Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Jechbi » Wed May 06, 2009 4:55 am

Peter wrote:I do not see any mention of anatta in the bit you quoted, nor in the rest of that sutta. Care to clarify?

Yes, Peter, thank you for asking.

I don't see any meaningful way to interpret the exposition of kamma in this sutta absent an understanding of anatta, and in fact these teachings about kamma appear inherently to include anatta. But perhaps you could explain how to interpret the teachings of kamma in this sutta absent an understanding of anatta.

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Chula » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:22 pm

Sorry to bring this back up, but I just read through this thread and found a quote that can be directly refuted by a sutta.
clw_uk wrote:Furthermore the Buddha didnt state that life was suffering, if he did then suicide might be a good option, what he said is there is suffering which comes to be because of clinging to things and so having a sense of "I" or"me"


There is a case where the Buddha finds no fault in suicide - in the case of an Arahat who has ended all rebirth.

The relevant passages from MN 144: Channovāda Sutta:
"Soon after they had gone venerable Channa took a weapon and put an end to his life."

"Sariputta, if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly."
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=178

Ven. Channa took his life in this case because he knew he would not "seize" another body, and also because his pains were increasing. From this it is clear that it's not just a matter of letting go of the sense of self. It is clear that the Buddha's teaching (from the Canon at least, which is our earliest source) is ultimately about ending literal rebirth.

Also, I think it's a good idea to be open to the possibility of rebirth, since denying that literal rebirth happens is wrong view (miccā-ditti). From AN 10.176 Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta,

"He has wrong view, is warped in the way he sees things: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made impure in three ways by mental action."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

This does not mean just blindly holding to the view that rebirth is true - since there's a difference between believing and really seeing for oneself, but at least not holding the view that literal rebirth does not happen, and being open to the possibility that the Buddha knew way more than us (conviction or saddhā can help a lot here).

Hope this clears things up.

Metta
User avatar
Chula
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:58 am
Location: NYC

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:28 pm

Chula wrote:Ven. Channa took his life in this case because he knew he would not "seize" another body, and also because his pains were increasing. From this it is clear that it's not just a matter of letting go of the sense of self. It is clear that the Buddha's teaching (from the Canon at least, which is our earliest source) is ultimately about ending literal rebirth.


:thumbsup:

Also, I think it's a good idea to be open to the possibility of rebirth, since denying that literal rebirth happens is wrong view (miccā-ditti). From AN 10.176 Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta,


:thumbsup:

This does not mean just blindly holding to the view that rebirth is true - since there's a difference between believing and really seeing for oneself, but at least not holding the view that literal rebirth does not happen, and being open to the possibility that the Buddha knew way more than us (conviction or saddhā can help a lot here).

Hope this clears things up.


I doubt it. :tongue: The rebirth deniers will still try and refute what you said or reinterpret what you quoted.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8041
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:38 pm

Believing in literal rebirth and not believing in literal rebirth are both just opportunities to build stories, attach to them, defend them, and block potential for clarity.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Aloka » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:48 pm

pink_trike wrote:Believing in literal rebirth and not believing in literal rebirth are both just opportunities to build stories, attach to them, defend them, and block potential for clarity.

Image

.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3607
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Laurens » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:36 am

clw_uk wrote:Those people already held a view of rebirth, he was teaching them in terms they would understand


Metta


The flaw I can see in that arguement is that the Buddha normally doesn't have any qualms about telling people when the view that they hold is wrong. Why would he neglect to tell people that the view of rebirth is wrong (if that was the case)?
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
User avatar
Laurens
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:37 pm

Laurens wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Those people already held a view of rebirth, he was teaching them in terms they would understand


Metta


The flaw I can see in that arguement is that the Buddha normally doesn't have any qualms about telling people when the view that they hold is wrong. Why would he neglect to tell people that the view of rebirth is wrong (if that was the case)?


Because the view of rebirth is conducive to the spiritual life, whereas the view of non-rebirth tends to foster nihilism?
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Laurens » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:16 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
Laurens wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Those people already held a view of rebirth, he was teaching them in terms they would understand


Metta


The flaw I can see in that arguement is that the Buddha normally doesn't have any qualms about telling people when the view that they hold is wrong. Why would he neglect to tell people that the view of rebirth is wrong (if that was the case)?


Because the view of rebirth is conducive to the spiritual life, whereas the view of non-rebirth tends to foster nihilism?


Also because he discovered it to be the truth for himself?
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
User avatar
Laurens
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:30 pm

that would depend if it is an absolute metaphysical statement, or a reflective statement!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5743
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:48 pm

I've found it somewhat helpful to consider rebirth in terms of its function within the dhamma, rather than in an absolute metaphysical sense. Two reasons:

I haven't seen what the Buddha saw, so any statement I make would boil down to "I believe and accept", "I don't believe", or "I don't know". At the same time, though, we can all make supportable (or not) statements about how rebirth impacts other teachings, such as kamma or merit; how it relates to the overall goal of liberation; how it accords with the Buddha's critique of materialism; why it's a skillful view; etc. So we can have a fruitful discussion.

For beginners, or at least a certain kind of beginner, this can be a way of getting beyond one's kneejerk resistance to the teaching. I can attest to that. :smile:
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:02 pm

My approach is always... what do those teachers I respect say, based on their knowledge of the Canon and their own experience ? My own knowledge and experience is much too limited to resolve these things for myself. There is a clear consensus among Theravadin teachers concerning this issue and related issues like Rebirth. Until such time as I have direct knowledge of these things for myself, I will trust that consensus. Which is that Rebirth is literally true, and that hell states exist as more than metaphores. If I didnt accept that I would find a tradition that reflected what I think rather than attempt to change this one. ( Theravada ).
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
Sanghamitta
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:My approach is always... what do those teachers I respect say, based on their knowledge of the Canon and their own experience ? My own knowledge and experience is much too limited to resolve these things for myself. There is a clear consensus among Theravadin teachers concerning this issue and related issues like Rebirth. Until such time as I have direct knowledge of these things for myself, I will trust that consensus. Which is that Rebirth is literally true, and that hell states exist as more than metaphores. If I didnt accept that I would find a tradition that reflected what I think rather than attempt to change this one. ( Theravada ).


I'd have serious reservations about any "Buddhist" teacher who dismissed rebirth. That said, though, many who I respect and consider trustworthy acknowledge that they found it problematic, at least in the beginning. I just heard a talk by Joseph Goldstein, for instance, where he describes how his position evolved, having originated in skepticism. And, unless I'm confusing her with someone else, I recall Ajahn Sundara saying she used to not see the point of rebirth.

In fact, I can't remember anyone saying "heck, I got that right away! Piece o' cake!"
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:12 pm

Ok. In conventional terms, the sky was blue last time I went outside.

In truth, nothing can be said. There's no separate sky, no separate blue, no last time, no outside or inside.

In conventional terms, I may firmly know that I have led a past life and may exist in a firmly defined reality in which this makes complete sense. I may prove it in a test tube or with logic or by finding it's veracity affirmed in mile high letters on the moon.

In truth, nothing can be said.

there is no story

Her eye rests in the marble like a galaxy
her son is rolling. A hamster spins its cage.
She shakes pages free of her fingers; Caryatids
and Atlas, elephants on a tortoiseshell
and something like God holds whosoever
wants to be held. Today he is rippling silver
beside some seaside town, she whorls smoke
through the gap, shedding ash. There is no story,
but keep talking love,
keep misting windows and painting your breath
into the clear of glass.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.
Cafael Dust
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Previous

Return to Theravāda for the modern world

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests