How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:53 am

Santikaro,

Thank you for joining. While I am not a Ven Buddhadasa fan (excuse the idiom), I welcome your input. Mostly, to date, we have a few zealous Buddhadasa followers aggressively pushing what they said were Buddhadasa's views as if they were the only truly true way to approach the Buddha's Dhamma, anything else being simply wrong.

Santikaro wrote:I'll try to be constructive and not indulge in arguments


In light of what has gone before, this is most welcome by me and I am sure most everyone else here. Again, thank you for giving us your time and insight.

Tilt
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:59 am

Peter wrote:
Santikaro wrote:For those who claim that the Buddha taught rebirth, I wonder where he actually lays this out as a teaching.

How about every time someone asks the Buddha about someone who had just died and the Buddha declares them sotapanna or sakadagami? What could it possibly mean to say a dead person will be born no more than seven (or one) more time? Of those who claim the Buddha did not teach rebirth, I have never heard any address this question.


Yes, hard to ignore those passages. They are rather common. But what do they mean?

Tan Ajahn took them to be conventional comments, not essential liberating truths. The degree of liberation of the "person" (an appearance of individuality more than an actual independent being) who died is metaphorically described in terms of Sotapanna, etc. Is this term primarily about rebirth? I take them to be about faith, understanding, & liberation, viz. the factors of sotapanna.

I guess it boils down to whether we prefer to think in terms of persons who are born & die ("people language") or the flow of inherently empty dhammas thru idappaccayata (Dhamma language).

p.s. Apologies for bursting onto this list w/ so many posts. I suspect I'll run out of steam shortly.

p.s.s. But I'm always happy to see folks showing interest in Tan Ajahn's approach to Buddha-Dhamma, even if there is criticism. He himself enjoyed being criticized; it made him a more effective teacher. Best wishes.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:02 am

Peter wrote:
[The Buddha] taught that the path is progressive, that views need to be left behind sooner or later.

He taught that views get left behind by one who has known and seen, aka one who is sotapanna or higher. Are you claiming to be sotapanna or higher?



Your direct source for this claim, please.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:07 am

Santikaro wrote:Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.


Depends what is meant by essential teaching. I can be argued strongly, with considerable textual support, that rebirth (no atta needed) is taken by the Buddha as how the world works. On the other hand, it is also quite possible to attain awakening without developing the capacity, the bala, for seeing rebirth. In that sense rebirth is not essential for awakening.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:16 am

Peter wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:buddhaghosa's 3 lifetimes model seems to me and it seemed to buddhadasa to deny the possability of ever ending samasara cause you always have this future life where kamma plays out so you could never find nibbana in this life only in a future life


That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.


I don't see what makes it so stupid. With apologies to the earlier poster, might I elaborate?

In the "three lifetimes interpretation" (found in the Visuddhimagga) of the classic paticcasamuppada sequence, rebirth & dukkha occur in the future, which is taken to be a life after the physical death of the entity or whatever that was craving & clinging. Assuming that one entity does the craving & clinging and another experiences the rebirth & dukkha, how can either of them fully realize the causal relations? One might remember & reflect, but is that enough for liberating nyana? If, however, the causal linkages unfold withing minutes without the drastic restructuring of death & rebirth, it would be possible to much more directly realize the conditionality of dukkha out of avijja.

Seems to me that the emphasis of the Buddha's teaching is seeing the impermanence, concoctedness, and selflessness of the stuff going on more than getting certain theories about the stuff right.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:17 am

Santikaro wrote: For those who claim that the Buddha taught rebirth, I wonder where he actually lays this out as a teaching. More often, it's a general reference, similar to how we nowadays refer to evolution. The usual citation is to the first of the 3 nyanas under the bodhi tree, but that overlooks the not-yet-awakened (tho almost) situation of the bodhisatta. Tan Ajahn considered the 3rd nyana far more important, that is, causal for the great awakening. Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.

Santikaro,

I heard about this site and I am in awe to see you post here. :woohoo:

I read Genuine Pubbenivasanusattinyana on your website.

With Tan Ajahn's Two Kind of Language, it all makes perfect sense. :woohoo:

All of my mind's clinging simply & swiftly dropped away. :meditate:

Liberation is here, now, in the present. :anjali:

:smile:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:25 am

Santikaro wrote:Some of these were ludicrous, even downright ignorant, such as Thai monks who accused him of being a Mahayanist for teaching sunyata. I guess the never read the Majjhima-nikaya and other relevant bits on sunyata.

Santikaro

Your observation is so co-incidental. I once met a monk studying in Burma with Mahasi Sayadaw, who today is called Patrick Kearney.

Patrick said to me Tan Ajahn Buddhadasa was Mahayana because he taught sunyata.

I must admit, although Patrick was a monk, I did chuckle about his ignorance.

:anjali:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:30 am

tiltbillings wrote: Buddhadasa followers aggressively pushing what they said were Buddhadasa's views as if they were the only truly true way to approach the Buddha's Dhamma, anything else being simply wrong.

Tiltbillings

Respectfully, how could that be?

The Blessed One expounded many dhammas for the many, for the benefits of gods & men, some lokiya and one lokuttara.

I say Buddhadasa's approach is the only true way to approach enlightenment & the cessation of suffering.

The Buddha taught us his way was the only true way for the purification of beings and for the arising of the four kinds of Noble practitioners.

There is only one true way.

I hope you find it.

:anjali:
Last edited by Present on Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.


Depends what is meant by essential teaching. I can be argued strongly, with considerable textual support, that rebirth (no atta needed) is taken by the Buddha as how the world works. On the other hand, it is also quite possible to attain awakening without developing the capacity, the bala, for seeing rebirth. In that sense rebirth is not essential for awakening.


Maybe. Then again, I'd say the Buddha saw the world as working thru idappaccayata. Perhaps rebirth is more metaphorical.

At the risk of bringing Zen into this, when I first met Aitken Roshi (American Zen teacher) he said how much he liked Tan Ajahn's take on rebirth. I challenged back, friendly to be sure, about something I'd recently seen in Dogen about rebirth or "the great matter of life & death." Aitken Roshi replied that the rebirth talk is metaphor, which is the first time I recall hearing it described that way.

Anyway, if anyone is liberated from dukkha through pondering or realizing or whatevering rebirth, many bows to them! And if anyone suffers because of opinions denying rebirth, may they relax.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:I'd like to share a bit of my own experience with you.)

Retrofuturist

Please share more. Your sharing of nannadassana made my hairs stand on end, as when I read the Buddha's Hair-Raising Discourse in the Majjhima Nikaya.

:anjali:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:39 am

Present wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Buddhadasa followers aggressively pushing what they said were Buddhadasa's views as if they were the only truly true way to approach the Buddha's Dhamma, anything else being simply wrong.

Tiltbillings

Respectfully, how could that be?


Don't ask me. I am not a Buddhadasa aficionado.

The Blessed One expounded many dhammas for the many, for the benefits of gods & men, some lokiya and one lokuttara.


Sure.

I say Buddhadasa's approach is the only true way to approach enlightenment & the cessation of suffering.


And you certainly can believe that, if you wish, but it is a pious belief that has no objective basis.

The Buddha taught us his way was the only true way.


Sure, but that does not mean that there cannot be variation in how individuals approach and understand it.

There is only one true way.

I hope you find it.


How do you I have not?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:45 am

Santikaro wrote:Maybe. Then again, I'd say the Buddha saw the world as working thru idappaccayata.


Sure, but that still does not change the fact that one can reasonably argue, with considerable textual support, that rebirth (without atta) is how the world works.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.


Depends what is meant by essential teaching. I can be argued strongly, with considerable textual support, that rebirth (no atta needed) is taken by the Buddha as how the world works. On the other hand, it is also quite possible to attain awakening without developing the capacity, the bala, for seeing rebirth. In that sense rebirth is not essential for awakening.



In the Brahmajala Sutta, after pointing out the speculative views including all of those views of the eternalists and the annihilationists, the Buddha states:

"The Tathagata knows these sixty-two views. He also knows the dhamma which surpasses them. Knowing that dhamma, he does not view it in the wrong way [effectively: he does not hold any of these wrong views]. Since he does not view it in the wrong way, he realizes by himself the extinction of defilements (i.e., greed, anger, and ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths)."

The Buddha also goes on to point out that those who "...speculate on the past, or the future, or both, and adhere to beliefs relating to them..." all fall under, and are subject to, the process of paticcasamuppada that he describes in his own Dhamma: "...[they] assert in sixty-two ways their many and varied wrong views relating to the past and the future. They experience feeling as a result of repeated contact through the six sense bases; feeling gives rise to craving; craving gives rise to clinging; clinging gives rise to becoming, becoming gives rise to birth; birth gives rise to ageing, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair."
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:53 am

Santikaro wrote:Yes, hard to ignore those passages. They are rather common. But what do they mean?

Santikaro,

The Buddha informed us at the end of one sutta in the MN why he disclosed destinations, and the reason was to inspire faith.

I trust one of our dhamma friends here knows the passage & discourse and can post it.

:anjali:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:54 am

stuka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.


Depends what is meant by essential teaching. I can be argued strongly, with considerable textual support, that rebirth (no atta needed) is taken by the Buddha as how the world works. On the other hand, it is also quite possible to attain awakening without developing the capacity, the bala, for seeing rebirth. In that sense rebirth is not essential for awakening.



In the Brahmajala Sutta, after pointing out the speculative views including all of those views of the eternalists and the annihilationists, the Buddha states:

"The Tathagata knows these sixty-two views. He also knows the dhamma which surpasses them. Knowing that dhamma, he does not view it in the wrong way [effectively: he does not hold any of these wrong views]. Since he does not view it in the wrong way, he realizes by himself the extinction of defilements (i.e., greed, anger, and ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths)."

The Buddha also goes on to point out that those who "...speculate on the past, or the future, or both, and adhere to beliefs relating to them..." all fall under, and are subject to, the process of paticcasamuppada that he describes in his own Dhamma: "...[they] assert in sixty-two ways their many and varied wrong views relating to the past and the future. They experience feeling as a result of repeated contact through the six sense bases; feeling gives rise to craving; craving gives rise to clinging; clinging gives rise to becoming, becoming gives rise to birth; birth gives rise to ageing, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair."


Sure, but there is nothing in that that negates rebirth (without atta).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:

Sure, but there is nothing in that that negates rebirth (without atta).


It declares it a speculative wrong view, in the discussion of eternalistic views prior to the quote. It's just that you have declared an Atta that is reincarnated, merely calling it not-an-Atta.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:10 am

stuka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:

Sure, but there is nothing in that that negates rebirth (without atta).


It declares it a speculative wrong view, in the discussion of eternalistic views prior to the quote. It's just that you have declared an Atta that is reincarnated, merely calling it not-an-Atta.


Thank you for sharing your opinion. No reincarnation. No need for it and no need for your clever "not-an-Atta."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:18 am

Greetings Santikaro,

Santikaro wrote:I heard him say, sometimes w/ me translating for him, that there's no rebirth; however, his meaning was that there's no rebirth of a being or atta. In private conversation when I tried, somewhat rigidly and dogmatically, to pin him down about what happens at death, he responded that it depends on idappaccayata. Of course, to assume that there was an atta or somebody to end at death is also refuted by the Buddha. In this, where is the Middle Way?


Well said, and thank you for valuable perspective on Ajahn Buddhadasa's teaching

As you may have seen from my postings, the problem I have with the term "rebirth" is that it assumes something that can be "re'd", whereas there is no "re'ing" in idappaccayata.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:23 am

Santikaro wrote:In the "three lifetimes interpretation" (found in the Visuddhimagga) of the classic paticcasamuppada sequence, rebirth & dukkha occur in the future, which is taken to be a life after the physical death of the entity or whatever that was craving & clinging. Assuming that one entity does the craving & clinging and another experiences the rebirth & dukkha, how can either of them fully realize the causal relations?

Ah, I see. Taking this in conjunction with something you said earlier...

Santikaro wrote:The usual citation is to the first of the 3 nyanas under the bodhi tree, but that overlooks the not-yet-awakened (tho almost) situation of the bodhisatta. Tan Ajahn considered the 3rd nyana far more important, that is, causal for the great awakening.

Tan Ajahn considered the 1st nyana not relevant to awakening and then criticized the 3-lifetime model for being dependent on the 1st nyana? Could you explain this apparent circular logic?

I suppose if I thought liberation depended on my being able to recall past lives and I also thought my chances of ever developing the ability to recall past lives were slim to none I might be tempted to reinterpret the Teachings in a way more suitable for my situation. I hope that's not what we're talking about here.

Santikaro wrote:Tan Ajahn took [references to sotapanna, etc.] to be conventional comments, not essential liberating truths.

I have heard this said before but remain confused as to what it means. Does it mean the Buddha lied?

Santikaro wrote:Seems to me that the emphasis of the Buddha's teaching is seeing the impermanence, concoctedness, and selflessness of the stuff going on more than getting certain theories about the stuff right.

Seems to me as well. But people in online forums love to discuss theories and rarely discuss anything practical. :shrug: We get occasional flashes of practicality which for me makes it worthwhile to hang around.

Thank you for taking the time to address my queries. I am finding it helpful.
- Peter

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:33 am

Greetings,

I just wanted to draw attention to the following post.

stuka wrote:There is, however, a constant straw man argument pushed by evangelicals that claims that those of us who do not subscribe to reincarnation-speculative-view somehow deny reincarnation, i.e., take the extreme position "there is not reincarnation". This is a straw man. The Buddha pointed out that both the pro-reincarnationist, eternalist position and the anti-reincarnationst, aniihilationist position are wrong speculative views. His Noble teachings transcended both positions.

Of course, when this is pointed out to reincarnationist evangelicals, they continue with their same straw man argument as though nothing had been clarified for them at all.


I think this is an important point, and accords with the "wait and see" approach that was mentioned earlier. The Brahmajala Sutta, where an exhaustive list of 62 (?) wrong views are given, talk about soul theories (either eternalism, or annihilationism).

"Don't know", "Don't care" and "Wait and see" are neither eternalism, nor annihilationism... thus are not Wrong View.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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