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Thread: The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving - MN38

  1. #1

    The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving - MN38

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    Dear friends,

    I would be interested in hearing your views on this sutta



    Mahātanhāsankhaya Sutta : MN38

    - The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving





    1] Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's Park.

    2] Now on that occasion a pernicious view had arisen in a bhikkhu named Sāti, son of a fisherman, thus: "As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another."

    3] Several bhikkhus, having heard about this, went to the bhikkhu Sāti and asked him: "Friend Sāti, is it true that such a pernicious view has arisen in you?"

    "Exactly so, friends. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another."

    Then those bhikkhus, desiring to detach him from that pernicious view, pressed and questioned and cross-questioned him thus: "Friend Sāti, do not say so. Do not misrepresent the Blessed One; it is not good to misrepresent the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not speak thus. For in many ways the Blessed One has stated consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness."

    Yet although pressed and questioned and cross-questioned by those bhikkhus in this way, the bhikkhu Sāti, son of a fisherman, still obstinately adhered to that pernicious view and continued to insist upon it.

    4] Since the bhikkhus were unable to detach him from that pernicious view, they went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and told him all that had occurred, adding: "Venerable sir, since we could not detach the bhikkhu Sāti, son of a fisherman, from this pernicious view, we have reported this matter to the Blessed One."
    continued here : URL

  2. #2
    In this sutta Bhikkhu Sati expresses incorrect views about the same consciousness running through different rebirths.

    The Buddha explains to him the correct view of Dependent Origination and how phenomena arise and cease through conditions.

    Comments on the sutta anyone ?

  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka-D #1:
    runs and wanders through the round of rebirths
    Sure...the Pali does not state "through the round of rebirths".

    It simply states "it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders, not another"...

    tathāhaṃ bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi yathā tadevidaṃ viññāṇaṃ sandhāvati saṃsarati anañña'

    "As I understand the dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness (vinnàna) that runs (sandhàvati) and wanders (saüsarati), not another."

  4. #4
    Thanks, Element

  5. #5
    Bhikkhu Buddhadasa refered to this sutta in his essay on dependent origination.


    <u>Why Do We Have to Know About Dependent Arising?</u>

    For the purpose of learning and cultivation, we must know dependent arising. Because nobody understands it, it has become a fallacy. The ordinary people's fallacy is similar to Bhikkhu Sati's belief: "Only the consciousness is going around in samsara." This bhikkhu insisted that there was a "person," "self," or "sentient being" in the consciousness, which dwelled in samsara from one lifetime to the next. Believing that the consciousness has a "person," "self" or "sentient being" that is perpetually going around in samsara is a fallacy resulting from ignorance of the nature of dependent arising.

    All the bhikkhus tried to convince Bhikkhu Sati to abandon the fallacy, but Bhikkhu Sati was adamant about his view. The bhikkhus then told the Buddha about it, and the Buddha talked to Bhikkhu Sati. The Buddha asked him, "Do you really have such a concept?" Bhikkhu Sati said, "There is only the consciousness that is going around in samsara." The Buddha then asked, "What is this consciousness that you speak of?" Bhikkhu Sati replied, "Esteemed Buddha, the consciousness is the entity that can talk, feel, or receive all the karmic repercussions."

    His was a very serious fallacy: a consciousness that facilitates talking, feeling, and receiving of all karmic repercussions.

    Ordinary people do not know why it is a fallacy because they believe, as Bhikkhu Sati did, that the consciousness exists perpetually. Since they are used to the idea, they do not consider it a fallacy.

    It is false to believe that the consciousness is perpetual, that it exists and acts on its own, and that it is not dependent arising. Consciousness, a manner of dependent arising, is devoid of ego. It manifests in an instant because of the interaction of mutually dependent conditions, and it advances to successive stages.

    Bhikkhu Sati maintained that there was an ego or a consciousness with an ego that went around in samsara. This consciousness did not only exist in the instant but also persisted to the next life. He called the ego that could talk, feel, or receive karmic repercussions consciousness.

    The common view prevents people from seeing the fallacy. Consciousness is devoid of ego. If consciousness exists, then it is dependent arising. It is a natural phenomenon manifested from successive occurrences due to mutually dependent conditions. It is not an entity.
    URL

  6. #6
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    I think this paragraph is interested :-

    ------------------------------------------
    26] "Bhikkhus, the descent of the embryo takes place through the union of three things. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, but the mother is not in season, and the gandhabba (consciousness of the unborn being) is not present - in this case no descent of an embryo takes place. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, but the gandhabba (consciousness) is not present - in this case too no descent of the embryo takes place. But when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba (consciousness) is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo takes place.
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    I ever heard the explaination that at the moment of death. Nothing move from this live to next live. The last mind cease this live and then arise at the next live. No movement of mind or consciousness.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sukitlek #6:
    I ever heard the explaination that at the moment of death. Nothing move from this live to next live. The last mind cease this live and then arise at the next live. No movement of mind or consciousness.
    Maybe if our physical bodies are insubstantial (an aspect of anatta) then when we die our consciousness does need to "move from this live to next live",it's already 'there',(where ever there is)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sukitlek #6:
    "Bhikkhus, the descent of the embryo takes place through the union of three things. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, but the mother is not in season, and the gandhabba (consciousness of the unborn being) is not present - in this case no descent of an embryo takes place. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, but the gandhabba (consciousness) is not present - in this case too no descent of the embryo takes place. But when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba (consciousness) is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo takes place.
    This passage doesn't make sense. The release of a monthly egg (when
    "the mother is in season") plus a "consciousness" does not produce a fertilised egg or an embryo. There needs to be a fertile sperm which fertilises the egg in order for there to be an embryo. Sperm isn't mentioned. Difficulties in translation perhaps ?


  9. #9
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    When the passage says 'union', we should probably infer that the union is a biologically viable one, i.e. sperm and ovum are both functioning appropriately.

  10. #10
    What happens in laboratories when test-tube fertilisation which produces embryos takes place? ....and in particular -what about cloning?

    Sorry, I'm getting off topic now. Back to the sutta

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