said was not in accordance with the Buddha's teachings), you might be saying something like "'Friend, do not say that, do not misrepresent the Blessed One. The Blessed One did not say that. The Blessed One has shown in various ways, that [inthe example of the bhikkhus admonishing Sati,] consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause there is no arising of consciousness'". Then you might cite a sutta or six to point me in the right direction. But no, you are taking the militant fundie head-trip route. You can keep it to yourself, thanks. Show me the difference between this and the bullshit Xtian/Muslim/whatever Fundie "Oh yeah, you can say whatever, but I know you're going to hell and I'm going to heaven" mentality, please.





You are taking away my bad karma and hence doing me favor which I am grateful. However, you are taking that karma on yourself, the thought of which causes me no pleasure at all.

What you do from here on and the consequences of your decisions are not my responsibility. I do not mean to "bully" anyone, nor do I mean you any harm. Even if you do not believe in karmic retribution, surely you realize that I do, so why would I?

Again I ask: So tell me, Dude, what the difference is between the aforementioned militant islamic allah-bothering crap in #634 and the militant inauthentic-lotus-"sutra"-bothering crap you are dancing so passive-aggressively around here?

Aloka
15 Jun 10, 05:31
I have asked you before to cite what you object in my posts and received no answer. I have also received insults when I disagree with others, which seem to have met with your approval. You yourself have made disparaging remarks as well as veiled threats. I recommend that you reflect on your behavior.

One- line critical remarks (and in the past, sometimes just one word) mid discussion with no reason or evidence to back them really have no substance in intelligent debate. Others have recently mentioned this politely to you as well.

I don't see any personal insults to you, only debate. I try to remain neutral most of the time myself. "seem to " is an assumption on your part. Perhaps you are taking things far too seriously in general?

I'm also growing tired of your repeated attacks on me over a period of time (some of which were deleted) - and I suggest in my role as forum Admin and site owner that you take note of this, Dude. More of it is unacceptable now. Please lighten up and relax a little !

If you have anything further to say to me that is personal but polite, you can e-mail me instead of continuing this in public.

Thank you for your consideration. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Aloka
15 Jun 10, 06:07
Dude, as you are a Mahayana practitioner, the following short articles on karma by a well known Mahayana teacher might be helpful to you (Ken Mcleod was a student of the late Kalu Rinpoche)

URL (http://unfetteredmind.org/articles/karma.php)

Extract from the section "Karma doesn't explain anything "....


"So we return to the children killed in the civil war. How do we explain this event if we believe in karma? Our only explanation is that, yes, these children did commit horrendous actions in past lives and the karma has now ripened.

For me that "explanation" is not only unconvincing but also unnecessary. The children died. They did nothing to "deserve" such deaths. The reason I look for an explanation is to avoid the mystery of their deaths, to protect myself from the pain it brings up in me, a pain that reminds me that I, too, am subject to tragic and arbitrary death, that my life could end at any time, and that I have no idea what the future holds for me. That is the mystery of life.

Ironically, when we probe deeper into classical treatments of karma, we find that the explanation karma appears to offer isn't much of an explanation. Traditionally, only a fully awakened being (a buddha) can see exactly how an action develops into a result. Karma, itself, is a mystery.

<u>I feel that karma as explanation adds very little to our lives. It lulls us

into the belief that there is an order to the universe, it allows us to project

a universe that we would like to exist, it can be used to justify horrific

inequities and rigid moral positions and in the end only replaces one

mystery with another "</u>.

Aloka
15 Jun 10, 08:01
You are taking away my bad karma and hence doing me favor which I am grateful. However, you are taking that karma on yourself, the thought of which causes me no pleasure at all.

**The Buddha said:**


"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
URL (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html)

truthseeker
16 Jun 10, 10:48
Rebirth threads seem to have a tendency to become controversial and hostile. I must say that I'm struggling a bit with this. Why does this happen? Can't we simply accept that there are people who believe this and people who believe that? Buddhism appears to be quite capable of accommodating both views. Yes, it makes a difference whether you believe in literal rebirth or not, and quite a significant one indeed. However, these discussions all revolve around what we think the Buddha taught and that in turn relies entirely on our interpretation and powers of discrimination, which -as everyone short of being enlightened must admit- are limited.

Cheers, Thomas

stuka
16 Jun 10, 16:03
Rebirth threads seem to have a tendency to become controversial and hostile. I must say that I'm struggling a bit with this. Why does this happen?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with controversy. Hostility, however, tends to be a function of clinging to speculative views. Now that the Nikayas are more widely available for examination, the issue of what the Buddha actually taught, and especially with respect to beliefs in theories of reincarnation/"re-birth", has rightly come to the forefront. Buddhism is going through its own "Enlightenment" period, just as Xtianity did when it was discovered that the world was not flat. There was much clinging to speculative views during the Xtian Enlightenment as well, and much hostility as well.



Can't we simply accept that there are people who believe this and people who believe that? Buddhism appears to be quite capable of accommodating both views.

I don't see anyone "not accepting" this. The issue of what the Buddha actually taught as his own Dhamma is an important one, however. There is no need for anyone to take the investigation into this issue personally, however. It happens due to the influence of avijja.



Yes, it makes a difference whether you believe in literal rebirth or not, and quite a significant one indeed.

Indeed.



However, these discussions all revolve around what we think the Buddha taught...

And fortunately, we have sources available in which to discover for ourselves what he actually taught, as his own teachings. The Buddha's words in the Nikayas are a known quantity, and agreed upon by all traditions and religions that call themselves "Buddhist" as the court of final resort.



and that in turn relies entirely on our interpretation and powers of discrimination, which -as everyone short of being enlightened must admit- are limited.

But we are not dirt-rock stupid up until the instant we "become Enlightened(TM)", and then suddenly wield infinite and omniscient powers of "discrimination". Nor are we "unaware" until "Enlightened(TM)". We do not grow eyes in the back of our head, for example. What happens is that the influence of avijja is destroyed. But this too is a gradual process, and we get better and better at it.

Valtiel
16 Jun 10, 18:44
"The Buddha did not answer every question, and I'm not going to answer this one, at least at this time, for reasons which should be obvious.

For now, I will only state that you are wrong. Karma (good or bad result in the future dependent on causes made in the present) is real, and it is the Buddha's teaching. Thank you for taking away some of my bad karma with your insults, which I have no doubt that I have in the past made the cause to suffer and now bear with joyful equanimity.

I have no illusions that you will suddenly change your mind, nor am I attempting to "win" an argument. My only motivation comes from my responsibility to uphold the true teaching and concern for your well being.

You are taking away my bad karma and hence doing me favor which I am grateful. However, you are taking that karma on yourself, the thought of which causes me no pleasure at all."

Holy shit, lol. XD

Jay O
16 Jun 10, 19:05
Being born again is not my doing, not now at least.

Yes it is.

What do you mean? (sneeze)

There.

truthseeker
17 Jun 10, 07:50
Buddhism is going through its own "Enlightenment" period, just as Xtianity did when it was discovered that the world was not flat.

Is Buddhism in the need of enlightenment?

Buddhism was never at odds with or in contradiction with science as Christianity was from the 16th century onwards. Furthermore, Buddhism is not riddled with internal doctrinal contradictions, on account of which there is no need for Buddhist apologetics. Finally, Buddhism has a built-in protection mechanism that prevents it from becoming the violent nightmare that Christian theocracies became in the high middle ages. So, I ask the question again: is Buddhism in need of enlightenment?



The issue of what the Buddha actually taught as his own Dhamma is an important one, however.

Certainly, but this is not a matter of clear cut logic, as there is wiggle room for subtly different interpretations, even if this may only be due to the properties of language in which the dharma is expressed. In the course of history, this has led to the formation of different Buddhist schools, each within its own culture. All schools agree that the Buddha taught rebirth, and there isn't even much discussion about whether rebirth was metaphorical or literal. This issue emerged only in contemporary Western culture which is strongly influenced by materialism and Judeo-Christian thought. I see this discussion as a result of the transference of Buddhism to the West. Just as the Chinese couldn't swallow the scholastic Indian Buddhism, and invented Chan Buddhism which is more palatable to the Confucian and Taoist mindset, the West is now inventing its own version of Buddhism which is more palatable to the Western mindset.

Cheers, Thomas

stuka
17 Jun 10, 16:54
Is Buddhism in the need of enlightenment?

Yes.


Buddhism was never at odds with or in contradiction with science as Christianity was from the 16th century onwards.

Reincarnation and hindu-karma are most certainly at odds with science, as are the various cosmologies and metaphysics that are postulated in the pre- and post-Buddha elements that have largely swallowed up "Buddhism" and all but entirely obscured his Noble, liberative teachings (sammaditthi ariyo anasava lokuttara maggaphala, per MN 117).




Furthermore, Buddhism is not riddled with internal doctrinal contradictions, on account of which there is no need for Buddhist apologetics.


The Buddha's own liberative teachings aren't, but the whole mass of superstition and cultural accretion that has buried them under wth "Buddhism" most certainly is. And if there is no need for "Buddhist apologetics", then why do they abound at places like Dhamma Wheel, New Buddhist, the thankfully now-defunct E-Sangha, etc?


Finally, Buddhism has a built-in protection mechanism that prevents it from becoming the violent nightmare that Christian theocracies became in the high middle ages.


And what protection mechanism is that? And what about the "Buddhist" theocracy that is perpetrating the Shugden pogrom, over mutual superstitions the Buddha never taught? And their violent actions during the Indian elections?




So, I ask the question again: is Buddhism in need of enlightenment?

And again: Yes, very definitely. In terms of the Buddha's Noble, liberative teachings, Buddhism has not yet discovered that the world is not flat.




Certainly, but this is not a matter of clear cut logic, as there is wiggle room for subtly different interpretations, even if this may only be due to the properties of language in which the dharma is expressed.


That is not how the Buddha taught it. The Discourses and the Vinaya are there for us to see for ourselves. There may be some "wiggle room" for nuances of interpretation, but mistaking the Buddha's liberative teachings as something not important and emphasizing the pre-Buddha superstitions and claiming that the final goal of the Buddha's teachings is concerned with these superstitions is a whole lot more than a nuance.


All schools agree that the Buddha taught rebirth

The Buddha discussed folks' extant beliefs in reincarnation (not "re-birth", as that was a later invantion aimed at turning the buddha's teachings into a 'reincarnation-that-is-not-reincarnation" strategy), but that does not mean that his own, unique, liberative teachings had anything to do with it. And there are schools that do not concern themselves with reincarnation/"re-birth" superstitions at all, too.


and there isn't even much discussion about whether rebirth was metaphorical or literal.

Sure there is, I see it all the time.



This issue emerged only in contemporary Western culture which is strongly influenced by materialism and Judeo-Christian thought.

If that is the case, then why do we have centuries of further speculations about "re-linking consciousness", "re-birth" vs. "reincarnation", the Abhidhamma, the commentaires, etc? And what do you think about the judeo-christian superstitions is relevant to it? They are just as much superstitions as reincarnation and karma. Nor is materialism relevant, either. The Buddha's liberative teachinsg are about suffernig and its quenching, not about explaining the nature of existence.



I see this discussion as a result of the transference of Buddhism to the West.

I do too, but for different reasons. Just as judeo-xtian superstition cannot survive the rational, empirical approach of the west, neither can eastern superstition. This isn't a bad thing, the process will separate the wheat of the Buddha's liberative teachings from the chaff of the superstitions that have all but obscured them.



the West is now inventing its own version of Buddhism which is more palatable to the Western mindset.

Not really: The west is looking to the Buddha's own teachings, in his own words, rather than relying on guru-heroes to tell them what to see and what to think, and finding that the Buddha's own liberative teachings (rather than the now-prevailing superstitions he called "right view with defilements") are also based in rational, empirical investigation, they comport quite nicely with reality and they have nothing whatsoever to do with supersition.

truthseeker
18 Jun 10, 08:32
If there is anything worse than apologetics, it's probably the need to redefine Buddhism in one's own terms. Thank you, but I think Buddhism is best left as it is. As a 2500 years old tradition that has produced many masters and arahants, one should perhaps give it credit for what it is. Sure, there are elements in this or that school, which I could do without, but who am I to prescribe the world my version of the dharma? Variety is welcome, as it makes it easier for different people and different cultures to approach the dharma. You see, it is meant as a vehicle, as a tool. The Buddhadharma is the means, not the goal.

There's been much talk in the West about removing what some see as expendable metaphysics from the dharma. This has been labeled sceptical Buddhism, reformed Buddhism, and what not. In my view, a reformist movement that attempts to surgically remove rebirth from the dharma is sorely misguided. It can only end up in disaster. The Buddha faced a profound existential dilemma, namely the repeated cycle of suffering, old age, and death in which we are all trapped. And the Buddha formulated a profound solution for this dilemma: a practice that spells out the escape from that cycle. Without rebirth, this teaching is reduced to something trivial, something akin to anxiety therapy, or stress reduction method. The American scholar Alexander Berzin (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/dharma_lite.html) has called this "dharma lite".

I have nothing against dharma lite per se. Even as a stress reduction therapy, Buddhist practice is quite useful. Likewise, meditation is useful for therapeutic purposes. By all means, practice dharma lite if you don't like dharma classic. Practice meditation for relaxation. But don't go around telling that dharma lite is dharma classic. Don't confuse the two. The suttas spell out literal rebirth in quite unequivocal terms, and all schools of Buddhism repeat the message in similarly unmistakable terms. If one is utterly convinced that there is no rebirth, then one might be better off with another religion or philosophy. Attempting to twist the dhamma into one's preferred worldview can only achieve one thing: the intensification of clinging. And we know where that leads to...

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 09:06
In my view, a reformist movement that attempts to surgically remove rebirth from the dharma is sorely misguided. It can only end up in disaster. The Buddha faced a profound existential dilemma, namely the repeated cycle of suffering, old age, and death in which we are all trapped. And the Buddha formulated a profound solution for this dilemma: a practice that spells out the escape from that cycle. Without rebirth, this teaching is reduced to something trivial, something akin to anxiety therapy, or stress reduction method. The American scholar Alexander Berzin has called this "dharma lite".

Taking a neutral position as I do, is not "surgically removing rebirth from the Dharma" nor "Attempting to twist the dhamma into one's preferred worldview"

I'll practice the Buddha's teachings while remaining present in the here and now, rather than my mind spinning and speculating about past and future lives. What possible benefit can that have? How can my practice end up in disaster? Sounds like the kind of attitude that one finds with people like Berzin. Actually, when practising Vajrayana and discovering and reading some of the things on his website I was horrified to be quite honest !


As for 'dharma light' and 'dharma real' that's nonsense. What right has he to comment publicly on the motivation and practice of others ? None at all.

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 10:01
the intensification of clinging. And we know where that leads to...



Yes,trying to speculate about and grasp onto rebirth beliefs is certainly clinging! :lol:

...and I'm going outside now to meditate in the open air...Byee :wave:

truthseeker
18 Jun 10, 10:12
I agree, Dazzle, that taking an agnostic or even a sceptic view on rebirth does not amount to surgically removing rebirth from the dharma. It is of course possible to practice the teachings without looking into rebirth, even disbelieving it, in the same way it is possible to operate a TV without looking into the electronic components inside the TV, even disbelieving the existence of radio waves. This was what I tried to express earlier on. There is no point insisting that practitioners can have only all or nothing. Buddhist practice is perfectly suited for a gradual approach. In this last comment, I was referring to the suggestion that Buddhism is in the need of "enlightenment" (what a bizarre idea), and that it would benefit from the removal of "speculative views". I find this whole reformist idea quite Lutheran, and we all know what incredible pain the latter movement has caused, which is why I see it ending in disaster. Berzin has spent an entire life studying Tibetan Buddhism and he is a respected scholar with a long list of published works. He is also an expert on cultural adaptation of Buddhism, so he seems to know what he is talking about. Perhaps this justifies the "attitude".

I find that "grasp onto rebirth beliefs" is phrased oddly, since rebirth is part of the dharma as exposed in the suttas, and it is -thanks to the repetitive character of the sutta basket- repeated over and over. So one "grasps onto rebirth" in the same sense as one "grasps onto dependent origination", or any other component of the dharma. It isn't "grasping" as in upadana, but "grasping" as in understanding.

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 10:54
Berzin has spent an entire life studying Tibetan Buddhism and he is a respected scholar with a long list of published works. He is also an expert on cultural adaptation of Buddhism, so he seems to know what he is talking about. Perhaps this justifies the "attitude".

There are many people throughout history who have spent their lives studying mundane worldly matters - but it doesn't make them 'right' on a supramundane level.

According to fashionable trends appearing and then disappearing, groups in society giving approval or disapproval of this or that , worldly 'respect' can wax and wane as can the credibility of 'published works'.

If we practice, however, rather than needing to rely on these 'experts' and their long lists of works, the truth becomes much clearer to us. That's why we practice.



The Blessed One said:

"You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there."


MN 131 : Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day

:hands:

truthseeker
18 Jun 10, 11:13
it doesn't make them 'right' on a supramundane level.

What do you mean by "being right on a supramundane level"?

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 11:20
What do you mean by "being right on a supramundane level"?


Buddhadasa Bhikkhu explains 'supramundane' (Lokuttara) here:


http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa12.htm

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 14:57
Berzin has spent an entire life studying Tibetan Buddhism and he is a respected scholar with a long list of published works. He is also an expert on cultural adaptation of Buddhism, so he seems to know what he is talking about. Perhaps this justifies the "attitude"

The same could be said for respected scholars of other religions pushing a hard line fundamentalist approach - in order to create a little freedom of development sometimes people need to use discernment and look beyond the blinkered pushers of the party line.

Do you practice with any particular tradition yourself, Thomas ?

truthseeker
18 Jun 10, 15:34
Fundamentalist? I don't think that describes Berzin's position. Have you read some of his stuff? The comparative religion essays, for example, are not at all what one would expect from a fundamentalist. Neither are the essays about doctrinal differences of the various schools in any sense fundamentalist. Frankly, I haven't yet seen much fundamentalism among Buddhist scholars. I have only seen Buddhist "fundamentalism" on Internet boards, but I would rather call it dogmatism, both from orthodox and unorthodox parties. :)

I live in Thailand, so my own practice is naturally influenced by Thai Theravada Buddhism. I am quite happy to stray occasionally, and I am interested in Zen (and Mahayana Buddhism in general).

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
18 Jun 10, 16:07
Thank you for the interaction we've had, I'm going to refrain from saying anything more about Berzin now, Thomas. People must decide for themselves, of course. We're straying away from the main topic, so I guess its time to get back to the subject of rebirth and to see if anyone wants to say more about it.

:hands:

Esho
18 Jun 10, 18:05
Reply # 652,

Hello Thomas,

I liked your aproach to the issue. I am a Soto Zen practitioner. In a very Zen style we say that rebirth with it associated doctrine, kaarma do exist and do not exist. I tend to avoid, allways, any kind of extreme posture because any extreme is misleading. In Soto Zen, learning, far from intelectual debate, is leaded by sitting meditation and silence. The intimacy of the practice will tell you about this and the realization of this understanding has to be kept with you. Because Zen makes an accent in the here and now we do not get entangled with rebirth but also we tell that not getting emboiled in the issue, do not means, necesarly, that rebirth do not happens. Keeping a dispasioante actitude toward this, is right for a good zazen.

Namaste,

:hands:

stuka
18 Jun 10, 20:49
If there is anything worse than apologetics, it's probably the need to redefine Buddhism in one's own terms.

Gee, that almost looks like a personal attack. Good thing it doesn't apply to anyone here.
As a 2500 years old tradition that has produced many masters and arahants, one should perhaps give it credit for what it is.


Fallacy Appeal to Tradition. And no one is failing to "give it credit for what it is". But there is also much eisegesis in that 2500 years of tradition.



Sure, there are elements in this or that school, which I could do without, but who am I to prescribe the world my version of the dharma?

"What I could do without" is irrelevant. Again, all traditions that call themselves "Buddhist", no matter how loosely, defer to the Buddha's words in the Discourses as authoritative. There is no need to "preseribe the world my version of the dharma", because we have the Buddhadhamma available to us here and now, to see adn know for ourselves.



You see, it is meant as a vehicle, as a tool. The Buddhadharma is the means, not the goal.

And the Buddhadhamma is the Buddhadhamma, and everything else is just...something else.



There's been much talk in the West about removing what some see as expendable metaphysics from the dharma.


The Buddha left metaphysics out of his own liberative teachings, the ones he called Noble, without defilements (of superstition and speculative view) transcendent, a Factor of the Path. (MN 117 sammaditthi ariyo anasava lokuttara maggaphala).





In my view, a reformist movement that attempts to surgically remove rebirth from the dharma is sorely misguided. It can only end up in disaster.


It hasn't been misguided, or ended up in disaster, for the last 2500 years. It has always been there, from the start.


The Buddha faced a profound existential dilemma, namely the repeated cycle of suffering, old age, and death in which we are all trapped.


The problem that the Buddha declared he faced was that of suffering. THE whole business of "repeated cycle of birth and death n which we are all [supposedly] trapped" is speculative view-cum-superstition. The Buddha declared that his teachings addressed suffering and its extinguishment.


And the Buddha formulated a profound solution for this dilemma: a practice that spells out the escape from that cycle.


From cycles of ignorance leading to suffering, yes.


Without rebirth, this teaching is reduced to something trivial, something akin to anxiety therapy, or stress reduction method.


You have got it backwards here, friend. *With* the assumption of reincarnation/"re-birth", this teaching is reduced to something trivial, mere superstition, something akin to primitive religions like Xtianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Free from superstitions of reincarnation/"re-birth", the Buddha's teachings are a powerful psychology-and-ethics that can and do accomplish what no primitive, superstition-based religion can.


The American scholar Alexander Berzin has called this "dharma lite".


Ah, yes, the Berzin "Dharma Lite" Fallacy. Amazing that he can be so wrong, and be such a pompous and obnoxious ass about it at the same time.

The Buddha had a phrase that meant "Dharma Lite", too. He called it "Sammaditthi Sasava". He used it to describe the various superstitions that preceded him, which he felt nonetheless pointed one in a direction of morality. He describes these in detail in the Maha Cattarisaka Sutta, MN 117, and contrasts them with what he phrased as "Real Thing Dharma", which he called "Sammaditthi Ariyo Anasava Lokuttara Maggaphala". This "Real Thing Dharma" consisted of his own teachings based in rational, empirical discernment. You see, Berzin has the Dhamma completely backwards. An analysis and discussion of Berzin's polemic against the Buddha's Noble, liberative teachings might warrant a separate thread. Perhaps I will start one here, now that you have broached the subject and appear well-versed in Berzin's Fallacy and willing to apologize for it. For now, though, let us examine the Buddha's teachingg about "Dharma Lite" and "Real Thing Dharma":

[1] "Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.

"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.


As you can clearly see, the various superstitions that preceded the Buddha he calls "right view with effluents (asava)", and his own teachings of discernment he calls "right view that is without effluents". This particular translation leaves out the word "ariyo" in the second phrase, meaning "Noble Right View". The Noble Right View is of course the view of the Four Noble Truths. This view also has an ethics attached to it, a sort of Super-Golden-Rule ethics, which is exemplified in the Veludvareyya Sutta, the Discourse the the People of Bamboo Gate. Armed with the Four Noble Truths and this Super-Golden-Rule, there simply is no need for an enforcement plank of superstition to prop up the Buddha's Noble Right View.




I have nothing against dharma lite per se.

So you have nothing against the Buddhadhamma. Nice to hear that, at least....


Even as a stress reduction therapy, Buddhist practice is quite useful. Likewise, meditation is useful for therapeutic purposes. By all means, practice dharma lite if you don't like dharma classic. Practice meditation for relaxation. But don't go around telling that dharma lite is dharma classic.


Considering the Buddha's teaching with respect to what is "Dharma Lite" and what is "Real Thing Dharma", I would urge the same to you, and Berzin, and all other misguided Dharma Lite apologetics.


Don't confuse the two.


Why, I wouldn't dream of it.


The suttas spell out literal rebirth in quite unequivocal terms


The suttas are talking about reincarnation, and it is indeed clear that when this is discussed that it is done so within the context of The Buddha's version of what is "Dharma Lite", i.e., for the benefit of superstitious persons who hae not been instructed on the Buddha's own Real Thing Dhamma.


If one is utterly convinced that there is no rebirth....


Straw Man! No one in this discussion has taken that position. Not one.







....then one might be better off with another religion or philosophy.


I might say the same of apologists of Berzin's "Dharma Lite": they might as well all put red dots on their foreheads and call themselves the Hindus they really are.


Attempting to twist the dhamma into one's preferred worldview can only achieve one thing: the intensification of clinging. And we know where that leads to...


I couldn't agree more -- that is why I look to the teachings of the Buddha for instruction, rather than to fools like Berzin who wouldn't know the Buddha's teachings if they had them right in front of them.

stuka
18 Jun 10, 21:00
I'll practice the Buddha's teachings while remaining present in the here and now, rather than my mind spinning and speculating about past and future lives. What possible benefit can that have? How can my practice end up in disaster? Sounds like the kind of attitude that one finds with people like Berzin. Actually, when practising Vajrayana and discovering and reading some of the things on his website I was horrified to be quite honest !


As for 'dharma light' and 'dharma real' that's nonsense. What right has he to comment publicly on the motivation and practice of others ? None at all.


Hear, Hear!

stuka
18 Jun 10, 21:21
It is of course possible to practice the teachings without looking into rebirth, even disbelieving it

....of course it is. The Buddha's Real Thing Dhamma doesn't bother with such speculations and superstitions at all.


in the same way it is possible to operate a TV without looking into the electronic components inside the TV, even disbelieving the existence of radio waves


Ah, how clever. But radio waves are real phenomena that can be measured. Reincarnation/"re-birth" is mere superstition.



Buddhist practice is perfectly suited for a gradual approach.


Nor does a "gradual approach" necessitate any belief in superstitious or speculative views.


I was referring to the suggestion that Buddhism is in the need of "enlightenment" (what a bizarre idea), and that it would benefit from the removal of "speculative views".

I am sure that the idea that the world is round seemed quite "bizarre" to Xtians who believed it was flat 500 years ago. Buddhism is nonetheless currently going through an Enlightenment Period, whether you choose to notice it or not.


I find this whole reformist idea quite Lutheran, and we all know what incredible pain the latter movement has caused, which is why I see it ending in disaster.


....Lutheran...? More like Copernican.


Berzin has spent an entire life studying Tibetan Buddhism and he is a respected scholar with a long list of published works. He is also an expert on cultural adaptation of Buddhism, so he seems to know what he is talking about. Perhaps this justifies the "attitude".


And the Pope has spent a lifetime studying catholicism, and is nonetheless just as much an ignorant fundamentalist superstitious buffoon as Berzin.


I find that "grasp onto rebirth beliefs" is phrased oddly, since rebirth is part of the dharma as exposed in the suttas, and it is -thanks to the repetitive character of the sutta basket- repeated over and over.

"Re-birth"-belief is grasping at speculative view -- in other words, superstition. The fact that the Buddha discussed the extant beliefs of the various religions in his area and time with the people that held to them does not make them his own.


So one "grasps onto rebirth" in the same sense as one "grasps onto dependent origination", or any other component of the dharma.

The Dhamma isn't for grasping, it is for crossing the stream. Paticcasamuppada is not a superstition like reincarnation/"re-birth"; it is a rational, empirical description of mental processes that give rise to suffering.


Fundamentalist? I don't think that describes Berzin's position. Have you read some of his stuff?


I have, and he is just as much an ignorant evangelical fundamentalist as any of the worst we see in evangelical xtianity. His essay on "Dharma Lite",and the arguments I have seen from those who ascribe to that view, are a perfect example of such ignorant (uninformed) fundamentalism.

Valtiel
18 Jun 10, 21:30
Why is it that the "dhamma lite" practitioners are the only ones able to provide extensive citations to the suttas themselves to support their claims while the pro-rebirthers are barely aware that the suttas even exist and just regurgitate unsupported dogma that Master Roshi passed along during a game of Chinese Whispers? And why is it that suttas such as MN 117, for example, are absolutely never addressed by pro-rebirthers in Threads such as these? :dontknow:

stuka
19 Jun 10, 01:34
Why is it that the "dhamma lite" practitioners are the only ones able to provide extensive citations to the suttas themselves to support their claims while the pro-rebirthers are barely aware that the suttas even exist and just regurgitate unsupported dogma that Master Roshi passed along during a game of Chinese Whispers? And why is it that suttas such as MN 117, for example, are absolutely never addressed by pro-rebirthers in Threads such as these? dontknow

Well, to be fair, in my experience that would tend to be Great Realized Master(TM) Lama Riponche's unsupported dogma...

Perhaps I have gotten this all wrong, though -- perhaps Berzin is calling it "Dharma Light(TM)" Because it is the straight-pipe, 100%, Straight-From-His-Own-Lips Buddhadhamma, unencumbered (and thus "light") by clinging to superstitions and myths and cosmological, metaphysical, and ontological speculations, free of cultural baggage, guru-hero worship, extraneous Brahmanical and Hindu horseshit or any other useless Foo-Foo.

...and, of course, just like the Coca-Cola hype Berzin uses for his ridiculous little Dhamma metaphor, that would also make his "Real Thing Dharma(TM)" out to be just fizzy, flavoured sugar-water, with oodles and oodles of calories and absolutely little-to-no nutritional value at all.

Snowmelt
19 Jun 10, 02:50
all traditions that call themselves "Buddhist", no matter how loosely, defer to the Buddha's words in the Discourses as authoritative. There is no need to "preseribe the world my version of the dharma", because we have the Buddhadhamma available to us here and now, to see adn know for ourselves.

Couldn't one argue that, if all or most Buddhist schools are wrong about rebirth and kamma, they could just as easily be wrong about this as well? Perhaps it is at the end of the day impossible to know what actually emerged from the Buddha's own mouth.

stuka
19 Jun 10, 04:43
all traditions that call themselves "Buddhist", no matter how loosely, defer to the Buddha's words in the Discourses as authoritative. There is no need to "prescribe the world my version of the dharma", because we have the Buddhadhamma available to us here and now, to see adn know for ourselves.

Couldn't one argue that, if all or most Buddhist schools are wrong about rebirth and kamma, they could just as easily be wrong about this as well? Perhaps it is at the end of the day impossible to know what actually emerged from the Buddha's own mouth.


That does not follow. The Buddha is clear in the discourses about what is his own liberative teachings and what is not. His own liberative teachings are consistently repeated over and over, and consistently detailed at length in the discourses, even when they are translated by believers in reincarnation/"re-birth". Beyond that, they are internally consistent, and they also comport with reality without dependence on superstition and speculative view.

If a particular school takes a flyer and goes its own way in spite of what it agrees the Buddha taught, that is just that particular school moving away from the Buddha's teachings.

But, that being said, let's look at your scenario for just a moment and assume it were true. Suppose, just for a moment, that these liberative teachings were not the words of this one man, the one we call "the Buddha". That would not change the fact that these Noble, liberative teachings -- whoever might have come up with them -- are a rock-solid, magnificent, self-standing, internally consistent psychology-and-ethics of reciprocity, completely free and devoid of superstition, dogma, metaphysics, cosmological and ontological speculations, hero-guru worship, cultural baggage, or any sort of Foo-Foo -- a super-religion, a religion beyond superstitions, a religion that transcends superstitions, and which is based in rational, empirical, logical, provable ethical principles and practices.

Were it the case that these liberative teachings we see in the suttas were not the teachings of this one man, but the teachings of someone else -- it doesn't matter who -- and that these liberative teachings were not "Buddhism" and were not really a part of "Buddhism" or didn't really have a place in "Buddhism", then the only serious choice for a rational, reasonable person to do would be to dump the liberative-teaching-free, superstition-based "Buddhism" -- along with the rest of the primitive superstition-based religions, and to embrace and dive into this non-"Buddhist", superstition-free, liberative super-religion instead.

So go ahead, maintain this nonsense of "we don't really know what the Buddha taught". That makes a much better case for these liberative teachings if you do -- no matter who might have come up with them -- and pulls the rug right out from under the claim of superstition-based "Buddhism" to comport with reality and its efforts to be taken seriously in a post-Enlightenment, post-superstition world.

truthseeker
19 Jun 10, 04:51
Why is it that the "dhamma lite" practitioners are the only ones able to provide extensive citations to the suttas themselves to support their claims while the pro-rebirthers are barely aware that the suttas even exist and just regurgitate unsupported dogma that Master Roshi passed along during a game of Chinese Whispers?

Valtiel, you of all people have engaged in rebirth discussions for such a long time that you should be familiar with many of the suttas that contain clear and unequivocal references to rebirth. But since you are asking for it, I have attached a small selection of them to this post. Combing through the sutta basket, you can find dozens and dozens such references. Even a cursory review of the sutta basket reveals many examples.


You have got it backwards here, friend. *With* the assumption of reincarnation/"re-birth", this teaching is reduced to something trivial, mere superstition, something akin to primitive religions like Xtianity, Islam, and Judaism. Free from superstitions of reincarnation/"re-birth", the Buddha's teachings are a powerful psychology-and-ethics that can and do accomplish what no primitive, superstition-based religion can.

Ok, let me summarise. You consider the Abrahamic religions "primitive" and "superstition-based". That's what you say. You also consider rebirth a "primitive superstition", not better than the Abrahamic religions. Again, you spell this out quite clearly. Does this not appear a little judgemental? I mean, think of the roughly 400 million Buddhists in the world. According to you, at least 390 million of them are stuck in primitive superstitions, among them "buffons" like Berzin (again your own words). According to your logic, their minds are just too primitive to grasp the one and only noble teaching, which naturally coincides with your personal interpretation of the dharma. This does put you on top of the food chain, doesn't it?


The suttas are talking about reincarnation, and it is indeed clear that when this is discussed that it is done so within the context of The Buddha's version of what is "Dharma Lite", i.e., for the benefit of superstitious persons who hae not been instructed on the Buddha's own Real Thing Dhamma.

How convenient! When the suttas mention rebirth, then this was just for the benefit of the superstitious people. I believe you have just made your position unassailable, even though there is not the slightest evidence for it. But who needs evidence if an argument is that convenient? Of course, this implies that the Buddha sort of tricked these poor people who weren't quite ready for the full truth. Does this mean the Buddha is a trickster, or is it just the case that he didn't know any better than teaching superstitions to the puttujhanas? And how does this go together with the idea that enlightened beings don't lie?

Cheers, Thomas

Rebirth references in the suttas

(*) The Mahasaccaka Sutta (MN 36) recounts the spiritual practice and the awakening of the Buddha. It contains a brief description of how the Buddha remembered his own past lifes. Sample quote: "When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two...five, ten...fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details." http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitak...kaya/mn-36.htm

(*) The Jataka tales in the Khuddaka Nikaya (too many to quote all) contain stories about the Buddha's previous lives. Quote from the first Apannaka Jataka: "Thence he went on to say:--"No disciples, male or female, who seek refuge in the Three Gems that are endowed with such peerless excellences, are ever reborn into hell and the like states; but, released from all rebirth into states of suffering, they pass to the Realm of Devas and there receive great glory." http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/j1/j1004.htm - There are all together 547 past life accounts of the Buddha, some in human form, some in animal form. These stories are arranged in six books and make up a voluminous part of the Khuddaka Nikaya.

(*) The Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta (MN 135) is a short discourse about karma and fruition of karma. Quote: "If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is short-lived wherever reborn." This sutta gives a description of the kammic fruits in future lifes of 14 distinct types, such as killing, harm, kindness, harmlessnes, anger, envy, arrogance and so forth. of http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....135.than.html

(*) Brahma-nimantanika Sutta (MN 49) is a discussion with a (deluded) Brahmin and Mara, the evil one. Quote: "The fermentations that defile, that lead to further becoming, that disturb, that ripen in stress, that tend to future birth, aging, & death: Those the Tathagata has abandoned, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palmyra tree, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising." http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Brahmanimantanika_Sutta

(*) The Nagara Sutta (SN 12:65) contains an abbreviated account of codependent origination and the arising of dukkha. Quote: "Then, monks, it occurred to me: This consciousness turns back; it does not go further than name-and-form. It is to this extent that one may be born and age and die, pass away and be reborn, that is when there is consciousness with name-and-form as its condition, and name-and-form with consciousness as its condition." (BB)

(*) The law of kamma (AN 4:232; II 230-32) contains this quote: "And what, monks, is dark kamma with dark results? Here, monks, someone generates an afflictive volitional formation of body, speech, or mind. Having done so, he is reborn in an afflictive world. When he is reborn in an afflictive world, afflictive contacts touch him. Being touched by afficltive contacts, he experiences an afflictive feeling, extremely painful, as the beings in hell experience." (BB)

(*) The Saleyakka Sutta (MN 41), given to the Brahmin householders of Sala, gives a detailed account of life after death. Quote: "Householders, it is by reason of unrighteous conduct, conduct not in accordance with the dhamma, that some beings here, on the breakup of the body, after death, are reborn in a state of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell. It is by reason of righteous conduct, conduct in accordance with the dhamma, that some beings here, on the breakup of the body, after death, are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. [...] And how, householders, are there three kinds of unrighteous mental conduct, conduct not in accordance with the dhamma? [...] Or he has wrong view, distorted vision, thus,: There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed, no fruit or result of good and bad actions; no this world, no other world,; no mother, no father; no beings wo are reborn spontaneously (devas); no good and virtuous ascetics and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world." (BB)

(*) The Saleyakka Sutta (MN 41; I 286-90) also contains a detailed description of the deva realm: "If, householders, one who observes righteous conduct, conduct in accordance with the dhamma, should wish: Oh, that on the breakup of the body, after death, may I be reborn in the company of the devas of the realm of the four great kings! ...in the company of the Tavatimsa devas ...the Yama devas ...the Tusita devas ...the devas who delight in creating ...the devas who wield power over others' creations ...the devas of Brahma's company ...the devas of radiance ...the devas of streaming radiance ...the devas of glory ...the devas of limited glory ...the devas of immeasurable glory ...the devas of refulgent glory ...the devas of great fruit ...the aviha devas ...the atappa devas, the sudassa devas ...the sudassi devas ...the akanitta devas ...the devas of the base of the infinity of space ...the devas of the base of the infinity of consciousness ...the devas of the base of nothingness ...the devas of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception! it is possible that on the breakup of the body, after death, he will be reborn in the company of the devas of...." (BB)

(*) The Anguttara Nikaya (AN 8:35, IV 239-40) contains an account of generosity (dana) that relates the meritorious act of giving to future lifes. Quote: "There are, O monks, eight kinds of rebirth on account of giving. What eight? Here, monks a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food, drink, clothing, and vehicles, garlands, scents and unguents, bedding, lodging and lighting. [...] With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be reborn among affluent nobles, brahmins, or householders. This, however, I declare only for the morally pure, not for the immoral; for it is due to his purity, monks, that the heart's desire of the morally pure succeeds."

(BB) = Bikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha's Words (An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon)

Aloka
19 Jun 10, 05:05
Can I just mention at this point that we all (including myself) need to be mindful with our word choices if the goal is meaningful conversation.


The Jataka tales

Were the Jakata tales spoken by the Buddha?


Mara, the evil one.

I think most people will agree (even some Tibetan Buddhist teachers) that 'Mara' represents negativity and temptation in the practitioner


I've also mentioned elsewhere that the 'Realms' can be interpreted as different mental states - and a TB teacher agreed with this interpretation too in a conversation I had several years ago

Snowmelt
19 Jun 10, 05:19
So go ahead, maintain this nonsense of "we don't really know what the Buddha taught".

I wasn't doing that, only raising questions that occurred to me. :)

stuka
19 Jun 10, 05:42
Valtiel, you of all people have engaged in rebirth discussions for such a long time that you should be familiar with many of the suttas that contain clear and unequivocal references to rebirth. But since you are asking for it, I have attached a small selection of them to this post. Combing through the sutta basket, you can find dozens and dozens such references. Even a cursory review of the sutta basket reveals many examples.


The word "re-birth" (and the reincarnation-that-is-not-reincarnation of an atta-that-is-not-an-atta that it postulates) is a very recent contrivance. What is discussed in the suttas is reincarnation. And when the Buddha discusses these extant beliefs in reincarnation, he discusses them using the terms and beliefs attavadan reincarnation of a soul -- "this person re-appears here", etc. This is not the contrived "re-birth" of an "atta-that-is-not-an-atta", this is brahmin/hindu reincarnation and brahmin/hindu karma. And you can cherry-pick the suttas all you want out-of-context, just as Bhikkhu Bodhi does in the selection you provide here. But Bodhi is forced to admit, just like everyone else, that the Buddha did discuss various persons' beliefs with them, in a way that steered them toward his own teachings. So we see a lot of talk about reincarnation in the suttas. Lots of people believed in it back then. That doesn't change the fact that the Buddha's liberative teachings render such beliefs irrelevant.




Quote from: stuka on Today at 04:49:47 AM
You have got it backwards here, friend. *With* the assumption of reincarnation/"re-birth", this teaching is reduced to something trivial, mere superstition, something akin to primitive religions like Xtianity, Islam, and Judaism. Free from superstitions of reincarnation/"re-birth", the Buddha's teachings are a powerful psychology-and-ethics that can and do accomplish what no primitive, superstition-based religion can.


Ok, let me summarise. You consider the Abrahamic religions "primitive" and "superstition-based". That's what you say. You also consider rebirth a "primitive superstition", not better than the Abrahamic religions. Again, you spell this out quite clearly. Does this not appear a little judgemental?



Your use of the word "judgmental" is pejorative. You are gearing up to equivocate yourself into position for an ad hominem accusation of elitist hubris. It's not going to work.

No, it is not at all "judgmental".







I mean, think of the roughly 400 million Buddhists in the world. According to you, at least 390 million of them are stuck in primitive superstitions, among them "buffons" like Berzin (again your own words).

Neither of us knows how many Buddhists actually believe in reincarnation/"re-birth", and how many just put up with the superstitions in order to get to the Buddhadhamma. I will not speculate on numbers. And I am calling superstition-based religion "primitive", as distinguished from a "modern", superstition-free religion.



According to your logic, their minds are just too primitive to grasp the one and only noble teaching

And now you are equivocating. I have said nothing about anyone's minds being "primitive". Again, I am calling superstition-based religions "primitive" in comparison with non-superstition-based, "modern" religion. I can see where you are going with this, though -- you have nothing substantial to argue with, so now you are attacking me personally with accusations of elitism and hubris.

<yawn>


....but more to come on the matter of teachings to putthujanas below.....



which naturally coincides with your personal interpretation of the dharma


Again, this "that's just your personal interpretation" crap isn't going to fly. It is an invalid argument, even if it were true that this were "just my interpretation".



This does put you on top of the food chain, doesn't it?


This has nothing to do with "me". Play the ball, not the man.



Quote from: stuka on Today at 04:49:47 AM
The suttas are talking about reincarnation, and it is indeed clear that when this is discussed that it is done so within the context of The Buddha's version of what is "Dharma Lite", i.e., for the benefit of superstitious persons who hae not been instructed on the Buddha's own Real Thing Dhamma.


How convenient! When the suttas mention rebirth, then this was just for the benefit of the superstitious people. I believe you have just made your position unassailable, even though there is not the slightest evidence for it. But who needs evidence if an argument is that convenient? Of course, this implies that the Buddha sort of tricked these poor people who weren't quite ready for the full truth. Does this mean the Buddha is a trickster, or is it just the case that he didn't know any better than teaching superstitions to the puttujhanas? And how does this go together with the idea that enlightened beings don't lie?


Really, Thomas? I'll concede your assertion that I have "made my position unassailable", but I have done so through evidence, and your assertion that "there is not the slightest evidence for it" is at best wishful thinking, and at worst a blustering sophist bluff. I withhold, out of respect for you, the word "bullshit".

The Buddha explains exactly why he discusses reincarnation for the benefit of the superstitious people in the Nalakapana Sutta, which I see clw_uk citing every once in a while....

Ah, here it is;


The Buddha has states why he teaches rebirth post mortem
MN 68
"So, Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, and renown, or with the thought " let people know me to be thus", that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance thus "so-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place" Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time"

lofty
Adjective
[loftier, loftiest]
1. of majestic or imposing height
2. morally admirable: lofty ideals
3. unpleasantly superior: a lofty contempt


It helps lead people to be moral, which helps them to progress to the Buddhas own teachings, the 4 noble truths (if they want to or can)


metta



Jeez, Thomas you make this all too easy....I would advise you to be very careful about saying things like "even though there is not the slightest evidence for it" when you don't have a clue if there is evidence or not.



BTW, I am not going to chase cherry-picked snippets of suttas, that you have pulled out-of-context and cut-and-pasted from other sources who have cherry-picked them out-of-context, for you. We have already pointed out several times the reasons why the Buddha discussed reincarnation in the suttas, and shown that it is absent from, and irrelevant to, his own liberative (sammaditthi ariyo anasava lokuttara maggaphala) teachings.

stuka
19 Jun 10, 05:44
Perhaps it is at the end of the day impossible to know what actually emerged from the Buddha's own mouth.


That is not a question. Nonetheless, you are not the only one who has posed this argument, whether in the guise of a question or not, and that argument and its ramifications to this issue need to be addressed.

Snowmelt
19 Jun 10, 07:24
That is not a question. Nonetheless, you are not the only one who has posed this argument, whether in the guise of a question or not, and that argument and its ramifications to this issue need to be addressed.

If I thought I had to be absolutely rigorous with every word I post, I wouldn't post at all, probably - insufficient power of concentration. :) Please take my utterances as approximate to my intent, not precise.

truthseeker
19 Jun 10, 07:58
Stuka, quoting a snippet of the Nalakapana Sutta (MN 68) to support the (absurd) idea that the Buddha wasn't quite serious about rebirth isn't such a good idea, because one only needs to read the sutta in its entirety to determine that this is not at all what the sutta is about. Talk about cherry-picking! This is already at the extreme end of cherry-picking, at the beginning of intentional misrepresentation.

First of all, the sutta is addressed to the head disciple Anuruddha and the other disciples ("sons of clansmen who have gone forth"); it is NOT addressed to puthujjanas. Second, the teaching of rebirth is itself is addressed to the disciples, NOT the puthujjanas. The Buddha says: "Anuruddha, for what purpose does the Thus Gone One tell the disciples, without wasting time, before you die, be born in something higher." Third, the Buddha affirms explicitly that the teaching of rebirth is NOT a deception (how can it get more explicit?). Fourth, the Buddha talks in MN 68 to his disciples about the stream-enterer, the once-returner, and the non-returner (i.e. the ones who are released). How on earth can the Buddha make such proclamations without "being serious" about rebirth? Are we to assume that he is deceiving his noblest disciples? Does that make any sense at all?

You are deliberately reading something into the sutta which is factually not there. There is no indication that rebirth is a teaching device for those who are not quite ready to hear the whole story. On the contrary, the Buddha asserts (to his disciples!) that striving for a good rebirth, striving for stream-entry, and striving for once-returning are proper motivations for leading the life of a homeless disciple. How more explicit can you get? -- Obviously, if this does not convince you that the Buddha did in fact teach rebirth, then no amount of reasoning and no amount of sutta reading will. So I leave it at that. --- For the benefit of the other readers, here is the full sutta copied from: http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=102

MN 68: Nalakapana Sutta (The Discourse at Nalakapana)

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in a forest in Nalakapaana in the kingdom of Kosala. At that time many, well known sons of clansmen had gone forth as homeless ones, through faith for the Blessed One. Well known ones such venerables Anuruddha, Nandiya, Kimbila, Bhagu, Kundadaana, Revata, Aananda, and other sons of clansmen. At that time the Blessed One was seated in the open attended by the Community of bhikkhus. The Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus on account of those sons of clansmen. The bhikkhus, the sons of clansmen who have gone forth, on account of faith in me, do you lead the holy life with attachment? When this was said the bhikkhus, were silent. For the second time, and up to the third time the Blessed One said, The bhikkhus, the sons of clansmen who have gone forth, on account of faith in me, do you lead the holy life with an attachment? Even for the third time the bhikkhus were silent.

Then it occurred to the Blessed One, what if I question one of the sons of those clansmen, then the Blessed One addressed venerable Anuruddha: Anuruddha, are you attached to the holy life? Venerable sir, I’m attached to the holy life. Good! Anurudddha, lead the holy life with attachment! Sons of clansmen, gone forth out of faith in me, should do so. Anurudddha, you are in the prime of youth, in the first stage of life, even with black hair. When you should enjoy the five strands of sense pleasure, you have gone forth and become homeless. Anuruddha, you were not thrown to recluseship out of fear for the king or robbers. Nor out of fear of a debt, not because you have no means to live. It is because you thought, I’m overcome by birth, decay, death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, and that few could declare the complete ending of unpleasantness. Anuruddha, didn’t you go forth with that faith? Yes, venerable sir I did. Anuruddha, to the son of a clansman who has gone forth thus, what’s there to be done in this dispensation? Anuruddha, if you do not seclude the mind from sensual desires and things of demerit, or attain something more exalted than that, covetousness takes hold of your mind and stays (* 1). Anger takes hold of your mind and stays. Sloth and torpor takes hold of your mind and stays. Restlessness and worry takes hold of your mind and stays and doubts take hold of your mind and stay. Therefore, Anuruddha, seclude the mind from sensual desires and things of demerit, or attain something more exalted than that.So that covetoutness may not take hold of your mind and stay. Anger may not take hold of your mind and stay, sloth and torpor may not take hold of your mind and stay, restlessness and worry may not take hold of your mind and stay and doubts may not take hold of your mind stay.

Anuruddha, do you think that these defiling desires, full of unplessant results of a future birth, decay and death, are not dispelled to the Thus Gone One. Therefore the Thus Gone One carefully pursues one, endures one, dispels one and destroys another. Venerable sir, we do not think in that manner. We think it should be like this. Defiling desires, full of unpleasant results, of a future birth, decay and death, are dispelled to the Thus Gone One. Therefore the Thus Gone One carefully pursues one, endures one, dispels one and destroys another. Good, Anuruddha, you have understood it. To the Thus Gone One these defiling desires, full of unpleasant results of a future birth, decay and death, are dispelled. They are pulled out from the roots, made palm stumps, made things that would not grow again. Anuruddha, it is like a palm of which the top is cut and is not able to grow again. In the same manner, these defiling desires, full of unplessant results, of a future birth, decay and death, are dispelled to the Thus Gone One. Therefore the Thus Gone One, carefully pursues one, endures one, dispels one and destroys another.

Anuruddha, for what purpose does the Thus Gone One tell the disciples, without wasting time, before you die, be born in something higher. Stating one is born there, another there. (* 2) The Teaching’s origin is the Blessed One, its lead is from the Blessed One, and its refuge is the Blessed One. Good that the meaning occurs to the Blessed One.We, bhikkhus, hearing it from the Blessed One, will bear it in mind. Anuruddha, the Thus Gone One tells the disciples, without wasting time before you die, be born in something higher. Telling them one is born there, another there. Not to deceive people, not for prattling, and not for gain honour or fame and not thinking may the people know me thus. Yet, Anuruddha, there are sons of clansmen who are born in faith and are pleased, to hear it. Hearing it they would arouse interest and direct their minds to that and it would be for their good for a long time.

Here, Anuruddha, a bhikkhu hears, the venerable bhikkhu of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that he is enlightened. Now this venerable bhikkhu happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhu, or not seen by him. He hears, these were the virtues of the venerable bhikkhu, these, his thoughts, such his wisdom, he developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu (* 3).

Here, Anuruddha, a bhikkhu hears, the venerable bhikkhu of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously, and would not proceed. Now this venerable bhikkhu happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhu or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues of the venerable bhikkhu, these were his thoughts, such was his wisdom, he developed these abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects, that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu. Anuruddha, a bhikkhu hears, the venerable bhikkhu of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion, has become a once returner. Coming here once more will make an end of unpleasantness. Now this venerable one happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhu, or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhu, such was his wisdom, he developed these abidings, and was released. So he recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu. Anuruddha, a bhikkhu hears, the venerable one of this name, has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that, with the destruction of the three lower bonds he is an enterer into the stream of the Teaching. That he would not fall, intent on extinction.Now this venerable bhikkhu happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhu, or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhu, such was his wisdom, he developed these abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhu recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhu

Here, Anuruddha, a bhikkhuni hears, the venerable bhikkhuni of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that she is enlightened. Now this venerable bhikkhuni happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhuni, or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni. Anuruddha, a bhikkhuni hears, a bhikkhuni of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously and would not proceed. Now this bhikkhuni happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhuni, or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni. Anuruddha, a bhikkhuni hears, the venerable bhikkhuni of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion, she has become a once returner. Coming here once more will make an end of unpleasantness.Now, this venerable bhikkhuni happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhuni, or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhuni, such her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni. Here, Anuruddha, a bhikkhuni hears, the venerable bhikkhuni of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that, with the destruction of the three lower bonds, she is an enterer into the stream of the Teaching. That she intent, on extinction, would not fall from it. Now this venerable bhikkhuni happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhuni, or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni.

Anuruddha, a lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of this name has passed away, the Blessed One had declared that he with the destruction of the five lower bonds has arisen spontaneously, not to proceed. Now this lay disciple happens to be a person seen by that lay disciple or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the lay disciple, such was his wisdom, developping these abidings he was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple. Anuruddha, a lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of such name has passed away, the Blessed One has declared that he with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion would come once more to this world, to end unplesantness. Now this lay disciple happens to be a person seen by that lay disciple, or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the lay disciple. Such was his wisdom, he developed these abidings, and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it, Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple.

Anuruddha, a lay disciple hears, the lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds is a stream enterer of the Teaching, intent on extinction, he would not fall. This lay disciple happened to be a person seen by that lay disciple or not seen. He hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the lay disciple. Such was his wisdom, he developped these abidings and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, his learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs his mind to it, Anuruddha, in this mananer too there is a pleasant abiding to a lay disciple.

Here, Anuruddha, a lay disciple female hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the five lower bonds she has arisen spontaneously not to proceed. Now this female lay disciple happens to be a person seen by that female lay disciple or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the female lay disciple. Such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this female recollects that faith, virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too, there is a pleasant abiding, to a female lay disciple. Anuruddha, a female lay disciple hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away, and the Blessed One has declared, with the destruction of the three lower bonds and lessening greed, hate and delusion she would come once more to this world to end unplesantness. Now this female disciple happens to be a person seen by that female lay disciple or not seen. She hears, these were her virtues and thoughts, such her wisdom, she developed these abidings, and was released. So this lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it, Anuruddha, in this mananer too there is a pleasant abiding to a female lay disciple. Anuruddha, a female lay disciple hears, the female lay disciple of this name has passed away. The Blessed One has declared that with the destruction of the three lower bonds she is a stream enterer of the Teaching, and intent on extinction, she would not fall from it.Now this female lay disciple, happens to be a person seen by that female lay disciple or even not seen she hears, these were her virtues and thoughts, such her wisdom, she developed these abidings and was released. So this female lay disciple recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it, Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a female lay disciple.

Anuruddha, the Thus Gone One advises the disciples, do not waste time, before you die be born, in something higher. Telling them one is born there, another there, not to deceive people, not for prattling, not for gain honour or fame and not thinking may the people know me thus. Yet, there are Anuruddha, sons of clansmen who are born in faith and are pleased hearing it they would arouse interest and direct their minds to that effect. It would be for their good for a long time.

The Blessed One said thus and venerable Anuruddha delighted in the words of the Blessed One.

truthseeker
19 Jun 10, 08:52
The Buddha had a phrase that meant "Dharma Lite", too. He called it "Sammaditthi Sasava". He used it to describe the various superstitions that preceded him, which he felt nonetheless pointed one in a direction of morality. He describes these in detail in the Maha Cattarisaka Sutta, MN 117, and contrasts them with what he phrased as "Real Thing Dharma", which he called "Sammaditthi Ariyo Anasava Lokuttara Maggaphala".

That is a misrepresentation of a sutta, since once again, you don't tell the whole story.

The Maha Cattarisaka Sutta is about the factors of the eightfold path. The first factor is right view. It begins with making a distinction between wrong view and right view. First, the Buddha points out what is WRONG view:

And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.[b]

The Buddha then proceeds to point out what is right view and he distinguishes between two types of right view, right view with effluents and right view without effluents.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. [b]There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"Effluents" means: producing meritorious karma. Thus there are two types of right view, one that entails meritorious karma and one that entails no karma at all.

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
19 Jun 10, 09:19
Effluents" means: producing meritorious karma. Thus there are two types of right view, one that entails meritorious karma and one that entails no karma at all.


No. This is misleading and incorrect. 'Effluents' doesn't have that meaning at all.The Pali word is asava which means mental intoxication or defilement.

truthseeker
19 Jun 10, 09:42
Dazzle, it is explained in the sutta itself:

This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

Meaning: this type of right view is associated with producing meritorious karma; it results in (meritorious) acquisitions and therefore leads to (wholesome) states of samsaric existence. The word effluents points to the fact that it is still associated with samsaric existence, because even the deva world is a part of samsaric existence.

By contrast, the other type of right view does not have effluents at all. It is therefore not associated with samsaric existence.

This is a far cry from repackaging rebirth as "wrong view" or "puthujjana pacifier" as Stuka would have it. - Apart from that, how do you explain that the above sutta classifies the rejection of rebirth as wrong view?

Cheers, Thomas

stuka
19 Jun 10, 15:42
tuka, quoting a snippet of the Nalakapana Sutta (MN 68) to support the (absurd) idea that the Buddha wasn't quite serious about rebirth isn't such a good idea, because one only needs to read the sutta in its entirety to determine that this is not at all what the sutta is about.

I quite agree. But what clw_uk has cited, and I have quoted, is the moral of the story, not just some insignificant snippet. As I always say, it helps if you actually read and study the whole sutta. This includes cross-referencing other translations as well to make sure you aren't referencing a dodgy or unclear translation.


Talk about cherry-picking! This is already at the extreme end of cherry-picking, at the beginning of intentional misrepresentation.

With each instance of the Buddha describing himself having said "so-and-so was born into this state, etc", the Buddha ties that instance in with the final "moral of the story" with a statement "Now this venerable bhikkhuni happens to be a person seen by that bhikkhuni, or not seen. She hears, these were the virtues and thoughts of the venerable bhikkhuni, such was her wisdom, she developed these abidings and was released. So this bhikkhuni recollects that faith, those virtues, her learnedness, benevolence and wisdom and directs her mind to it. Anuruddha, in this manner too there is a pleasant abiding to a bhikkhuni."

All of these tie in to the final statement ""So, Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, and renown, or with the thought " let people know me to be thus", that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance thus "so-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place" Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time"


First of all, the sutta is addressed to the head disciple Anuruddha and the other disciples ("sons of clansmen who have gone forth"); it is NOT addressed to puthujjanas.

The translation you cite fails to make clear that the venerable Anuruddha, along with other clansmen Nandiya, Kimbila, Bhagu, Kundadaana, Revata, and Aananda, have here only just now gone forth into the holy life. However, he Buddha states very clearly here, even in the translation you are citing, "Anurudddha, you are in the prime of youth, in the first stage of life, even with black hair. " This is not Anuruddha this is Anuruddha in his youth. It appears that he has not even shaved his head yet!

The term "sons of clansmen" -- which Bodhi's translation doesn't even say, it says "many very well known clansmen" -- does not mean "sons of Bhikkhu Elders", as you seem to have misapprehended. It says "Now on that occasasion, many very well known clansmen had gone forth from the home life into homelessness...", and lists some of their names. Then it says "And on that occasion, the Blessed one...", etc. this discourse is clearly set on the occasion of Auruddha & Co's going forth.


The only question the Buddha asks the company of bhikkhus (as opposed to the new initiates, including Anuruddha) is one that would require speculation about the reasons the new initiates have gone forth, which they rightly do not answer. Then he questions Anyruddha about his reasons for going forth and his understanding of the Buddha's capabilities, and also give him a bit of information about the path that he and the other new initiates will be taking. None of this has anything to do with reincarnation/"re-birth", although the new initiates do not yet understand this.

Then the Buddha starts his long lecture on the reason that he declares, "so-and-so has re-appeared in such-and-such a place, so-and-so has re-appeared in such-and-such a place". For each type of person that he makes such a declaration, the BUddha explains that a young bhikkhu or a lay householder or another may be inspired by hearing it. And then in the end, he wraps it all up:

"So, Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, and renown, or with the thought " let people know me to be thus", that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance thus "so-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place" Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time"



You are deliberately reading something into the sutta which is factually not there.

Absolutely not. I have simply paid attention to what the sutta is actually saying, rather than misapprehending it to mean what I want it to mean, which is what you might appear to be doing.

I would remind you that this is a friendly forum, and such accusations as you make here are out of order. Such outbursts are against the Code of Conduct here, and are not conducive to learning the Dhamma. That sort of bullying might have worked at E-Sangha, but look where that got them.



There is no indication that rebirth is a teaching device for those who are not quite ready to hear the whole story.

Sure there is. The original verse that I cited, which is the "moral of the story", is every indication that it is a teaching device.



On the contrary, the Buddha asserts (to his disciples!) that striving for a good rebirth, striving for stream-entry, and striving for once-returning are proper motivations for leading the life of a homeless disciple. How more explicit can you get?

He says that when a person hears about such a thing, they are gladdened and motivated in a moral direction.



Obviously, if this does not convince you that the Buddha did in fact teach rebirth, then no amount of reasoning and no amount of sutta reading will

Indeed the Buddha did not teach "re-birth" -- again, that is a much later convolution. But I have not said at all that the Buddha did teach using reincarnation-belief as a device. I have said that it is not part of, or relevant to, his own liberative teachings.

Aloka
19 Jun 10, 16:50
I think I'll just mention at this point to make things clear, that unlike e-sangha, this website doesn't insist that members have to believe in post mortem rebirth.

I'd also like to mention that I deleted my earlier post before Stuka's because I was trying to do several things at the same time and hadn't read the previous post properly.

:flower:

stuka
19 Jun 10, 18:39
Quote from: stuka on Today at 04:49:47 AM
The Buddha had a phrase that meant "Dharma Lite", too. He called it "Sammaditthi Sasava". He used it to describe the various superstitions that preceded him, which he felt nonetheless pointed one in a direction of morality. He describes these in detail in the Maha Cattarisaka Sutta, MN 117, and contrasts them with what he phrased as "Real Thing Dharma", which he called "Sammaditthi Ariyo Anasava Lokuttara Maggaphala".

That is a misrepresentation of a sutta, since once again, you don't tell the whole story.

Look, my good man, if we are to continue having reasoned discussion, you have simply got to cease and desist these puerile and inflammatory personal attacks.


The Maha Cattarisaka Sutta is about the factors of the eightfold path. The first factor is right view. It begins with making a distinction between wrong view and right view. First, the Buddha points out what is WRONG view:

And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.

The Buddha then proceeds to point out what is right view and he distinguishes between two types of right view, right view with effluents and right view without effluents.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.


It is good that you have gotten an handle on the suttas this far. Note that the Buddha is addressing such extreme speculative views as "There is karma-and-reincarnation", and "There is no karma-and-reincarnation" The latter he calls "wrong view", and he does so because beliefs in such speculative views tend to lead one to conclude that there is no need for morality. The former he calls "right view sasava" because beliefs in such speculative views tend to lead one to conclude that there is a need for morality.




"Effluents" means: producing meritorious karma. Thus there are two types of right view, one that entails meritorious karma and one that entails no karma at all.

That is not how the Buddha defines "asava". "Asava" can be found to be defined using such terms as mental pollutants, defilements, fermentations, intoxicants, taints, and also as "effluents", which word is derived from effluvium, which means "sewage".

The assavas, in the Buddha's teachings, are attachment to sensuality, attachment to speculative views, attachment to states of being and becoming" (illusions of status and ownership), and ignorance. When the Buddha speaks of "right view with asavas", he is speaking of speculative views that are based in ignorance (belief in unfounded speculations), attachment to sensuality (wanting a better state in a supposed next life and avoiding a worse state in a supposed next life), attachment to speculative views ("there is karma-and-reincarnation", "our ancestors are watching over us", etc.), and attachment to states of being and becoming (by making this merit, I will be rewarded with status and material goods in this life or the next"). All of the various views the buddha lists in this description of "right view with asavas" are extant speculative views and superstitinos that predated the Buddha by a long shot.


Now let's look at another way the Buddha talks about the asavas -- he talks about the "ending of the asavas", which is "for one who knows and sees, and not for one who does not know and does not see". And in what context do we see him using this phrase? In the context of teaching his own, liberative Dhamma:


Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, the ending of the effluents is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what is there the ending of effluents? 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is perception, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their disappearance. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' The ending of the effluents is for one who knows in this way & sees in this way.

"The knowledge of ending in the presence of ending has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is the prerequisite for the knowledge of ending? Release, it should be said. Release has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is its prerequisite? Dispassion... Disenchantment... Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present... Concentration... Pleasure... Serenity... Rapture... Joy... Conviction... Stress... Birth... Becoming... Clinging... Craving... Feeling... Contact... The six sense media... Name-&-form... Consciousness... Fabrications... Fabrications have their prerequisite, I tell you. They are not without a prerequisite. And what is their prerequisite? Ignorance, it should be said.

"Thus fabrications have ignorance as their prerequisite, consciousness has fabrications as its prerequisite, name-&-form has consciousness as its prerequisite, the six sense media have name-&-form as their prerequisite, contact has the six sense media as its prerequisite, feeling has contact as its prerequisite, craving has feeling as its prerequisite, clinging has craving as its prerequisite, becoming has clinging as its prerequisite, birth has becoming as its prerequisite, stress & suffering have birth as their prerequisite, conviction has stress & suffering as its prerequisite, joy has conviction as its prerequisite, rapture has joy as its prerequisite, serenity has rapture as its prerequisite, pleasure has serenity as its prerequisite, concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present has concentration as its prerequisite, disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present as its prerequisite, dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite, release has dispassion as its prerequisite, knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.

"Just as when the gods pour rain in heavy drops & crash thunder on the upper mountains: The water, flowing down along the slopes, fills the mountain clefts & rifts & gullies. When the mountain clefts & rifts & gullies are full, they fill the little ponds. When the little ponds are full, they fill the big lakes. When the big lakes are full, they fill the little rivers. When the little rivers are full, they fill the big rivers. When the big rivers are full, they fill the great ocean. In the same way:

"Fabrications have ignorance as their prerequisite, consciousness has fabrications as its prerequisite, name-&-form has consciousness as their prerequisite, the six sense media have name-&-form as their prerequisite, contact has the six sense media as its prerequisite, feeling has contact as its prerequisite, craving has feeling as its prerequisite, clinging has craving as its prerequisite, becoming has clinging as its prerequisite, birth has becoming as its prerequisite, stress & suffering have birth as their prerequisite, conviction has stress & suffering as its prerequisite, joy has conviction as its prerequisite, rapture has joy as its prerequisite, serenity has rapture as its prerequisite, pleasure has serenity as its prerequisite, concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present has concentration as its prerequisite, disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present as its prerequisite, dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite, release has dispassion as its prerequisite, knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite."


Note that this sutta is pure lokuttaradhamma; it does not mention reincarnation at all, and it does not mention "decay-and-death" at all. "Birth" leads to "stress and suffering", and "stress and suffering" leads on to "conviction" [in the Dhamma].


Thus there are two types of right view, one that entails meritorious karma and one that entails no karma at all.


Actually, in saying so, you concede my point about the two types of "right view". Speculations and superstitions of reincarnation-and-karma are indeed absent from the Buddha's own teachings of "noble right view that is without asavas".

clw_uk
19 Jun 10, 19:35
For those who assert rebirth after death view of the Buddhas teachings, no doubt you do so with the understanding of Dependent Origination spanning three lives. However I see the Buddhas teachings all about the here and now, with D.O. happening here and now, for example



Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is a descent of name-and-form. With name-and-form as a condition, the six sense bases [come to be]...such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a great tree and all its roots going downwards and across would send sap upwards. Sustained by that sap, nourished by it, that great tree would stand for a very long time. So too, when one lives contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is descent of name-and-form...such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can fetter, there is no descent of name-and-form. With the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of the six sense bases [come to be]...such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.


Now it states here that when there is gratification, name and form descends. Since this happens many times a day it obviously doesnt mean "name and form descending because of kamma from previous life leading to rebirth" but D.O. happening in there here and now, in the mind


Since D.O. doesnt concern rebirth after death the Buddhas teachings are not concerened with such notions either, since all of his noble teachings, i.e. teachings that come from him, only deal with dukkha and its cessation, that is to say only deal with D.O. which we have seen is dealing only with there here and now and dukkha here and now and not past or future lives



As to the objection that rebirth must be a part of the buddhas teachings because so many buddhists see it that way I feel doesnt factor in the fact that the Buddha said very few people would grasp the teaching. Also we have evidence from the sutta's themselves that monks who were taught by the Buddha himself even got the teachings wrong, not to mention the development of later schools

metta

stuka
19 Jun 10, 19:37
This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions. The word effluents points to the fact that it is still associated with samsaric existence, because even the deva world is a part of samsaric existence.

That is just equivocation: The Buddha is not defining "sasava" as "sides with merit, & results in acquisitions". I have already listed the English traqnslations of "asava". You are making up your own definition as you go along, to suit your own proclivities.



By contrast, the other type of right view does not have effluents at all.

Correct, as the Buddha states.



It is therefore not associated with samsaric existence.

Not with the type of "samsaric existence" you are talking about, in the sense of the superstitions of reincarnation-and-karma.

This is a far cry from repackaging rebirth as "wrong view" or "puthujjana pacifier" as Stuka would have it.

Please refrain from further misrepresenting me and puting words in my mouth. Never in my life have the words "puthujjana pacifier" crossed my lips or my keyboard together. Nor have I claimed that reincarnation/"re-birth" is "wrong view", or that the Buddha taught as such.


Apart from that, how do you explain that the above sutta classifies the rejection of rebirth as wrong view?

The speculative view that declares "there is no reincarnation" (+ other extant pre-Buddha speculative views and superstitions that the Buddha found to lead one away from morality) = "wrong view"

The speculative view that declares "there is reincarnation" (+ other extant pre-Buddha speculative views and superstitions that the Buddha found to lead one toward moral behavior) = "right view that is defiled (sasava)"

The Buddha's own liberative teachings (4NT/N8FP, PS, 3 Char, etc) consisting of non-speculative-view, non-superstitious Discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path = "Noble Right View that is without defilements, trancendent, a Factor of the Path".

truthseeker
20 Jun 10, 11:33
Since D.O. doesnt concern rebirth after death the Buddhas teachings are not concerened with such notions either

First, the traditional Mahavihara view of dependent origination interprets it in such a way (i.e. repeated birth), second, one cannot draw a conclusion about the entire Buddhadharma from just looking at dependent origination. A quick perusal of the canon will immediately reveal wide variety of topics. Some of these topics are repeated over and over. Dependent origination is one of them. Karma and rebirth are another.


Indeed the Buddha did not teach "re-birth" -- again, that is a much later convolution.

So you keep postulating, but the Nikayas simply don't confirm this. On the contrary, the more suttas you quote, the more you are confronted with the topic of rebirth. Until now you have evaded the question why you think MN 117 spells out the rejection of rebirth as wrong view. It clearly does not label it a "speculative" view. I mean, it is right there, just read the words. If the Buddha addresses his monks and spells out the rejection of rebirth as wrong view, then one can conclude that he means it. But you keep saying that the Buddha did not teach rebirth/reincarnation?

Okay so, if the Buddha considers rebirth merely a moral teaching, then why on earth did the Buddha proclaim his own last rebirth in the very first discourse, the celebrated Dhammacakka Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html), which mentions these words: "Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'" - Quite unequivocal, wouldn't you say?


That is just equivocation: The Buddha is not defining "sasava" as "sides with merit, & results in acquisitions". I have already listed the English traqnslations of "asava". You are making up your own definition as you go along, to suit your own proclivities.

Or is it possible that the meaning of asava here escapes you? This word asava, translated as effluents (also: "taint"), is actually a technical term that is used profusely in the Abidhamma to distinguish between items with kammavipaka or samsaric ties and items without them. The "taint" is kammavipaka or more generally "samsaric ties". It is used in the sutta in precisely this meaning. According to the Abidhamma, even the jhanas are items with effluents, because the jhanas -according to their depths- lead to rebirth in certain realms. For example, the arupajhanas supposedly lead to rebirth in the formless realms. What is more, some scholars are convinced that the distinction between right view with effluents and without effluents was added later to the sutta, in order bring it into line with the Abidhamma. The Chinese version of the same sutta (http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/), supposedly an earlier version of the same sutta, makes no mention of this distinction with/without effluents.

Isn't it funny that you appealing to a distinction based on Abhidhamma terminology, whereas you have just recently declared that the Abidhamma should be thrown into the sea?


Look, my good man, if we are to continue having reasoned discussion, you have simply got to cease and desist these puerile and inflammatory personal attacks.

I apologise if I offended you. However, pointing out that selective quoting of suttas leads to deliberate misinterpretation cannot be considered a personal attack. It is a critique of argumentation style. What I want to clarify is that one needs to read suttas in their context, and -in fact- a reasonable number of them to make conclusions about any specific topic. It isn't just rebirth, because rebirth must be seen in context with karma. Then again, karma must be seen in context with Buddhist cosmology, and finally that must be seen in context with nirvana. All of these are important overarching ideas in the canon, just like the 4NT/N8P/DO and the others you mentioned.

So, let me ask you this question then: what do you think of karma? Do you consider karma speculative as well? What about nirvana? Also speculative?

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
20 Jun 10, 11:46
So, let me ask you this question then: what do you think of karma? Do you consider karma speculative as well? What about nirvana? Also speculative?

Thomas, I think it would be a good idea to start a separate topic if you want to ask questions about karma and nirvana...this one is already 46 pages long. :hands:

truthseeker
20 Jun 10, 12:19
Dazzle, that is probably a good idea.

Stuka & clwuk, if you like to respond to these questions, could you open a new thread?

Cheers, Thomas

Aloka
20 Jun 10, 14:50
I see that Craig (clwuk) has kindly started a new thread for us in the General Buddhism forum

"What the Buddha Taught - Continued from Rebirth Thread"

stuka
20 Jun 10, 17:18
First, the traditional Mahavihara view of dependent origination interprets it in such a way (i.e. repeated birth)

The Mahavihara version is eiesegesis. Again, if the Buddha had intended PS to be understood as occurring over the course of three lives, he would have proclaimed it often and at great length.



second, one cannot draw a conclusion about the entire Buddhadharma from just looking at dependent origination.

And, again, no one here is doing that. Nor can anyone draw a conclusion about the Buddhadhamma by just perusing the abhidhamma.



A quick perusal of the canon will immediately reveal wide variety of topics. Some of these topics are repeated over and over.Dependent origination is one of them. Karma and rebirth are another.

That's really not saying anything. It is what is said about them that is significant.



So you keep postulating, but the Nikayas simply don't confirm this.On the contrary, the more suttas you quote, the more you are confronted with the topic of rebirth.


Not true. The suttas speak of this person re-appearing here or there -- that is reincarnation. "Re-birth" is a workaround that attempts to get past the Buddha's doctrine of Anatta, and postulates a reincarnation-thatt-is-not-reincarnation of an atta-that-is-not-an-atta. None of that foolishness -- along with its convolutions of "re-linking consciousness", etc -- are to be found in the Suttas.





Until now you have evaded the question why you think MN 117 spells out the rejection of rebirth as wrong view.


I have avoided nothing. I have spoken of MN117 several times in the time you have been here, and many, many times before that. You are imagining things.


It clearly does not label it a "speculative" view.


He doesn't have to spell it out right there. One can see it for oneself with ones own eyes that all of the views described are speculative views and superstitions.


I mean, it is right there, just read the words.

Indeed.


If the Buddha addresses his monks and spells out the rejection of rebirth as wrong view, then one can conclude that he means it.


The Buddha is addressing his company of monks and declaring that the statement "there is no x" is wrong view, and the statement "there is x" is defiled right view.


But you keep saying that the Buddha did not teach rebirth/reincarnation?

Your argument against the Straw Man wastes a great deal of your time and mine as well. Watch closely: I have stated that the Buddha's own liberative teachings, the ones he called sammaditthi ariyo anasava lokuttara maggaphala, are not concerned with reincarnation/"re-birth". You are claiming that I am saying something quite different. The Buddha did discuss folks' extant beliefs in reincarnation with them, teaching them from their own standpoint, from the point at which they understood the world. You can see that all over the suttas. But reincarnation is not part of his own liberative teachings. So you are wasting your time with all of your assertions about reincarnation being mentioned all over the suttas, of course it is. That doesn't make it part of his own, liberative teachings.


Okay so, if the Buddha considers rebirth merely a moral teaching, then why on earth did the Buddha proclaim his own last rebirth in the very first discourse, the celebrated Dhammacakka Sutta, which mentions these words: "Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'" - Quite unequivocal, wouldn't you say?


He is talking about Jati, the "birth' that is described in the Paticcasamuppada in the here-and-now. The "birth" of "I". He also say there is no further "becoming", which should have been your first clue.


Or is it possible that the meaning of asava here escapes you?


Nope.


This word asava, translated as effluents (also: "taint"), is actually a technical term that is used profusely in the Abidhamma to distinguish between items with kammavipaka or samsaric ties and items without them, yadayadayada....

That is the abhidhamma. You might as well quote from the Bible. The Buddha taught neither, and neither is relevant.







What is more, some scholars are convinced that the distinction between right view with effluents and without effluents was added later to the sutta, in order bring it into line with the Abidhamma.

Any "scholar" can believe anything he wants. This would require a re-vamping of the entire sutta, significantly altering its meaning. In any case, the distinction between the two right views negates]/i] the abhidhamma's position rather than supporting it.


The Chinese version of the same sutta, supposedly an earlier version of the same sutta, makes no mention of this distinction with/without effluents.

The agamas before the Pali? Come on. They are dated in the 400's CE, meaning A.D. I can see why this sutta would pose a thorn in the side of reincarnationists, and I see a lot of creative revisionism to blunt the Buddha's teaching here, but that is simply a function of revisionists' attempts to bring the Buddhas lberative teachings to their own preconceived world-views. And there is plenty of motive for mahayanists and the tibetan religions to want to remove Nobel Right View from this sutta, and absolutely none for follower so the Buddha's teachings. Such changes were strictly forbidden, and this is a major change to the meaning and substance of the Buddha's word you are proposing. The Abhidhammists and commentators can and did "spin" the Buddha's words as much as they could to try to make them fall in line with their world-views, but to substantially change the substance and meaning of his words would be unheard-of. Such an offense would mean millions of years of rebirths as an intestinal parasite to one who believed in such things. The notion is simply ridiculous. The mahayanists, on the other hand, took great liberties in putting crap in the Buddha's mouth and ignoring his teachings altogether. Thus is comes as no surprise that you would find a bastardization such as you cite.



Isn't it funny that you appealing to a distinction based on Abhidhamma terminology, whereas you have just recently declared that the Abidhamma should be thrown into the sea?

See, this is what happens with revisionists: They pose a "theory" to kick the world into their own preconceived notion, and immediately start talking as if that theory were fact. There is another word for this: "pathological".


I apologise if I offended you.

I did not say that you offended me. I pointed out your personal attack.



However, pointing out blah blah blah..

You are trying to piss down my back and tell me it is raining. It is not working. Do not accuse me of lying. Keep a civil tongue.





What I want to clarify is that one needs to read suttas in their context, and -in fact- a reasonable number of them to make conclusions about any specific topic.

That is what I am recommending to you, yes. I have already done so, and continue to do so.


It isn't just rebirth, because rebirth must be seen in context with karma.

Indeed, both superstitions are dependent on each other. Both fall together.




Then again, karma must be seen in context with Buddhist cosmology

Indeed, the karma and reincarnation superstitions are wrapped up in cosmological speculations and superstitions. None of which are included or relevant to the Buddha's Noble, liberative teachings.


and finally that must be seen in context with nirvana.

How funny to see someone who claims to be a Theravadin using the mahatibetan word "nirvana".

Nibbana for the Buddha was quite a different thing from your "Nirvana".


All of these are important overarching ideas in the canon

Much of which is defined quite differently from how you are proposing it here.


So, let me ask you this question then: what do you think of karma? Do you consider karma speculative as well? What about nirvana? Also speculative?


As [i]you are defining them, of course they are "speculative view. In your case, however, since you believe in these speculative views, they are superstition.

Snowmelt
20 Jun 10, 19:08
The mahayanists, on the other hand, took great liberties in putting crap in the Buddha's mouth and ignoring his teachings altogether. Thus is comes as no surprise that you would find a bastardization such as you cite.

My view of human nature makes this kind of thing no surprise to me; no surprise, but shocking nonetheless, that it seems no stretch for so many people who lived after the Buddha to consider his teachings as they appear in the Pali Canon somehow deficient and in need of endless addition, reinterpretation and, frankly, adulteration. The teachings found in the Pali Canon were presumably enough to lead people to the path in the Buddha's day and afterward; I can think of nothing but unwillingness to adapt as the reason why so many can't just leave it at that, if cessation of suffering is truly their goal. Make the journey to the source and dwell there, instead of just visiting.

truthseeker
21 Jun 10, 02:02
Your argument against the Straw Man wastes a great deal of your time and mine as well.

Okay, if you think it is a waste of time, it may be better to wrap this topic up. As with the discussion about dependent origination, it has been shown that no amount of reason that can change your mind. If you deny the obvious, such as the Buddha having declared rebirth in his first discourse, then it can't be helped. Buddhism has a name for this: ditthupadana - clinging to views.

In summary, my position is that agnosticism regarding karma and rebirth is not wrong view, on the contrary, subject to the Kalama sutta, agnosticism is appropriate. However, I believe (as does the vast majority of Buddhists) that not only the Buddha taught rebirth, but that he meant it. I also believe that everyone who takes an unprejudiced look at the suttas can verify this quite easily for themelves.

In view of the texts, it takes an extraordinarily obstinate bias to classify rebirth and karma as "superstitions" or second rate teachings. If you are going to surgically remove rebirth and karma from the Buddhadharma, then good luck. The best thing you can hope for is a new schism, the worst thing is reducing the Buddhadharma to tatters. I would definitely advise against it.

Cheers, Thomas

Valtiel
21 Jun 10, 02:16
Okay, if you think it is a waste of time, it may be better to wrap this topic up.

You do not agree that putting words in his (and others') mouths (that "the Buddha did not teach rebirth (reincarnation)") and arguing against them is a waste of everyone's time?


the worst thing is reducing the Buddhadharma to tatters.

In the context of Buddhism, if I were to say to you now, "ok, I believe in rebirth," where does that get me in practice? How does it benefit my practice? You're parroting Bodhi without reason.


I would definitely advise against it.

Or what? You and the Buddha will strike down upon him with great vengeance and furious anger?

stuka
21 Jun 10, 02:35
By contrast, the other type of right view does not have effluents at all. It is therefore not associated with samsaric existence.

Clarification: Noble Right View - the Buddha's own, liberative teachings -- are not *rooted* in the defilements of attachment to sensuality, attachment to speculative views, attachment to states of being and becoming" (illusions of status and ownership), and/or ignorance, as the various superstitions that the Buddha called "right view with defilements" *are rooted* in the defilements of attachment to sensuality, attachment to speculative views, attachment to states of being and becoming" (illusions of status and ownership), and ignorance. You speak of life itself as being "samsaric existence", and of "samma ditthi ariyo anasava" (Noible Right View) as a view that lies outside of "samsaric existence" -- i.e., LIFE -- therefore you claim that it lies outside of a living existence, i.e., outside of LIFE. But an arahant is obviously still alive, as was the Buddha for 45 years after his great Awakening that constituted the apex of his spiritual quest. Your argument is invalid.

Jay O
21 Jun 10, 02:39
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth can never be grasped solely in any moment in this life, until it extends out to everything material and immaterial as equally shared in space as beauty and value; we come to value what was formerly rejected. And that is part of why we are here now. The dark night of the soul takes us out of our customary ways of relating to truth, until it becomes lies, less, and the lie becomes the truth, a truth taken, given back as part, to a unconditional whole. But, I can't say it all.

stuka
21 Jun 10, 03:04
Okay, if you think it is a waste of time, it may be better to wrap this topic up. As with the discussion about dependent origination, it has been shown that no amount of reason that can change your mind.

That has not been shown at all. Such an accusation makes a nice smoke screen for an exit, but it is simply not true. Were it the case, my mind would have not been changed by having come into contact with the Buddha's liberative teachings in the first place. Play the ball, not the man.


If you deny the obvious...

I obviously have not.



......such as the Buddha having declared rebirth in his first discourse....


Please show me where the Buddha declares "there is 're-birth'" here:



"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:[1] Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this Noble Eightfold Path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of stress'... 'This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended'... 'This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned' [2] ... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.' [3]

"And, monks, as long as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas cried out: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deva, Mara or God or anyone in the cosmos." On hearing the earth devas' cry, the devas of the Four Kings' Heaven took up the cry... the devas of the Thirty-three... the Yama devas... the Tusita devas... the Nimmanarati devas... the Paranimmita-vasavatti devas... the devas of Brahma's retinue took up the cry: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deva, Mara, or God or anyone at all in the cosmos."



Buddhism has a name for this: ditthupadana - clinging to views.


Ditthupadana is clinging to speculative views -- in other words, superstition. That is quite different from investigating and proclaiming the Noble, liberative teachings of the Buddha.


In summary, my position is that agnosticism regarding karma and rebirth is not wrong view, on the contrary, subject to the Kalama sutta, agnosticism is appropriate.

Of course it is appropriate; it is Noble Right View that is without Defilements, world-transcending, a Factor of the Noble Path.


However, I believe (as does the vast majority of Buddhists) that not only the Buddha taught rebirth, but that he meant it. I also believe that everyone who takes an unprejudiced look at the suttas can verify this quite easily for themelves.

You have every right to believe that. Have at it. With an unprejudiced, thorough investigation of the suttas -- rather than a casual look -- that is not clouded by superstition and attachment to dogma, one can verify quite easily for themselves that the Buddha taught using the terms of the extant beliefs of reincarnation and karma to folks who believed in them, just as any skillful teacher would teach to a student's understanding. His own liberative teachings were devoid of these irrelevant superstitions and speculative views.




In view of the texts, it takes an extraordinarily obstinate bias to classify rebirth and karma as "superstitions" or second rate teachings.


I have shown time and again here that it does not. Innuendo for lack of evidence gains your argument nothing.


If you are going to surgically remove rebirth and karma from the Buddhadharma, then good luck.

It wasn't really ever there in the first place, thanks. And, just like in the Copernican Revolution, the obvious truth will eventually overcome clinging to superstition, no matter how may holdouts for superstition there are at this point in time. Hell, there are still people who think the world if flat now, and is only 3000 years old, and that the dinosaurs all walked with humans! I think that, with the internet and other forms of mass communication we enjoy now, this Copernican revolution will take a lot shorter time than the one in the West 500 years ago, though.


The best thing you can hope for is a new schism, the worst thing is reducing the Buddhadharma to tatters.


How pessimistic! The best I could hope for is that the Buddha's own liberative teachings -- the Buddhadhamma -- would go viral on the internet, prompting everyone to take notice and discover them and put them into practice. Imagine a world with no superstitions to fight over, no war, no greed, no hatred; a world of people living in real peace. It could happen in our lifetimes, right here, right now, friend. And the Buddha's Noble, liberative teachings are where that potential lies.


I would definitely advise against it.

I can't even begin to imagine why you would....

stuka
23 Jun 10, 02:50
ef·flu·ent
adj.
Flowing out or forth.
n.
Something that flows out or forth, especially:
a. A stream flowing out of a body of water.
b. An outflow from a sewer or sewage system.
c. A discharge of liquid waste, as from a factory or nuclear plant.


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Effluents

stuka
24 Jun 10, 19:31
The mahayanists, on the other hand, took great liberties in putting crap in the Buddha's mouth and ignoring his teachings altogether. Thus is comes as no surprise that you would find a bastardization such as you cite.

My view of human nature makes this kind of thing no surprise to me; no surprise, but shocking nonetheless, that it seems no stretch for so many people who lived after the Buddha to consider his teachings as they appear in the Pali Canon somehow deficient and in need of endless addition, reinterpretation and, frankly, adulteration. The teachings found in the Pali Canon were presumably enough to lead people to the path in the Buddha's day and afterward; I can think of nothing but unwillingness to adapt as the reason why so many can't just leave it at that, if cessation of suffering is truly their goal. Make the journey to the source and dwell there, instead of just visiting.


Missed your post earlier, couldn't agree more :-)

Deshy
25 Jun 10, 17:12
Can you cite the specific passage(s) for reference?

Sorry if this is too late. I was told by Dazz that I have some replies to a post but had no time to look into it. The Mahanidhana Sutta: http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/1Digha-Nikaya/Digha2/15-mahanidana-e2.html

---------


(Name-and-form)

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."


-------

This is the only suttas that I know where DO is talked about connecting a womb into it :D And consciousness is not spoken of as arising based on the sense bases. This one sutta is so far off from the rest of the suttas thus there is a possibility that this is a later addition

clw_uk
25 Jun 10, 17:31
This is the only suttas that I know where DO is talked about connecting a womb into it :D And consciousness is not spoken of as arising based on the sense bases. This one sutta is so far off from the rest of the suttas thus there is a possibility that this is a later addition


Indeed but how are we to reconcile this with the various suttas that say D.O. happens in there here and now


Also with these suttas



... Bhikhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is descent of name and form. With name and form ... six sense bases come to be... such is the origin of this whole mass of dukkha


and


Bhikkhu, when one dwells contemplating grattifcation in the things that can fetter, there is descent of consciousness."

Also



"Thus this way of regarding things and [the notion] "I am" have not vanished in him. As "I am" has not vanished, there takes place a descent of the five faculties - of the eye-faculty, the ear faculty, .. nose, tongue .., the body faculty."

SN page 886 in Bodhi's translation


Also



He seeing a form with the eye becomes greedy for a pleasant form, or averse to a disagreeable form. Abides with mindfulness of the body not established and with a limited mind. Not knowing the release of mind nor the release through wisdom as it really is, where thoughts of demerit cease completely (*11). He falls to the path of agreeing and disagreeing and feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those feelings he appropriates them. To him delighted, pleased and appropriating those feelings arises interest. That interest for feelings is the holding (* 12) To him holding, there is being, from being arises birth, from birth decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, thus arises the complete mass of unpleasantness. Hearing a sound with the ear, cognising a smell with the nose, cognising a taste with the tongue, cognising a touch with the body, cognising an idea with the mind, becomes greedy for a pleasant idea. Becomes averse to a disagreeable idea. Abides with mindfulness of the body not established and with a limited mind. Not knowing the release of mind nor the release through wisdom as it really is. Not knowing how thoughts of demerit cease completely. He falls to the path of agreeing and disagreeing and feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those feelings, appropriates them. To him delighted, pleased and appropriating those feelings arise interest. That interest for feelings is the holding (*12) To him holding, there is being, from being arises birth, from birth decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, thus arises the complete mass of unpleasntnes

MN 38


and finally



"venerable sir, it is said "a being, a being". In what way, ven. sir, is one called a being?

One is stuck, Radha, tightly stuck, in desire, lust, delight, and craving for form; therefore one is called a being" (same for other aggregates)


SN page 985 bodhi's translation

also on same page it states that craving is the "conduit to existence"


So we can see that D.O. happens in the here and now and not in three lives

This is because Craving happens over and over again in one who does not know Dhamma, so there is constant "conduit to existence"

Also there is constant gratification i the things that can fetter, so there is constant "descent of name and form" etc



obviously, as already stated, this means the here and now and not over different rebirths/reincarnations


the above sutta quoted by yourself is a stand alone. The Digha Nikaya itself seems to belong to a later stratum of suttas that appears to be under the influence of proto-mahayana thinking. Just look at the difference in structure and general teaching. The rebirth, the massive numbers of world cycles, the massive cosmology etc


metta

Deshy
26 Jun 10, 06:17
Indeed but how are we to reconcile this with the various suttas that say D.O. happens in there here and now

Also with these suttas

Why reconcile with a possible later addition and what could probably be a faulty interpretation?

In the same sutta there is confusion in the word descent which implies consciousness is waiting somewhere to descend to a physical base. If you look here: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.0:1:4371.pali

descent probably is not the best translation. It cannot be "descent of consciousness" but development or growth of the fetus when the conditions are right and fertile

Deshy
26 Jun 10, 06:21
the above sutta quoted by yourself is a stand alone. The Digha Nikaya itself seems to belong to a later stratum of suttas that appears to be under the influence of proto-mahayana thinking. Just look at the difference in structure and general teaching. The rebirth, the massive numbers of world cycles, the massive cosmology etc

I think we agree here

clw_uk
03 Nov 10, 12:31
Just read a good teaching that is relevant to this thread. Its by Bhante Yogavacara Rahula



There are different theories propounded. Some people talk about a transition period, others talk about immediate rebirth. Personally, I don't give too much importance to all that. I don't really care about that too much. Whether there's rebirth or not, to me, is actually not that important. Because the Buddha wasn't interested in rebirth, he was interested in attaining liberation here and now, in this life.

And so, if you purify your mind here and now in this life, you don't have to worry about rebirth or anything else. It's really not necessary to believe that to get the benefit of meditation. And to free your mind.

So I wouldn't really worry too much about that. It's an interesting theory and all that, and even though we believe that it is probably true, it's nothing we're going to argue about because it doesn't really matter.

In the Christian theory they hold that if you live an evil life you might go to Purgatory or Hell, right? If you live a good life, obey the commandments, you might go to heaven. So in a sense that's like a scare tactic, it's the fear of God, the fear of one's actions---' I don't want to go to Hell, so I'll be good.' And you do good and you go to Heaven. So the Buddhists have the same sort of thing. But instead of a God sending you to Heaven or Hell, it's "rebirth"---being reborn in Heaven or Hell, according to your own actions, or in some other state. So it's also a scare tactic.

Whether it's true or not doesn't matter. If you believe it's true, it'll help you be good and not do negative actions that are going to bring you suffering. And if it winds up not to be true, you're not going to lose anything, you see? So it's win-win situation. If you believe it and do good, you don't suffer in this life, so you don't lose anything. But if it IS true and you live an evil life, and you're reborn in Hell, then you're going to suffer then, too. You suffer n this life as well as the next life. So it'sa lose-lose situation. (Laughs) At least, that's the way I see it.

But anyway, we shouldn't even cling to these theories. What we're interested in is living in the present moment and learning how our mind creates the obstacles to living in the present moment, here and now, peacefully. And how we create our suffering from moment to moment due to our outlook on life.

So that's the most important thing, really.


http://www.hundredmountain.com/Pages/dharmatalk_pages/talk_intropage.html

Aloka
04 Nov 10, 16:02
Thanks for that Craig.

I found the following from Ajahn Sumedho in an excerpt from"The Mind and The Way" at Google books.

Chapter 5, page 53


REINCARNATION VERSUS REBIRTH

"With regard to reincarnation, people often ask, “If there isn’t any soul, how can anything be reborn ? What carries from one life to the next if there is no soul ? Now the teaching of reincarnation is not really a Buddhist teaching – its Hindu. In the Hindu treatment of reincarnation you go from one body to another. If you’re born into a low caste, you must wait for the next reincarnation, your next lifetime, when you might be born into a higher caste.

In Buddhism, that would be considered superstition because it cannot be proved, and it tends to make one think that there is a purity in being born in a certain class or caste. We can all see that people born with the Brahmin caste can be just as nasty, rotten, and impure as the meanest untouchable person. And we know that untouchable people can be pure of heart, if they lead good lives and use wisdom.

Actually, the term “Brahmin” means “pure”, “the purified one”. The Buddha said that it refers to the pure of heart. It’s a mental quality, not a matter of class or caste. Its not physical, and classes or castes are not pure in themselves. They’re just perceptions to which we ascribe certain qualities, and how we do that is entirely dependent on our belief. So purity is a mental quality.

Buddhists don’t use the word “reincarnation“ at all. We use the word “rebirth” and rebirth is mental, not physical. So compassion, kindness, generosity and morality are the way towards being reborn in a pure condition.

Rebirth Right Now

You can see rebirth directly; you don’t have to believe in a theory of rebirth. Rebirth is something that occurs in what you are doing all the time. Now, since there is no self, there is nothing to be reborn as a personal essence or soul, carrying through from one lifetime to the next. However, desire is being reborn; it is constantly looking for something to absorb into or something to become.

If you are unhappy and depressed, you look for something that you can absorb into that will give you some happy feeling, or at least get you away from the unpleasantness of the moment. That’s rebirth."



continued : http://books.google.com/books?id=Ux8ssVQQQJ4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+mind+and+the+way&source=bl&ots=yetECohhFB&sig=HVOq-2Fdt8SUE3UJp5aNwxbMenI&hl=en&ei=m-LSTKTtIo2OjAe4qNzuDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

FBM
06 Nov 10, 02:40
"...You can see rebirth directly; you don’t have to believe in a theory of rebirth. Rebirth is something that occurs in what you are doing all the time. Now, since there is no self, there is nothing to be reborn as a personal essence or soul, carrying through from one lifetime to the next. However, desire is being reborn; it is constantly looking for something to absorb into or something to become.

If you are unhappy and depressed, you look for something that you can absorb into that will give you some happy feeling, or at least get you away from the unpleasantness of the moment. That’s rebirth."

This is very close to the way I see it. In a similar way, the Buddha was not interested in ontology or cosmology and it seems that the question that we tend to focus on, 'What really is', would be a red herring for him. Instead, the focus was on experience. 'What is' and 'what is experienced' were indistinguishable in early Buddhist treatment.

It seems to me that surprisingly few of our actions involve the perception of a 'self'. Most of the things I do, I do automatically, with muscle memory. Like driving or walking or drinking coffee, etc. Relatively rarely does something force me to act based on an assumption of individual identity. While teaching, I'm thinking about influencing the minds of my students, for example, and perform a certain 'personality' for the sake of creating desired conditions suitable for language acqusition. I don't see that performed personality as my 'self'.

At other times, with friends and such, I slip into a mode in which I do act as if I were a self, calling on shared memories and experiences in order to make sensible interaction with those with whom there are shared memories and interests.

In this way, the self arises, ages, dies and gets reborn. At least, that's one way of looking at it. I don't actually perceive any unchanging entity, identity or personality that persists unchanged throughout.

clw_uk
08 Nov 10, 14:51
I just realized something that seems inherently flawed in the traditional view or "Rebirth" and the 31 planes of existence. One of those plains is described as


31 Sphere of Neither Perception Nor Non Perception (nevasannanasannayatanupaga deva)-

The beings in this plane only have mind and no physical body. They are unable to hear Dhamma . In this sphere the formless beings do not engage in "perception". Uddaka Ramaputra's father reached this plane and thought that this is awakening. After having experienced this state the Buddha realized that it will eventually lead to further rebirth


I find this strange because the Buddha taught that mind and body are interdependent. So how can you have a being with a mind floating around on its own?

Ive never understood why the 31 planes are interpreted as other realms past death. To me it always seemed obvious that they were descriptions of mental states that occur during different stages of meditation practice

Maintop
01 Dec 10, 21:23
Hi Stuka

I tend to believe in some sort of 're-birth' as it would seem to be impossible to sort things out in just one lifetime.

I once had an experience of 'deja-vu' when I was a small boy which was so intense that I used to think that perhaps later in my life some one had invented a time machine and I had come back to re-visit myself. Could it be that 're-birth' means returning to some point in your life so that you could continue and make a better job of it. A cycle of 're-births' within the same concienceness.

However your statement ;

Samsara for the Buddha was the misery of habitual patterns of thought that produce suffering in the here-and-now.

gives me food for thought.

All this is, perhaps, a little naive to most on this group but I am very much of a newcomer.

Cariños

Robert

Aloka
02 Dec 10, 21:40
All this is, perhaps, a little naive to most on this group but I am very much of a newcomer.



It's nice to see you posting again, Robert.

I think that if in our daily lives we focus on present moment awareness, then speculation about past or future lives is unimportant in the freshness of the here and now -which is all there is.

Cloud
16 Mar 11, 15:55
Rebirth hmm. Well here's how I see it (my current working theory). My parents are going to precede me to the grave (most likely). They should be a good example to us. Clinging to life, having the need to reproduce, they've had several children. Now what is that need to reproduce if not a rebirth, creating new consciousness to continue on in place of existing consciousness? One flame (make that two) giving rise to new flames, which aren't exactly the same but are similar. That's a literal rebirth we can see for ourselves and that makes sense as the Buddha taught there is a causal connection, not a transmigration of consciousness (as in MN 38 below). That's not to say there's not something else, but why? This is obviously the mechanism by which life clings to existence, each generation giving rise to the next, each generation arising and the previous one passes.

From http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm concerning transmigration:

Then the Blessed One said: "Sati, is it true, that such an pernicious view has arisen to you. ‘As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else’?"

"Yes, venerable sir, as I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else."

"Sati, what is that consciousness?"

"Venerable sir, it is that which feels and experiences, that which reaps the results of good and evil actions done here and there."

"Foolish man, to whom do you know me having taught the Dhamma like this. Haven’t I taught, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet you, foolish man, on account of your wrong view, you misrepresent me, as well as destroy yourself and accumulate much demerit, for which you will suffer for a long time."

That explains our clinging to life type rebirth. I mean think about it, how did you get here? It's explained that you're here because of the clinging of past consciousness. The answer is "my parents". Our ancestors are the "past lives" that lead to the conditions of our birth, just as we will lead to the birth of those to come (our descendants). It seems likely that the reason we don't like this explanation is because we personally want to have existed already, come into a new body, and want to go into a new body after this one dies. That's our clinging to a sense of self, an eternal self; eternity view, wrong view. Which one makes more sense? Nothing that you are is actually "you", everything is not-self, nothing is owned. How then do we own past lives or future lives?

There's also another type of rebirth that is taught, the rebirth of unwholesome mental states. A for-instance is the rebirth of the "I", thoughts that the mind continues to cling to and perpetuate, as one means of clinging to existence. The rebirth of greed, aversion and delusion based on ignorance, of craving leading to suffering. These are the rebirths that I think are important to stop. They are simply the rebirth of suffering! When we realize Nirvana, the mind detaches and no longer causes to be actions that will result in suffering (for itself or other minds), ending these rebirths. Unwholesome states no longer arise. This doesn't change what happens at death, and we're still probably going to have kids along the way and cause change in the world that will propagate into the future for new generations of human beings.

Food for thought. Delicious maybe, if it agrees with you. Indigestion otherwise, cramping, mucho dislike.

My two cents, the understanding this life has led to at least. Don't yell at me if you don't agree, just think about it and maybe some day it'll make sense. ;) Everyone is free to form their own conclusions, but if you don't believe the "simple" explanations, always ask yourself why you need it to be complicated. Ask yourself why "you" always need to be in the picture somehow. Always ask yourself "Could this just be clinging, self-preservation? Why can't it be just the way it seems?".

fojiao2
16 Mar 11, 16:12
Rebirth refers to a continuation of cognitive awareness, a link between one moment of consciousness and another. It is a widely held assumption that chemical elements, minerals, such as carbon and so forth do not have consciousness. Furthermore, the atoms they are composed of are not shown to have cognitive awareness.

Since the human brain (where the chemical interactions we experience as 'thought' occur) is made up entirely of physical elements which do not consciousness, it is logical to infer from this then, that while what we define as consciousness, or cognitive awareness depends on the existence of a brain, there is nothing in the brain that exists which can be an actual cause of cognition.

From this, it is reasonable to at least suggest that the causes of cognitive awareness exist regardless of whether a functioning brain is available, the same way that the causes of moonlight (photons) exist in the darkness all around a full moon. This does not mean that consciousness exists outside the body, but that the causes of consciousness can outside the body. From this, it is not unreasonable to suggest that 'rebirth' even as is purported to be an occurrence among Tibetan lamas, is possible.

Esho
17 Mar 11, 00:18
"Do what has to be done and let the rest work by itself...", it is told when the rebirth issue arise when a teisho is given.

:hands:

Cloud
17 Mar 11, 00:58
It's kinda funny. Offline, myself, I don't tend to think about it at all (and truly neither believe nor disbelieve, abiding in an open-minded state in case evidence crops up). There's nothing to go on, no remembrance of past lives or anything observable. Not being able to 'prove' it, neither can I 'disprove' it, so best that can be done when anyone asks about it is come to a reasonable theory based on what is observable about life and death. That, or just say I don't know, but that's no fun.

The only way we get into literal rebirth is through rather 'vague' sutras that don't really explain it all that well, leaving it open to different interpretations (and then you have passages where the Buddha explicitly admonishes a monk for thinking consciousness transmigrates between bodies). Given that we're apt to try and protect ourselves from annihilation, many of us do tend to take it literally that something of this mind-body now is "us" and has come to this body through countless lives, and will continue on and find a new body when we die. It's a safety net, and despite what we say about it, it amounts to the same thing as believing in a soul. It's what we consider to be the "I", the self, and it comforts us to think we don't disappear when we die.

It could be true, but what matters is that we cling to it. This clinging will always be a source of dukkha, that's what clinging does. We have to let go of it if we're ever to awaken to whatever reality actually 'is' and help others do the same. That is, unless we've gone to the dark side and fear Nirvana thinking it destroys our soul. ;) Always crack a smile when I think of *Buddhists* being afraid of enlightenment, like a Christian afraid of heaven, but a part of me cries inside at the same time...

fojiao2
17 Mar 11, 01:33
It's a safety net, and despite what we say about it, it amounts to the same thing as believing in a soul. It's what we consider to be the "I", the self, and it comforts us to think we don't disappear when we die.


That is such a good point! Interestingly, In a book about the Heart Sutra, HH Dalai Lama mentions something that might seem surprising to many. People typically think that rebirth requires the existence of some permanent entity that can hop from one physical state to the next. However, it is precisely because there is no permanent 'self' or soul, that consciousness is, you might say, in constant motion. A permanent 'self', in order to be permanent would have to be unchanging. Since everything changes in relation to its environment, a soul would have to change constantly.

Aloka
17 Mar 11, 08:52
I like these comments from Ajahn Amaro in "The Good Heart"





“What is reborn ?"

" From the Theravada Buddhist perspective there is no fixed position.
The Buddha described the process of rebirth quite clearly, but he also said that all knowledge is based on personal experience. So when he talks about the idea of death and rebirth in a different realm of existence, this is like a map that he laid out.

It is not handed out as something that we as individuals must believe, but more as a pattern that can help describe our experience of reality.

Generally speaking, what is reborn are our habits. That is the essence of it. Whatever the mind holds onto is reborn: what we love, hate, fear, adore, and have opinions about. Our identification with these aspects of the mind has a momentum behind it. Attachment is like a flywheel.

Enlightenment is the ending of rebirth, enlightenment is really the natural condition of the mind when its not confused, identified, or caught up with any internal or external object.



:hands:

Esho
17 Mar 11, 12:58
Thanks Dazz,

My take is for the last paragraph. Aside from the rebirth topic, it is telling what we understand as Buddha Nature as the natural condition of mind; obviously this condition do not need the idea of rebirth. It happens by itself as you commit with the practice (of the Dhamma).

clw_uk
17 Mar 11, 14:47
For myself I dont see how you can worry about no rebirth/rebirth without falling into the trap of "I"

"Will I be reborn or wont I"

frank
17 Mar 11, 17:34
Clw,sure this is just the convenience.of language,the trick here is not to get hooked by language.

Aloka
17 Mar 11, 18:26
For myself I dont see how you can worry about no rebirth/rebirth without falling into the trap of "I"

"Will I be reborn or wont I"

Ajahn Buddhadasa has some interesting comments in "Anatta and Rebirth"




Now we come to the third question which they will ask: When there is no atta, then what is reborn?

What or who is reborn? Forgive us for being forced to use such crude language, but this question is absurd and crazy. In Buddhism, there is no point in asking such a thing. There is no place for it in Buddhism. If you ask what will be reborn next, that's the craziest, most insane question. If right here, right now, there is no soul, person, self, or atta, how could there be some "who" or "someone" that goes and gets reborn?

So there is no way one can ask "who will be reborn?"Therefore, the rebirth of the same person does not occur. But the birth of different things is happening all the time. It happens often and continuously, but there is no rebirth. There is no such thing, in reality, as rebirth or reincarnation. That there is one person, one "I" or "you," getting reborn is what reincarnation is all about. If all is anatta, there is nothing to get reborn.

There is birth, birth, birth, of course. This is obvious. There is birth happening all the time, but it is never the same person being born a second time. Every birth is new. So there is birth, endlessly, constantly, but we will not call it "rebirth" or "reincarnation."

Balgore
18 Mar 11, 13:26
There is birth, birth, birth, of course. This is obvious. There is birth happening all the time, but it is never the same person being born a second time. Every birth is new. So there is birth, endlessly, constantly, but we will not call it "rebirth" or "reincarnation."


Thats a really good way of putting it/looking at it.

Vangelis
21 Mar 11, 03:31
From http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm concerning transmigration:

Then the Blessed One said: "Sati, is it true, that such an pernicious view has arisen to you. ‘As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else’?"

"Yes, venerable sir, as I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else."

"Sati, what is that consciousness?"

"Venerable sir, it is that which feels and experiences, that which reaps the results of good and evil actions done here and there."

"Foolish man, to whom do you know me having taught the Dhamma like this. Haven’t I taught, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet you, foolish man, on account of your wrong view, you misrepresent me, as well as destroy yourself and accumulate much demerit, for which you will suffer for a long time."

That explains our clinging to life type rebirth.

No, that explains clinging to the concept of a permanent consciousness, or an "I". The Buddha goes on to explain that the consciousness arises on condition, then goes into dependent origination.

But from the same sutta, he also says this:

Bhikkhus, a descent to the womb comes about with the coming together of three things: If there is the union of mother and father, but it is not the season of the mother and the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother but the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother and the one to be born is present - then there is a descent to the womb.

Cloud
21 Mar 11, 06:17
Bhikkhus, a descent to the womb comes about with the coming together of three things: If there is the union of mother and father, but it is not the season of the mother and the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother but the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother and the one to be born is present - then there is a descent to the womb.

Union of mother and father, not mother's season, no seed (one to be born) = no birth
Union of mother and father, mother's season, no seed (one to be born) = no birth
Union of mother and father, mother's season, SEED (one to be born) = BIRTH

Putting it this way like a list of requirements, I think the sperm needing to be present is the requirement. The mother being in season already means the egg is present/fertile. The sperm is the thing trying so hard to get to the egg, seemingly alive already. Union of the male and female is sex, coming together... conception requires the actual sperm to unite with the egg. That makes the one who is to be born.

And so if the one to be born is equated with consciousness, then the sperm possesses the beginnings of that consciousness. It must unite with the egg to begin forming a full being, but that's the way it goes...

Now would you like to say that's wrong? =) We need to stop trying to carry over supernatural interpretations and understand that people back then didn't understand how life happens the way we do today. We have to see if what they say fits together with our own understanding, and in this case it exactly does. Why go far afield for an explanation, imposing some unknown mechanism, when this easily makes sense? The Buddha was only listing the conditions for birth in a way people back then would understand.

The more these issues come up, the more clearly it seems they do in fact represent our reality, the one we've observed and tested and come to consensus about... but that those who won't accept it turn to religion and supernatural views.

Aloka
21 Mar 11, 06:46
Bhikkhus, a descent to the womb comes about with the coming together of three things: If there is the union of mother and father, but it is not the season of the mother and the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother but the one to be born is not present - then there is no descent to the womb. If there is the union of mother and father and it is the season of the mother and the one to be born is present - then there is a descent to the womb.

This sounds to me like the normal reproductive process which precedes human birth, beginning with sexual union and an egg which is fertilised.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_reproduction

clw_uk
21 Mar 11, 10:11
I think it was Stuka that made this point before

The above quote is actually the typical Indian/Brahmic view of reproduction at the tiime, so he was just explaining it in terms the people would understand

fojiao2
21 Mar 11, 14:44
And so if the one to be born is equated with consciousness, then the sperm possesses the beginnings of that consciousness.



I don't know if that conclusion is the only one that can be made from this. If what we are calling 'consciousness' exists in a spermatozoon (sperm cell) and its millions of brothers, then that must come from somewhere, because new spermatozoa are constantly being produced and old ones dissolving.

(I prefer the term 'cognitive awareness' meaning an awareness of events as they relate to some level of experience)

One might suggest that the consciousness is imparted by the father. But this would imply that, cognitive awareness or consciousness is itself a 'thing' which can be imparted or shared and stored and can travel from one spot to another, as opposed to being, say, a stream of events.

Part of the problem here seems to be that on the one hand, consciousness is regarded as something which only arises with conditions, and that there is no such thing as self-existing consciousness ("Haven’t I taught, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness"), and on the other hand, seems to be described as a self-existing thing (meaning that it is not subject to conditions) which descends into the womb ("Bhikkhus, a descent to the womb comes about with the coming together of three things").

Yes, there are conditions for the arising of consciousness, but the use of the word 'descend' implies that this 'consciousness' is like a jet that already exists and is merely waiting for permission to land at the terminal.

A more accurate analogy, I think, is that of moonlight. All of the causes of moonlight are right there in the dark night sky, like spermazoa, billions of photons all swimming by. But it is not until the moment that they bounce off the moon do those photons appear as what we label 'moonlight'.

Likewise, it is my understanding that the cause of cognitive awareness only appears as what we label "consciousness" when the proper conditions arise, and only appears as a reflection of the environment in which it manifests, but that this cause of awareness has no shape or form of its own. When 'reflected' or manifested without distortion or interference, with perfect clarity, you have a buddha. Otherwise this "consciousness' manifests as the consciousness of a human, a dog, a fish, a bird, whatever, depending on the conditions which have arisen as a physical body.

I think that this cause of awareness is not, ultimately, different from what is usually referred to as Dharmakaya, which in Mahayana buddhism refers to sort of the ultimate truth that Buddhas are manifestations of. In beings who are not enlightened, the same ultimate reality is reflected with distortion, but with Buddhas, no distortion, perfect clarity.

Vangelis
21 Mar 11, 23:49
@fojiao2 - Yes, the pertinent terms here being: "descent to the womb" by "the one to be born". This is clearly not referring to either the sperm or the egg. It is referring the descent of some sort of life force into the whole process. And I would also have to agree that this is similar to the Brahminic or modern-day Hindu understanding. However, in Buddhism this would be considered to be some form of consciousness rather than the Hindu concept of a soul. And notice that sperm is specifically not mentioned in the logical combinations that are iterated in the sutta because during sex, sperm will always be present. What may or may not be present are the three items mentioned: sex (the union of mother and father), the egg (season of the mother), and "the one to be born". There is clearly no scientific parallel to "the one to be born" as science is only now beginning to come to terms with such concepts as "consciousness" and "life".

Cloud
22 Mar 11, 00:19
@Vangelis - Sperm isn't always present during sex, at least not where it's supposed to be (*cough*), and it has a long way to travel, most sperm not making it the whole way. It still makes sense as the sperm being the third condition. Sex (union) + egg (woman's season) + sperm (one to be born). After that sperm unites with the egg, the egg descends to the wall of the uterus. Anyone not looking for a "rebirth" explanation would take it this way. It's a description of the conditions for "birth" not "rebirth", though you could say "rebirth of the parents" in that the new life is a continuation of them. (This may be as much of a literal rebirth as we get, halfway between personal and selfless... it's half us, half our partner, a new combination of the same aggregates but not specifically the same as either person, as one flame lighting another. Middle Way!)

Perhaps finding a *different* sutra for a rebirth debate would be a good idea? This one has too easy of a "reasonable" and "logical" explanation/interpretation.

Aloka
22 Mar 11, 03:06
Talk about rebirth is just speculation because we don't have any conclusive proof one way or the other.

I am always reminded of Ajahn Sumedho's emphasis on the here and now in his teachings.

Also....




The Blessed One said: "Monks, I will teach you the summary & exposition of one who has had an auspicious day. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said:

"You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past is left behind.
The future is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there, right there."

(MN131 -Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day)



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.131.than.html

Vangelis
22 Mar 11, 04:26
Talk about rebirth is just speculation because we don't have any conclusive proof one way or the other.


And there is no conclusive scientific proof that the mind exists either. Does that mean we take it to not exist until science proves otherwise?

Aloka
22 Mar 11, 06:26
"You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past is left behind.
The future is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there, right there."



Additionally, Buddha said :




'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said.

With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing.

Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long?

It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Now, monk, you should remember this, my brief analysis of the six properties."


MN 140 -Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Properties

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.140.than.html

Aloka
22 Mar 11, 07:15
And there is no conclusive scientific proof that the mind exists either. Does that mean we take it to not exist until science proves otherwise?

Your mentioning "mind" made me think of the Buddha's words in this sutta, Vangelis. :





But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

(SN 12.61 -Assutava Sutta: Uninstructed)


More here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html

peen
25 Mar 11, 12:44
hi, just to respond to the original question -- yes i do believe in rebirth. i don't know why i do (i have never experienced being reborn and remember it!!!), i guess i just do. Perhaps it's because Buddhism believes in it, and I am more inclined towards Buddhism than other faiths...

clw_uk
25 Mar 11, 16:08
hi, just to respond to the original question -- yes i do believe in rebirth. i don't know why i do (i have never experienced being reborn and remember it!!!), i guess i just do. Perhaps it's because Buddhism believes in it, and I am more inclined towards Buddhism than other faiths...


Didnt you say you were agnostic in your introduction thread?

peen
26 Mar 11, 14:02
Didnt you say you were agnostic in your introduction thread?

Yes, I am an agnostic inclined towards Buddhism. I don't know if God exists and in my opinion, at this point in time, there has been no concrete proof. Among all the major faiths, I find Buddhism the most practical, reasonable and in line with my sense of logic. Besides, there is no Almighty GOD in Buddhism.

fojiao2
26 Mar 11, 16:55
But if there were no god, the 'dog' spelled backwards would have no meaning! And then what would we all do?