Thread: Compassion in the Agamas and Nikayas

  1. #1

    Compassion in the Agamas and Nikayas

    An article which is definately worth reading :

    "Compassion in the Agamas and Nikayas" by Bhikkhu Analayo.

    https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamb...compassion.pdf

    - A paragraph of interest:


    Even after awakening, the Buddha's form of compassion does not seem to be depicted as being motivated by the wish to save all living beings. A discourse in the Aṅguttara-nikāya and its Saṃyukta-āgama parallel explicitly highlight that the Buddha was not concerned with whether the whole world or only part of it will be able to reach liberation.

    (The Nikaya sutta reference is AN10.95)


    Comments welcome if you've read the article.

    ......and just as an aside, Bhikkhu Analayo has also written a book "Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation".



  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka
    Bhikkhu Analayo has also written a book "Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation".

    An excerpt from the book can be found here:

    https://issuu.com/windhorsepublications/docs/ce_excerpt


  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    - A paragraph of interest:

    Even after awakening, the Buddha's form of compassion does not seem to be depicted as being motivated by the wish to save all living beings. A discourse in the Aṅguttara-nikāya and its Saṃyukta-āgama parallel explicitly highlight that the Buddha was not concerned with whether the whole world or only part of it will be able to reach liberation.
    (The Nikaya sutta reference is AN10.95)

    Comments welcome if you've read the article.

    I browsed a chapter of the article, which merely describes the obvious evolution of Buddhism from an individual-centred liberative path to a social religion. The writer is bouncing between earlier and the later texts, including obviously later suttas.

    As for the paragraph quoted, the Buddha obviously wished to lead as many people as possible to liberation thus the issue was obviously not the "wish" of the Buddha but the capability/disposition of people to attain liberation.

    MN 26 states:

    Out of compassion for beings I surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha. Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear and blame in the other world.

    MN 26
    MN 4 states, about prior to the enlightenment:

    There are, brahmin, some recluses and brahmins who perceive day when it is night and night when it is day. I say that on their part this is an abiding in delusion. But I perceive night when it is night and day when it is day. Rightly speaking, were it to be said of anyone: A being not subject to delusion has appeared in the world for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans, it is of me indeed that rightly speaking this should be said.
    Therefore, both Gotama & the Buddha appeared to obviously be motivated by compassion for others but the motivation was obviously bound by/limited to what was realistically achievable in terms of helping others.


  4. #4
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    The vow to liberate all beings is powerful when repeated over the years, but I never took it literally. It's similar to the vow to give away all merit. Does anything happen? Frankly I don't think it's important whether anything does, but it has an effect on me whenever I say it. I think such things are powerful as reminders rather than expectations of real events.

  5. #5
    Forums Member CedarTree's Avatar
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    Bhikkhu Analayo is such a prolific writer. So glad a lot of his stuff is freely available on his university page :)

  6. #6
    Here's an interview Bhikkhu Analayo gave about his book "Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation" which I mentioned earlier :

    https://www.bcbsdharma.org/article/c...brahmaviharas/


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    Thanks ancientbuddhism this looks like a very good book, will take a while to read though, the foreword does give a good idea of the breath and scope

    McKmike

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