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Thread: Lessons in refuting idiosyncratic dhamma

  1. #51
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    For example, a new born child, hidden in a room for the next 15 years, is going to have a different sense of "self' than a child that grows within family, culture & many objects for it to attach to & claim possession of as "mine".
    'Wild Cambodia jungle-girl' found

    A Cambodian girl who disappeared aged eight has been found after living wild in the jungle for 19 years, police say.

    Local police said the woman was "half-human and half-animal" and could not speak any intelligible language.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6275623.stm






  2. #52
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    Hi,

    It is obvious that your understanding of these two sutta (MN 79: Culasakuludayi Sutta and SN12.70 Susima Sutta: About Susima) differs drastically from mine. The discussion seem to have drifted from 'whether past lives are true' to 'is it important to recollect past lives.' But I am not interested in debating whether it is important to recollect the past lives. My position is that it might be of use to some people, but in general, no.

    Actually, I was not even really interested in proving rebirth. I only engaged in this discussion because I was usually perplexed when I read the sutta that you used to demonstrate that your view. Because, as far as I was concern, your excerpts did not support your view. So I wanted to understand why.

    Here is an example of how we disagree in the same sutta:

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    The importance of the recollection of past nivesa is to purify the mind from self-view.

    In respect to past karma, it is especially useful to liberate the mind from past karma because (with right view) all that happened in the past was the functioning of five aggregates.
    Bloody-handed
    I used to be,
    renowned as Angulimala.
    See my going for refuge!
    Uprooted is [craving],
    the guide to becoming.

    Having done the type of kamma
    that would lead to many
    bad destinations,
    touched by the fruit of [that] kamma,
    unindebted, I eat my food.

    The three knowledges
    have been attained;
    the Buddha's bidding,
    done.

    Angulimala Sutta
    Regarding Angulimala's quote that you used to illustrate your view, He was able to eat his food after he had experienced the consequences of his past karma with Kshanti (He did not retaliate and did not generate any negative kamma.)

    This is what preceded your quotes from Angulimala sutta:

    Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

    Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!" [3]

    Then Ven. Angulimala, having gone alone into seclusion, experienced the bliss of release. At that time he exclaimed:

    <...> <your quote> <...>

    Angulimala Sutta: About Angulimala
    What is interesting to me here is that in the story, Angulimala became an arahant, then experienced the fruits of his previous unskilled kamma, but The Blessed One still needed to encourage him to "Bear" it. Is The Blessed One's encouragement not necessary or was Angulimala on the verge of unskillful actions and needed the encouragement? And it is only afterward that Angulimala experienced the bliss of release. So an arahant still need to resolve his past kamma before release?

    Maybe he can endure because he did not have self-view. But this had nothing to do with recollection of his past.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    A small child has a very limited sense of "self" because it (i.e., the nama-rupa) has very limited faculties (i.e. not yet fully developed.) It also has very limited sense experience.

    For example, a new born child, hidden in a room for the next 15 years, is going to have a different sense of "self' than a child that grows within family, culture & many objects for it to attach to & claim possession of as "mine".
    No arguments here.

    But the "child, hidden in a room for the next 15 years" still developed a sense of "self." No?

    Do we all have to have the same sense of "self?" I am pretty sure my sense of "self" is different than other people's sense of "themselves."

    I don't think I understand the point that you are making here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    In MN 64, Buddha explained the new born infant does not not have a sense of self but the underlying tendency (anusaya) of self-view (becoming) exists within [the genetic material/DNA of] its mind.
    No arguments here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    Do you really believe you were born into this world with knowledge from previous lives? Myself, I prefer a scientific explanation.
    I prefer explanations derived from scientific methods.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuan View Post
    It is obvious that your understanding of these two sutta (MN 79: Culasakuludayi Sutta and SN12.70 Susima Sutta: About Susima) differs drastically from mine.
    The suttas in question do not include the word "past lives". This is a mistranslation, which even Bhikkhu Bodhi has ceased to use in his new translations.

    The word "nivesa" literally means "home" but it also means "adherences", such as found in the Haliddakani Sutta.

    Kathañca, gahapati, anokasārī hoti? Rūpadhātuyā kho, gahapati, yo chando yo rāgo yā nandī yā taṇhā ye upayupādānā cetaso adhiṭṭhānābhinivesānusayā te tathāgatassa pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṃkatā anabhāvaṃgatā āyatiṃ anuppādadhammā.

    And how does one not live at home? Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases [Bhikkhu Bodhi: 'adherences'] or obsessions with regard to the property of form: these the Tathagata has abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathagata is said to be not dwelling at home.

    SN 22.3 Haliddakani Sutta
    Even the reincarnationist Buddhaghose explained 'nivesa' to mean 'past becomings'.


  5. #55
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuan View Post
    What is interesting to me here is that in the story, Angulimala became an arahant, then experienced the fruits of his previous unskilled kamma, but The Blessed One still needed to encourage him to "Bear" it. Is The Blessed One's encouragement not necessary or was Angulimala on the verge of unskillful actions and needed the encouragement? And it is only afterward that Angulimala experienced the bliss of release.
    I referred to Angulimala because his mind was arahant. It could only be arahant by purifying past karma via anatta.

    As for the story, you are reading & imagining too much into it. The sutta explains Angulimala was arahant before he was attacked.

    Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

    Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One.
    Does the sutta describe Angulimala suffering or on the verge of unskilful actions due to being attacked? No. Do you know the mind of Angulimala as Buddha knew his mind? No. The sutta only describes the Buddha talking.

    Angulimala, as an arahant, may have not possessed psychic power, such as Sariputta did not possess psychic power. Thus Angulimala may have not known the mind of the people who attacked him. Angulimala may have had the intention to simply ask Buddha: "Why do the people continue to attack an arahant due to deeds from the past?". Such a question is certainly not unskilful. However, the Buddha said to him: "Bear it brahmin" and probably answered the question Angulimala intended to ask (because Buddha knew Angulimala's mind with his own mind).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuan View Post
    So an arahant still need to resolve his past kamma before release?
    An arahant is already released. It was the people who attacked Angulimala that had not resolved their kamma; their kamma of being attached to their dead relatives. They continued to harbour hate towards Angulimala, despite him being arahant. Angulimala murdered many people and what is obvious is many relatives of those people would have probably bourne hate towards Angulimala for the rest of their lives and probably well after Angulimala passed away.

    However, Angulimala declared:

    unindebted, I eat my food.
    When the sutta states:
    Having done the type of kamma
    that would lead to many
    bad destinations,
    touched by the fruit of [that] kamma,
    unindebted, I eat my food
    I would suggest this does not mean he became "unindebted" due to being attacked due to his past karma. I would suggest it means despite being attacked, he remained unindebted.

    I would suggest to abandon any notions that kamma is about 'cosmic justice', 'retribution', that because of revenge, karma is resolved.

    Kind regards


  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    The suttas in question do not include the word "past lives". This is a mistranslation, which even Bhikkhu Bodhi has ceased to use in his new translations.

    The word "nivesa" literally means "home" but it also means "adherences", such as found in the Haliddakani Sutta.


    Even the reincarnationist Buddhaghose explained 'nivesa' to mean 'past becomings'.

    I think this further illustrates our differences (not just in reading the sutta).

    But let me explain (on second thought, forget it. It is not really that important.)

    I would just like to point out that you used MN 79: Culasakuludayi Sutta and SN12.70 Susima Sutta: About Susima to support your point that recollection of the past is unimportant, not the recollection of the past lives.

    So my respond to you is about recollection of the past, and when I read the word birth in the sutta, I interpreted it with your views.

    Even then, we still read differently.
    Last edited by Yuan; 18 Dec 12 at 13:19.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    I would suggest to abandon any notions that kamma is about 'cosmic justice', 'retribution', that because of revenge, karma is resolved.
    I never harbored such a notion.

    I don't have any point that I wish to demonstrate regarding Angulimala's story, just raising questions that I thought was interesting and showing the differences in our interpretation.
    So I will refrain from making further comments about it.

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