Thread: Rebirth by Choice

  1. #1

    Rebirth by Choice

    Any thoughts about this sutta ....MN 120 ?


    https://suttacentral.net/mn120/en/su...e&script=latin


  2. #2
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    817
    Now that's the way to tell good joke. Wind it up to the Nth degree then hit them with the tag line, 'Lets not bother to try for any of those, not even to be a god.' They understood that they didn't need to go for the idea of rebirth when they can end defilements in this lifetime.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,423
    Ignoring the fact the Pali word "upapatti" does not appear to literally mean "rebirth", this sutta appears very illogical when referring to monks aspiring to have the result of their practice leading to being an aristocrat, Brahmin or well-to-do householders.

    At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

    “Venerable sir,” they replied.

    The Buddha said this: “I shall teach you rebirth by choice. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

    “Yes, sir,” they replied.

    The Buddha said this: “Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. They think:

    ‘If only, when my body breaks up, after death, I would be reborn in the company of well-to-do aristocrats!’... in the company of well-to-do brahmins … in the company of well-to-do householders.’
    It follows, per its literal content, the probable meaning of the sutta is the monks are aspiring to be "in the company (sahavyatā) of well-to-do aristocrats, well-to-do brahmins, well-to-do householders" in the here-&-now. In other words, as a result of their good practice in the here-&-now, the monks have followers in the here-&-now who are well-to-do aristocrats, brahmins & householder, from whom, in the here-&-now, they receive ample requisites of food, clothing, shelter & medicine.

    In summary, the word 'upapatti' does not appear to literally mean 'rebirth'. The root of 'upapatti' is 'pad', which means 'to walk/travel' and not 'jan', which means 'birth'. 'Upapatti' literally means a 'resultant state following from' a course of action.

    New Concise Pali English Dictionary
    sahavyatā
    companionship

  4. #4
    Thanks Element, I thought it seemed rather odd when I read the translation.



  5. #5
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    817
    Buddhism has always been an aural tradition, meant to be listened to. It doesn't matter what the literal meaning of words are, you have to understand these suttas in a different way. Listeners in this case are led to a surprising conclusion after raising the odds of success from the mundane to the god-like. And then the end tag, that none of that matters if you look to what you do here and now, has the power to convince.

Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Sun, 5:40 AM Sun, 7:40 AM Sun, 1:40 PM Sun, 6:10 PM Sun, 8:40 PM Sun, 11:40 PM