Dull and stupid recluse?

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Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby greenjuice » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:47 am

"Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin is dull and stupid. Due to his dullness and stupidity, when he is questioned about this or that point, he resorts to evasive statements and to endless equivocation: 'If you ask me whether there is a world beyond — if I thought there is another world, I would declare that there is. But I do not take it thus, nor do I take it in that way, nor do I take it in some other way. I do not say that it is not, nor do I say that is neither this nor that.'

"Similarly, when asked any of the following questions, he resorts to the same evasive statements and to endless equivocation:

A.

2. Is there no world beyond?
3. Is it that there both is and is not a world beyond?
4. Is it that there neither is nor is not a world beyond?

B.

1. Are there beings spontaneously reborn?
2. Are there no beings spontaneously reborn?
3. Is it that there both are and are not beings spontaneously reborn?
4. Is it that there neither are nor are not beings spontaneously reborn?

C.

1. Is there fruit and result of good and bad action?
2. Is there no fruit and result of good and bad action?
3. Is it that there both is and is not fruit and result of good and bad action?
4. Is it that there neither is nor is not fruit and result of good and bad action?

D.

1.Does the Tathāgata exist after death?
2.Does the Tathāgata not exist after death?
3.Does the Tathāgata both exist and not exist after death?
4.Does the Tathāgata neither exist nor not exist after death?

"This bhikkhus, is the fourth case."


Well, that's strange. Also, I'll note that this is the only recluse in the enumeration of recluses having wrong vies that is called dull and stupid. Such a stupid recluse is criticized here for giving evasive statements, right? I don't get it, Buddha pretty much patented evasive statements regarding ontological questions. He even lists questions about existing after death which he explicitly answered with evasive statements elsewhere. So, what the difference between Buddha's evasive statements and the evasive statements of this recluse? The recluse is evasive because he's stupid, but Buddha's evasive because he's wise :roll: ?
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Re: Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:04 am

Good question, Greenjuice.

I think that the difference is that the Buddha doesn't equivocate give evasive statements. He gives definite responses such as:
"That, great king, has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata exists after death.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And later in the sutta he explains why:
"Then do you have an accountant or calculator or mathematician who can count the water in the great ocean as 'so many buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of buckets of water' or 'so many thousands of buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of thousands of buckets of water'?"

"No, lady. Why is that? The great ocean is deep, boundless, hard to fathom."

"Even so, great king, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply.

There is an introduction to Samyutta 44 here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html that goes into much more detail.

:anjali:
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Re: Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:34 am

As to the Tathagata existing, not existing after death quote, in one place the Buddha's saying it, in another place the dull and stupid monk with the wrong view is saying it, my guess is one of these has to be a misquote, they can't both be right.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby boris » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:30 am

greenjuice wrote:So, what the difference between Buddha's evasive statements and the evasive statements of this recluse? The recluse is evasive because he's stupid, but Buddha's evasive because he's wise :roll: ?


Buddha does not give evasive statements, contrary, in a very clear way makes statement that he do not answer these questions. Buddha knows that in these questions are implanted wrong assumptions, and as such they cannot be aswered. This recluse does not know that, so the reasons why he does not answer them are different ... He just applay the same tactic for all kind of questions.
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

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Re: Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:15 am

The Tathagata existing after death or not, or both or neither does not apply, that is why it is a question that is supossed to be set aside. Setting a question a side is quite different from the actions of the Buddha's contemporaries in say the Sammanaphala Sutta (DN 2).

Why does it not apply? Because the word Tathagata means 'one thus gone' - In actuality, for an arahant or a Buddha there is nothing there - no 'being' as such as it is. Consciousness is 'ceased' - For a candle flame that has already gone out - Does one say: Oh the flame of the candle has gone here or there, it still is a candle flame in some other plane, it is partially here and partially not, or neither or not neither - No, none of that applies to something that has gone out, gone out because the fuel from which it existed (ignorance, craving) has ceased.

That should clear things up for you, but I doubt it will. Hence the Buddha said these questions were imponderables, the reason for which is that one is supposed to be striving to put an end to one's torture and suffering within sangsara, but one could spend one's whole life caught up in these questions and still not coming to any appreciable benefit. This Dhamma has been layed out for a reason, sitting here attempting to poke holes where they don't exist could be likened to a wrong grasp of the snake, I only say this because of one indicator, your use of this: ' :roll: ' - Which in my eyes stems not from a genuine desire to clear up a misconception. Please correct me however if your eye rolling at the Buddha was not of it's usually accepted meaning.

metta
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Dull and stupid recluse?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:24 pm

greenjuice wrote:Well, that's strange. Also, I'll note that this is the only recluse in the enumeration of recluses having wrong vies that is called dull and stupid. Such a stupid recluse is criticized here for giving evasive statements, right? I don't get it, Buddha pretty much patented evasive statements regarding ontological questions. He even lists questions about existing after death which he explicitly answered with evasive statements elsewhere. So, what the difference between Buddha's evasive statements and the evasive statements of this recluse? The recluse is evasive because he's stupid, but Buddha's evasive because he's wise :roll: ?


Dear greenjuice,

I agree with you that some of the Buddha's statements could be interpreted as evasive. The difference here between the eel-wriggler (endless equivocator) and the Buddha and is that out of ignorance the eel-wriggler is clinging to the view that nothing can be known for certain whereas the Buddha clings to nothing and teaches the Dhamma for the welfare of all sentient beings.

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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