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Deshy
19 May 11, 17:49
How do you explain Mara in DN 16 please? In metta.lk it is regarded as the non-appeal of ananda who did not request the Buddha to live a full life span (possibly 120 years)


The third chapter, almost exclusively, is devoted to depicting the circumstances connected with the Master's relinquishment of life, which is the dramatic culmination of events. It overwhelmingly drives home the purely metaphysical significance of the Parinibbana, or at least ought to do so. For the Buddha neither succumbed to his fatal illness nor did he give way to the appeal of Mara (which is identical with the non-appeal of ânanda), but sovereignly let go of existence at a timely hour, just as forty-five years earlier, on becoming fully enlightened, he had duly taken upon himself the wearisome task of teaching men. This fact is most thought-provoking, and consistently leads to the conclusion that by his Parinibbana, indeed, the Buddha bore the last and highest possible testimony to his Teaching, which permits of no lingering inclination to self-preservation and continuance, but on the contrary reaches the highest exultation ending it all. The Master's Parinibbana is, therefore, the one sorrowful event in the history of Buddhism that turns out, in its true meaning, to be really the most blissful.

http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/1Digha-Nikaya/Digha2/16-mahaparinibbana-e2.html#BM22

Deshy
19 May 11, 17:57
Mara's Appeal




7. And when the Venerable ânanda had gone away, Mara, the Evil One, approached the Blessed One. And standing at one side he spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "Now, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away; let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.

"For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples -- wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by the appropriate conduct, and having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.' [n23]

8. "And now, O Lord, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have become the Blessed One's disciples in just this way. So, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.

"For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until this holy life taught by me has become successful, prosperous, far-renowned, popular, and widespread, until it is well proclaimed among gods and men.' And this too has come to pass in just this way. So, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away, let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord."

Deshy
21 May 11, 04:59
Anyone please? ;D

fojiao2
21 May 11, 05:00
Did people really talk like that?

plwk
21 May 11, 05:10
How do you think people talked those days?

Aloka
21 May 11, 10:25
Did people really talk like that?

Off topic - and isn't being helpful to Deshy.

Her questions were:



How do you explain Mara in DN 16 please? In metta.lk it is regarded as the non-appeal of ananda who did not request the Buddha to live a full life span (possibly 120 years)

and


Anyone please?


:hands:
thanks

Deshy
21 May 11, 11:31
Nice... lol

plwk
21 May 11, 12:35
My speculations from what I understand and have read from others:

1. Perhaps, the character of Mara was just a mere reinforcement to show all what the Buddha had already knew in advance: that the Sangha is stable and fruitful and when all of that is done and fulfilled, it would be the confident time for His Parinibbana?

2. I would not dare to equate Ananda's earlier non appeal to Mara but rather a personification of the Buddha's opponents, those within and without, who are perhaps waiting impatiently for their major obstacle, the Buddha, to go in order for them to take charge or be rid of a 'troublesome barrier'?

3. The timing of Ananda's appeal and the Buddha's rebuke to him was one instance in my estimation of a Dhamma lesson of what happens when one loses the present moment and then lives other moments trying to regain that lost moment, losing the present moment again in that process.

4. Another Dhamma lesson on displaying the inevitable impermanence and death and that His highlighting to Ananda was also is an indirect way of showing what He was capable of as a Buddha and as a final Dhamma lesson?

Other addendum comments:
5. That time to request was over as the Buddha had given that opportunity but it wasn't utilised and that it would not be appropriate for Him to make a ridiculous roundabout turn on one latent whimsical plea when it was of greater importance towards the end of His life to attend to other concerns like the direction of the Sangha and so forth

6. All of what is needed to accomplish has been fulfilled in the Buddha's life, so Mara or not, He already knew that it was the time to relinquish.

7. Just like the Dhamma has to be requested to be taught, perhaps this applies to His lifespan too? That it was 'courtesy' to inform, of all people, Ananda, about it?

8. I have read how some alleged that the Mahaparinibbana Sutta has bits and pieces coming from later development and etc...but as I am no historian nor scholar, my attitude remains within the confines of Kalama Sutta.

Deshy
21 May 11, 15:51
I have read how some alleged that the Mahaparinibbana Sutta has bits and pieces coming from later development

Yes, that was my first impression too. Your points make sense. There is a possibility that the Mara concept is just a simile. But then again, why isn't the sutta as clear about it as you pointed it out here, rather than introducing a simile which eventually leads to speculation and misinterpretation. That brings me back to my initial doubts about later additions. :dontknow:

Element
21 May 11, 21:29
My impression here is Mara is an external being, a "deva" with some psychic powers, who deliberately torments the Buddha.

Many devas (angels) did not personally approve of the Buddha-Dhamma.

For example, the Buddha taught anatta, which was contrary to the existing Brahministic teachings.

Regards

;D


In traditional Buddhism four senses of the word "mara" are given.

Klesa-mara, or Mara as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions.

Mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death.

Skandha-mara, or Mara as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence.

Devaputra-mara, or Mara the son of a deva (god), that is, Mara as an objectively existent being rather than as a metaphor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_(demon)

FBM
22 May 11, 04:29
As the ending of the sutta depicts what came after the Buddha's death, he could hardly have been the author. I think Richard Gombrich dealt with this in one of his books. A lot of the hyperbolic and mythical elements were written into the sutta to make the Buddha's passing more competitive with the contemporary religious/philosophical movements, that is, to help ensure that the Buddha's dhamma didn't pass out of existence.

Literalism is a trap. It's a lot easier than doing all the research required to make sense of the metaphors and myths. But as nothing is said or written in a vacuum, doing the (con)textual analysis is necessary for accurate understanding of the text.

Deshy
22 May 11, 07:59
As the ending of the sutta depicts what came after the Buddha's death, he could hardly have been the author. I think Richard Gombrich dealt with this in one of his books. A lot of the hyperbolic and mythical elements were written into the sutta to make the Buddha's passing more competitive with the contemporary religious/philosophical movements, that is, to help ensure that the Buddha's dhamma didn't pass out of existence.

Literalism is a trap. It's a lot easier than doing all the research required to make sense of the metaphors and myths. But as nothing is said or written in a vacuum, doing the (con)textual analysis is necessary for accurate understanding of the text.


Yeah I agree. Thanks :)

srivijaya
23 May 11, 10:47
What about Ananda's appeal from the same sutta?

ânanda's Appeal

53. Then the Venerable ânanda said: "This, O Lord, I have heard and learned from the Blessed One himself when the Blessed One said to me: 'Whosoever, ânanda, has developed, practiced, employed, strengthened, maintained, scrutinized, and brought to perfection the four constituents of psychic power could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it. The Tathagata, ânanda, has done so. Therefore the Tathagata could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it.'"

54. "And did you believe it, ânanda?"

"Yes, O Lord, I did."

"Then, ânanda, the fault is yours. Herein have you failed, inasmuch as you were unable to grasp the plain suggestion, the significant prompting given by the Tathagata, and you did not then entreat the Tathagata to remain. For if you had done so, ânanda, twice the Tathagata might have declined, but the third time he would have consented. Therefore, ânanda, the fault is yours; herein have you failed.
Here Buddha claims that he could have (if he wished it) remained throughout a world-period or until the end of it?

Apart from being very harsh on Ananda doesn't this look like some kind of delusion? Buddha was a flesh & blood man not a superwhatsit. His time had come, so what's this all about I wonder?
:hands:

Deshy
23 May 11, 11:46
It is not a world-period. It is a full life span. Since the Buddha had psychic powers, it is said that he could have lived a few years extra, typically upto 120 years which is generally considered to be the full-lifespan of a human being.



Kappam va tittheyya kappavasesam va. Comy. takes kappa not as "world-period" or "aeon," but as ayu-kappa, "life span," and explains avasesa (usually "remainder") by "in excess."

Comy.: "He may stay alive completing the life span pertaining to men at the given time. (Sub. Comy.: the maximum life span.) Kappavasesa: 'in excess' (atireka), i.e., more or less above the hundred years said to be the normally highest life expectation."

Among the numerous meanings of the word kappa, there is, in fact, that of time in general (kala) and not only the duration of an aeon; but the meaning "life span" seems to have been ascribed to it only in this passage. Also, the meaning "in excess" for avasesa (usually "remainder") is unusual.

The four constituents of psychic power (iddhipada) are concentration due to zeal, energy, purity of mind, and investigation.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html

srivijaya
23 May 11, 11:57
Cheers Deshy. Another poor translation by the looks of it!